Matching Items (13)

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A Linguistic Comparison of English and Bahasa Indonesia: Examining Language Transfer Effects

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This thesis compares significant linguistic features of English and Bahasa Indonesia (BI) and examines possible effects of language transfer for Indonesians who speak English as a second language (L2). The

This thesis compares significant linguistic features of English and Bahasa Indonesia (BI) and examines possible effects of language transfer for Indonesians who speak English as a second language (L2). The thesis first presents a description of BI: 1) phonology (vowels, consonants, stress and intonation), 2) word order (SVO and other alternatives, relativization, nominalization, topicalization, questions), 3) the noun phrase (derivation of nouns, modifiers in noun phrases, demonstratives, plurals, personal pronouns), and 4) the verbal system (derivation of verbs, agreement, copulas, passive voice, negation, tense, adverbs, modals/auxiliaries). For the IRB-approved research study, the researcher interviewed ten Indonesians from diverse linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds about their experiences learning English and asked them to tell a story in order to elicit use of the past tense. The research sought to determine which errors Indonesian L2 speakers of English often make and which of these errors can be attributed to language transfer. Also, the study examined whether participants seem to be aware of their errors and what pedagogical implications may arise from these findings. Interviews were transcribed, then errors were coded and analyzed to see if the errors that Indonesians often make while speaking English correspond with the main differences between English and BI. The most common error was verb tense. After that, the next most common errors were articles; plurals; prepositions; other verbs; omission of "be" verbs; adjectives; omission of subjects; subject/verb agreement; and languages
ationalities. The thesis also discusses participants' perceptions of differences between BI and English and perceptions of difficulties when learning English, and how these perceptions correspond with their performance in English. While it seems that many of the errors that Indonesian L2 speakers of English are due to language transfer, others are not. Virtually no research has been carried out on language transfer from BI to English, so there is much future research that can be conducted on Indonesians learning English. Language transfer is just one of the relevant topics in the field.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Discourse markers as predictors of success for the TOEFL

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ABSTRACT The teaching of formulaic sequences (FSs) to improve speech fluency is a time honored tradition in the field of English as a Second Language (ESL). However, recent research seems

ABSTRACT The teaching of formulaic sequences (FSs) to improve speech fluency is a time honored tradition in the field of English as a Second Language (ESL). However, recent research seems to indicate that certain discourse markers, specifically transition and personal stance markers, are more useful than other FSs. This study is an attempt to partially replicate (on a very small scale) one of these studies to see if the findings are similar when the standardized test materials are from the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) rather than the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The hope is that teacher researchers could have access to readily available, standardized assessment materials with which to create their own research studies consisting of a standardized pretest and posttest. Four students of various levels in an Intensive English Program (IEP) were given a practice listening and speaking exam utilizing TOEFL preparation materials found online. The results were analyzed to see if there was a noticeable correlation between the use of the specified discourse markers on the speech portion of the test and the performance of the students on the listening portion of the test. The findings show some discrepancy between the two studies' results. It appears possible to have a high perceived fluency rate and still have a lower overall speaking fluency when taking into account listening comprehension and various other measures.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Spanish grammatical gender knowledge in young heritage speakers

Description

Purpose: The present study examined grammatical gender use in child Spanish heritage speakers (HSs) in order to determine whether the differences observed in their grammar, when compared to Spanish monolinguals,

Purpose: The present study examined grammatical gender use in child Spanish heritage speakers (HSs) in order to determine whether the differences observed in their grammar, when compared to Spanish monolinguals, stem from an incompletely acquired grammar, in which development stops, or from a restructuring process, in which features from the dominant and the weaker language converge to form a new grammatical system. In addition, this study evaluated whether the differences usually found in comprehension are also present in production. Finally, this study evaluates if HSs differences are the result of the input available to them.

Method: One-hundred and four typically developing children, 48 HSs and 58 monolingual, were selected based on two age groups (Preschool vs. 3rd Grade). Two comprehension and three production experimental tasks were designed for the three different grammatical structures where Spanish expresses gender (determiners, adjectives, and clitic pronouns). Linear mixed-models were used to examine main effects between groups and grammatical structures.

