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Languages, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2019) – 26 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Law and Business Students’ Attitudes towards Learning English for Specific Purposes within CLIL and Non-CLIL Contexts
Languages 2019, 4(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020045 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 694
Abstract
English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses are present within most non-linguistic undergraduate studies offered in Spain. In particular, the University of Cádiz has a wide range of ESP teaching being delivered in the four campuses of the institution. Whereas this ESP instruction is [...] Read more.
English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses are present within most non-linguistic undergraduate studies offered in Spain. In particular, the University of Cádiz has a wide range of ESP teaching being delivered in the four campuses of the institution. Whereas this ESP instruction is thought as a way to help students develop language skills to be applied to their career paths, this very practical and useful goal may not be easily recognized by certain students. While previous research has revealed students’ attitudes towards learning ESP were generally positive, little has been said on their progression throughout the whole course. The aim of the present paper is to identify Law students’ approaches to a Legal English course taught through a specific methodology. Certain teaching strategies, which are also characteristic of the Content and Language Integrated Learning approach, were applied. For that purpose, the opinions of 88 respondents were collected and analysed during the second phase of their ESP course. Results revealed that although students showed a certain level of rejection before the course started, once they became well aware of the teaching methodology, their opinion changed positively. This would definitely be influenced by promoting students’ motivation, as well as the teaching methodology applied. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
“My Child Is a Perfect Bilingual”: Cognition, Emotions, and Affectivity in Heritage Language Transmission
Languages 2019, 4(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020044 - 20 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 743
Abstract
One of the key questions of studies on heritage language (HL) transmission is which factors most likely foster the intergenerational transmission of HL and more saliently favor its acquisition in second-generation speakers. The present study explores the effect of the cognitive and affective [...] Read more.
One of the key questions of studies on heritage language (HL) transmission is which factors most likely foster the intergenerational transmission of HL and more saliently favor its acquisition in second-generation speakers. The present study explores the effect of the cognitive and affective disposition of first-generation speakers on the subjective HL proficiency level in the second generation of Russian-speaking immigrants in the town of Salamanca, central Spain. Based on a scalar questionnaire which enquires into the language practices, language attitudes and language motivations of the first-generation speakers, the study analyzes the effect of self-categorization, attitudes towards HL utility, and strategies of HL intergenerational transmission in ten mixed families. The main results of the study show that positive HL affectivity is key to assuring proficient HL acquisition in second-generation speakers, while negative HL affectivity systematically drives unbalanced Spanish–Russian bilingualism in children. The final results are consistent with those of other recent studies on affectivity in HL and suggest the importance of positive attitudes towards HL in its transmission. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Revisiting the Use of the Proximity Lexicon in the Classroom for Immigrant Populations at Risk of Social Exclusion: Does It Really Help?
Languages 2019, 4(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020043 - 19 Jun 2019
Viewed by 761
Abstract
This paper shows the convenience of using linguistic resources in foreign language teaching based on the proximity lexicon (dialectal and local) in order to facilitate the integration of socially vulnerable immigrant groups. The social barriers facing them intensify because of lack of knowledge [...] Read more.
This paper shows the convenience of using linguistic resources in foreign language teaching based on the proximity lexicon (dialectal and local) in order to facilitate the integration of socially vulnerable immigrant groups. The social barriers facing them intensify because of lack of knowledge of the linguistic varieties of the host countries and their functions. This study is a continuation of another one published in 2019 in which we presented a theoretical model of language teaching based on the gradual introduction of specific lexical material with the aim of facilitating sociocultural adaptation. The proximity lexicon associated to communal belonging meanings was considered a powerful social inclusion tool. We worked with two student samples to confirm the efficacy of the model. In a group, the dialectal strategy was employed in a programmed and conscious manner, whereas in the other one, the control group, the model was not followed. The results are based on the answers to questions in a wellbeing questionnaire designed ad hoc to evaluate the efficacy of the proposal. The group to which the proposed system was applied showed a greater degree of social wellbeing, satisfaction and adaptation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
From Hispanisms to Anglicisms: Examining the Perception and Treatment of Native Linguistic Features Associated with Interference in Translator Training
Languages 2019, 4(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020042 - 19 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 861
Abstract
In this study, translation students and instructors at Chilean universities were asked about their perception and treatment of five grammatical features of Spanish, which, despite constituting Hispanic developments independent of any English influence, have been often associated with anglicisms in the translation literature. [...] Read more.
