Open AccessArticle
Syntactic Variation in Diminutive Suffixes: Russian, Kolyma Yukaghir, and Itelmen
Languages 2017, 2(4), 23; doi:10.3390/languages2040023 -
Abstract
This article presents a syntactic analysis and comparison of diminutive suffixes in Russian, Kolyma Yukaghir, and Itelmen, three genetically unrelated languages of the Russian Federation. Kolyma Yukaghir and Itelmen are on the verge of extinction. This article investigates how contact with Russian (specifically
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This article presents a syntactic analysis and comparison of diminutive suffixes in Russian, Kolyma Yukaghir, and Itelmen, three genetically unrelated languages of the Russian Federation. Kolyma Yukaghir and Itelmen are on the verge of extinction. This article investigates how contact with Russian (specifically the syntax of Russian diminutives) has influenced the syntax of diminutives in Kolyma Yukaghir and Itlemen. Adopting the framework of Distributed Morphology, a syntactic analysis of diminutives across the three languages reveals that they share the same manner of syntactic attachment, but differ in regards to the site or place of attachment. Specifically, it is proposed that diminutives in all three languages are syntactic modifiers; however, in relation to the place of attachment, in Russian, diminutives attach below the functional category of Number, while diminutives in Kolyma Yukaghir and Itelmen attach above the Number category. This article contributes to our understanding of variation in universal grammar and linguistic outcomes of the syntactic feature ‘diminutive’ in a multilingual situation where a majority language is in contact with two genetically unrelated endangered languages. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Cross-Linguistic Orthographic Effects in Late Spanish/English Bilinguals
Languages 2017, 2(4), 24; doi:10.3390/languages2040024 -
Abstract
Through the use of the visual world paradigm and eye tracking, we investigate how orthographic–phonological mappings in bilinguals promote interference during spoken language comprehension. Eighteen English-dominant bilinguals and 13 Spanish-dominant bilinguals viewed 4-picture visual displays while listening to Spanish-only auditory sentences (e.g., El
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Through the use of the visual world paradigm and eye tracking, we investigate how orthographic–phonological mappings in bilinguals promote interference during spoken language comprehension. Eighteen English-dominant bilinguals and 13 Spanish-dominant bilinguals viewed 4-picture visual displays while listening to Spanish-only auditory sentences (e.g., El detective busca su banco ‘The detective is looking for his bench’) in order to select a target image. Stimuli included two types of trials that represent potential conflict in bilinguals: b-v trials, e.g., banco-vaso ‘bench-glass’, representing homophonous phonemes with distinct graphemic representations in Spanish, and j-h trials, e.g., juego-huevo ‘game-egg’, representing interlingual homophonous phonemes with distinct graphemic representations. Data were collected on accuracy, reaction time (RT), and mean proportion of target fixation. Reaction Time results indicate that Spanish-dominant speakers were slower when the competitor was present in b-v trials, though no effects were observed for English-dominant speakers. Eye-tracking results indicate a lack of competition effects in either set of trials for English-dominant speakers, but lower proportional target fixations for Spanish-dominant speakers in both sets of trials when an orthographic/phonological distractor was present. These results suggest that Spanish-dominant bilinguals may be influenced by the orthographic mappings of their less-dominant L2 English, providing new insight into the nature of the interaction between the orthography and phonology in bilingual speakers. Full article
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Open AccessConference Report
Are Lions Green?: Child L2 Learners’ Interpretation of English Generics and Definite Determiners
Languages 2017, 2(4), 22; doi:10.3390/languages2040022 -
Abstract
The aim of this small-scale study (22 participants) was to analyze how L1-Spanish L2-English children interpret English noun phrases (NPs) by taking into consideration two variables: children’s age and amount of input. These two variables were studied in relation to children’s developmental tendencies
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The aim of this small-scale study (22 participants) was to analyze how L1-Spanish L2-English children interpret English noun phrases (NPs) by taking into consideration two variables: children’s age and amount of input. These two variables were studied in relation to children’s developmental tendencies and language transfer. Children begin with an innate predisposition for the generic interpretation, which leads them to incorrectly interpret some specific NPs. In contrast, transfer from the L1 explains the incorrect mapping between NP and interpretation in adult L2 speakers. We examined 22 L1-Spanish L2-English children and a control group of L1-English children on their interpretation of English NPs through an online task. Results revealed that L2 children’s interpretations significantly differ from the interpretations of the control group. We propose that like L1 children, child L2 learners will have to overcome their natural predisposition to interpret NPs as generic. However, child L2 learners must also overcome transfer effects from their L1. Additionally, results seem to suggest that the amount of input plays a role in learners’ interpretations. We propose that children who receive similar amounts of input in their two languages become aware of the differences faster, particularly in the forms where there is no overlapping between the languages (i.e., bare NPs). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
