Matching Items (28)

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Social Predictors of Intervocalic /b/ Variant Usage in Riverense Spanish

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A situation of language contact on the Uruguayan-Brazilian border has created a unique opportunity to study variant usage with respect to the phoneme /b/. Following past research models, the thesis

A situation of language contact on the Uruguayan-Brazilian border has created a unique opportunity to study variant usage with respect to the phoneme /b/. Following past research models, the thesis analyzes the social and linguistic effects of contact bilingualism on the border variety of Spanish using acoustic phonetics. The intervocalic /b/ was the target variant in the study. Analysis was performed on the speech tokens of 20 speakers living on the Uruguayan-Brazilian border using the phonetics software Praat, and from the tokens the consonant-vowel intensity ratio of each intervocalic /b/ was determined in order to characterize the variant. The tokens were classified as one of four possible variants, [b], [v], [β], or phonetic zero. The thesis found that cognate status, normative Spanish orthography, and professional status were the significant predictors of variant usage.

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  • 2017-12

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Pedidos y quejas en la literatura peruana decimonónica: el caso de Mercedes Cabello de Carbonera

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ABSTRACT

This interdisciplinary study examines the linguistic strategies that determine perception of female representation in Peruvian feminist narrative during the late XIX century. It uses as reference narratives that are considered

ABSTRACT

This interdisciplinary study examines the linguistic strategies that determine perception of female representation in Peruvian feminist narrative during the late XIX century. It uses as reference narratives that are considered representatives of the literary tendencies of Latin América feminine trajectory. The feminine subject was studied in two novels of Mercedes Cabello de Carbonera: Los amores de Hortensia (1886) and Blanca Sol (1889). The novels were selected with the aim of capturing the evolution and the development of the female characters as self-realizing subjects.

The theoretical framework is led by the speech act philosophy of John Austin, John Searle, and Victoria Escandell Vidal. The feminist literary theory is guided by the feminist principle of Judith Butler, Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva that relates to the development of female subjectivity; by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, and Virginia Woolf that reveals the dynamics of women’s creativity.

Through a close analysis of the speech acts, the research demonstrates that the female characters used their tactics to complain and request on their attempts to uproot the hegemonic normative social structures. The speech acts are presented as key instrument for a better understanding of the complex mechanisms of language, through which the feminist ideology of the nineteenth century is transmitted and reproduced. Within feminist theory the purpose is to show how the performative nature of language can be applied to the concept of power as subversive resistance. While the evolution of the female protagonists through the different spaces they move were traced, the investigation’s central idea that envisions the feminine subject as a process, was also examined.

After comparing and contrasting the portrayal of the protagonists, a thematic analysis was performed to capture the intricacies of meaning within the discourse. The analysis suggests that female representation in literature can be reexamined through historical, political, and socio-economic contexts, as well as through verbal expression.

Mainly, the comventional norms that limited women to some social places and that oblige them to maintain proper conducts did not silence them entirely, as we can observe in the petitions and complaints that became transcendent acts of defiance.

ABSTRACTO

Este trabajo de investigación interdisciplinario examina las estrategias lingüísticas que condicionan la percepción de la representación femenina y feminista en la narrativa peruana de finales del siglo XIX. El sujeto femenino se ha estudiado en dos novelas de Mercedes Cabello de Carbonera Los amores de Hortensia (1886) y Blanca Sol (1889), éstas se seleccionaron con el objetivo de entender la evolución de los personajes femeninos como sujetos que se auto-realizan.

El marco teórico para este estudio es guiado por la filosofía hermeneútica de John Austin, John Searle y Victoria Escandell que se basan en la naturaleza performativa de las expresiones lingüísticas. El análisis de género se basa en la teoría de Judith Butler Luce Irigaray y Julia Kristeva que se relacionan con el desarrollo de la subjetividad femenina; en la ideología de Sandra Gilbert y Susan Gubar y Virginia Woolf que exponen las dinámicas de creatividad de la escritora.

A través del análisis de los actos de habla, la investigación sugiere que los personajes femeninos usan estrategias de quejas y de pedidos con el intento de eliminar las estructuras sociales hegemónicas. Los actos de habla se presentan como un instrumento necesario para un mejor entendimiento de los mecanismos del lenguaje, por medio de los cuales se transmite la idea feminista del siglo XIX. La teoría feminista tiene como objetivo, explicar cómo la naturaleza performativa del lenguaje se puede adaptar al concepto de poder como resistencia subversiva. Se investiga la idea central de nuestra pesquisa que percibe al sujeto femenino como un sujeto en proceso. Después de comparar y contrastar el perfil de los personajes protagónicos, se lleva a cabo el análisis temático para captar las complejidades del sentido en el discurso. Esta investigación propone que la representación femenina puede ser reevaluada por medio de contextos históricos, políticos y socio-económicos y de expresiones verbales.¬

