International Science Index

International Journal of Cognitive and Language Sciences

University Level Spanish Heritage Language Students' Use of Metaphor in Writing: Exploring Auto-Biographical Linguistic Narratives
The question of heritage language learners in foreign language classrooms has been widely debated in second language education, especially with Spanish in a U.S. Instructors of Spanish as a foreign language have brought pedagogical focus to Spanish heritage language students in order to retain, develop and maintain their first language. This paper proposes a thorough examination of the use of conceptual metaphors within autobiographical linguistic narratives as a key indicator of the writing development of advanced Spanish-language students. By pairing genre theory from Systemic Functional Linguistics with metaphor theory, this paper will examine the metaphors used by 3rd and 4th year university Spanish students within the narrative genre from a corpus of 16, 091 words. The investigation has found that heritage language students use a variety of bicultural metaphors, transferred from both languages to conceptualize their linguistic development, in addition to using metaphor in specific narrative stages as a literary strategy. Since it has been found that the metaphors used were transcultural, the use of conceptual metaphors in heritage language learners can be further examined to help these students achieve their linguistic and academic goals in the Spanish by transferring from their knowledge in English. In conclusion, by closely examining the function of student discourse through their multicultural metaphoric competence, this study provides important insights on how to enable instructors to best further their students’ writing development in the target language.
Terrorism in German and Italian Press Headlines: A Cognitive Linguistic Analysis of Conceptual Metaphors
Islamic terrorism has gained a lot of media attention in the last years also because of the striking increase of terror attacks since 2014. The main aim of this paper is to illustrate the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism by applying frame semantics and metaphor analysis to German and Italian press headlines of the two online weekly publications Der Spiegel and L’Espresso between 2014 and 2019. This study focuses on how media discourse – through the use of conceptual metaphors – let arise in people a particular reception of the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism and accept governmental strategies and policies, perceiving terrorists as evildoers, as the members of an uncivilised group ‘other’ opposed to the civilised group ‘we’: two groups that are perceived as opposed. The press headlines are analyzed on the basis of the cognitive linguistics, namely Lakoff and Johnson’s conceptualization of metaphor to distinguish between abstract conceptual metaphors and specific metaphorical expressions. The study focuses on the contexts, frames, and metaphors. The method adopted in this study is Konerding’s frame semantics (1993). Konerding carried out on the basis of dictionaries – in particular of the Duden Deutsches Universalwörterbuch (Duden Universal German Dictionary) – in a pilot study of a lexicological work hyperonym reduction of substantives, working exclusively with nouns because hyperonyms usually occur in the dictionary meaning explanations as for the main elements of nominal phrases. The results of Konerding’s hyperonym type reduction is a small set of German nouns and they correspond to the highest hyperonyms, the so-called categories, matrix frames: ‘object’, ‘organism’, ‘person/actant’, ‘event’, ‘action/interaction/communication’, ‘institution/social group’, ‘surroundings’, ‘part/piece’, ‘totality/whole’, ‘state/property’. The second step of Konerding’s pilot study consists in determining the potential reference points of each category so that conventionally expectable routinized predications arise as predictors. Konerding found out which predicators the ascertained noun types can be linked to. For the purpose of this study, metaphorical expressions will be listed and categorized in conceptual metaphors and under the matrix frames that correspond to the particular conceptual metaphor. All of the corpus analyses are carried out using Ant Conc corpus software. The research will verify some previously analyzed metaphors such as TERRORISM AS WAR, A CRIME, A NATURAL EVENT, A DISEASE and will identify new conceptualizations and metaphors about Islamic terrorism, especially in the Italian language like TERRORISM AS A GAME, WARES, A DRAMATIC PLAY. Through the identification of particular frames and their construction, the research seeks to understand the public reception and the way to handle the discourse about Islamic terrorism in the above mentioned online weekly publications under a contrastive analysis in the German and in the Italian language.
Analyzing the Perception of Identity in Bilingual Communities: Case Study of Eritrean Immigrants in Switzerland
This study examines the way second-generation Eritrean immigrants living in the French-speaking part of Switzerland behave linguistically and culturally. The aim of this research is to demonstrate how the participants deal with their bilingualism (Tigrinya and French). More precisely, how does their language use correlates with their socio-cultural attitudes and how do these aspects (re)construct their identity? Data for this research was collected via, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Participants were asked to answer questions regarding their linguistic habits, their perception on being bilingual and their cultural identity. The major findings demonstrate that generation 2 relates more with the host country’s language since French is used as the main language in their daily interactions. On the other hand, due to the fact that they have never lived in Eritrea yet were raised by Eritrean born parents in a foreign country, it is more difficult for them to unanimously identify with just one culture. In that sense, intergenerational transmission plays a major role in the perception of identity. All the participants have at least a basic knowledge of Tigrinya, but the use of languages varies according to the purpose. Proficiency in the native language and sense of belonging can be correlated with the frequency of visits to Eritrea. In conclusion, the question of identity in the second-generation Eritrean community cannot be given a categorical and clear-cut answer instead, the new-self image that this social group aims to build is shaped by different factors that are essential to take into consideration.
Language Teachers Exercising Agency Amid Educational Constraints: An Overview of the Literature
Teacher agency plays a crucial role in effective teaching, supporting diverse students, and providing an enriching learning environment; therefore, it is significant to gain a deeper understanding of language teachers’ sense of agency in teaching linguistically and culturally diverse students. This paper presents an overview of qualitative research on how language teachers exercise their agency in diverse classrooms. The analysis of the literature reveals that language teachers strive for addressing students’ needs and challenging educational inequalities, but experience educational constraints in enacting their agency. The examination of the research on language teacher agency identifies four major areas where language teachers experience challenges in enacting their agency: (1) implementing curriculum; (2) adopting school reforms and policies; (3) engaging in professional learning; (4) and negotiating various identities as professionals. The practical contribution of this literature review is that it provides a much-needed compilation of the studies on how language teachers exercise agency amid educational constraints. The discussion of the overview points to the importance of teacher identity, learner advocacy, and continuous professional learning and the critical need of promoting empowerment, activism, and transformation in language teacher education. The findings of the overview indicate that language teacher education programs should prepare teachers to be active advocates for English language learners and guide teachers to become more conscious of complexities of teaching in constrained educational settings so that they can become agentic professionals. This literature overview illustrates agency work in English language teaching contexts and contributes to understanding of the important link between experiencing educational constraints and development of teacher agency.
