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Thai English as a variety

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This study is about Thai English (ThaiE), a variety of World Englishes that is presently spoken in Thailand, as the result of the spread of English and the recent Thai government policies towards English communication in Thailand. In the study,

This study is about Thai English (ThaiE), a variety of World Englishes that is presently spoken in Thailand, as the result of the spread of English and the recent Thai government policies towards English communication in Thailand. In the study, I examined the linguistic data of spoken ThaiE, collected from multiple sources both in the U.S.A. and Thailand. The study made use of a qualitative approach in examining the data, which were from (i) English interviews and questionnaires with 12 highly educated Thai speakers of English during my fieldwork in the Southwestern U.S.A., Central Thailand, and Northeastern Thailand, (ii) English speech samples from the media in Thailand, i.e. television programs, a news report, and a talk radio program, and (iii) the research articles on English used by Thai speakers of English. This study describes the typology of ThaiE in terms of its morpho-syntax, phonology, and sociolinguistics, with the main focus being placed on the structural characteristics of ThaiE. Based on the data, the results show that some of the ThaiE features are similar to the World Englishes features, but some are unique to ThaiE. Therefore, I argue that ThaiE is structurally considered a new variety of World Englishes at the present time. The findings also showed an interesting result, regarding the notion of ThaiE by the fieldwork interview participants. The majority of these participants (n=6) denied the existence of ThaiE, while the minority of the participants (n=5) believed ThaiE existed, and one participant was reluctant to give the answer. The study suggested that the participants' academic backgrounds, the unfamiliar notion of ThaiE, and the level of the participants' social interaction with everyday persons may have influenced their answers to the main research question.

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Date Created
2013

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Estar extension in Arizona: a language contact study

Description

Past research has isolated an extension of the copular verb estar into the domain previously sanctioned for its counterpart, ser. This extension has been found in areas of contact between American English and Spanish speaking Mexican immigrants. A similar situation

Past research has isolated an extension of the copular verb estar into the domain previously sanctioned for its counterpart, ser. This extension has been found in areas of contact between American English and Spanish speaking Mexican immigrants. A similar situation of contact is in occurrence in Arizona, and this study endeavored to evaluate if this same extension was present, and to what degree. This study also explores the framework of linguistic hegemony in order to relate language attitudes in Arizona to language change in Arizona. The findings revealed minimal extension. This may be due to language maintenance in response to hegemony.

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Date Created
2012

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A local community addresses the linguistic needs of refugees

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Through interviews and observations, this thesis provides an overview of refugee resettlement and explores the way one community is providing English language instruction to recently resettled refugees. It also describes the research process of this thesis so other researchers will

Through interviews and observations, this thesis provides an overview of refugee resettlement and explores the way one community is providing English language instruction to recently resettled refugees. It also describes the research process of this thesis so other researchers will be aware of the challenges such research contexts provide. In the southwestern state studied here, one of the refugee resettlement agencies holds the contract to provide English Language instruction to refugees. Other agencies provide supplemental English instruction and tutoring. The U.S. federal statute Immigration and Nationality Act, title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations part 400--Refugee Resettlement Program, and the local contract between the state and the agency were examined to understand the laws, regulations, and contracted agreement governing the provision of English language instruction for refugees being resettled in the United States. English language faculty and staff, staff at refugee resettlement agencies, and a state official were interviewed to understand their goals and the challenges they face as they address the language needs of refugees. English language instruction classes were observed to note the consistencies as well as some discrepancies between interviews and what could actually be accomplished in the classroom. As the classes are unable to provide intensive language instruction, most students struggle with becoming proficient in English. A list of recommendations is included regarding ways the local community can better address linguistic needs of refugees. Yet as Fass (1985) argues, it is unknown whether changing refugee resettlement efforts will actually produce different results. Though there are problems, the way the linguistic needs are being addressed in this community is sufficient given the numerous other expectations put on the refugees and the refugee resettlement agencies.

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Date Created
2010

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English with a Navajo accent: language and ideology in heritage language advocacy

Description

Much of the public discourse promoting Navajo (Diné) language revitalization and language programs takes place in English, both on and off the reservation, as in many other indigenous communities whose heritage languages are endangered. Although Navajo language is commonly discussed

Much of the public discourse promoting Navajo (Diné) language revitalization and language programs takes place in English, both on and off the reservation, as in many other indigenous communities whose heritage languages are endangered. Although Navajo language is commonly discussed as being central to the identity of a Navajo person, this ideology may lie in contradiction to the other linguistic and social means Navajos use to construct Navajo identities, which exist within a wide spectrum of demographic categories as well as communities of practice relating to religion, occupation, and other activities (Field, 2009; Baker & Bowie, 2010).