In this study, translation students and instructors at Chilean universities were asked about their perception and treatment of five grammatical features of Spanish, which, despite constituting Hispanic developments independent of any English influence, have been often associated with anglicisms in the translation literature. Numerous responses were recorded labeling the features under consideration as unacceptable and/or as anglicisms, as well as indicating generalized unfavorable attitudes toward these features in the classroom. Additionally, a significant association was found between feature acceptability and both purported relation to English and self-reported instructor attitudes in the classroom, such that when a feature was labeled as an anglicism it would most likely elicit a negative judgment. Together, these results show that some students and instructors tend to strongly associate certain features with a negative value and with the idea of anglicism. Furthermore, taking participants’ responses at face value, this association could be interpreted as involving a categorical stigmatization and xenofication of the respective features. From a pedagogic perspective, these findings are considered worthy of attention as they indicate the possible stigmatization and xenofication of potentially useful linguistic resources in translator training, something that may have negative consequences for trainees. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Emergence and Development of Syntactic Patterns in EFL Writing in a School Context: A Longitudinal Study
Languages 2019, 4(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020041 - 19 Jun 2019
Viewed by 581
Abstract
The present longitudinal study analyses the emergence and development of syntactic patterns in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) written production. Data were elicited by means of a paper and pencil task from sixteen school learners at three different times over a time [...] Read more.
The present longitudinal study analyses the emergence and development of syntactic patterns in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) written production. Data were elicited by means of a paper and pencil task from sixteen school learners at three different times over a time span of 6 years. Studies in the area of Second Language Writing (SLW) have mainly focused on English as a second language and very few longitudinal studies have been carried out with low proficiency learners in a school context. To further contribute to the field, we have tried out a new measure of analysis, namely, the production of syntactic patterns. The results show that most learners produce both a wider variety and a higher number of patterns from one time to another, although statistically significant differences vary across patterns in relation to the times of data collection; secondly, it was found that the behaviour of two of the learners differed from that of the rest of the participants. It is concluded that in an instructional setting, the development of syntactic patterns in EFL writing as proficiency increases does not always show progression towards complexity and that it may be learner dependent. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bringing Purported Black Sheep into the Fold: Galician Inflected Infinitives and Puerto Rican Spanish Pre-Verbal Infinitival Subject Pronouns
Languages 2019, 4(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020040 - 18 Jun 2019
Viewed by 646
Abstract
This work reports the results of quantitative, variationist analyses of two typologically unusual constructions in order to explore the grammatical conditioning of subject expression in non-finite clauses. Both constructions, Galician inflected infinitives and (Puerto Rican) Spanish preposed, nominative infinitival subjects, have not been [...] Read more.
This work reports the results of quantitative, variationist analyses of two typologically unusual constructions in order to explore the grammatical conditioning of subject expression in non-finite clauses. Both constructions, Galician inflected infinitives and (Puerto Rican) Spanish preposed, nominative infinitival subjects, have not been widely studied. As a result, variable expression/omission of subject marking in these constructions is not yet fully understood. Using corpora of oral data, we extract 732 examples of infinitives in purpose clauses (headed by para) and employ a logistic mixed effect model to explore the linguistic conditioning of the overt/null variants. We find the appearance of overt subject marking to be conditioned nearly identically across the two distinct languages as well as across finite/non-finite clauses. We utilize this lack of difference to propose that the two construction types may be manifestations of one grammaticalization process. As such, we propose the Puerto Rican Spanish variation may provide a new synchronic source of data with which to explore the diachronic source of (Galician) inflected infinitives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HDLS 13: Challenges to Common Beliefs in Linguistic Research)
Open AccessArticle
Nonstandard Use of the “Reflexive” Affix -sja in Russian Speech of Bilingual Speakers of Northern Siberia and the Russian Far East
Languages 2019, 4(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020039 - 17 Jun 2019
Viewed by 659
Abstract
One of the features of the oral Russian speech of bilingual speakers of the indigenous languages of Russia is the omission/the overuse of the “reflexive” affix -sja (a “middle voice” marker with a wide range of uses including reflexive, reciprocal, [...] Read more.