Individual Learning Paths in L2 Pronunciation of Austrian French Learners (0-B1): Schwa and Liaison in Read Speech
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) aims at giving balanced attention to the four skills listening, reading, writing and speaking in foreign language teaching. However, the actual implementation of this is often very different in everyday school life. Although (oral) communication is officially becoming more and more important, pronunciation training is increasingly neglected in foreign language teaching. It is even known as the 'Cinderella of language teaching'. For learners of French as a foreign language, French schwa and liaison are known to be amongst the biggest challenges. Both phenomena have in common that they consist of alternations: in the case of schwa, a vowel/zero alternation (e.g. petit ‘small’ [pəti]~[pti]), and in the case of liaison, a consonant/zero alternation (e.g. il est allé ‘he has gone’ [ilɛtale]~[ilɛale]. In addition, learners must become acquainted with the contexts in which a schwa or liaison must be pronounced (obligatory contexts), can be realized (facultative contexts) or mustn’t be realized (forbidden contexts). Both phenomena are particularly difficult for learners of French, as one can observe a complex variation (regional, sociostilistic) even amongst native speakers of French. In addition, these two phenomena have an equivalent in orthography which often marks the starting point of foreign language learning ( for schwa and in our example for liaison). The challenge learners of French have to face is that the phonetic realization of schwa and liaison is quite difficult as orthography often turns out to be misleading (e.g. is pronounced [d] instead of [t]: grand émoi ‘big stir’ [gʁɑ̃demwa] instead of [gʁɑ̃temwa]; is pronounced [e] or [ɛ] instead of [ə]: ce qui ‘which’ [seki] instead of [s(ə)ki]. Current research mainly focuses on descriptive sociolinguistics and is restricted to advanced learners at university level with different L1: English, Spanish, German and Korean. However, to the best of our knowledge, there have been no studies for pupils who learn French as a foreign language at school. This research gap is about to be closed within the framework of the funded project Pronunciation in Progress (Pro²F): French Schwa and Liaison, in which the French pronunciation (read and spontaneous speech) of 145 Austrian students aged between 12 and 18 years (1-6 years of learning, proficiency levels 0-B1) is analyzed. The focus of this study is on read speech. First results show in the case of schwa (e.g. as [e] or [ɛ]) as well as in the case of liaison (e.g. high realization-rate of final (liaison-)consonants), orthography has a big impact on learners’ pronunciation, for beginners as well as for advanced learners of French. Regarding schwa, first analyzes show that the influence of the first foreign language English plays an important role for students’ pronunciation of international lexemes (e.g. gouvernement ‘government’ [gʌvənmɑ̃] instead of [guvɛʁnəmɑ͂]). Thus, it can be assumed that the French pronunciation skills of Austrian students do not correlate with their officially acquired proficiency level, rather they develop individually.
Pronunciation Learning as Vocabulary Learning: New Insights from French Corpus Phonology
In foreign language learning, pronunciation is a central factor for oral communication with natives. For this purpose, phonological competence sometimes seems to be more important than grammatical and lexical correctness. When learners don’t learn the correct pronunciation of words and compounds, they can easily be misunderstood when speaking and furthermore will have difficulties understanding native speakers. However, a good pronunciation is not only beneficial for the learners’ speaking competence; being aware of correct pronunciation also helps to improve their listening competence. This is particularly challenging for learners of French as a foreign language. The divergence between orthography and pronunciation is often arbitrary from a synchronic point of view. This makes pronunciation training in French even more important but not in the sense of pattern drill, discrimination or identification exercises or language laboratory. The project Pronunciation in Progress: French Schwa and Liaison (Pro2F) found out that pronunciation should to be taught in the context of vocabulary learning. The project Pro²F recorded data in 2017/18 from 145 Austrian pupils aged between 12 and 18 who have learned French as a foreign language for one to six years. They accomplished several reading tasks (2 wordlists, 2 texts), repeated a wordlist and participated in an interview with a French native speaker (15 mins). In total the corpus contains about 110 hours of speech. The data was analyzed with the help of the linguistic software PRAAT. The aim of the project is to provide fundamental research to improve second language acquisition at school with the focus on pronunciation training. First analysis show that pupils in the first year tend to pronounce known vocabulary for the most part quite correctly, whereas unknown words and phrases are very often mispronounced. Especially the pronunciation of very frequent fixed constructions like tout d(e) suite [tut(də)sɥit] have to be taught explicitly. If pupils do not know how to pronounce a word they refer to orthography (e.g. États-Unis ‘United States’ [etazyni] realized as [etatsunis]) or to other languages (mainly their L1 German or English as the pupils’ first foreign language; e.g. camping ‘camping’ [kɑ͂piŋ] realized as [ˈkæmpɪŋ]). Pupils for instance often pronounce fr. appartement ‘apartment’ [apaʁtəmɑ̃] as [apaʁtmɑ̃] without the obligatory schwa after two consonants. This could be the result of an interference from either German [apaʁtmɛnt] or English [əˈpɑ:tmənt]. Such couples or triplets of words certainly help to better recognize a written word but they are false friends on the phonological level. For these reasons, pronunciation has to be taught in the context of vocabulary learning – from the beginning. This is indispensable because the basic vocabulary contains the whole inventory of French phonemes as well as schwa and liaison in diverse contexts (see for example the numerals which are on the schedule of the first months). If these are not learned immediately, errors become fossilized and cannot be eliminated on an advanced level.
