Open AccessArticle
The Potential for Flora–Fauna Wordlists to Contribute to Biodiversity Research: Myanmar Birds as a Case Study
Languages 2016, 1(2), 12; doi:10.3390/languages1020012 -
Abstract
Traditional ecological knowledge recorded as part of a language documentation program can include valuable information on the presence or absence of plant and animal species in a given locality. Such data have the potential to inform biodiversity surveys at a local or landscape
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Traditional ecological knowledge recorded as part of a language documentation program can include valuable information on the presence or absence of plant and animal species in a given locality. Such data have the potential to inform biodiversity surveys at a local or landscape scale. In this study, bird names were recorded in six languages spoken around the town of Aungban in Shan State, Myanmar. A checklist of local birds was first compiled using online sources, and pictures and recordings of the calls of over 250 species were presented to native speakers to elicit bird names. A statistically significant correlation was found between the number of languages in which a bird was named, and the frequency with which it was sighted by ornithologists in a recently published study at a nearby location. Native speakers provided historical information on birds that were once present near their villages, and it was also possible to obtain indications of small-scale differences in the ranges of some birds. While there were some noteworthy mismatches between the number of sightings of some birds and the number of names recorded in the target languages, the findings indicate that overall, a language-documentation-based survey of bird species occurrence can provide valuable biodiversity information in a quick and cost-effective manner. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stem Formation in French Verbs: Structure, Rules, and Allomorphy
Languages 2016, 1(2), 13; doi:10.3390/languages1020013 -
Abstract
Stem processing is an essential phase in word recognition. Most modern Romance languages, such as Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish, have three theme vowels that define verbal classes and stem formation. However, French verbal classes are not traditionally described in terms of
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Stem processing is an essential phase in word recognition. Most modern Romance languages, such as Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish, have three theme vowels that define verbal classes and stem formation. However, French verbal classes are not traditionally described in terms of theme vowels. In this work, stem formation from theme vowel and allomorphic processes was investigated in French verbs. Our aim was to define the verbal stem formation structure processed during mental lexicon access in French. We conducted a cross-modal experiment and a masked priming experiment on different French stem formation processes from the first and third classes. We compared morphology-related priming effects to full priming obtained through identity priming, as well as to no priming obtained through a control condition. Stems from the first and third classes with a theme vowel presented full priming, whereas stems from the third class with allomorphy presented partial priming in both experiments. Our results suggest root-based stem formation for French. Verbs are recognized through word decomposition into stem and inflectional suffixes, and stem processing is based on root, theme vowel, and allomorphic processes. These results support a single-mechanism model with full decomposition and pre-lexical access defined by morphological rules. Full article
Open AccessAddendum
Addendum: Lakshmanan, U.; Balam, O.; Bhatia, T.K. Introducing the Special Issue: Mixed Verbs and Linguistic Creativity in Bi/Multilingual Communities. Languages 2016, 1, 9
Languages 2016, 1(2), 11; doi:10.3390/languages1020011 -
Abstract In [1] (p. 2), we highlight that Deuchar and Stammers [2] postulate that their data does not support Poplack and Meechan's assumption that the distinction between code-switching and borrowing is categorical [3].[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Listening for Imagery by Native Speakers and L2 Learners
Languages 2016, 1(2), 10; doi:10.3390/languages1020010 -
Abstract
Slobin’s thinking-for-speaking (TFS) hypothesis suggests that speakers are habitually attuned to aspects of an event that are readily codable in the language while they are formulating speech. This TFS process varies considerably cross-linguistically and can be observed in all forms of production and
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Slobin’s thinking-for-speaking (TFS) hypothesis suggests that speakers are habitually attuned to aspects of an event that are readily codable in the language while they are formulating speech. This TFS process varies considerably cross-linguistically and can be observed in all forms of production and reception including listening for understanding or mental imagery. This study explored whether second language learners (L2) engage in mental simulation of deictic paths while processing motion language online. Forty Chinese native speakers (NSs) and eighty English-speaking learners of L2 Chinese participated in an online judgment task. They listened to motion sentences containing deictic paths while simultaneously watching a motion display of a toward- or away-direction. Since simultaneous presentation of the sentence and the display of the same directionality require the same neural structures to process competing inputs, interference effects are expected and the reaction time to respond should take longer. Results of repeated measures ANOVA show interference effects for the NSs, but not for the L2 learners of both heritage and foreign language backgrounds, suggesting that while the NSs were sensitive to the deictic cues and automatically performed mental simulations of the deictic paths, the L2 learners’ listening for imagery did not pattern with the NSs. The results added to our understanding of L2 learners’ development of TFS in the new modality of listening for imagery. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Introducing the Special Issue: Mixed Verbs and Linguistic Creativity in Bi/Multilingual Communities
