Matching Items (44)

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A Sociolinguistic Analysis of a Regional Dialect of Sicilian

Description

The rise of Italian in Sicily contrasts with a fierce regional pride that makes it difficult to determine the possible fate of Sicilian. This project focuses on a sociolinguistic analysis

The rise of Italian in Sicily contrasts with a fierce regional pride that makes it difficult to determine the possible fate of Sicilian. This project focuses on a sociolinguistic analysis of the dialect of Sicilian spoken in and around Catania, Sicily. While there are programs in place to protect the language, the institutionalization of Italian in Sicily may be encroaching on Sicilian's use, especially with younger generations. The lure of the more industrialized North creates a culture of immigration in Sicily, which increasingly rewards the use of Italian. Using information from background research, a survey analyzing sociolinguistic factors and the individual's fluency in and use of Sicilian was created. The data from the survey showed that while understanding of Sicilian was fairly universal among participants, an individual's use and proficiency in Sicilian were most influenced by age and current place of residence (inside or outside Sicily). Younger people tended to know and use Sicilian less, and older participants tended to be more confident in their abilities and to use Sicilian more often. This is slightly complicated by an additional trend among participants currently living outside of Sicily towards a lower level of use and knowledge of Sicilian. All participants placed a significant emphasis on maintaining the ability to speak Sicilian, and on Sicilian language as an integral part of Sicilian culture.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Hijrah to the Islamic State: A Preliminary Analysis

Description

In this thesis, I conduct a preliminary analysis of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham's travel manual-cum-propaganda ebook Hijrah to the Islamic State, which has been used by people

In this thesis, I conduct a preliminary analysis of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham's travel manual-cum-propaganda ebook Hijrah to the Islamic State, which has been used by people from various parts of the world attempting to enter Syria and join the terrorist organization. Using techniques from discourse and propaganda analysis I examine how the author of the text uses discursive resources to construct the reader of the text, the author's expectations for the reader, and the act of traveling to Syria. I then use news articles from varying organizations as well as the Islamic State-produced periodical magazine Dabiq to locate the document within the context of Islamic State affairs and propaganda. Subsequently, I show that the use of discursive resources is consistent with the ethos espoused in Dabiq, and in addition to serving as a guide to entering Syria Hijrah to the Islamic State is also a soft introduction into the radical belief systems of the terrorist group itself.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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The Differences in Language Use Between Men and Women on Twitter and the Potential Applications towards Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Description

The goal of this thesis research was to figure out if there were tangible differences between the way men and women speak on Twitter, a micro blogging social media site,

The goal of this thesis research was to figure out if there were tangible differences between the way men and women speak on Twitter, a micro blogging social media site, and to see if there ways to apply it to strategizing marketing campaigns. AntConc, a free concordance software by Lawrence Anthony, was used to help organize and analyze a corpus created from the Tweets that were collected form the public accounts of twelve different popular public figures. These individuals were chosen based on their profession or the industry that they are associated with, as well as their general popularity. The research focused on three main industries or professions that can be viewed as ‘gendered;’ which were ‘Modeling,’ ‘Fashion Publications,’ and ‘Sports.’ The data was then analyzed across five different main categories which included, ‘Additional Media,’ ‘Adjective Usage,’ ‘How are they talking?,’ ‘Who are they talking about?, and ‘What are they talking about?’ The primary data, along with secondary research was used to see if they words and language use of men and women aligned with stereotypical patterns or if there were patterns that were unique and overlooked.

What was found was that although gender did play a large part in the way men and women spoke, there were more similarities when comparing individuals of the same industry or profession, than there were if they were simply analyzed just based on gender. Additionally, there were many factors that made it difficult to say whether these were qualified patterns or simply tendencies. More research into this would be able to help marketing companies and individuals, better target the audience they want for social media campaigns, by taking into account the importance in contemporary differences in language use by men and women. However, this research would have to be done on data from sites like Twitter to provide an accurate depiction of the way men and women, on these very unique mediums, speak.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Negotiating Bilingualism: Reflections on Lived Experiences

Description

This study examined how second-generation Mexican American students talked about negotiating bilingualism in Arizona, where Spanish is associated with a social group considered to be problematic in the local anti-immigrant