The Gender Effect in New York City Spanish/English Bilinguals’ Treatment of the Spanish Subjunctive
This paper investigates the role of gender in New York City Spanish/English bilinguals’ treatment of the Spanish Subjunctive. With the help of the computer program Java, subjunctive and indicative verbs were obtained from a stratified sample of 142 New York City Spanish-speaking informants of different immigrant generations, genders, social classes, ages, etc. Linear regressions established whether an informant’s gender had an impact on his/her subjunctive rate overall, as well as in nine individual linguistic contexts (e.g., the Volitional clause introduced by querer que and esperar que, the Modal clause introduced by lo que, como que and como, etc.), which were selected based on their alleged propensity to give rise to the subjunctive mood (according to the literature and prescriptive grammar). Logistic regressions determined whether the likelihood of drawing on a particular linguistic context was associated with an informant’s socio-demographic features. Results show that women are less likely than men to employ the subjunctive overall (in the nine linguistic contexts combined), and specifically in modal clauses, favoring the indicative mood instead. Findings also indicate that there is an association between immigrant generation and gender with respect to the occurrence of certain linguistic contexts in an informant’s speech. However, contrary to prior studies, the association between subjunctive usage and immigrant generation alone is not supported. The findings and the methodology of this paper contribute to the field of sociolinguistics in several ways. First, usage of the computer program Java, which is not typically exploited in linguistics, allowed for the swift coding of a very large dataset (over 6675 verbs), thereby connecting technology with a manual corpus-based approach. Secondly, in addition to examining subjunctive rate in nine different linguistic contexts, the likelihood of occurrence of a specific linguistic context was also taken into consideration, as speakers do not draw on all nine linguistic contexts equally. Finally, the gender effect on subjunctive usage contributes to the idea that women are at the forefront of language changes from below (Labov 2001), a theory that is seldom considered in the literature on the Spanish subjunctive in the U.S., but that has been widely confirmed though investigations on other linguistic features.
Investigation of Verbal Feedback and Learning Process for Oral Presentation
Oral presentation has been used mostly in business communication. The business presentation is carrying out through an audio and visual presentation material such as statistical documents, projectors, etc. Common examples of business presentation are intra-organization and sales presentations. The study aims at investigating functions, strategies and contents of assessors’ verbal feedback on presenters’ oral presentations and exploring presenters’ learning process and specific views and expectations concerning assessors’ verbal feedback related to the delivery of the oral presentation. This study is designed as a descriptive qualitative research; four master students and one teacher in English for Business and Industry Presentation Techniques class of public university will be selected. The researcher hopes that any understanding how assessors’ verbal feedback on oral presentations and learning process may illuminate issues for other people. The data from this research may help to expand and facilitate the readers’ understanding of assessors’ verbal feedback on oral presentations and learning process in their own situations. The research instruments include an audio recorder, video recorder and an interview. The students will be interviewing in order to ask for their views and expectations concerning assessors’ verbal feedback related to the delivery of the oral presentation. After finishing data collection, the data will be analyzed and transcribed. The findings of this study are significant because it can provide presenters knowledge to enhance their learning process and provide teachers knowledge about providing verbal feedback on student’s oral presentations on a business context.
Communication in the Sciences: A Discourse Analysis of Biology Research Articles and Magazine Articles
Effective communication is widely regarded as an important aspect of any discipline. This particular study deals with written communication in science. Writing conventions and linguistic choices play a key role in conveying the message effectively to a target audience. Scientists are responsible for conveying their findings or research results not only to their discourse community but also to the general public. Recognizing appropriate linguistic choices is crucial since they vary depending on the target audience. The majority of scientists can communicate effectively with their discourse community, but public engagement seems more challenging to them. There is a lack of research into the language use of scientists, and in particular how it varies by discipline and audience (genre). A better understanding of the different linguistic conventions used in effective science writing by scientists for scientists and by scientists for the public will help to guide scientists who are familiar with their discourse community norms to write effectively for the public. This study investigates the differences and similarities of linguistic choices in biology articles written by scientists for their discourse community and biology magazine articles written by scientists and science communicators for the general public. This study is a part of a larger project investigating linguistic differences in different genres of science academic writing. The sample for this particular study is composed of 20 research articles from the journal Biological Reviews and 20 magazine articles from the magazine Australian Popular Science. Differences in the linguistic devices were analyzed using Hyland’s metadiscourse model for academic writing proposed in 2005. The frequency of the usage of interactive resources (transitions, frame markers, endophoric markers, evidentials and code glosses) and interactional resources (hedges, boosters, attitude markers, self-mentions and engagement markers) were compared and contrasted using the NVivo textual analysis tool. The results clearly show the differences in the frequency of usage of interactional and interactive resources in the two disciplines under investigation. The findings of this study provide a reference guide for scientists and science writers to understand the differences in the linguistic choices between the two genres. This will be particularly helpful for scientists who are proficient at writing for their discourse community, but not for the public.
Discursive Legitimation Strategies in ISIS’ Online Magazine, Dabiq: A Discourse Historical Approach
ISIS (also known as DAASH) is an Islamic fundamentalist group that has been known as a global threat to the whole world for their radicalizing approach and application of online platforms as a tool to portray their activities, to disseminate their ideology, and to commit recruiting activities. This study is an attempt to carry out a critical discourse analysis on the argumentative devices by which ISIS legitimizes or delegitimizes positive or negative constructions of social practices in Dabiq. It tries to shed light on how texts in Dabiq as linguistic elements in the micro level of analysis relate to ISIS’ ideology as the higher-up macro level and in other words, how local structures contributed to the construction and transference of a global structure or ideology and vice versa. Therefore, following the relevant analytical frameworks, the study focuses on both micro-level of analysis of arguments (topoi) and macro-structure of legitimation and delegitimation in Dabiq. This purpose is nailed using the analytical categories and tools provided by Wodak’s Discourse Historical Approach (DHA) such as argumentation strategies (topoi), by which the coded language of legitimation/delegitimation and persuasion as used in Dabiq are explored. The ensuing findings demonstrate that Dabiq rigorously relies on the positive representation of the in-group course of actions and justifying its violence and, at the same time, the negative representation of the out-group behavior through implementing various topoi to achieve its desired outcome, which is the ideological manipulation and powerful self-depiction, as well as the supporter recruitment.
A Morphological Analysis of Swardspeak in the Philippines
Swardspeak, as a language, highlights the exclusive identity of the Filipino gay men and the oppression they are confronted in the society. This paper presents a morphological analysis of swardspeak in the Philippines. Specifically, it aims to find out the common morphological processes involved in the construction of codes that may unmask the nature of swardspeak as a language. 30 purposively selected expert users of swardspeak from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao were asked to codify 30 natural words through the Facebook Messenger application. The results of the structural analysis affirm that swardspeak follows no specific rules revealing complicated combinations of clipping/stylized clipping, borrowing, connotation through images, connotation through actions, connotation through sounds, affixation, repetition, substitution, and simple reversal. Moreover, it was also found out that most of these word formation processes occur in all word classes which indicate that swardspeak is very unpredictable. Although different codes are used for the same words, there are still codes that are really common to all homosexuals and these are Chaka (ugly), Crayola (cry), and Aida (referring to a person with AIDS). Hence, the prevailing word formation processes explored may be termed as observed time-specific patterns because the codes documented in this study may turn obsolete and may be replaced with novel ones in a matter of weeks to month, knowing the creativity of homosexuals and the multiplicity of societal resources which can be used to make the codes more opaque and more confusing for non-homosexuals.