On the Acceptability and Use of -ra and -se in Conditional Phrases in Galician Spanish
Languages 2017, 2(4), 21; doi:10.3390/languages2040021 -
Abstract
The verb forms ending in -ra and -se in modern Spanish both correspond to the imperfect subjunctive, but their use is far from equal throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Rojo (1996) documents that the -se form is all but obsolete in
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The verb forms ending in -ra and -se in modern Spanish both correspond to the imperfect subjunctive, but their use is far from equal throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Rojo (1996) documents that the -se form is all but obsolete in the majority of American nations, and Kempas (2011) records rates of use in Spain ranging from 11% to 44%. The highest rate corresponds to usage patterns in Galicia, where contact with the regional language, Galician, may provide a conservative influence with respect to the shift from -se to -ra. The present study considers the effects of age, sex, and primary language, as well as linguistic factors such as possibility of the event (i.e., Lavandera (1975)) on the acceptability and choice of -se or -ra in the protasis of conditional statements in Galician Spanish. To accomplish this, 29 speakers completed an online acceptability rating task of 24 statements with varying combinations of verb forms in the protasis and apodosis. They were asked to correct those statements that they rejected as incorrect and unused in their own speech, and their produced corrections were compared to their acceptance or rejection of forms in the models. Results indicated that neither social factors nor possibility significantly affect the acceptance of phrases in -ra or -se. However, individual idiosyncrasies do affect the production of these verb forms, in line with results from Kempas (2011) and Rojo and Vázquez Rozas (2014). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determiner Asymmetry in Mixed Nominal Constructions: The Role of Grammatical Factors in Data from Miami and Nicaragua
Languages 2017, 2(4), 20; doi:10.3390/languages2040020 -
Abstract
This paper focuses on the factors influencing the language of determiners in nominal constructions in two sets of bilingual data: Spanish/English from Miami and Spanish/English creole from Nicaragua. Previous studies (Liceras et al. 2008; Moro Quintanilla 2014) have argued that Spanish determiners are
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This paper focuses on the factors influencing the language of determiners in nominal constructions in two sets of bilingual data: Spanish/English from Miami and Spanish/English creole from Nicaragua. Previous studies (Liceras et al. 2008; Moro Quintanilla 2014) have argued that Spanish determiners are preferred in mixed nominal constructions because of their grammaticised nature. However, those studies did not take the matrix language into account, even though Herring et al. (2010) found that the language of the determiner matched the matrix language. Therefore, we hypothesise that the matrix language is the main influence on the language of the determiner in both mixed and unmixed nominal constructions. The results are consistent with our hypothesis that the matrix language of the clause provides the language of the determiner in mixed and unmixed Determiner Phrases (DPs). Once the matrix language is controlled for, the Miami data show a greater tendency for Spanish determiners to appear in mixed DPs than English determiners. However, in the Nicaragua data, we found only mixed DPs with an English creole determiner. This suggests that bilingual communities do not always follow the same pattern, and that social rather than grammatical factors may be at play. We conclude that while the language of the determiner is influenced by clause-internal structure, that of its noun complement and the matrix language itself depends on extralinguistic considerations. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Improving Motivation to Learn English in Japan with a Self-Study Shadowing Application
Languages 2017, 2(4), 19; doi:10.3390/languages2040019 -
Abstract
The scarcity of opportunities to communicate in English in Japan proves a challenge for learners, as significant improvements in English as a Foreign Language) (EFL) listening and speaking will not materialize without consistent practice and a motivation to study. Furthermore, analysis of standardized