Languages 2016, 1(1), 9; doi:10.3390/languages1010009 -
Abstract In introducing this inaugural Special Issue for the open access journal Languages, it is important to understand the concept of linguistic creativity and how this relates to code-switching (henceforth CS)1, a common practice in bi/multilingual communities.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Mixed Verbs in Code-Switching: The Syntax of Light Verbs
Languages 2016, 1(1), 8; doi:10.3390/languages1010008 -
Abstract
This study investigates word order variation in Korean-English and Japanese-English code-switching, with specific focus on the relative placement of the object and the verb in two contrasting word orders, Object-Verb (OV) vs. Verb-Object (VO). The results of an experiment eliciting code-switching judgment data
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This study investigates word order variation in Korean-English and Japanese-English code-switching, with specific focus on the relative placement of the object and the verb in two contrasting word orders, Object-Verb (OV) vs. Verb-Object (VO). The results of an experiment eliciting code-switching judgment data provides strong evidence indicating that the distinction between heavy vs. light verbs plays a major role in deriving different word orders in mixed verb constructions in Korean-English and Japanese-English code-switching. In particular, an explanation pursued in this research supports the hypothesis that parametric variation is attributed to differences in the features of a functional category in the lexicon, as assumed in Minimalist Syntax. Full article
Open AccessArticle
English-Origin Verbs in Welsh: Adjudicating between Two Theoretical Approaches
Languages 2016, 1(1), 7; doi:10.3390/languages1010007 -
Abstract
In this paper we address the question of whether it is possible to compare two theoretical approaches to the same phenomenon or whether these should be considered incommensurable. We focus on two contrasting approaches to the identification of code-switching vs. borrowing by Poplack
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In this paper we address the question of whether it is possible to compare two theoretical approaches to the same phenomenon or whether these should be considered incommensurable. We focus on two contrasting approaches to the identification of code-switching vs. borrowing by Poplack and Meechan [1] and Myers-Scotton [2,3]. For Poplack the distinction is based on linguistic integration and for Myers-Scotton on frequency. We show how what is a definition for one is a hypothesis for the other, and vice versa. Overcoming this apparent incommensurability requires a theory-independent approach in which we define the unit of analysis as “donor-language items” rather than switches or borrowings. Using this unit of analysis in the analysis of English-origin verbs in a Welsh corpus, we examine the assumptions behind the contrasting definitions of CS vs. borrowing. First we consider whether it is possible to identify linguistic integration in an unequivocal, categorical way and secondly whether linguistic integration is related to frequency of usage. We show that the identification of linguistic integration depends on the test used and that both frequency of usage and listedness play roles in the integration of English donor-language items in Welsh. In this way we argue that we achieve a theory-independent approach and go some way towards overcoming incommensurability. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Multilingual Language Mixing and Creativity
Languages 2016, 1(1), 6; doi:10.3390/languages1010006 -
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to explore a facet of bi/multilingual creativity in language mixing. The first aspect of creativity is driven by the consideration of formal principles, which fall outside monolingual or single language competence, e.g., [1]. The rule-governed
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The aim of this paper is to explore a facet of bi/multilingual creativity in language mixing. The first aspect of creativity is driven by the consideration of formal principles, which fall outside monolingual or single language competence, e.g., [1]. The rule-governed mechanism, which allows the integration of the embedded language verbs into the matrix language, is accounted for. This objective is achieved by employing two distinct data sets: (1) grammatical competence (intuitional data) involving the embedded lexical verb mixing in the Light Verb Construction in a variety of languages, particularly in South Asian languages (e.g., Hindi-English); and (2) an experimental data set that exhibits the relationships involved in the generative perspective through consideration of Universal Grammar. The underlying motivation for focusing on India is that language mixing constitutes a grass-roots phenomenon in India since the pre-Christian era; hence it is a stable and time-tested phenomenon which allows us to overcome key methodological issues in the study of language mixing. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Structural Changes in Bengali–English Bilingual Verbs through the Exploration of Bengali Films
Languages 2016, 1(1), 5; doi:10.3390/languages1010005 -
Abstract
This paper investigates structural changes in the use of Bengali–English bilingual verbs through the exploration of Bengali film scripts from three decades: the 1970s, 1990s and post-2010. Previous research has shown that the increase in use of bilingual verbs, especially involving embedded language