Results: Results from this study showed that HSs scored significantly lower than monolingual speakers in all tasks and structures; however, 3rd-Grade HSs had higher accuracy than PK-HSs. Error patterns were similar between monolinguals and HSs. Moreover, the commonly reported overgeneralization of the masculine form seems to decrease as HSs get older.

Conclusion: These results suggest that HSs’ do not face a case of Incomplete Acquisition or Restructured Grammatical gender system, but instead follow a protracted language development in which grammatical skills continue to develop after preschool years and follow the same developmental patterns as monolingual children

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Syntactic cartography as a forensic linguistics tool: a retrospective analysis of prepositional phrases in two appellate court cases

Description

This thesis argues for the utility of syntactic cartography in representing and analyzing the disputed language of legal statutes. It presents an analysis of two appellate court cases, Flores-Figueroa v.

This thesis argues for the utility of syntactic cartography in representing and analyzing the disputed language of legal statutes. It presents an analysis of two appellate court cases, Flores-Figueroa v. United States (2009) and In re Sanders (2008). Each case involves a difference of opinion with respect to the position and function of prepositions found in 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1) and 11 U.S.C. § 1328(f), respectively. Informing the tree structures are Merlo and Ferrer's (2006) six diagnostics for PP attachment: head dependence, optionality, iterativity, ordering, copular paraphrase, and deverbal nouns. In Flores-Figueroa, the analysis yields a conclusion that affirms the court's decision, as does the analysis in Sanders, although it only concurs in part. Implications of the study and the overall cartography approach are discussed, including how it could impact the drafting of jury instructions and future legislation. The paper also addresses the unique heritage of legal language, the ways in which it contrasts with civic, non-legal English, and how its characteristics give rise to ambiguity and vagueness, two suitable phenomena for linguistic analysis. Further, it discusses the potential for providing linguistic input on active cases to the Supreme Court and other judicial bodies.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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The interpretation of Spanish grammatical aspect with habitual and episodic readings and the influence of adverbials

Description

Adult second-language learners of Spanish struggle with the acquisition of preterite and imperfect selection due to the overtly morphological representation of grammatical aspect. Prior studies have documented the effect of

Adult second-language learners of Spanish struggle with the acquisition of preterite and imperfect selection due to the overtly morphological representation of grammatical aspect. Prior studies have documented the effect of a default encoding without influence of the lexical aspect in the emergence of aspectual morphology, and have proposed the Default Past Tense Hypothesis (DPTH).

This study investigates the emergence of aspectual morphology by testing the DPTH and the effect of adverbials at interpreting grammatical aspect in this process of acquisition. Twenty-eight English-speaking learners of Spanish (beginning, intermediate and advanced) and twenty native-Spanish speakers are tested with two written comprehension tasks that assess the interpretation of habitual/imperfect and episodic/preterite readings of eventive verbs. The truth-value judgment task incorporates forty short stories with two summary sentences, from which participants must choose one as true. The grammaticality judgment task presents sixty-four sentences with temporal adverbials of position and duration, thirty-two are grammatical and thirty-two are ungrammatical. Participants must accept or reject them using a 5-point likert scale.

The findings indicate that the DPTH is partially supported by the statistical data showing a default marker, imperfect for beginning learners, and preterite for intermediate learners. This provides support to the argument of unsteady aspectual checking of [-bounded] in the spec of AspP and not necessarily by only checking [+past] in the TP for intermediate learners. The influence of the lexical aspect value of the verb is partially evident with advanced learners. Temporal adverbials play an important role at interpreting grammatical aspect with intermediate and advanced learners. Results show that beginning learners are not influenced by the presence of adverbials due to their inexperience with the Spanish aspectual morphology.