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The scarcity of opportunities to communicate in English in Japan proves a challenge for learners, as significant improvements in English as a Foreign Language) (EFL) listening and speaking will not materialize without consistent practice and a motivation to study. Furthermore, analysis of standardized test scores shows that university students’ scores tend to decrease after their first year of study (Sumida 2015; Mikada 2016). In order to overcome these difficulties, a team of teachers at a university in Japan introduced a mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) shadowing application where students can train their ears while also practicing speaking with shadowing, a technique recognized as effective for improving speaking and listening (Kadota 2014; Hamada 2016). This paper describes the introduction of this application in general education English classes. It then considers its impact on the motivation, attitudes towards communicating orally in English, and perception of English ability of 1001 first-year university students, the majority science and engineering majors, who used it over one semester. Preliminary results of a pre- and post-intervention Likert questionnaire indicate that through this system, linguistic self-confidence, interest in English, ideal L2 self, attitudes towards communicating in the L2, and perceptions of English ability were potentially enhanced. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A View of the CP/DP-(non)parallelism from the Cartographic Perspective
Languages 2017, 2(4), 18; doi:10.3390/languages2040018 -
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to reconsider some aspects of the so-called clause/noun-phrase (non-)parallelism (Abney 1987 and much subsequent work). The question that arises is to find out what is common and what is different between the clause as a Complementizer Phrase
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The aim of this paper is to reconsider some aspects of the so-called clause/noun-phrase (non-)parallelism (Abney 1987 and much subsequent work). The question that arises is to find out what is common and what is different between the clause as a Complementizer Phrase (CP)-structure and the noun as a Determiner Phrase (DP)-structure in terms of structure and derivation. An example of structural parallelism lies in the division of the clause and the noun phrase into three domains: (i) the Nachfeld (right periphery), which is the thematic domain; (ii) the Mittelfeld (midfield), which is the inflection, agreement, Case and modification domain and (iii) the Vorfeld (left periphery), which is the discourse- and operator-related domain. However, we will show following Giusti (2002, 2006), Payne (1993), Bruening (2009), Cinque (2011), Laenzlinger (2011, 2015) among others that the inner structure of the Vorfeld and of the Mittelfeld of the clause is not strictly parallel to that of the noun phrase. Although derivational parallelism also lies in the possible types of movement occurring in the CP and DP domains (short head/X-movement, simple XP-movement, remnant XP-movement and pied-piping XP-movement), we will see that there is non-parallelism in the application of these sorts of movement within the clause and the noun phrase. In addition, we will test the respective orders among adverbs/adjectives, DP/Prepositional Phrase (PP)-arguments and DP/PP-adjuncts in the Mittelfeld of the clause/noun phrase and show that Cinque’s (2013) left–right asymmetry holds crosslinguistically for the possible neutral order (without focus effects) in post-verbal/nominal positions with respect to the prenominal/preverbal base order and its impossible reverse order. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A New Outlook of Complementizers
Languages 2017, 2(3), 17; doi:10.3390/languages2030017 -
Abstract
This paper investigates clausal complements of factive and non-factive predicates in English, with particular focus on the distribution of overt and null that complementizers. Most studies on this topic assume that both overt and null that clauses have the same underlying structure and
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This paper investigates clausal complements of factive and non-factive predicates in English, with particular focus on the distribution of overt and null that complementizers. Most studies on this topic assume that both overt and null that clauses have the same underlying structure and predict that these clauses show (nearly) the same syntactic distribution, contrary to fact: while the complementizer that is freely dropped in non-factive clausal complements, it is required in factive clausal complements by many native speakers of English. To account for several differences between factive and non-factive clausal complements, including the distribution of the overt and null complementizers, we propose that overt that clauses and null that clauses have different underlying structures responsible for their different syntactic behavior. Adopting Rizzi’s (1997) split CP (Complementizer Phrase) structure with two C heads, Force and Finiteness, we suggest that null that clauses are FinPs (Finiteness Phrases) under both factive and non-factive predicates, whereas overt that clauses have an extra functional layer above FinP, lexicalizing either the head Force under non-factive predicates or the light demonstrative head d under factive predicates. These three different underlying structures successfully account for different syntactic patterns found between overt and null that clauses in various contexts. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Achieving Independent Language Learning through the Mobilization of Ubiquitous Instructional Technology Resources
Languages 2017, 2(3), 16; doi:10.3390/languages2030016 -
Abstract