This dissertation examines two sets of data: 1) interviews with eight Navajo individuals whose interests, academic studies, and/or occupations relate to the promotion of Navajo language use in connection with cultural and linguistic revitalization; and 2) public statements made in online forums discussing the language used by Navajos. The interview data gathered consist of ten sociolinguistic (and open-ended conversational) interviews, culminating in over 13 hours of recorded interviews. The findings of this study show enregistered (i.e., imbued with social meaning) features of the dialect of Navajo English as well as insights into the challenges Navajos face while advocating for programs and policies supporting the teaching of their heritage language.

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2015

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On words from days of yore: attitudes towards English word usage in American English speakers of different varieties

Description

The English language is taught all over the world and changes immensely from place to place. As such, both L1 and L2 English Language Users all utilize English as a tool for creating meaning in their existence and to also

The English language is taught all over the world and changes immensely from place to place. As such, both L1 and L2 English Language Users all utilize English as a tool for creating meaning in their existence and to also form perspectives on how the language ought to be. What is interesting about this is that the language being used to do that is one birthed from a culture that many English speakers across the globe are separated from; that is, Anglo-Saxon culture. Since learning and using language is also learning and participating in culture the question is, then how separated are American English speakers from that of the culture that created the language they speak? Does Anglo-Saxon culture impact how worldviews are formed in contemporary English speakers? I propose that the first step to finding some answers is by investigating the language ideologies that American English speakers have through the inquiry of meanings that they prescribe to English words that derive from Old English and subsequently have Germanic origins. The following work details a study examining the language attitudes of American English speakers in hopes of shedding new light on these questions.

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Date Created
2016

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Verbs of Perception and Evidentiality in Standard Arabic

Description

This dissertation provides an account of evidentiality of a number of selected verbs of perception in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The verbs are divided into three categories: activity, experiential, and source-based, following Viberg (1983). The data shows that the activity

This dissertation provides an account of evidentiality of a number of selected verbs of perception in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The verbs are divided into three categories: activity, experiential, and source-based, following Viberg (1983). The data shows that the activity P.Vs in MSA are rarely used evidentially whereas the experiential and the source-based ones are commonly used to indicate evidential meaning. It also shows that while the source-based verb is mostly used with an inferred evidential meaning, the evidentiality encoded by the experiential perception verbs is determined by the complementation pattern and the person of the subject (first or third person subject). With the non-finite complement, these verbs indicate a direct evidentiality when having a first person subject, and a reported evidentiality when having a third person subject. With the finite CP complement, they indicate an indirect evidentiality. This corpus-based study also examines the grammaticalization of these verbs when used evidentially. I argue that only the verb ra’aa of the selected experiential verbs is fully grammaticalized, but only when it is in the past tense and followed by a verbal non-finite complement. In this usage, it becomes a light verb. The source-based verb badaa/yabduu when indicating an evidentiality, it is grammaticalized into copulative verb when followed by an adjectival predicate, and modal verb when followed by a finite complement.

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Date Created
2019

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The Rhetorics of Political Graffiti on A Divisive Wall

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This study contributes to the literature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by offering rhetorical and discourse analysis of political graffiti on a wall built by Israel in Palestine. The analysis attempts to answer the urgent questions of why, who, when, how

This study contributes to the literature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by offering rhetorical and discourse analysis of political graffiti on a wall built by Israel in Palestine. The analysis attempts to answer the urgent questions of why, who, when, how and for whom these graffiti exist. The data collected for the analysis consists of personal photos of graffiti taken randomly in 2010 and 2013 in Bethlehem, on the Palestinian side of the massive wall. Several theories in rhetoric and discourse analysis were consulted to perform the technical rhetorical and linguistic analyses of the graffiti utterances, images, and messages in selected photos of the graffiti. Social, physical, psychological and political factors that affect communication between the wall graffitists and their readers is discussed to assist in the interpretation of the messages of these graffiti from a Palestinian perspective. The findings of this qualitative study show that graffiti on such a high profile site are not typical of violent gang graffiti as commonly interpreted in the US, but rather contribute a universal interactive rhetorical mode employed by local and international graffitists to show their solidarity and demands for basic human rights for a misrepresented culture. Moreover, the wall graffiti function as evidence that graffiti has evolved into a formal performing art that can be found in respected art galleries. The wall graffiti create a dialogue between uncoordinated actors who come from different orientations to produce an array of positions not usually present in corporate media outlets. The analysis of the wall shows that these graffiti promote deep cultural and historical understanding, as well as break down boundaries and stereotypes. The collective threefold result of the analysis is the following: First, graffiti on the wall have a collective universal motive; second, the graffiti give voice to the voiceless; and third, the graffiti can prompt a sociopolitical change that can lead to a long overdue peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Keywords: Political rhetoric, discourse analysis, Burke, Halliday, Banksy, political graffiti, street art, Arab graffiti, rhetorical and linguistic patterns, dramatistic, identification, universality, Palestine divisive wall, intertextuality