En general, las normas convencionales del siglo XIX que limitaron a la mujer a ciertas esferas sociales y que requerían de ésta una conducta discreta, no las silenciaron totalmente como se puedo apreciar en los pedidos y quejas que resultaron ser medios trascendentes de actos de desafío.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Teaching Spanish refusals

Description

A number of studies have been carried out on Spanish pragmatics and the speech act of refusals (Félix-Brasdefer 2006; García 1992). Many studies have also been conducted on the teaching

A number of studies have been carried out on Spanish pragmatics and the speech act of refusals (Félix-Brasdefer 2006; García 1992). Many studies have also been conducted on the teaching of pragmatics and speech acts in the classroom (García 1996; Koike 1989). However, to date, not many studies have been conducted analyzing the acquisition of Spanish refusals in the classroom. To the author's knowledge, no study has investigated the acquisition of Spanish refusals at the various different levels in a university. Therefore, this study will analyze whether there is a significant effect of the level of Spanish instruction of intermediate and advanced university L2 learners on their ability to carry out appropriate refusals. Through discourse completion tests, data from students at the Spanish 202 and 314 levels will be analyzed to see how closely they compare to native Spanish speakers in their refusals. The results will be compared with previous studies on refusals in order to create a teaching plan for acquiring this speech act.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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A concept-based approach to teaching Spanish mood

Description

This study investigates the effectiveness of the use of Concept-Based Instruction (CBI) to facilitate the acquisition of Spanish mood distinctions by second semester second language learners of Spanish. The study

This study investigates the effectiveness of the use of Concept-Based Instruction (CBI) to facilitate the acquisition of Spanish mood distinctions by second semester second language learners of Spanish. The study focuses on the development of Spanish mood choice and the types of explanations (Rule-of-Thumb vs. Concept-based) used by five students before and after being exposed to Concept-Based Instruction regarding the choice of Spanish mood following various modalities .The students in this study were presented with a pedagogical treatment on Spanish mood choice that included general theoretical concepts based on Gal'perin's (1969, 1992) didactic models and acts of verbalization, which form part of a Concept-Based pedagogical approach. In order to ascertain the effectiveness of the use of concept-based tools to promote the ability to use Spanish mood appropriately over time, a pre and post-test was administered to the group in which students were asked to respond to prompts containing modalities that elicit the indicative and subjunctive moods, indicate their level of confidence in their response, and verbalize in writing a reason for their choice. The development of these abilities in learners exposed to CBI was assessed by comparing pre and post-test scores examining both forms and explanations for the indicative and subjunctive modality prompts given. Results showed that students continued to rely on Rule-of-Thumb explanations of mood choice but they did expand their use of conceptually-based reasoning. Although the quantitative and qualitative analyses of the results indicate that most students did improve their ability to make appropriate mood choices (forms and explanations) after the CBI treatment, the increased use of conceptually-based explanations for their mood choices led to both correct and incorrect responses.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Performing directives in Spanish: the case of advice by Nicaraguan and Panamanian women

Description

Although pragmatic analyses based on empirical data have been conducted throughout most of the Spanish-speaking world, Central America remains the most underrepresented region. This study examines the pragmatic strategies used

Although pragmatic analyses based on empirical data have been conducted throughout most of the Spanish-speaking world, Central America remains the most underrepresented region. This study examines the pragmatic strategies used by female Spanish speakers of Nicaragua and Panama in an advice-giving context. The data consists of eighteen role-plays recorded in Masaya, Nicaragua and Panama City, Panama in June and July of 2011. In the role-play situation, the interlocutor (fixed-role) requests advice from the participant, her best friend, regarding a serious issue in her marriage. The participant's advice-giving strategies are classified according to a categorization adapted from Blum-Kulka's request strategy taxonomy. This allows for a statistical analysis of how these strategies correspond to the three elements of Spencer Oatey's rapport management approach: behavioral expectations, face sensitivities and interactional wants. The results indicate strong similarities between participants from Nicaragua and Panama, both electing to respect all components of the association principle and to violate the equity principle, especially its autonomy control component. These results suggest that, at least in this advice-giving context between intimates, both Nicaraguan and Panamanian Spanish speakers prefer to impose their opinions and suggestions rather than respect the person's right to be treated fairly (i.e. equity principle) as well as to maintain a rapport-enhancing orientation rather than preserve their right to associate with others (i.e. association principle). The results of the pragmatic analysis show similarities with other research on directives in the Spanish-speaking world, including empirical studies in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela and Spain. Specifically, these cultures are all associated with direct strategies and less mitigation, positive politeness, conventional indirectness and high involvement.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Spanish address forms in US newspapers