One of the features of the oral Russian speech of bilingual speakers of the indigenous languages of Russia is the omission/the overuse of the “reflexive” affix -sja (a “middle voice” marker with a wide range of uses including reflexive, reciprocal, anticausative, passive, and some others). We discuss the data on the nonstandard use of -sja in the Russian speech of bilingual speakers of two language groups that differ both from Russian and from each other in this grammatical domain: Samoyedic (Forest Enets, Nganasan, and Nenets) and Tungusic (Nanai and Ulch). The data come from the corpus of contact-influenced Russian speech, which is being created by our team. We show that the mismatches in standard and nonstandard usage cannot be explained by direct structural copying from the donor language (indigenous) to the recipient one (the local variety of Russian). Nor is there a consistent system which differs from standard Russian since there are many more usages that follow the rules of standard Russian. The influence of the indigenous languages explains some overuses and omissions; the others can be explained by other factors, e.g., difficulties in the acquisition of verb pairs with non-transparent semantic or syntactic relations. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Linguistic Landscape of the Valencian Community: A Comparative Analysis of Bilingual and Multilingual Signs in Three Different Areas
Languages 2019, 4(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020038 - 16 Jun 2019
Viewed by 975
Abstract
During the last decades, the promotion of multilingualism has been key when designing linguistic policies in Europe. Previous research studies have focused on how languages are employed in fields such as education, media, and urban sites, among others. Bearing all this in mind, [...] Read more.
During the last decades, the promotion of multilingualism has been key when designing linguistic policies in Europe. Previous research studies have focused on how languages are employed in fields such as education, media, and urban sites, among others. Bearing all this in mind, the aim of this paper is to analyse the linguistic landscapes of three municipalities located in a bilingual region in Spain, that of the Valencian Community. Thus, issues such as language contact, language dominance, and the languages used by a number of institutions on private and public signs were examined. As for the method, over 140 pictures of language signs were taken in order to examine language contact, language dominance, and the influence of official and foreign languages on private and public signs. The results suggest that the presence of languages may vary depending on the population living in these settings, the citizens’ mother tongue, and the policy regarding the minority language. The findings also indicate that the power of the two co-official languages is reinforced by public signs, whereas rich linguistic diversity is shown in private signs. All in all, it can be stated that the linguistic policy in the Valencian Community is not homogeneous throughout the region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
On the Relationship of the Degrees of Correspondence of Dialects and Distances
Languages 2019, 4(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020037 - 14 Jun 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 678
Abstract
This study analyzes the relationship between the degrees of resemblance and distances between dialects based on several dialectological atlases. This analysis investigates various correspondence data with respect to total valid data in setting reference places and comparison places. The degree of correspondence (DC) [...] Read more.
This study analyzes the relationship between the degrees of resemblance and distances between dialects based on several dialectological atlases. This analysis investigates various correspondence data with respect to total valid data in setting reference places and comparison places. The degree of correspondence (DC) can be calculated by quantifying the degree of resemblance. I adopt a great-circular distance for the distance between the source and a comparison place. It is possible to graph the data with distances and DCs along the X and Y axes, respectively. The analysis yields five main results. (1) DC has an inverse relationship with distance in most places, here called the main sequence. However, there are exceptional places called peculiar groups. (2) One of the peculiar groups was caused by in-migration. (3) Another peculiar group is found on islands having very narrow land areas divided by the sea. (4) The main sequence can be classified into two types of linguistic classes. The grammatical data show a stepping slope instead of a gentle slope in the lexical data. (5) The main sequence shows a precise linear relationship over a narrow area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Perspectives in Geolinguistics and Dialectology)
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Open AccessCommunication
Virtual Reality in the Teaching of FLE in a Brazilian Public School
Languages 2019, 4(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020036 - 09 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 814
Abstract
Considering the emergence of digital information and communication technologies in the contemporary educational context, this work aims to explore the possibilities offered by Virtual Reality (VR) headsets in the school environment, and also to verify how they can contribute to foreign language teaching [...] Read more.