In programs meant for foreign language majors, there is typically a broad range of linguistic competence in advanced-level Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) courses. Troublesome in any course, this is especially so when instruction directly relates to professional training, where students need to
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In programs meant for foreign language majors, there is typically a broad range of linguistic competence in advanced-level Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) courses. Troublesome in any course, this is especially so when instruction directly relates to professional training, where students need to attain a level of competence that will allow them to subsequently function as fully independent language learners. Considering the normal constraints on in-class instruction, the mobilization of ubiquitous instructional technology resources, coupled with sound curriculum design and metacognitive awareness raising, is critical to providing the amount of time on task required to attain this objective. The case of the English for Specific Academic Purposes course that is the subject of this study provides an example of how the challenge of bringing students up to the level of independent language learners has been approached. It is hoped this may serve as a pedagogical model that can be applied to advanced-level LSP courses in general. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
“Language Is the Place from Where the World Is Seen”—On the Gender of Trees, Fruit Trees and Edible Fruits in Portuguese and in Other Latin-Derived Languages
Languages 2017, 2(3), 15; doi:10.3390/languages2030015 -
Abstract
Trees have always been important as natural entities carrying a strong symbolic and metaphorical weight, not to mention their practical uses. Therefore, words and their gender, used to name natural entities as important as trees and particularly fruit-trees and their fruits, are also
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Trees have always been important as natural entities carrying a strong symbolic and metaphorical weight, not to mention their practical uses. Therefore, words and their gender, used to name natural entities as important as trees and particularly fruit-trees and their fruits, are also important. Starting from the finding that Portuguese and Mirandese, the second official spoken language of Portugal, are Latin-derived languages in which ‘tree’ has feminine gender like it had in Latin, we investigated (1) the gender of ‘tree’ in Portuguese from the 10th to the 17th centuries sampling legal, literary, historical, scholar (mostly grammars and dictionaries), and religious manuscripts or printed sources; (2) the presumed variation in the gender of ‘tree’ during a short period in the 16th and 17th century; (3) the likely causes for that variation, which we found to be mostly due to typographic constraints and to compositors’ errors; (4) the gender distribution of fruit trees and fruits produced by fruit trees in Latin and in twelve Latin-derived languages. Portuguese, together with the intimately related Mirandese and Barranquenho, forms a cluster distinct from all other Latin-derived languages in its use of the feminine in the names of fruit trees and fruits, and in the gender agreement between them. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cross-Linguistic Transfer of Object Clitic Structure: A Case of L3 Brazilian Portuguese
Languages 2017, 2(3), 14; doi:10.3390/languages2030014 -
Abstract
This study examines the role of previously known language in L3 Brazilian Portuguese (BP) object expression acquisition. It investigates the claims of the main models of L3 transfer, the cumulative enhancement model (CEM) (Flynn et al. 2004), the L2 status factor (Bardel and
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This study examines the role of previously known language in L3 Brazilian Portuguese (BP) object expression acquisition. It investigates the claims of the main models of L3 transfer, the cumulative enhancement model (CEM) (Flynn et al. 2004), the L2 status factor (Bardel and Falk 2007) and the typological proximity model (TPM) (Rothman 2011) in both comprehension and production tasks. It also aims at measuring the extent of transfer effects in comprehension and production. Participants (N = 33) were divided into three groups, a mirror image group of L3 BP learners who already knew English and Spanish, and a native control group. They performed a self-paced reading task and a story telling task, which focused on object clitics in BP. Results indicate early convergence to the BP grammar by the L3 learners in what refers to object expression. They also suggest that, although no major effects of transfer were obtained, clitic placement errors in the production task and preference for inanimate and non-specific contexts for null objects can be traced to Spanish, independent of order of acquisition, providing evidence in favor of the TPM. Finally, comprehension seems to override the effects of language transfer earlier than production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rapid Automatic Naming Performance of Young Spanish–English Speaking Children
Languages 2017, 2(3), 13; doi:10.3390/languages2030013 -
Abstract
The aim of this preliminary study was to examine the feasibility of a rapid automatic naming (RAN) task for young Spanish–English speaking dual language learners (DLLs) and to examine the relationship between children’s performance on RAN and other standardized language and literacy assessments.