Prosodic Transfer in Foreign Language Learning: A Phonetic Crosscheck of Intonation and F₀ Range between Italian and German Native and Non-Native Speakers
Background: Foreign Language Learning (FLL) is characterised by prosodic transfer phenomena regarding pitch accents placement, intonation patterns, and pitch range excursion from the learners’ mother tongue to their Foreign Language (FL) which suggests that the gradual development of general linguistic competence in FL does not imply an equally correspondent improvement of the prosodic competence. Topic: The present study aims to monitor the development of prosodic competence of learners of Italian and German throughout the FLL process. The primary object of this study is to investigate the intonational features and the f₀ range excursion of Italian and German from a cross-linguistic perspective; analyses of native speakers’ productions point out the differences between this pair of languages and provide models for the Target Language (TL). A following crosscheck compares the L2 productions in Italian and German by non-native speakers to the Target Language models, in order to verify the occurrence of prosodic interference phenomena, i.e., type, degree, and modalities. Methodology: The subjects of the research are university students belonging to two groups: Italian native speakers learning German as FL and German native speakers learning Italian as FL. Both of them have been divided into three subgroups according to the FL proficiency level (beginners, intermediate, advanced). The dataset consists of wh-questions placed in situational contexts uttered in both speakers’ L1 and FL. Using a phonetic approach, analyses have considered three domains of intonational contours (Initial Profile, Nuclear Accent, and Terminal Contour) and two dimensions of the f₀ range parameter (span and level), which provide a basis for comparison between L1 and L2 productions. Findings: Results highlight a strong presence of prosodic transfer phenomena affecting L2 productions in the majority of both Italian and German learners, irrespective of their FL proficiency level; the transfer concerns all the three domains of the contour taken into account, although with different modalities and characteristics. Currently, L2 productions of German learners show a pitch span compression on the domain of the Terminal Contour compared to their L1 towards the TL; furthermore, German learners tend to use lower pitch range values in deviation from their L1 when improving their general linguistic competence in Italian FL proficiency level. Results regarding pitch range span and level in L2 productions by Italian learners are still in progress. At present, they show a similar tendency to expand the pitch span and to raise the pitch level, which also reveals a deviation from the L1 possibly in the direction of German TL. Conclusion: Intonational features seem to be 'resistant' parameters to which learners appear not to be particularly sensitive. By contrast, they show a certain sensitiveness to FL pitch range dimensions. Making clear which the most resistant and the most sensitive parameters are when learning FL prosody could lay groundwork for the development of prosodic trainings thanks to which learners could finally acquire a clear and natural pronunciation and intonation.
Processes of Identity Construction for Generation 1.5 Students in Canada
The number of adolescent children accompanying their immigrant parents to Canada has steadily increased since the 1990s. Much of the applied linguistics literature on these so-called ‘Generation 1.5’ youth has focused on their deficiencies as academic writers in US Rhetoric and Composition and ESL contexts in higher education and the stigma of ESL in US K-12 contexts. However, the literature on Generation 1.5 students and identity in Canadian higher education is limited. This qualitative study investigates the processes of identity construction of three Generation 1.5 students studying at a university in Metro Vancouver to find out what types of identities and representations of self and other they make relevant, the meanings they attribute to their identities, and what motivates them to construct these identities. The study analyzes the accounts and experiences of the participants in interviews, focus groups, and texts and as ‘culture-in-action,’ positing that they constructed identities as social categories associated with the languages and social practices of their countries of birth, in liminal spaces among a continuum between Canada and their countries of birth, and a spectrum of related cultural representations. Ideas and beliefs associated with broader ‘macro’ social structures in Canadian society related to language, culture, legitimacy, immigration, power, distinction, and racism were shown to be transcended in and through their representations of themselves and others. Data suggest that moving to Canada caused participants to experience discontinuities between their cultures, languages, and social practices, and in some cases a conflicting sense of self. The study brings implications for finding ways to understand the complexity of immigrant students, avoid reifying and generalizing about them, and not see them as stuck-in-between or lacking.
Effective Parameter Selection for Audio-Based Music Mood Classification for Christian Kokborok Song: A Regression-Based Approach
Music mood classification is developing in both the areas of music information retrieval (MIR) and natural language processing (NLP). Some of the Indian languages like Hindi English etc. have considerable exposure in MIR. But research in mood classification in regional language is very less. In this paper, powerful audio based feature for Kokborok Christian song is identified and mood classification task has been performed. Kokborok is an Indo-Burman language especially spoken in the northeastern part of India and also some other countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar etc. For performing audio-based classification task, useful audio features are taken out by jMIR software. There are some standard audio parameters are there for the audio-based task but as known to all that every language has its unique characteristics. So here, the most significant features which are the best fit for the database of Kokborok song is analysed. The regression-based model is used to find out the independent parameters that act as a predictor and predicts the dependencies of parameters and shows how it will impact on overall classification result. For classification WEKA 3.5 is used, and selected parameters create a classification model. And another model is developed by using all the standard audio features that are used by most of the researcher. In this experiment, the essential parameters that are responsible for effective audio based mood classification and parameters that do not significantly change for each of the Christian Kokborok songs are analysed, and a comparison is also shown between the two above model.
A Montague-Style Denotational Semantics for the Direct Interpretation of Natural Language Queries to Triple Stores and Databases
Many Natural Language (NL) Query Interfaces to data stores convert queries to a formal query language and then execute the formal query in order to obtain the result. This is problematic when handling chained prepositional phrases. An alternative approach is to treat the NL query language as a formal language and to execute the NL query directly with respect to the data store. This approach can accommodate a wide range of NL queries and is relatively easy to implement if it is based on an extension of Richard Montague's denotational semantics (MS) for natural language. The higher-order functional capability of the programming language Haskell facilitates both the implementation of MS and the close integration of syntactic analysis with semantic processing. A publicly accessible web-based NL interface to a remote Semantic Web data store has been constructed to demonstrate the viability of this approach. The approach can be directly adapted for use with relational databases.
