School of Languages and Linguistics - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 822
Person marking in Three Oceanic Languages
(Asia-Pacific Linguistics, 2016)
The paper proposes that the contrasting morphosyntax of CNPs versus pronoun/Proper name objects in Fijian, Iaai and Drehu, is accounted for as an effect of a [+person] feature. Objects lacking this feature can only be externally A’-bound pros.
Perception of consonant length in familiar and unfamiliar languages by native speakers of Mandarin, Italian and Japanese
This study builds on our previous research and provides additional analyses to determine if there is a relationship between the ability to process consonant length in familiar and unfamiliar languages for learners of Japanese whose native language is Italian or Mandarin. The emphasis is on L2-L3 (second-third language) phonetic influence. Japanese and Italian use consonant length contrastively, but not Mandarin. We thus asked if Mandarin learners with higher proficiency in Japanese are more or less accurate in length identification than Italian learners with first language (L1) experience of consonant length. Specifically, we focused on finding out if learners who accurately identify Japanese consonant length might also be accurate in their identification of the length category in Italian. Four groups of listeners differing in their L1 (Italian x 2 groups, Japanese, Mandarin) and experience with consonant length participated in forced-choice identification experiments. L1 Japanese and L1 Italian listeners identified the length category more accurately in their L1 than in the foreign language (FL). The ability to identify consonant length in Japanese and Italian by 18 advanced Mandarin-speaking learners of Japanese seemed unrelated. This suggests that speech processing skills acquired in one FL may not automatically transfer to another FL.
Social deixis at international conferences: Austrian German speakers’ introduction and address behaviour in German and English
(Elsevier BV, 2020-11)
Based on a qualitative and quantitative survey of introduction and address and naming behaviour of Austrian academics at international conferences in linguistics and language studies, we compare reported strategies in Austrian German and in English as a lingua franca (ELF). The scenarios asked about are self-introduction, introduction of others and when being introduced by others. Overall, the qualitative data demonstrate that Austrian academics are well aware of the social and linguistic complexities of introductions at international conferences as well as of cross-cultural differences in introduction and address conventions in academia. Quantitative results show important differences across scenarios and between the two languages of communication. Elements of the cohort's L1 introduction behaviour, such as high frequency of title use when introducing others, confirm previous studies. To determine if there are any transfer effects from their L1, the ELF introduction behaviour of the Austrian German L1 speakers is also compared to the L1 behaviour of speakers of US English. The frequency of reported first name use in ELF introductions by our Austrian respondents is similar to that reported by their American counterparts. However, title use by Austrians in ELF scenarios is consistently higher than among US English L1 speakers, indicating pragmatic transfer.
CATEGORY CLUSTERING: A PROBABILISTIC BIAS IN THE MORPHOLOGY OF VERBAL AGREEMENT MARKING
(LINGUISTIC SOC AMER, 2020-06-01)
Recent research has revealed several languages (e.g. Chintang, Rarámuri, Tagalog, Murrinhpatha) that challenge the general expectation of strict sequential ordering in morphological structure. However, it has remained unclear whether these languages exhibit random placement of affixes or whether there are some underlying probabilistic principles that predict their placement. Here we address this question for verbal agreement markers and hypothesize a probabilistic universal of category clustering, with two effects: (i) markers in paradigmatic opposition tend to be placed in the same morphological position (‘paradigmatic alignment’; Crysmann & Bonami 2016); (ii) morphological positions tend to be categorically uniform (‘featural coherence’; Stump 2001). We first show in a corpus study that category clustering drives the distribution of agreement prefixes in speakers’ production of Chintang, a language where prefix placement is not constrained by any categorical rules of sequential ordering. We then show in a typological study that the same principle also shapes the evolution of morphological structure: although exceptions are attested, paradigms are much more likely to obey rather than to violate the principle. Category clustering is therefore a good candidate for a universal force shaping the structure and use of language, potentially due to benefits in processing and learning.
Probability of Heritage Language Use at a Supportive Early Childhood Setting in Australia
(Frontiers Media SA, 2020-07-16)
Despite well-established research that documents the intellectual, linguistic, sociocultural and familiar benefits of early childhood bilingualism, Australia's provision of heritage language (HL) support in early childhood (EC) settings is fairly minimal, resulting in little to no access to the HL outside of the home. We report on language data from a long day care preschool that has an open bilingual policy, where two languages (HL and English) are used in naturalistic interactions between children and educators. While the quantity of language input and output is known to impact on language proficiency, there are no prior studies which focus on establishing the quantitative nature of naturalistic language production in a bilingual preschool. Our goal was to document the relative language input and output of HL and English and to examine whether there are differences across age groups in the EC setting, and during different activity types. We followed a quantitative approach in data analysis, with child and educator observations over a period of 8 weeks and an analysis of targeted videos amounting to close to an hour of recordings per child. We used Bayesian modeling to test the probability of HL use in the different age groups and per activity type. Overall, HL input was higher for toddlers than preschoolers and toddlers received more HL input than English, while preschoolers received comparable input in both languages. The higher probability of HL input in toddlers was particularly evident during story time and playing activities. Our results indicate a high level of HL use in this EC setting, suggesting success in HL maintenance and promotion of early bilingualism. Further research should explore the children's relative language output in relation to their input, individual differences, as well as extending the current methodology to other similar settings in Australia.
Conceptualizing Formative Blended Assessment (FBA) in Saudi EFL
(IGI Global, 2020)
This chapter sets out a conceptual framework for the design and use of ‘blended assessments’ that seek to create formative activities that can be characterized by shifting modalities of presentation, variations in time and action, and moves from individual to group work. The study’s framing is built upon longitudinal participatory action research based on the research questions. In addition to auto-ethnographic observations, 13 Saudi participants—three course coordinators, seven instructors, and three students—were asked to participate in focus groups and individual interviews. Using qualitative data analysis software, three core characteristics of formative blended assessment were identified: (1) multi-modal activities, flexibility, and peer encouragement, for example, were seen to be an ‘advantage’; (2) alignment of pedagogies and assessment tasks were perceived in a ‘compatibility’ theme; and (3) the possibility of dishonest behaviors and administrative challenges were classed under ‘complexity’