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The aim of this preliminary study was to examine the feasibility of a rapid automatic naming (RAN) task for young Spanish–English speaking dual language learners (DLLs) and to examine the relationship between children’s performance on RAN and other standardized language and literacy assessments. A total of 275 Spanish–English speaking children in kindergarten and first grade attempted a RAN task and completed assessments of language and early literacy. Correlational analyses and quantile regression was conducted to examine relationships. Overall the RAN task was feasible for 74% (n = 203) of the DLLs; however, 42% of participants in kindergarten were unable to complete the task. There was a moderate positive correlation between RAN performance and standard scores in receptive vocabulary and letter identification, a small positive correlation with non-verbal intelligence, and no significant relationship with phonological awareness. There was a differential relation between RAN and English sentence imitation. The results support further consideration of RAN as a feasible and useful measure for young Spanish–English speaking DLLs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Visually-Impaired Brazilian Students Learning English with Smartphones: Overcoming Limitations
Languages 2017, 2(3), 12; doi:10.3390/languages2030012 -
Abstract
The aim of this research was to investigate the role of smartphones in teaching the English language to a population of fifteen, visually-impaired Brazilian students. Classroom ethnography was chosen as the methodological design and data generated from classroom observations, didactic materials that were
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The aim of this research was to investigate the role of smartphones in teaching the English language to a population of fifteen, visually-impaired Brazilian students. Classroom ethnography was chosen as the methodological design and data generated from classroom observations, didactic materials that were made and posted on apps, and two questionnaires were used. We resorted to descriptive and interpretive analyses as we intended to find linguistic and behavioral patterns regarding the use of information and communications technology (ICT), focusing on smartphones, for communication and learning English. Results show that, at the beginning of the course, students had little to no ability to use smartphones, including apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook mobile. After two years of formal language and smartphone instruction, all students learned how to use their mobile phones, and were able to post and listen to podcasts and written texts on WhatsApp and Facebook mobile in both their native language and in English. The students also engaged in real-life communication events with peers in Brazil and other parts of the world. Mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) helped these students enhance their social and cultural capital. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mobilizing Instruction in a Second-Language Context: Learners’ Perceptions of Two Speech Technologies
Languages 2017, 2(3), 11; doi:10.3390/languages2030011 -
Abstract
We report the results of two empirical studies that investigated the use of mobile text-to-speech synthesizers (TTS) and automatic speech recognition (ASR) as tools to promote the development of pronunciation skills in L2 French. Specifically, the study examined learners’ perceptions of the pedagogical
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We report the results of two empirical studies that investigated the use of mobile text-to-speech synthesizers (TTS) and automatic speech recognition (ASR) as tools to promote the development of pronunciation skills in L2 French. Specifically, the study examined learners’ perceptions of the pedagogical use of these tools in learning a French segment (the vowel /y/, as in tu ‘you’) and a suprasegmental feature (across-word resyllabification/liaison, observed in petit enfant ‘small child’), in a mobile-assisted context. Our results indicate that, when used in a “learn anytime anywhere” mobile setting, the participants believe that they have: (1) increased and enhanced access to input; and (2) multiple opportunities for speech output and (3) for the development of prediction skills. Interestingly, these findings meet the requirements for successful L2 learning, one that recommends the inclusion of pedagogical activities that promote exposure to input (Nation & Newton 2009), multiple opportunities for output (Swain 1995), and the development of prediction skills (Dickerson 2015) to foster learner autonomy and, consequently, to maximize classroom time by extending the reach of the classroom. Our findings also indicate that participants recognize the pedagogical importance of TTS and ASR, and enjoy the mobile-enhanced learning environment afforded by these two technologies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Functional Heads in Code-Switching Evidence from Swiss Text Messages (sms4science.ch)