Communicating Meaning through Translanguaging: The Case of Multilingual Interactions of Algerians on Facebook
Algeria is a multilingual speech community where individuals constantly mix between codes in spoken discourse. Code is used as a cover term to refer to the existing languages and language varieties which include, among others, the mother tongue of the majority Algerian Arabic, the official language Modern Standard Arabic and the foreign languages French and English. The present study explores whether Algerians mix between these codes in online communication as well. Facebook is the selected platform from which data is collected because it is the preferred social media site for most Algerians and it is the most used one. Adopting the notion of translanguaging, this study attempts explaining how users of Facebook use multilingual messages to communicate meaning. Accordingly, multilingual interactions are not approached from a pejorative perspective but rather as a creative linguistic behavior that multilingual utilize to achieve intended meanings. The study is intended as a contribution to the research on multilingualism online because although an extensive literature has investigated multilingualism in spoken discourse, limited research investigated it in the online one. Its aim is two-fold. First, it aims at ensuring that the selected platform for analysis, namely Facebook, could be a source for multilingual data to enable the qualitative analysis. This is done by measuring frequency rates of multilingual instances. Second, when enough multilingual instances are encountered, it aims at describing and interpreting some selected ones. 120 posts and 16335 comments were collected from two Facebook pages. Analysis revealed that third of the collected data are multilingual messages. Users of Facebook mixed between the four mentioned codes in writing their messages. The most frequent cases are mixing between Algerian Arabic and French and between Algerian Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic. A focused qualitative analysis followed where some examples are interpreted and explained. It seems that Algerians mix between codes when communicating online despite the fact that it is a conscious type of communication. This suggests that such behavior is not a random and corrupted way of communicating but rather an intentional and natural one.
Investigating Reading Comprehension Proficiency and Self-Efficacy among Algerian EFL Students within Collaborative Strategic Reading Approach and Attributional Feedback Intervention
It has been shown in the literature that Algerian university students suffer from low levels of reading comprehension proficiency, which hinder their overall proficiency in English. This low level is mainly related to the methodology of teaching reading which is employed by the teacher in the classroom (a teacher-centered environment), as well as students’ poor sense of self-efficacy to undertake reading comprehension activities. Arguably, what is needed is an approach necessary for enhancing students’ self-beliefs about their abilities to deal with different reading comprehension activities. This can be done by providing them with opportunities to take responsibility for their own learning (learners’ autonomy). As a result of learning autonomy, learners’ beliefs about their abilities to deal with certain language tasks may increase, and hence, their language learning ability. Therefore, this experimental research study attempts to assess the extent to which an integrated approach combining one particular reading approach known as ‘collaborative strategic reading’ (CSR), and teacher’s attributional feedback (on students’ reading performance and strategy use) can improve the reading comprehension skill and the sense of self-efficacy of EFL Algerian university students. It also seeks to examine students’ main reasons for their successful or unsuccessful achievements in reading comprehension activities, and whether students’ attributions for their reading comprehension outcomes can be modified after exposure to the instruction. To obtain the data, different tools including a reading comprehension test, questionnaires, an observation, an interview, and learning logs were used with 105 second year Algerian EFL university students. The sample of the study was divided into three groups; one control group (with no treatment), one experimental group (CSR group) who received a CSR instruction, and a second intervention group (CSR Plus group) who received teacher’s attribution feedback in addition to the CSR intervention. Students in the CSR Plus group received the same experiment as the CSR group using the same tools, except that they were asked to keep learning logs, for which teacher’s feedback on reading performance and strategy use was provided. The results of this study indicate that the CSR and the attributional feedback intervention was effective in improving students’ reading comprehension proficiency and sense of self-efficacy. However, there was not a significant change in students’ adaptive and maladaptive attributions for their success and failure d from the pre-test to the post-test phase. Analysis of the perception questionnaire, the interview, and the learning logs shows that students have positive perceptions about the CSR and the attributional feedback instruction. Based on the findings, this study, therefore, seeks to provide EFL teachers in general and Algerian EFL university teachers in particular with pedagogical implications on how to teach reading comprehension to their students to help them achieve well and feel more self-efficacious in reading comprehension activities, and in English language learning more generally.
A Pragma-Rhetorical Study of Christian Religious Pentecostal Sermons in Nigeria
Effectiveness in communication requires the deployment of pragmatic and rhetorical strategies in religious sermons. In spite of high volume of works in religious discourse, scholars have not adequately accounted for the persuasive and argumentation strategies employed in Christian religious Pentecostal sermons. This study examines communicative intentions and the pragma-rhetorical strategies deployed to maintain balance and effectiveness in selected sermons of Pastor E. A. Adeboye, Bishop D. Oyedepo and Pastor W. F. Kumuyi. Fifteen sermons, delivered orally and transcribed into the written mode, were selected and analysed using Jacob Mey’s theory of pragmeme, Aristotle’s rhetoric and the theory of argumentation by van Eemeren and Grootendorst. Speakers pract stating, encouraging, assuring, warning, condemning, directing, praising, thanking, etc. through rhetorical question, repetition, direct address, direct command and structural parallelism. They assume divine role by speaking authoritatively and they tactically and logically select words to legitimise their ideology. They also categorise and portray individuals and/or issues either as good or bad, sinner/sin or righteous/righteousness, etc. The study provides clearer insight into the pragmatic import and the communicative effectiveness of Christian Pentecostal sermons. Further research can juxtapose the pragma-rhetorical and argumentation strategies of preachers of two clearly differentiated movements within the Christian religion.