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This paper investigates structural changes in the use of Bengali–English bilingual verbs through the exploration of Bengali film scripts from three decades: the 1970s, 1990s and post-2010. Previous research has shown that the increase in use of bilingual verbs, especially involving embedded language lexical verbs with matrix language helping verbs possibly results from increased bilingual proficiency. Over the past years, the use of English, including code-switching between Indian languages and English has increased dramatically in Indian society. Given this development, this paper explores film data to ascertain the extent to which the use of bilingual verbs, closely connected to code-switching and bilingual speech, has also changed diachronically in Bengali–English speech and if these changes occur from increased levels of bilingual proficiency. In connection with structural change, this paper also discusses the sociolinguistic factors that may be related to bilingual verb use. Results show a massive increase in bilingual verbs in the films post-2010, especially the ones involving English lexical verbs. Increased use of code-switching may have played a role in these changes and sociolinguistic factors related to the use of bilingual verbs seem to be less relevant now as compared to the earlier decades. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Code-Mixing and Mixed Verbs in Cantonese-English Bilingual Children: Input and Innovation
Languages 2016, 1(1), 4; doi:10.3390/languages1010004 -
Abstract
In both child and adult Cantonese, code-mixing is used productively. We focus on the insertion of English verbs into Cantonese utterances. Data from nine simultaneous bilingual children in the Hong Kong Bilingual Child Language Corpus are analyzed. Case studies show that the children’s
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In both child and adult Cantonese, code-mixing is used productively. We focus on the insertion of English verbs into Cantonese utterances. Data from nine simultaneous bilingual children in the Hong Kong Bilingual Child Language Corpus are analyzed. Case studies show that the children’s rates of mixing closely match the rate of mixing in the parental input, and that different input conditions influence rates of mixing. The bilingual children, nevertheless, show creativity, notably in inserting phrasal verb-particle combinations into a Cantonese frame. We argue that this is an innovation not derived from adult input. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Mixed Verbs in Contact Spanish: Patterns of Use among Emergent and Dynamic Bi/Multilinguals
Languages 2016, 1(1), 3; doi:10.3390/languages1010003 -
Abstract
The present study provides a quantitative analysis of mixed verbs in the naturalistic speech of 20 Northern Belize bi/multilinguals of two different age groups (ages 14–20 and ages 21–40). I examined the relative frequency of Spanish/English mixed verbs vis-à-vis syntactic verb type and
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The present study provides a quantitative analysis of mixed verbs in the naturalistic speech of 20 Northern Belize bi/multilinguals of two different age groups (ages 14–20 and ages 21–40). I examined the relative frequency of Spanish/English mixed verbs vis-à-vis syntactic verb type and phrasal verbs in mixed verbs. Results showed that the token frequency of mixed verbs was a predictive measure of the relative frequency of ‘hacer + V’ in code-switched speech. In relation to syntactic verb type, it was found that the least productivity in terms of argument structures was attested among the youngest group of emergent bi/multilinguals. For the incorporation of phrasal verbs in mixed verbs, no marked differences were attested in the relative frequency of phrasal verbs across emergent and dynamic bi/multilinguals, but differences did emerge in the semantic nature of phrasal verbs. Findings highlight the fundamental role that adult code-switchers with higher levels of bi/multilingual proficiency play in the creation and propagation of morphosyntactic innovations. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
From Colombo to Athens: Areal and Universalist Perspectives on Bilingual Compound Verbs
Languages 2016, 1(1), 2; doi:10.3390/languages1010002 -
Abstract
Most or all bilingual varieties of the languages spoken in the area between Sri Lanka and Greece have bilingual compound verbs, consisting of a lexical content verb from a donor language and a helping verb from the matrix language. In this paper, these
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Most or all bilingual varieties of the languages spoken in the area between Sri Lanka and Greece have bilingual compound verbs, consisting of a lexical content verb from a donor language and a helping verb from the matrix language. In this paper, these verbs are described and analyzed, and the question is raised whether this widespread occurrence is specifically an areal feature, or a universally available pattern and a question of typological poise—the possibility of a construction arising due to propitious typological circumstances. Pleading for the areal perspective, it is concluded there is the fact that two large and important language families—Turkic and Indo-Iranian—either rapidly developed or already had a productive [noun + verb] construction. On the universalist side, it is clear that native [noun + verb] constructions very easily develop into [verb + verb] constructions in bilingual settings, though not in monolingual settings. This is a cross-generational change that is a contact phenomenon; that is to say, this development does not occur in monolingual, non-contact language settings. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Languages: An International Multidisciplinary Open Access Journal
Languages 2016, 1(1), 1-3; doi:10.3390/languages1010001 -
Abstract Languages are an integral part of everyday life; they define our interactions with other people as well as the physical and mental spaces we inhabit over time. Since ancient times, languages have fascinated humans. [...] Full article