Description

Advertisements intend to persuade the reader to invest money or time in a product or service. Newspapers contain advertisements that are space-limited, thus necessitating a concise and convincing message that

Advertisements intend to persuade the reader to invest money or time in a product or service. Newspapers contain advertisements that are space-limited, thus necessitating a concise and convincing message that will influence readers. Nord (2008) analyzed conative function (Jakobson 1960) as a persuasive tool in a corpus of Spanish, English, and German advertising texts. A portion of Nord's study focused on sender attitude indicators directed at addressees as a key element of conative function, and analyzed address forms among several attitude indicators found in print advertisements. The current study analyzed 604 Spanish newspaper advertisements in Arizona and Florida, focusing on possible independent factors related to the probability of the occurrence of various address forms. These factors included: the type of product being advertized and its cost, the nature of the advertisement, the location of the advertisement in the newspaper (main section, sports, etc.), intended audience (including age and sex), geographic region of the newspaper, and each newspaper as compared to others. These variables were categorized and statistically analyzed using a quantitative design. The study provided results indicating a strong statistical relationship between the presence of address forms and product type, a moderate relationship with audience age, and a mild relationship with product cost. Various similarities and differences were also found when comparing the data geographically.

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  • 2012

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New directions in quantitative Hispanic sociolinguistics

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The present thesis explores how statistical methods are conceptualized, used, and interpreted in quantitative Hispanic sociolinguistics in light of the group of statistical methods espoused by Kline (2013) and named

The present thesis explores how statistical methods are conceptualized, used, and interpreted in quantitative Hispanic sociolinguistics in light of the group of statistical methods espoused by Kline (2013) and named by Cumming (2012) as the “new statistics.” The new statistics, as a conceptual framework, repudiates null hypothesis statistical testing (NHST) and replaces it with the ESCI method, or Effect Sizes and Confidence Intervals, as well as meta-analytic thinking. In this thesis, a descriptive review of 44 studies found in three academic journals over the last decade (2005 – 2015), NHST was found to have a tight grip on most researchers. NHST, much discredited outside of linguistics, confused authors who conflated the theories of Fisher and Neyman-Pearson, who themselves battled acrimoniously until the end of their publishing lives. Within the studies reviewed, with exceptions, dichotomous thinking ruled the quantitative approach, and binary reporting ruled the results and discussions. In addition, this thesis revealed that sociolinguistics, at least within the studies reviewed, is not exactly a “statistical monoculture” as suspected by Gorman and Johnson (2013), rather ANOVAs have joined Goldvarb’s logistic regression in its dominance. As described insightfully by Plonsky (2015), these two methods are exposed as extensions of the dichotomous thinking that attaches itself to NHST. Further, little evidence was found that the methods of the new statistics were being implemented in a coordinated fashion, including far too few meta-analyses. As such, quantitative Hispanic sociolinguistics, and linguistics in general, were shown to be vulnerable to problems with reliable quantitative theory building.

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  • 2015

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Heritage vs. non-heritage language learner attitudes in a beginning-level mixed Spanish language class

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ABSTRACT

This qualitative study used a survey to investigate the attitudes and experiences of 44 Heritage learners (HLL) and non-Heritage learners (NHLL) in beginning-level Spanish courses with a mixed population (HLLs

ABSTRACT

This qualitative study used a survey to investigate the attitudes and experiences of 44 Heritage learners (HLL) and non-Heritage learners (NHLL) in beginning-level Spanish courses with a mixed population (HLLs and NHLLs) in the same classroom. Specifically, the survey elicited data on their attitudes and experiences towards their own language skills in Spanish and English, their mixed beginning-level Spanish course, their personal reactions to mixed classes, and their attitudes toward classmates that belong to the other group (e.g., HLLs view of NHLLs). The findings of this study indicated that HLLs perceived their listening and speaking skills to be better than their literacy (reading and writing) skills, while NHLLs self-assessed their receptive skills (reading and listening) to be higher than their productive skills (speaking and writing). In addition, both groups expressed a positive attitude toward mixed beginning-level Spanish classes and noted specific advantages to learning in such an environment (e.g., the opportunity to learn about each other’s cultures, the fact that each group felt appreciated and valued by the other group) with very few disadvantages (e.g., HLLs had mixed opinions on the effect that a mixed class might have on a teacher’s expectation for how much material is covered and how thoroughly, while NHLLs mostly agreed that a teacher’s expectations would affect the breadth and depth of material covered; NHLLs thought the presence of HLLs in their class might negatively affect their grades). However, both groups indicated they would prefer to be in Spanish classes with members of their own group instead of in mixed classes (NHLLs affirmed this more than HLLs). This study concludes with a discussion of pedagogical implications, limitations of the study, and ideas for future research on this topic.