This study examined how second-generation Mexican American students talked about negotiating bilingualism in Arizona, where Spanish is associated with a social group considered to be problematic in the local anti-immigrant context. Using tools and approaches from narrative analysis, I analyzed testimonies collected through interviewing, a method within the field of sociolinguistics to elicit qualitative data, to understand how the narratives reveal insight into the social processes and ideological structures that are present in any given context. I modeled my study after Anna de Fina (2003) and her analysis of immigrant discourse. Anna de Fina (2003) along with Koven (2001), and Bamberg (2011) all devise frameworks in which narratives emerge through interactional contexts during interviews where the interviewee engages in constructing not only a narrative along with the interview but also the representation of his/her identity. Contributing to this literature, my analysis demonstrates the role of language ideologies in narrative constructions of identity, the fluid nature of identity performances, and the power of autobiographical storytelling to challenge or contest dominant discourses about a language and its speakers. Findings show that participants began to value their own bilingualism more after entering into dominant culture, where their negotiation of identity stood on intermediary ground and was conceived as a process, belonging was found with other bilinguals, and bilingualism was viewed as a resource capable of providing innovative ways of conceiving of belonging and identity.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Diachronic adverbial morphosyntax: a minimalist study of lexicalization and grammaticalization

Description

The historical study of sentence adverbs has, before now, been based mostly on models that emphasize the pragmatic and discourse-based motivations of processes of grammaticalization. This dissertation breaks from such

The historical study of sentence adverbs has, before now, been based mostly on models that emphasize the pragmatic and discourse-based motivations of processes of grammaticalization. This dissertation breaks from such tradition by exploring diachronic adverb development through syntactic and morphological lenses. A generative, feature-based approach is used that incorporates the cartographic architecture developed by Cinque and combines it with a more phenomenological approach to both grammaticalization and lexicalization. Cinque's hierarchy of speech-act, evaluative, evidential, and epistemic adverbs is analyzed. It is determined (through corpus data) that these subcategories have grown in use primarily during the Modern English era, and particularly during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These four subcategories can be divided into two groups that are more general: speech-act adverbs, which arise from a (conditional) speech-act clause that undergoes ellipsis, and the other three types, which all arise from copula clauses. Each of these two groups is considered, and different methods of reanalysis by speakers are proposed for each. In addition, a revised model for categorizing adverbs is proposed. This model is based on morphological lexicalization (or univerbation) processes, thus accounting for the wide variety of adverbial source materials. Such lexicalization offers a pattern for sentence adverbial formation. Finally, Standard Chinese adverbials are briefly examined, with results indicating that they show very similar signs of lexicalization (within the limits of the writing system).

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Social class bias in evaluator commentaries for the AP language and composition exam (2000-2010), a critical discourse analysis

Description

This study is a discourse analysis and deconstruction of public documents published electronically in connection with the evaluation of the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Examination, found on the educational

This study is a discourse analysis and deconstruction of public documents published electronically in connection with the evaluation of the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Examination, found on the educational website: apcentral.collegeboard.com. The subject of this dissertation is how the characteristic of writing identified as Voice functions covertly in the calibration of raters' evaluation of student writing in two sets of electronic commentaries: the Scoring Commentaries and the Student Performance Q&A;'s published between the years 2000-2010. The study is intended to contribute to both socio-linguistic and sociological research in education on the influence of inherited forms of cultural capital in educational attainment, with particular emphasis upon performance on high-stakes examinations. Modeled after Pierre Bourdieu's inquiry into the latent bias revealed in the "euphemized" language of teacher commentary found in The State Nobility, lists of recurrent descriptors and binary oppositions in the texts are deconstructed. The result of the deconstruction is the manifestation of latent class bias in the commentaries. Conclusions: discourse analysis reveals that a particular Voice, expressive of a preferred social class identity, which is initiated to and particularly deft in such academic performances, is rewarded by the test evaluators. Similarly, findings reveal that a low-scoring essay is negatively critiqued for being particularly unaccustomed to the form(s) of knowledge and style of writing required by the test situation. In summation, a high score on the AP Language Examination, rather than a certification of writerly competence, is actually a testament to the performance of cultural capital. Following an analysis of the language of classification and assessment in the electronic documents, the author provides several "tactics" (after de Certeau) or recommendations for writing the AP Language and Composition Examination, conducive to the stylistic performances privileged by the rating system.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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The subjectification of English adjectives, and the effect of subjectivity on prenominal adjective order

Description

Linguistic subjectivity and subjectification are fields of research that are relatively new to those working in English linguistics. After a discussion of linguistic subjectivity and subjectification as they relate to

