School of Languages and Linguistics - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 946
Virtual Exchanges and Gender-Inclusive Toponymy: An Intercultural Citizenship Project to Foster Equality
(Edizioni Ca’ Foscari - Digital Publishing, 2021)
This paper focuses on a virtual exchange project between the University of Virginia, United States, and an upper-secondary school in Pavia, Italy. Centred on the question of gender equality, the project has been designed to take place over three years (2018-21), and with direct reference to the transnational model of virtual exchange for global citizenship education proposed in 2019 by Robert O’Dowd. As an integrated part of the language learning curriculum, the project creates a virtual space which parallels the space-time of traditional class tuition, and which students can inhabit with a significant degree of autonomy. The project aims to foster gender equality and help students to reflect on the sociocultural evolution of the language and how it can be used to address issues of identity, diversity and inclusion.
Developing global citizenship through real-world tasks – a virtual exchange between North American university students and Italian upper-secondary school students
This paper concerns a virtual exchange project between the University of Virginia (UVa), United States, and an upper-secondary school in Pavia, Italy. Centred on the question of gender equality, the project has been designed to take place over three years (2018–2021) with a direct reference to Robert O’Dowd’s transnational model of virtual exchange for global citizenship education, proposed in 2018. As an integrated part of the language learning curriculum, the project creates a virtual space which parallels the space-time of traditional class tuition, and which students can inhabit with a significant degree of autonomy. More specifically, this paper gives an account of how students, through real-world tasks, could develop global citizenship.
Exploring phonological aspects of australian indigenous sign languages
(MDPI AG, 2021-06-01)
Spoken languages make up only one aspect of the communicative landscape of Indigenous Australia—sign languages are also an important part of their rich and diverse language ecologies. Australian Indigenous sign languages are predominantly used by hearing people as a replacement for speech in certain cultural contexts. Deaf or hard-of-hearing people are also known to make use of these sign languages. In some circumstances, sign may be used alongside speech, and in others it may replace speech altogether. Alternate sign languages such as those found in Australia occupy a particular place in the diversity of the world’s sign languages. However, the focus of research on sign language phonology has almost exclusively been on sign languages used in deaf communities. This paper takes steps towards deepening understandings of signed language phonology by examining the articulatory features of handshape and body locations in the signing practices of three communities in Central and Northern Australia. We demonstrate that, while Australian Indigenous sign languages have some typologically unusual features, they exhibit the same ‘fundamental’ structural characteristics as other sign languages.
(Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2021-01-01)
Nafsan (ISO 639-3: erk, Glottocode: sout2856), also known as South Efate, is a Southern Oceanic language of Vanuatu. It is spoken in Erakor, Eratap and Pango, three villages situated along the southern coast of the island of Efate (Figure 1) (Clark 1985, Lynch 2000, Thieberger 2006). Nafsan is also closely related to Eton, Lelepa, Nakanamanga and Namakura, spoken further to the north on Efate and some smaller neighbouring islands.1 Nafsan is often described as the southernmost member of the North-Central Vanuatu group of languages, and the Nafsan and Eton-speaking communities are noted to be at the core of ‘an unmistakable area of innovation’ compared to their northern neighbours (Clark 1985: 25). Though crosslinguistic comparisons suggest a clear boundary between North-Central Vanuatu languages and languages of the Southern Vanuatu group, there is evidence that Nafsan speakers have both linguistic and cultural links to the southern islands, suggestive of complex historical relationships between the populations of the central and southern regions (Lynch 2004; Thieberger 2007, 2015). In terms of the sound system, Nafsan is noted to be of particular interest because it ‘forms a transition between the phonologically more conservative languages to the north and the more “aberrant” languages to the south’ (Lynch 2000: 320), and exhibits phonotactic patterns which are complex and typologically uncommon, particularly among Oceanic languages (Thieberger 2006).
Enduring and contemporary code-switching practices in northern australia
(MDPI AG, 2021-06-01)
In Maningrida, northern Australia, code-switching is a commonplace phenomenon within a complex of both longstanding and more recent language practices characterised by high levels of linguistic diversity and multilingualism. Code-switching is observable between local Indigenous languages and is now also widespread between local languages and English and/or Kriol. In this paper, I consider whether general predictions about the nature and functioning of code-switching account for practices in the Maningrida context. I consider: (i) what patterns characterise longstanding code-switching practices between different Australian languages in the region, as opposed to code-switching between an Australian language and Kriol or English? (ii) how do the distinctions observable align with general predictions and constraints from dominant theoretical frameworks? Need we look beyond these factors to explain the patterns? Results indicate that general predictions, including the effects of typological congruence, account for many observable tendencies in the data. However, other factors, such as constraints exerted by local ideologies of multilingualism and linguistic purism, as well as shifting socio-interactional goals, may help account for certain distinct patterns in the Maningrida data.