The findings also allow the confirmation of prior results about factors that influence the interpretation of preterite and imperfect. First, the instruction of aspectual morphology co-indexed with specific temporal adverbials, and second, that learners rely on lexical cues at the sentential level, while native speakers rely on discursive ones.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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A VOT measurement of the pronunciation of word-initial /p/ by Libyan speakers of English

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ABSTRACT

The absence of the consonant sound /p/ in Libyan Arabic leads Libyan speakers of English to pronounce /p/ as /b/. This study examines how Libyan Arabic speakers distinguish the

ABSTRACT

The absence of the consonant sound /p/ in Libyan Arabic leads Libyan speakers of English to pronounce /p/ as /b/. This study examines how Libyan Arabic speakers distinguish the English /p/ and /b/ in their production of L2 English. The study also examines the effect of the production contexts and the learning environment on two groups of Libyan Arabic speakers' attainment of the English /p/ in the USA and Libya. The study collected voice recordings of word-initial /p/ and /b/ in isolated-words, minimal pairs, and sentences in English from both Libyan Arabic speakers and American English speakers. The study also collected Libyan Arabic stop consonants /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, and /g/ from the Libyan participants. The voice recording data were collected using the WhatsApp mobile application from all participants and the Libyan Arabic participants were also asked to fill an online survey. Using voice onset time (VOT) as a measurement tool, this study measured the English and Libyan Arabic data through Praat software. The findings show that most Libyan Arabic participants distinguish between /p/ and /b/, but they did not have as high VOT averages as the American participants' /p/. It also reveals that the production context, especially in minimal pairs and sentence contexts, has an effect on their participants' production. However, the learning environment does not have an effect on the Libyan participants' pronunciation of /p/ in this study.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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English: the grammar of the Danelaw

Description

Scholars have long debated whether Old and Middle English (ME) are different diachronic stages of one language, or whether they are two closely related languages that have different historical roots.

Scholars have long debated whether Old and Middle English (ME) are different diachronic stages of one language, or whether they are two closely related languages that have different historical roots. A general assumption is that Middle and Modern English descend from Old English (OE), similar to the way Middle and Modern German descend from Old High German. Traditional scholarship places English into the West-Germanic language subgroup (which includes Old English, and continental Germanic languages) Historically, criteria used by linguists to establish genealogy of languages involve sound change from parent to daughter languages and the sharing of core vocabulary. Until recently, consideration of the influence of contact-induced change, except in the lexical domain, has been minimized, favoring generative language-internal factors. While it is generally accepted that internal motivation shapes the outcome of language change, contact may provide the catalyst for the change. The syntax of ME emerged with linguistic variation that distanced it from its Germanic relatives. In order to understand how the grammar of ME evolved and differs from its West-Germanic cousins, the syntax and morphosyntactic properties of ME, evident in The Orrmulum, an early ME work written in the Danelaw region of England, are analyzed in comparison to Old English (OE), Old Norse (ON), and Celtic, and in relation to formal grammaticalization theory, social factors and historical events. An analysis of the grammar in The Orrmulum supports current research regarding Scandinavian influence on the syntax of OE and ME, because there is extensive historic evidence regarding effects of language tangency of the relevant cultures; the properties of a grammatical lexicon influence retention of syntactic patterns, despite additions/changes in lexical categories; and The Orrmulum is a revealing source of the transition of OE to ME regional dialect variations.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Negation and NegP developmental steps in bilingual Spanish/English children

Description

This study explores the development of negation and the Negation Phrase (NegP) in bilingual children learning both English and Spanish. I analyze the speech of four children growing up in

This study explores the development of negation and the Negation Phrase (NegP) in bilingual children learning both English and Spanish. I analyze the speech of four children growing up in the United States who are learning English and Spanish simultaneously in order to establish steps of parameter setting for negation. The transcripts have been taken from Pérez-Bazán’s bilingual corpus from CHILDES (Child Language Data Exchange System). The thorough analysis of the selected corpus data gathered from children ages 2;0 and 3;3 determines the steps children follow in order to develop mastery of negation and the NegP.