Linguistic subjectivity and subjectification are fields of research that are relatively new to those working in English linguistics. After a discussion of linguistic subjectivity and subjectification as they relate to English, I investigate the subjectification of a specific English adjective, and how its usage has changed over time. Subjectivity is held by many linguists of today to be the major governing factor behind the ordering of English prenominal adjectives. Through the use of a questionnaire, I investigate the effect of subjectivity on English prenominal adjective order from the perspective of the native English speaker. I then discuss the results of the questionnaire, what they mean in relation to how subjectivity affects that order, and a few of the patterns that emerged as I analyzed the data.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Thai English as a variety

Description

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

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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Imperative clause structure and its realization in Old English syntax: a corpus study

Description

The nature of imperative syntax has remained an elusive, yet ever-present, subject in syntactic research, spanning several decades of linguistic inquiry and analysis, and it is therefore unsurprising that current

The nature of imperative syntax has remained an elusive, yet ever-present, subject in syntactic research, spanning several decades of linguistic inquiry and analysis, and it is therefore unsurprising that current views on the subject continue to be somewhat divided. This thesis examines the syntactic evidence from imperatives in Old English and ultimately seeks to develop a picture of the possibilities for imperative clauses in OE alongside an overall framework for imperative syntax within contemporary theoretical models of syntactic structure. The general, perceived pattern for OE imperative clauses (e.g. Millward 1971) is “verb−first,” and statistical data from the corpora confirm this perception, with the majority of imperative clauses exhibiting the verb in clause−initial position. Imperative constructions with post− and preverbal overt subjects are also examined at length, and postverbal subjects are found to be the majority case. These results are further expanded by examinations of data from verb−second and verb−third contexts, which include possibilities for topicalized constituents and adverbs. Ultimately, the relative position of both the verb and the subject and the relationship between these and other elements in the totality of the data provide essential clues for constructing a clearer model of OE imperative syntax. Within a relatively rich cartographic framework (Rizzi 1997), I therefore argue that the imperative verb is standardly fronted to the head of ForceP, with the overt subject remaining in spec−FinP, in parallel with other models for imperative syntax and OE syntax. Exceptions to this pattern for imperatives which suggest lower positions for the imperative verb (e.g. verb−second and verb−third constructions) are also accounted for, all with the central goal of demonstrating a consistent pattern underlying the realization of imperative syntax in Old English.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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The grammaticalization of Hakka, Mandarin and Southern Min: the interaction of negatives with modality, aspect, and interrogatives

Description

The primary topic of this dissertation is the grammaticalization of negation in three Sinitic language varieties: Hakka, Mandarin, and Southern Min. I discuss negative morphemes that are used under different

The primary topic of this dissertation is the grammaticalization of negation in three Sinitic language varieties: Hakka, Mandarin, and Southern Min. I discuss negative morphemes that are used under different modality or aspect contexts, including ability, volition, necessity, and perfectivity. Not only does this study examine Southern Min affirmative and negative pairs, but it also highlights the grammaticalization of negation and parametric differences in negation among the languages under investigation. This dissertation also covers the reanalysis of negatives into interrogatives. I approach the investigation of Southern Min negation from both synchronic and diachronic perspectives. I analyze corpus data in addition to data collected from fieldwork for the contemporary linguistic data. For my diachronic research of Chinese negation, I use historical texts and etymological dictionaries. Diachronically, many of the negative morphemes originate from full-fledged verbs and undergo an analogous grammaticalization process that consists of multiple stages of reanalysis from V to T (aspect; modality), and then T to C (interrogative; discourse). I explain this reanalysis, which involves head-to-head movement, using generative frameworks that combine a modified cartographic approach and the Minimalist Economy Principles. Synchronic data show that Southern Min affirmative modals are characterized by a certain morphological doubling. These doublings consist of two near synonyms used in sequence, resulting from the loss of features in a verb and a second verb added as a renewal. In the negation paradigm, some negatives project a negative phrase, while the others serve a dual function, occupying a modal/aspect head as well as a negative head. The latter system is gradually shifting to the former. This study uncovers evidence to counter the long-established paradigm, where negation is tied to its independent modality (abilitive, volitional and necessitive) or aspect (perfective and perfect). I observe a mismatch between the use of interrogatives and their modality/aspect and attribute this phenomenon to feature loss during their reanalysis from negatives to interrogatives. Results however show that consistency occurs in the grammaticalization of negation within Southern Min and intra-linguistically among the three Sinitic languages, and that parametric differences are found at the morphological level.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012