Languages 2017, 2(3), 10; doi:10.3390/languages2030010 -
Abstract
This study aims to test two principles of code-switching (CS) formulated by González Vilbazo (2005): The Principle of the Functional Restriction (PFR) and the Principle of Agreement (PA). The first states that a code-switch between the morphological exponents of functional heads belonging to
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This study aims to test two principles of code-switching (CS) formulated by González Vilbazo (2005): The Principle of the Functional Restriction (PFR) and the Principle of Agreement (PA). The first states that a code-switch between the morphological exponents of functional heads belonging to the same extended projection of a lexical category (N° or V°) is not possible. The second claims that inside a phrase, agreement requirements have to be satisfied, regardless of the language providing the lexical material. The corpus on which we tested these hypotheses consists of 25,947 authentic text messages collected in Switzerland in 2009 and 2010. In our corpus, the PA is maintained. The PFR also seems to hold, even if data is limited. Interestingly, contradicting examples can be explained by phonological principles or the sociolinguistic background of the authors, who are not native speakers. Overall, the evidence found in spontaneously written non-standard data like text messages seems to confirm the validity of the two principles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Code-Switching by Phase
Languages 2017, 2(3), 9; doi:10.3390/languages2030009 -
Abstract
We show that the theoretical construct “phase” underlies a number of restrictions on code-switching, in particular those formalized under the Principle of Functional Restriction (González-Vilbazo 2005) and the Phonetic Form Interface Condition (MacSwan and Colina 2014). The fundamental hypothesis that code-switching should be
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We show that the theoretical construct “phase” underlies a number of restrictions on code-switching, in particular those formalized under the Principle of Functional Restriction (González-Vilbazo 2005) and the Phonetic Form Interface Condition (MacSwan and Colina 2014). The fundamental hypothesis that code-switching should be studied using the same tools that we use for monolingual phenomena is reinforced. Full article
Open AccessArticle
I Can’t Program! Customizable Mobile Language-Learning Resources for Researchers and Practitioners
Languages 2017, 2(3), 8; doi:10.3390/languages2030008 -
Abstract
Combining insights from Activity Theory (Engeström, 2014), mobile-assisted language-learning (MALL) (Stockwell and Hubbard, 2013), and computer-assisted language learning (CALL) research (Chapelle, 2001), this paper proposes three levels of teacher involvement in the adaptation and/or creation of MALL resources to enhance learner interaction with
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Combining insights from Activity Theory (Engeström, 2014), mobile-assisted language-learning (MALL) (Stockwell and Hubbard, 2013), and computer-assisted language learning (CALL) research (Chapelle, 2001), this paper proposes three levels of teacher involvement in the adaptation and/or creation of MALL resources to enhance learner interaction with the target language and potentially contribute to the field of learner-computer interactions. Specifically, this paper (1) proposes three levels of teacher involvement in MALL material creation, moving from easily adaptable pre-made materials (e.g., Duolingo) to customizable materials (e.g., Quizlet) and finally to teacher-created materials (e.g., Moodle); (2) demonstrates how these levels of design can be implemented in a MALL context to increase target language interaction according to Activity Theory (e.g., how teachers can incorporate gaming features into their online courses); and (3) concludes with recommendations as to how MALL “engineers” can work together to enhance the overall L2 learning experience and potentially collaborate in research and in the design of pedagogical materials. From a pedagogical standpoint, through these three levels of teacher involvement in material creation, teachers can extend the reach of their classrooms by mobilizing the target L2 environments, depending on their MALL/CALL proficiency and/or interests. This approach also invites second language acquisition scholars from a wide range of technological abilities to contribute to CALL research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