A Study of the Use of Arguments in Nominalizations as Instanciations of Grammatical Metaphors Finished in -TION in Academic Texts of Native Speakers
The purpose of this research was to identify whether the nominalizations terminating in -TION in the academic discourse of native English speakers contain the arguments required by their input verbs. In the perspective of functional linguistics, ideational metaphors, with nominalization as their most pervasive realization, are lexically dense, and therefore frequent in formal texts. Ideational metaphors allow the academic genre to instantiate objectification, de-personalization, and the ability to construct a chain of arguments. The valence of those nouns present in nominalizations tends to maintain the same elements of the valence from its original verbs, but these arguments are not always expressed. The initial hypothesis was that these arguments would also be present alongside the nominalizations, through anaphora or cataphora. In this study, a qualitative analysis of the occurrences of the five more frequent nominalized terminations in -TION in academic texts was accomplished, and thus a verification of the occurrences of the arguments required by the original verbs. The assembling of the concordance lines was done through COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English). After identifying the five most frequent nominalizations (attention, action, participation, instruction, intervention), the concordance lines were selected at random to be analyzed, assuring the representativeness and reliability of the sample. It was possible to verify, in all the analyzed instances, the presence of arguments. In most instances, the arguments were not expressed, but recoverable, either in the context or in the shared knowledge among the interactants. It was concluded that the realizations of the arguments which were not expressed alongside the nominalizations are part of a continuum, starting from the immediate context with anaphora and cataphora; up to a knowledge shared outside the text, such as specific area knowledge. The study also has implications for the teaching of academic writing, especially with regards to the impact of nominalizations on the thematic and informational flow of the text. Grammatical metaphors are essential to academic writing, hence acknowledging the occurrence of its arguments is paramount to achieve linguistic awareness and the writing prestige required by the academy.
Discursive Construction of Strike in the Media Coverage of Academic Staff Union of Universities vs Federal Government of Nigeria Industrial Conflict of 2013
Over the years, Nigeria’s educational system has greatly suffered from the menace of industrial conflict. The smooth running of the nation’s public educational institutions has been hampered by incessant strikes embarked upon by workers of these institutions. Even though industrial conflicts in Nigeria have enjoyed wide reportage in the media, there has been a dearth of critical examination of the language use that index the conflict’s discourse in the media. This study which is driven by a combination of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Conceptual Metaphor (CM) examines the discursive and ideological features of language indexing the industrial conflict between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) in 2013. It aims to identify and assess the conceptual and cognitive motivations of the stances expressed by the parties and the public and the role of the media in the management and resolution of the conflict. For data, media reports and readers’ comments were purposively sampled from six print and online news sources (The Punch, This Day, Vanguard, The Nation, Osun Defender and AITonline) published between July and December 2013. The study provides further insight into industrial conflict and proves to be useful for the management and resolution of industrial conflicts especially in our public educational institutions.
Competition between Verb-Based Implicit Causality and Theme Structure's Influence on Anaphora Bias in Mandarin Chinese Sentences:Evidence from Corpus
Linguists, as well as psychologists, have shown great interests in implicit causality in reference processing. However, most frequently-used approaches to this issue are psychological experiments (such as eye tracking or self-paced reading, etc.). This research is a corpus-based one and is assisted with statistical tool – software R. The main focus of the present study is about the competition between verb-based implicit causality and theme structure’s influence on anaphora bias in Mandarin Chinese sentences. In Accessibility Theory, it is believed that salience, which is also known as accessibility, and relevance are two important factors in reference processing. Theme structure, which is a special syntactic structure in Chinese, determines the salience of an antecedent on the syntactic level while verb-based implicit causality is a key factor to the relevance between antecedent and anaphora. Therefore, it is a study about anaphora, combining psychology with linguistics. With analysis of the sentences from corpus as well as the statistical analysis of Multinomial Logistic Regression, major findings of the present study are as follows: 1. When the sentence is stated in a ‘cause-effect’ structure, the theme structure will always be the antecedent no matter forward biased verbs or backward biased verbs co-occur; in non-theme structure, the anaphora bias will tend to be the opposite of the verb bias; 2. When the sentence is stated in a ‘effect-cause’ structure, theme structure will not always be the antecedent and the influence of verb-based implicit causality will outweigh that of theme structure; moreover, the anaphora bias will be the same with the bias of verbs. All the results indicate that implicit causality functions conditionally and the noun in theme structure will not be the high-salience antecedent under any circumstances.
An Emergentist Defense of Incompatibility between Morally Significant Freedom and Causal Determinism
The common perception of morally responsible behavior is that it presupposes freedom of choice, and that free decisions and actions are not determined by natural events, but by a person. In other words, the moral agent has the ability and the possibility of doing otherwise when making morally responsible decisions, and natural causal determinism cannot fully account for morally significant freedom. The incompatibility between a person’s morally significant freedom and causal determinism appears to be a natural position. Nevertheless, some of the most influential philosophical theories on moral responsibility are compatibilist or semi-compatibilist, and they exclude the requirement of alternative possibilities, which contradicts the claims of classical incompatibilism. The compatibilists often employ Frankfurt-style thought experiments to prove their theory. The goal of this paper is to examine the role of imaginary Frankfurt-style examples in compatibilist accounts. More specifically, the compatibilist accounts defended by John Martin Fischer and Michael McKenna will be inserted into the broader understanding of a person elaborated by Harry Frankfurt, Robert Kane and Walter Glannon. Deeper analysis reveals that the exclusion of alternative possibilities based on Frankfurt-style examples is problematic and misleading. A more comprehensive account of moral responsibility and morally significant (source) freedom requires higher order complex theories of human will and consciousness, in which rational and self-creative abilities and a real possibility to choose otherwise, at least on some occasions during a lifetime, are necessary. Theoretical moral reasons and their logical relations seem to require a sort of higher-order agent-causal incompatibilism. The ability of theoretical or abstract moral reasoning requires complex (strongly emergent) mental and conscious properties, among which an effective free will, together with first and second-order desires. Such a hierarchical theoretical model unifies reasons-responsiveness, mesh theory and emergentism. It is incompatible with physical causal determinism, because such determinism only allows non-systematic processes that may be hard to predict, but not complex (strongly) emergent systems. An agent’s effective will and conscious reflectivity is the starting point of a morally responsible action, which explains why a decision is 'up to the subject'. A free decision does not always have a complete causal history. This kind of an emergentist source hyper-incompatibilism seems to be the best direction of the search for an adequate explanation of moral responsibility in the traditional (merit-based) sense. Physical causal determinism as a universal theory would exclude morally significant freedom and responsibility in the traditional sense because it would exclude the emergence of and supervenience by the essential complex properties of human consciousness.