Considering the emergence of digital information and communication technologies in the contemporary educational context, this work aims to explore the possibilities offered by Virtual Reality (VR) headsets in the school environment, and also to verify how they can contribute to foreign language teaching and learning. The motivation of this work is a result of a pedagogical practice experience carried out by the researcher during French classes in a Brazilian foreign language teaching project in public schools. This pedagogical practice later became the subject of their master’s research, which is currently being conducted in the same educational context in two French language classes. The main objective consists of verifying to what extent VR can contribute to foreign language teaching/learning, focusing on the four linguistic competences and motivation. The methodology of this work has a qualitative nature with some quantitative results, and is characterized as Action Research, as the researcher participated in the activities. These activities consisted of using Google Cardboard, a VR headset, to present interactive 360° videos and tours of real places. The preliminary results show that activities with VR can promote a high level of motivation and engagement, also contributing to the development of the four linguistic competences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILLE 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
The Sociolinguistic Integration of Immigrant Populations: Reflections on Its Study
Languages 2019, 4(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020035 - 07 Jun 2019
Viewed by 948
Abstract
Taking as its main point of departure the research carried out in the Madrid context by the Hispalin-UAH team of the IN.MIGRA2-CM project, the goal of this article is to reflect on the role of the linguistic dimension within the process of the [...] Read more.
Taking as its main point of departure the research carried out in the Madrid context by the Hispalin-UAH team of the IN.MIGRA2-CM project, the goal of this article is to reflect on the role of the linguistic dimension within the process of the social integration of migrant populations. It trains its sights on the need to work from a cognitive angle which may help to show how those involved in the process construct and re-define the new context, and on the need to consider the host population—as the prime conditioner of the process—and to identify and analyse in depth the components of identity that are modified as a result of cultural contact. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Introduction
Languages 2019, 4(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020034 - 04 Jun 2019
Viewed by 510
Abstract
It is a commonly known fact that language change can be observed at different linguistic levels, which correspond to the traditional disciplines of phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Gaze as a Window to the Process of Novel Adjective Mapping
Languages 2019, 4(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020033 - 03 Jun 2019
Viewed by 672
Abstract
This study evaluated two explanations for how learning of novel adjectives is facilitated when all the objects are from the same category (e.g., exemplar and testing objects are all CUPS) and the object category is a known to the children. One explanation (the [...] Read more.
This study evaluated two explanations for how learning of novel adjectives is facilitated when all the objects are from the same category (e.g., exemplar and testing objects are all CUPS) and the object category is a known to the children. One explanation (the category knowledge account) focuses on early knowledge of syntax–meaning correspondence, and another (the attentional account) focuses on the role of repeated perceptual properties. The first account presumes implicit understanding that all the objects belong to the same category, and the second account presumes only that redundant perceptual experiences minimize distraction from irrelevant features and thus guide children’s attention directly to the correct item. The present study tests the two accounts by documenting moment-to-moment attention allocation (e.g., looking at experimenter’s face, exemplar object, target object) during a novel adjective learning task with 50 3-year-olds. The results suggest that children’s attention was guided directly to the correct item during the adjective mapping and that such direct attention allocation to the correct item predicted children’s adjective mapping performance. Results are discussed in relation to their implication for children’s active looking as the determinant of process for mapping new words to their meanings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Use of the Present Perfect (pretérito perfecto compuesto) with Aoristic Value in the Speech of Latin American Students
Languages 2019, 4(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020032 - 03 Jun 2019
Viewed by 596
Abstract
This article focuses on the use of the present perfect (he cantado) with aoristic value, or rather, on pre-hodiernal contexts in which, as a rule, the simple form (canté) should appear. This verbal form is examined on the basis [...] Read more.
This article focuses on the use of the present perfect (he cantado) with aoristic value, or rather, on pre-hodiernal contexts in which, as a rule, the simple form (canté) should appear. This verbal form is examined on the basis of a corpus of semi-guided interviews provided to Latin American students living in Genoa and taking into account its characteristics, the syntactic environment in which it is used, combinations with other verb forms, adverbial complements, temporal expressions, deixis and the communicative context in which it is inserted. This phenomenon has already been analyzed in several recent studies carried out by Azpiazu, Kempas, Montoro del Arco, Bermejo Calleja and Soto, both in European and American contexts, and has led to the conclusion that it could be related to discursive strategies of the speaker as well as to a convergence towards the local language (i.e., Italian). Full article
Open AccessArticle
Interplay of Phonological, Morphological, and Lexical Variation: Adjectives in Japanese Dialects
Languages 2019, 4(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020031 - 01 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 758
Abstract
This paper examines the interplay of phonological, morphological, and lexical variation focusing on adjectives in Japanese dialects. Previous studies of adjectives in the Niigata dialects of the Japanese language analyzed the ongoing changes in dialectal variation amongst the young generation of Japanese. In [...] Read more.