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  • 2015

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Subject Pronoun Expression in an L2-only Environment: The Case of Equatorial Guinea

Description

Subject Pronoun Expression (SPE) has been extensively studied in monolingual and bilingual varieties of Spanish using the variationist framework. The goal of these studies has been to examine the linguistic

Subject Pronoun Expression (SPE) has been extensively studied in monolingual and bilingual varieties of Spanish using the variationist framework. The goal of these studies has been to examine the linguistic and extra-linguistic factors that condition the expression and the omission of personal subject pronouns. Nonetheless, to date, there is no study of SPE in the Spanish of Equatorial Guinea, the only African country where it is an official language, and the single country where Spanish is exclusively a second language (L2). This dissertation fills this gap in the literature by accounting for SPE in Equatoguinean Spanish.

The research questions guiding this study concern the rates of Subject Pronoun Expression, its conditioning factors, and universal accounts of L2 acquisition, in particular, the Interface Hypothesis (IH). The study had 30 participants from Malabo, who took part in sociolinguistic interviews. These interviews were transcribed and analyzed using the mixed effects software Rbrul. Along the lines of the literature reviewed, the linguistic factor groups studied were grammatical person and number, reference, reflexivity, verb type, and ambiguity. By the same token, the extra linguistic factors analyzed were age, sex, education, native language (L1), and speaker as a random factor.

The results indicate that the Equatoguinean variety of Spanish has one of the lowest pronoun rates (19.1%), a finding that goes against the predictions of the IH. With regard to the linguistic factor groups that condition Subject Pronoun Expression, Equatoguinean Spanish shows an unorthodox ranking: grammatical person and number, ambiguity, verb class, and reference. Interestingly, the low ranking of reference gives support to the IH, which argues that L2 speakers have problems with constraints like the switch of the reference in subjects because it integrates discourse and pragmatic interfaces. The only significant extra-linguistic factor was education, whereas speakers’ L1 exerted no effect on SPE. Individual speaker was a significant random factor group, indicating that variation is great even in speakers with comparable education.

In sum, this study of a unique speech community provides new information on SPE of L2 Spanish. It also contributes to the fields of language contact, language variation, and second language acquisition.

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  • 2020

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Learning with an Attitude?!: Heritage and L2 Students’ Language Attitudes Toward Spanish Language Varieties in the Advanced Mixed Class

Description

The present study aims to gain deeper insights into language attitudes in the educational context while contributing to the emerging field of advanced mixed, second language and heritage language (HL)

The present study aims to gain deeper insights into language attitudes in the educational context while contributing to the emerging field of advanced mixed, second language and heritage language (HL) courses. Considering that the majority of heritage language learners (HLLs) and second language learners (L2s) in the United States (US) are enrolled in mixed classrooms (Beaudrie, 2012; Carreira, 2016a, 2016b), the study of language attitudes regarding monolingual varieties, bilingual varieties, and L2 varieties is crucial to inform pedagogical best practices that serve both types of learners. Additionally, by analyzing the language attitudes of both types of students toward these three Spanish language varieties, this study demonstrates the importance of incorporating linguistic variation into the classroom to address the linguistic hierarchies that exist in such a context. Thus, the results are relevant to the fields of sociolinguistics, L2 and HL pedagogy.

The study employs matched-guise tasks at two points during the semester, as well as end-term semi-structured interviews. As different linguistic components of a language trigger different attitudes, the findings show that native-like phonetic and phonological features of Spanish speakers afford positive attitudes, as do a formal lexicon and academic register. However, morphosyntactic features do not have any effect on forming an individual’s language attitudes.

To illustrate, the results of the matched-guise tasks show that native and HL varieties were generally evaluated positively, while L2 varieties were evaluated negatively. Interviews revealed native-like accent and pronunciation as the detrimental cause of negative attitudes toward the L2 variety. In contrast to the phonetic/phonological evaluations made by participants, both HLLs and L2s did agree that L2s speak a “proper” and “professional” Spanish. Furthermore, heritage Spanish was described as the “least formal” and “incorrect” Spanish variety in comparison to the L2 variety due to dominant stereotypes and ideologies and the incorporation of lexical characteristics of US Spanish.

Based on these findings, this study has the potential to make an invaluable contribution to understanding how language attitudes and instructional practices in the classroom context intersect with a social justice movement to improve mixed courses in a social, critical, and conscious way.

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Date Created
  • 2020