Metaphor Institutionalization as Phase Transition: Case Studies of Chinese Metaphors
Metaphor institutionalization refers to the propagation of a metaphor that leads to its acceptance in speech community as a norm of the language. Such knowledge is important to both theoretical studies of metaphor and practical disciplines such as lexicography and language generation. This paper reports an empirical study of metaphor institutionalization of 14 Chinese metaphors. It first explores the pattern of metaphor institutionalization by fitting the logistic function (or S-shaped curve) to time series data of conventionality of the metaphors that are automatically obtained from a large-scale diachronic Chinese corpus. Then it reports a questionnaire-based survey on the propagation scale of each metaphor, which is measured by the average number of subjects that can easily understand the metaphorical expressions. The study provides two pieces of evidence supporting the hypothesis that metaphor institutionalization is a phrase transition: (1) the pattern of metaphor institutionalization is an S-shaped curve and (2) institutionalized metaphors generally do not propagate to the whole community but remain in equilibrium state. This conclusion helps distinguish metaphor institutionalization from topicalization and other types of semantic change.
Malaysian Students' Identity in Seminars by Observing, Interviewing and Conducting Focus Group Discussion
The objective of this study is to explore the identities constructed and negotiated by Malaysian students in the UK and Malaysia when they interact in seminars. The study utilised classroom observation, interview and focus group discussion to collect the data. The participants of this study are the first year Malaysian students studying in the UK and Malaysia. The data collected was analysed utilising a combination of Conversation Analysis and framework. This study postulates that Malaysian students in the UK construct and negotiate flexible and different identities depending on the contexts they were in. It also shows that most Malaysian students in the UK and Malaysia are similar in the identities they construct and negotiate. This study suggests implications and recommendations for Malaysian students in the UK and Malaysia, and other stakeholders such as UK and Malaysian academic community.
The 1st Personal Pronouns as Evasive Devices in the 2016 Taiwanese Presidential Debate
This study aims to investigate the 1st personal pronouns as evasive devices used by presidential candidates in the 2016 Taiwanese Presidential Debate within the framework of critical discourse analysis (CDA). This study finds that the personal pronoun ‘I’ is the highest frequent personal pronoun in the 2016 Taiwanese Presidential Debate. Generally speaking, the first personal pronouns were used most in the presidential debate, compared with the second and the third personal pronouns. Hence, a further quantitative analysis is conducted to explore the correlation between the frequencies of the two 1st personal pronouns and the other pronouns. Results show that the number of the personal pronoun ‘I’ increases from 26 to 49, with the personal pronoun ‘we’ decreases from 43 to 15 during the debate. Though it seems the personal pronoun ‘I’ has a higher tendency in pronominal choice, statistical evidence demonstrated that the personal pronoun ‘we’ has the greater statistical significance (p
The Use of Software and Internet Search Engines to Develop the Encoding and Decoding Skills of a Dyslexic Learner: A Case Study
This case study explores the impact of two major computer software programs 'Learn to Speak English' and 'Learn English Spelling and Pronunciation', and some Internet search engines such as Google on mending the decoding and spelling deficiency of Simon X, a dyslexic student. The improvement in decoding and spelling may result in better reading comprehension and composition writing. Some computer programs and Internet materials can help regain the missing awareness and consequently restore his self-confidence and self-esteem. In addition, this study provides a systematic plan comprising a set of activities (four computer programs and Internet materials) which address the problem from the lowest to the highest levels of phoneme and phonological awareness. Four methods of data collection (accounts, observations, published tests, and interviews) create the triangulation to validly and reliably collect data before the plan, during the plan, and after the plan. The data collected are analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Sometimes the analysis is either quantitative or qualitative, and some other times a combination of both. Tables and figures are utilized to provide a clear and uncomplicated illustration of some data. The improvement in the decoding, spelling, reading comprehension, and composition writing skills that occurred is proved through the use of authentic materials performed by the student understudy. Such materials are a comparison between two sample passages written by the learner before and after the plan, a genuine computer chat conversation, and the scores of the academic year that followed the execution of the plan. Based on these results, the researcher recommends further studies on other Lebanese dyslexic learners using the computer to mend their language problem in order to design and make a most reliable software program that can address this disability more efficiently and successfully.
A Genre-Based Approach to the Teaching of Pronunciation
Some studies have indicated that pronunciation teaching hasn’t been paid enough attention by teachers regarding EFL contexts. In particular, segmental and suprasegmental features through genre-based approach may be an opportunity on how to integrate pronunciation into a more meaningful learning practice. Therefore, the aim of this project was to carry out a survey on some aspects related to English pronunciation that Brazilian students consider more difficult to learn, thus enabling the discussion of strategies that can facilitate the development of oral skills in English classes by integrating the teaching of phonetic-phonological aspects into the genre-based approach. Notions of intelligibility, fluency and accuracy were proposed by some authors as an ideal didactic sequence. According to their proposals, basic learners should be exposed to activities focused on the notion of intelligibility as well as intermediate students to the notion of fluency, and finally more advanced ones to accuracy practices. In order to test this hypothesis, data collection was conducted during three high school English classes at Federal Center for Technological Education of Minas Gerais (CEFET-MG), in Brazil, through questionnaires and didactic activities, which were recorded and transcribed for further analysis. The genre debate was chosen to facilitate the oral expression of the participants in a freer way, making them answering questions and giving their opinion about a previously selected topic. The findings indicated that basic students demonstrated more difficulty with aspects of English pronunciation than the others. Many of the intelligibility aspects analyzed had to be listened more than once for a better understanding. For intermediate students, the speeches recorded were considerably easier to understand, but nevertheless they found it more difficult to pronounce the words fluently, often interrupting their speech to think about what they were going to say and how they would talk. Lastly, more advanced learners seemed to express their ideas more fluently, but still subtle errors related to accuracy were perceptible in speech, thereby confirming the proposed hypothesis. It was also seen that using genre-based approach to promote oral communication in English classes might be a relevant method, considering the socio-communicative function inherent in the suggested approach.