This paper examines the interplay of phonological, morphological, and lexical variation focusing on adjectives in Japanese dialects. Previous studies of adjectives in the Niigata dialects of the Japanese language analyzed the ongoing changes in dialectal variation amongst the young generation of Japanese. In this paper, the data derived from the geolinguistic survey and dialect dictionaries are used to verify the estimated changes in phonological, morphological, and lexical variation. The variation of adjectives is examined by classifying forms with regard to the distinction between standard/dialectal forms. The phonological types of adjectives played a role in the interpretation of the phonological variation and change. Most changes of phonological types are phonologically explained but include change by analogy. The lexical variation is intertwined with phonological variation and morphological variation. The morphological distributions which vary according to the conjugation form are one example of lexical diffusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Perspectives in Geolinguistics and Dialectology)
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Open AccessArticle
On the Acceptance of the Null That by Bilingual Catalan/Spanish L2 Learners of English
Languages 2019, 4(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020030 - 30 May 2019
Viewed by 789
Abstract
The research presented in this article aims at providing new data on L2 learner knowledge and recognition of the null that in complement clauses. The speech of English native speakers reveals a kind of variation which implies that where that may be present [...] Read more.
The research presented in this article aims at providing new data on L2 learner knowledge and recognition of the null that in complement clauses. The speech of English native speakers reveals a kind of variation which implies that where that may be present or absent in clauses selected by many common verbs such as say or think there is no preference for one of the two options. In this article, judgement data of bilingual Catalan/Spanish upper-intermediate and advanced L2 learners of English are analysed bearing in mind two possible factors that, according to previous research, may influence the acceptance of this phenomenon, level of proficiency and absence versus presence of instruction. A relevant issue regarding this construction is that performing like a native does not always imply using one grammatical structure in the target language and gradually doing away with the use of another ungrammatical one; it rather implies being able to detect native speaker frequency in the use of one of the two possible options, overt that usage or the null that. Our results show that learning in this domain depends more on degree in language proficiency than in the specific instruction provided, that both choices do not pose the same difficulty and that advanced L2 learners of English can display a native-like acceptance of the null that option. The option that presents more challenges is the one where there is no L1 facilitation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tonal Proximity Relationship in the Spanish of the Canary Islands in the Light of Dialectometry
Languages 2019, 4(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020029 - 27 May 2019
Viewed by 741
Abstract
Traditional linguistic geography has not dealt with issues relating to the prosodic study of languages and linguistic varieties. The international project AMPER (Atlas Multimédia Prosodique de l’Espace Roman) achieves a key milestone in this area by studying the prosody of Romance [...] Read more.
Traditional linguistic geography has not dealt with issues relating to the prosodic study of languages and linguistic varieties. The international project AMPER (Atlas Multimédia Prosodique de l’Espace Roman) achieves a key milestone in this area by studying the prosody of Romance languages and varieties in order to disseminate research outcomes in the form of interactive online atlases. Using prosodic data from a wide corpus of declarative and interrogative sentences, obtained from a range of informants from the seven Canary Islands (AMPERCan), a dialectometric study was carried out with a tool especially designed within the framework of AMPER. Correlation values, dendrograms as well as multivariate analysis by means of the multidimensional scaling technique (MDS), have enabled us to establish relationships of close prosodic proximity among the Canary Islands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Perspectives in Geolinguistics and Dialectology)
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Open AccessEssay
Ecocomposition in the ESL Classroom: The Campus Space Compare and Contrast Assignment
Languages 2019, 4(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020028 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 841
Abstract
This essay showcases a place-based compare–contrast assignment originally designed for first-year ESL composition courses at a U.S. university. This ecocomposition assignment prompts students to research and compare the technological design and visual rhetoric embodied in two spaces or buildings in their learning community. [...] Read more.