This study is an addition to the body of research surrounding language acquisition and the concept of Universal Grammar’s Principles and Parameters framework. The bases for this study is Klima & Bellugi’s (1968) established three steps for acquisition of negation by children in English, as well as Zeijlstra’s (2004) analysis of languages in regards to phases of the Jespersen cycle. The data of this study suggest that there are five basic steps to parameter setting, and that as utterances become syntactically more complex, children value uninterpretable features with interpretable ones. This is seen in both languages studied. The parameters categorized based on the data available for this study are the following: 1) negative particle outside of the VP, 2) NegP creation and development with preverbal negative marker, 3) Negative Concord (NC), 4) True Imperatives (banned or not), and 5) Negative Polarity Items (NPI).

Also important is the placement of the NegP, as it is above the TP in Spanish and c-commanded by the TP in English. The development of the NegP and uninterpretable negation [uNeg] valuation by interpretable negation [iNeg] is also explored in the utterances of the four children studied.

This study confirms Klima & Bellugi’s account of steps and further defines child negation in English as well as in Spanish. The focus on [iNeg] and [uNeg] features is further explained using Zeijlstra’s Phases of the Jespersen cycle as a springboard. I add salient information regarding parameter setting and how negation and the NegP are developed across two languages.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Indonesian L2 speakers of English talking about their ESL experiences: an overview

Description

This thesis examines the narratives and meta-commentary of Indonesian users of English about their English as a Second Language (ESL) experiences. It approaches interview data with ten Indonesian second language

This thesis examines the narratives and meta-commentary of Indonesian users of English about their English as a Second Language (ESL) experiences. It approaches interview data with ten Indonesian second language (L2) speakers of English from a narrative analysis/inquiry perspective. Each interview was transcribed according to a modified set of discourse analysis (DA) transcription conventions, then coded by the researcher. The first research question addressed what linguistic devices members of this population used to achieve cohesion and coherence in their narratives, and the second research question examined how members of this population portrayed their L2 selves in their narratives. The data yielded 21 linguistic devices that fell into three levels of frequency. Connectives, discourse markers, and repetition were by far the most common linguistic devices, followed by adverbials, embedded clauses, intensifiers, and the word like (non-comparison uses), which were somewhat frequent linguistic devices. The data also showed that participants constructed their L2 selves using three main categories: agency, identity, and perceptions of English and the U.S.. In regard to identity, participants invoked membership categorization, where they portrayed their identities in relation to other individuals. The study concludes with suggestions for future research, especially relating to Indonesian L2 users of English.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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The motivations and challenges of acquiring U.S. citizenship for South Sudanese refugees in the greater Phoenix area when language is a potential barrier

Description

South Sudanese refugees are among the most vulnerable immigrants to the U.S.. Many have spent years in refugee camps, experienced trauma, lost members of their families and have had minimal

South Sudanese refugees are among the most vulnerable immigrants to the U.S.. Many have spent years in refugee camps, experienced trauma, lost members of their families and have had minimal or no schooling or literacy prior to their arrival in the U.S. Although most South Sudanese aspire to become U.S. citizens, finally giving them a sense of belonging and participation in a land they can call their own, they constitute a group that faces great challenges in terms of their educational adaptation and English-language learning skills that would lead them to success on the U.S. citizenship examination. This dissertation reports findings from a qualitative research project involving case studies of South Sudanese students in a citizenship preparation program at a South Sudanese refugee community center in Phoenix, Arizona. It focuses on the links between the motivations of students seeking citizenship and the barriers they face in gaining it. Though the South Sudanese refugee students aspiring to become U.S. citizens face many of the same challenges as other immigrant groups, there are some factors that in combination make the participants in this study different from other groups. These include: long periods spent in refugee camps, advanced ages, war trauma, absence of intact families, no schooling or severe disruption from schooling, no first language literacy, and hybridized forms of second languages (e.g. Juba Arabic). This study reports on the motivations students have for seeking citizenship and the challenges they face in attaining it from the perspective of teachers working with those students, community leaders of the South Sudanese community, and particularly the students enrolled in the citizenship program.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014