Towards an Appropriate Cultural Content of EFL Textbooks: The Case of Saudi Secondary School EFL Textbooks: A Mixed Method Approach
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the cultural content of Saudi secondary school EFL textbooks towards EFL acquisition. The design of this study is a mixed methods design. Forty-five teachers and 151 students in Saudi secondary schools returned completed questionnaires whereas 11 teachers and 18 students of them participated in follow-up interviews, and only two teachers were observed. The process of EFL textbook evaluation was applied to six EFL Saudi secondary school textbooks for students. Means were used to analyze the participants’ answers on a 5-point Likert scale and inferential statistics were used to test the differences between the students’ and their teachers’ answers. The qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the obtained data from the open-ended questions, interviews, and observations whereas EFL textbooks were evaluated with the use of a checklist and a close-analysis procedure. The results showed that participants considered cultural items from the social life, semantic and pragmatic cultural categories of import however they had a neutral attitude towards cultural items from the arts. Moreover, they either considered the implementation of cultural items from specific suggested cultures to be neutral such as all the items concerned with the native speakers’ cultures or of less import such as the other cultures around the world. There were significant differences between the students’ and their teachers’ answers on one-third of the items of the questionnaire. Aside from this, although the teachers and their students had high agreement on the suggested ways of implementing the cultural elements, it seems that many difficulties have reduced the effectiveness of the cultural content of Saudi EFL textbooks. For example, some of these difficulties were related to the students, teachers, and administration practices. The process of the textbook evaluation showed that Saudi EFL textbooks lack the methods for improving the students’ intercultural communication skills.
A Comparative Study on Compliment Response between Indonesian EFL Students and English Native Speakers
In second language interaction, an EFL student always carries his knowledge of targeted language and sometimes gets influenced by his first language cultures which makes him transfer his utterances from the first language to the second language. The influence of L1 cultures somehow can lead to face-threatening act when it comes to responding on speech act, for instance, compliment. A speaker praises a compliment to show gratitude, and in return, he expects for compliment respond uttered by the hearer. While Western people use more acceptance continuum on compliment response, Indonesians utter more denial continuum which can somehow put the speakers into a face-threating situation and offense. This study investigated compliment response employed by EFL students and English native speakers. The study was distinct as none compliment response studies had been conducted to compare the compliment response between English native speakers and two different Indonesian EFL proficiency groups in which this research sought to meet this need. This study was significant for EFL teachers because it gave insight on cross-cultural understanding and brought pedagogical implication on explicit pragmatic instruction. Two research questions were set, 1. How do Indonesian EFL students and English native speakers respond compliments? 2. Is there any correlation between Indonesia EFL students’ proficiency and their compliment response use in English? The study involved three groups of participants; 5 English native speakers, 10 high-proficiency and 10 low-proficiency Indonesian EFL university students. The research instruments used in this study were as follows, an online TOEFL prediction test, focusing on grammar skill which was modified from Barron TOEFL exercise test, and a discourse completion task (DCT), consisting of 10 compliment respond items. Based on the research invitation, 20 second-year university students majoring in English education at Widya Mandira Catholic University, Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia who willingly participated in the research took the TOEFL prediction test online from the link provided. Students who achieved score 75-100 in test were categorized as high-proficiency students, while, students who attained score below 74 were considered as low-proficiency students. Then, the DCT survey was administered to these EFL groups and the native speaker group. Participants’ responses were coded and analyzed using categories of compliment response framework proposed by Tran. The study found out that 5 native speakers applied more compliment upgrades and appreciation token in compliment response, whereas, Indonesian EFL students combined some compliment response strategies in their utterance, such as, appreciation token, return and compliment downgrade. There is no correlation between students’ proficiency level and their CR responds as most EFL students in both groups produced less varied compliment responses and only 4 Indonesian high-proficiency students uttered more varied and were similar to the native speakers. The combination strategies used by EFL students can be explained as the influence of pragmatic transfer from L1 to L2; therefore, EFL teachers should explicitly teach more compliment response strategies to raise students’ awareness on English culture and elaborate their speaking to be more competence as close to native speakers as possible.
Electropalatography as Source of Visual Feedback in Teaching Pronunciation to Polish Learners of English
The paper describes the design, execution and results of the experiment aimed at testing the possibility of using electropalatography (EPG) as a source of visual feedback in teaching selected aspects of English pronunciation to advanced Polish learners of English. The experiment was conducted as a part of a 3-year project conducted at the Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland. The speakers involved in the project were 2 natives of General British who contributed model pronunciations and 16 advanced Polish learners of English as subjects in the experiment. The learners were randomly selected from among applicants and freshmen students. They were then assigned to control and experimental groups through stratified sampling to balance the groups for gender and language proficiency. The participants attended a pronunciation 1.5 month course that consisted of 18 classes 1.5h each. The classes were conducted on the basis of a specially designed Moodle course. The course included materials with model pronunciations recorded as audio and EPG. The content of the course was designed to cover English consonants, vowels and clusters that were deemed amenable to instruction by means of EPG and that cause particular problems for Polish students. The scripts used in the pronunciation course contained phonetically balanced Polish sentences, phonetically balanced English sentences, TIMIT Database prompts, press articles and book excerpts. Learners from the control group imitated native audio model, experimental group participants imitated audio and articulation model. The former received feedback from the teacher, the latter from the teacher and from the computer that automatically compared student and model articulations. In both groups, learning process was optimized by spaced repetition algorithm. Progress was gauged by pre , mid- and post-tests. Early results of the experiment show statistically significant improvement in the performance of the experimental group in mid- and post-tests over control group in 13 out of 16 areas of English pronunciation covered by the course. The collected corpus has also been used to address the secondary aim of the project, which is the comparative analysis of Polish and English phonology. In total, the corpus includes approx. 80 hrs of read, guided and spontaneous speech. Polish and Polish-accented English data were recorded during the warm-up phase preceding each class. The EPG system used in the experiment was Linguagraph by Rose-Medical Ltd. with two types of artificial palates: a specially designed vacuum thermoformed and a standard acrylic. The newly designed artificial palate was similar to the one delivered by Linguagraph in that it followed the anatomically normalized electrode layout dating back to the Reading Electropalatograph and different in that it was not made from acrylic but from two layers of vacuum-thermoformed foil with contact sensors embedded between them. The standard one was a copy of Linguagraph design. Both palates were manually produced for each speaker by the experimenters. Advantages and disadvantages of both palates are discussed. We believe that our findings and the new design of the artificial palate will contribute to the revival of interest in the applications of electropalatography for second language pronunciation teaching.