I Text English to Everyone: Links between Second-Language Texting and Academic Proficiency
Languages 2017, 2(3), 7; doi:10.3390/languages2030007 -
Abstract
This article reports on research investigating the relationship between text messaging and academic literacy among Spanish-dominant emergent bilingual young adults in New York City (acquiring English). Through assessments of academic language and analysis of a corpus of 44,597 text messages, this study found
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This article reports on research investigating the relationship between text messaging and academic literacy among Spanish-dominant emergent bilingual young adults in New York City (acquiring English). Through assessments of academic language and analysis of a corpus of 44,597 text messages, this study found that emergent bilinguals who send more messages in English and choose English for the settings on their mobile phones tend to have higher academic English skills. This study also found that the English messages they send are lexically less dense than the Spanish messages, illustrating that students use a narrower vocabulary when texting in their second language. This finding is explored in light of previous research that has found that using social media in the target language can help students develop fluency and intercultural competence skills, but not always vocabulary. The results are discussed in terms of the tendency for texters to text monolingually and other affordances and constraints of smart phone use in digitally supporting second language acquisition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Clausal Subordination and the Structure of the Verbal Phrase
Languages 2017, 2(2), 5; doi:10.3390/languages2020005 -
Abstract
In his first approach to recursion in clausal embedding, Chomsky (1957) postulates a proform in the matrix clause linked to an independently constructed clause that, via an application of the generalised transformation, eventually becomes the matrix verb’s complement. Chomsky (1965) replaces this with
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In his first approach to recursion in clausal embedding, Chomsky (1957) postulates a proform in the matrix clause linked to an independently constructed clause that, via an application of the generalised transformation, eventually becomes the matrix verb’s complement. Chomsky (1965) replaces this with a direct clausal embedding analysis, with clausal recursion in the base component of the grammar. I argue here that, while direct clausal recursion is certainly needed, an update to the Chomsky’s (1957) approach (minus the application of the generalised transformation) deserves a prominent place in syntactic theory as well. The discussion is based on data from Dutch, German, and Hungarian. This paper addresses the role of presuppositionality in the context of clausal coordination, the analysis of the so-called wh-scope marking construction, and the importance of Agree in connection with a subordinate clause’s transparency or opacity to extraction. Central in the analysis is a perspective on the structure of the verbal phrase which accommodates two discrete structural positions for the object. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Maximizing L2 Speaking Practice through iPads
Languages 2017, 2(2), 6; doi:10.3390/languages2020006 -
Abstract
This study investigates the effects of additional out-of-class speaking practice, using a simple iPad application, on students’ overall speaking proficiency, fluency, and syntactic complexity. Students in the experimental and control groups (N = 52) completed an adapted Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI)
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This study investigates the effects of additional out-of-class speaking practice, using a simple iPad application, on students’ overall speaking proficiency, fluency, and syntactic complexity. Students in the experimental and control groups (N = 52) completed an adapted Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI) at the end of the semester, which was rated by two independent raters. Results of an independent-samples t-test revealed statistically significant differences between the two groups. The students who had received additional speaking practice on iPads achieved higher SOPI scores than the students in the control group. Two of the seven tasks of the SOPI test were used for the analysis of fluency and complexity. Results did not show any statistically significant differences between the two groups for fluency and complexity. The study suggests that mobile technology can be effectively implemented for beginning language learners to enhance their learning outcomes. Full article