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2017

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Speech Acts, Syntax, Conversation Sequences, Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Discourse Markers, with an Emphasis on "Oh"

Description

This study explores the topic of Discourse Markers from an Interdisciplinary perspective. Applying the frameworks of Speech Act Theory, Syntax, Conversation Analysis, and Discourse Analysis, to empirical data, it answers the following important questions. What specific types of Speech Actions

This study explores the topic of Discourse Markers from an Interdisciplinary perspective. Applying the frameworks of Speech Act Theory, Syntax, Conversation Analysis, and Discourse Analysis, to empirical data, it answers the following important questions. What specific types of Speech Actions are performed in everyday Utterances? What Syntactic Mood & Clause Type is used to perform the various Speech Actions? What Discourse Markers occur in the Left-Periphery of the Clause? What Meaning-Functions do Discourse Markers perform? What interactions do Discourse Markers have with the various types of Speech Actions and with the Clause Type with which they are expressed? The results of this study contributed valuable insights to each of the aforementioned fields individually, as well as to the study of human language in general. Among these contributions are the following: Searle’s Taxonomy of Speech Acts was refined by dividing Representatives into Informing and Opinionating and Directives were divided into Commanding and Inquiring. The frequencies of the various Speech Acts relative to each other was identified. Furthermore, 79 distinct and specific Speech Actions were identified. The Speech Act type as well as the Clause Types with which they are expressed were identified. Among the many insights with respect to the interactions between the Speech Action Types and the Clause types with which they are expressed were each of the major Clause Types perform many different Speech Actions that are in addition to those normally attributed to them. Many of the particular Speech Acts are performed via various of the different Clause Types. The Indicative Clause type has the ability to perform most, if not all of the Speech Actions performed by all of the other Clause types. The 200 most frequently-occurring Left-Periphery Elements were identified and observations regarding their Word Class and the Meaning-Functions they perform were identified. The Meaning-Functions of the 10 most frequently-occurring Discourse Markers were identified and defined. The interactions between these Discourse Markers and the Speech Actions to which they attach as well as the Clause Types with which they are expressed were identified, thus documenting empirically that Discourse Markers are intricately connected to the Clause.

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Date Created
2020

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Understanding “Fairness” in India: Critically Investigating Selected Commercial Videos for Men’s Skin-Lightening Products

Description

This dissertation investigates a subtle yet complex contemporary issue of colorism in India that traces its ideological roots back in the British colonial period or even prior to that. It focuses on the issue of skin-color discrimination in urban Indian

This dissertation investigates a subtle yet complex contemporary issue of colorism in India that traces its ideological roots back in the British colonial period or even prior to that. It focuses on the issue of skin-color discrimination in urban Indian men, which is significantly under-researched. This project aims at investigating the issue of skin-color discrimination through analyzing a small corpus of thirteen YouTube commercials dating from 2005 to 2017 for men’s skin-lightening products of a popular skin-care brand called “Fair and Handsome” from a multimodal critical discourse analytic perspective. This study further aims to understand how the discourse of colorism is operating in these Indian commercials for men’s skin-lightening products, what kinds of semiotic and socio-cultural (discourse) elements are naturalizing the notion of “fairness,” and finally, how the construction of male gender is facilitated. Although the project’s main theoretical arc is critical discourse analysis (CDA), the methodological needs necessarily require drawing upon theoretical tools from advertisement analysis, multimodal analysis, gender studies, social psychology, history, cultural anthropology, race theory, and other related fields of study. After successfully facilitating an exhaustive analytical undertaking, this dissertation contributes to the understanding of colorism as more than intra-group racism in India and situates this perpetuating issue as a contemporary research target in the socio-cultural contexts of globalization and urbanization.

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2019