Comparing the Same Task in ESL vs. EFL Learning Contexts: An Activity Theory Perspective
This classroom-based study examined the role of context in task-based interaction. Identical tasks were implemented in university-level classes in two contexts: Australian ESL (n = 27) and Chilean EFL (n = 19). The learners engaged in discussion tasks, as part of the regular classroom activities. Data included audio-recorded task-based interactions, observations, and a survey. Data analysis was guided by activity theory, examining how learners approached the tasks, including deliberations about language (actions), the group dynamics, and their use of mediating tools (e.g., L1). Our findings revealed differences in the learners' actions in these two contexts, both expected (e.g., use of L1) and unexpected (e.g., the nature of assistance provided). Our study shows that in different contexts, the same tasks represent different learning activities.
Violent Women: Photographic Evidence, Gender and Sexology in Wilhelmine and Weimar Germany
This article provides the first analysis of constructions of female criminality in sexological photography in Wilhelmine and Weimar Germany by comparing Erich Wulffen’s Der Sexualverbrecher (1910, The sex offender) and Das Weib als Sexualverbrecherin (1923, Woman as sex offender). It explores the new potential that photographic images in the Wilhelmine era had for illustrating notions of gendered criminality, portraying women mainly as victims and only in a handful of cases as exceptional criminals. In the Weimar Republic an entirely new type of criminal emerged – that of the ‘female sex offender’. Photographs in this period served both as evidence and as a warning to professional readerships about the violent threat these women posed to the fabric of German society. This article explores the intellectual context for this shift, and thereby speculates on how the photographs in question could be reinterpreted as contributions to a history of female violence.
Motivation for learning Chinese in a study abroad context: Vietnamese students in Taiwan
(ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2021-03-16)
This article examines Vietnamese students’ motivation for learning Mandarin Chinese during their study abroad in Taiwan and their construction of self in relation to this language learning motivation. A combination of several concepts of ideal L2 self, ought-to L2 self, instrumental motive, integrative motive, linguistic capital, and multiple self-aspects is used as a theoretical lens to gain insights into the students’ Chinese learning motivation. The study employs a qualitative research approach in which semi-structured interviews with English-medium students from five Taiwanese universities were conducted. Findings reveal that the students’ motivation for learning Chinese contributed to portraying their ideal and ought-to Chinese selves, which subsume their different instrumental and integrative motives for language learning. The ideal Chinese self they would like to become possesses Chinese linguistic capital, which would confer on them advantages pertaining to their study, career development and social relations. The students’ ideal Chinese self also incorporates and reinforces their (desired) cultural, economic and social selves. Implications for supporting international students’ motivation for out-of-class language learning and their construction of self at the institutional level are then discussed.
Italian Language Learning and Student Motivation at Australian Universities
(ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2021-06-11)
Motivation in learning languages other than English has not being extensively explored. This appears to be particularly true for Italian at university level, for which few studies in the motivational literature can be found. It is particularly relevant then that, in this study, we focus on understanding the reasons why university students in Australia choose to learn Italian, and what motivates them over time once they have begun. In order to answer these questions, we collected qualitative data via two rounds of questionnaires. To facilitate our analysis, a three-level model (i.e. micro, meso, and macro) was adopted, following Gayton and the Douglas Fir Group. The levels were linked to three principal component factors with each one bringing together multiple motivational elements, which changed over time highlighting the dynamic nature of motivation for learners of Italian.
Fostering motivation and creativity through self-publishing as project-based learning in the Italian L2 classroom
This article presents the results of a mixed-method study that investigated the impact of an innovative project-based learning module, entitled “I am an author,” on students' motivation and creativity, and also examined its positive and negative aspects emerging from students' evaluations. As part of this module, advanced learners of Italian are required to write and self-publish a short, fully illustrated children's story in Italian. The results suggest that while students encountered some problems during the activity, overall the project had a positive impact on their intrinsic motivation—linked to the opportunity to use the language to target a nonacademic audience and to their investment in a personally relevant and world relevant task—and also helped them develop their creative skills. This study adds to scholarship on the effectiveness of experiential learning through a targeted project-based activity and paves the way for future development of and research on the project.
The development of legal procedures for using a transcript to assist the jury in understanding indistinct covert recordings used as evidence in Australian criminal trials: A history in three key cases
(Universidade do Porto, 2021)
The use of police transcripts to assist a jury in determining the content of indistinct forensic audio is a cause of concern to many in forensic linguistics. A common recommendation is that the law should make more use of transcripts produced by experts in linguistic science. While this can help in individual cases, it is not a general solution. In fact, it can make things worse instead of better. That is because it fails to take account of legal procedures which are little known in forensic linguistics, and the misconceptions about language that they embody. Previous papers have set out some of the relevant procedures as they currently stand. The present article offers a historical perspective, tracing the development of current procedures, and their misconceptions about language, through three key cases of the 1980s and 1990s which stand as authoritative precedents for Australian legal practice regarding the problematic use of police (and expert) transcripts as assistance in court. The conclusion outlines the solution being pursued by Australian linguists.