This essay showcases a place-based compare–contrast assignment originally designed for first-year ESL composition courses at a U.S. university. This ecocomposition assignment prompts students to research and compare the technological design and visual rhetoric embodied in two spaces or buildings in their learning community. Based on my experience using this assignment for three consecutive semesters in 2017–2018, this essay discusses the grounding of the campus space compare–contrast assignment in theories of content-based instruction and place-based ecocomposition, and argues for its suitability in intermediate and advanced language learning contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILLE 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of Gender-Biased Items in the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
Languages 2019, 4(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020027 - 05 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1084
Abstract
This study investigated possible gender bias on a vocabulary test, using a method suggested by Andrich and Hagquist to detect “real” differential item functioning (DIF). A total of 443 adult ESL learners completed all 228 items of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-IV). [...] Read more.
This study investigated possible gender bias on a vocabulary test, using a method suggested by Andrich and Hagquist to detect “real” differential item functioning (DIF). A total of 443 adult ESL learners completed all 228 items of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-IV). The 310 female and 133 male participants were assumed to be of equal competence, corresponding to levels B1 and B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Male participants outscored female participants, possibly due to the multiple-choice format and to the fact that most gender-biased questions favored men rather than women. Finally, our analysis process yielded only seven items out of 228 as showing gender DIF, which is much lower than the numbers reported in the literature for ESL tests. This low figure suggests that the high number of gender-related DIF items reported in previous research might be attributed to the use of DIF detecting methods that do not take into account artificial DIF stemming from the cross-contamination of test items. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The History of the Spanish Preposition Mediante. Beyond the Theory of Grammaticalization
Languages 2019, 4(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020026 - 25 Apr 2019
Viewed by 723
Abstract
The most generally accepted diachrony of mediante assumes a grammaticalization path that started in an absolute clause, which first evolved into a preposition, and later into conjunction. However, data reveals that its development is not connected to an evolution in terms of grammaticalization. [...] Read more.
The most generally accepted diachrony of mediante assumes a grammaticalization path that started in an absolute clause, which first evolved into a preposition, and later into conjunction. However, data reveals that its development is not connected to an evolution in terms of grammaticalization. Indeed, mediante was introduced in Spanish in the fourteenth century as a consequence of syntactic borrowing from Medieval Latin. More specifically, this borrowing entered Old Spanish through Aragonese and Catalan (languages spoken in the east of the Iberian Peninsula). Since its first examples, mediante has acted as a preposition, and its form, connected to present participles, would give texts a cultured and Latinising air that was well-suited to the rhetorical guidelines of the European Renaissance and pre-Renaissance. Thus, this paper shows that the writer and rhetorical rules have become a key factor in the evolution of grammar. Full article
Open AccessCommunication
Maintaining Quality Online: Piloting an Online Language Course for Immigrants in Finland
Languages 2019, 4(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020025 - 22 Apr 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 904
Abstract
Finland’s educational system has aroused the interest of educational researchers worldwide. Teaching and learning with information and communication technologies (ICT) is one of the major methodologies in the present Finnish educational discourse. Feedback and assessment are questions of course design in online learning. [...] Read more.
Finland’s educational system has aroused the interest of educational researchers worldwide. Teaching and learning with information and communication technologies (ICT) is one of the major methodologies in the present Finnish educational discourse. Feedback and assessment are questions of course design in online learning. This paper discusses and illustrates how to plan an online course for a higher education preparatory program in Finland by using digital methods with a focus on maintaining quality in the processes of feedback and evaluation. This paper also introduces and reflects recently published quality criteria that are recommended to be used in the design of online courses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILLE 2019)
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Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Patience, Matthew: Acquisition of the Tap-Trill Contrast by L1 Mandarin–L2 English–L3 Spanish Speakers. Languages 3 (2018): 42
Languages 2019, 4(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020024 - 11 Apr 2019
Viewed by 769
Abstract
The Editorial Office of Languages wants to make the following correction to the paper (Patience 2018): [...] Full article
Open AccessReview
Addressing the Challenge of Verbal Irony: Getting Serious about Sarcasm Training
Languages 2019, 4(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020023 - 11 Apr 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1193
Abstract
In verbal irony, the speaker’s intended meaning can be counterfactual to the literal meaning of their words. This form of figurative language can help speakers achieve a number of communicative aims, but also presents an interpretive challenge for some listeners. There is debate [...] Read more.
In verbal irony, the speaker’s intended meaning can be counterfactual to the literal meaning of their words. This form of figurative language can help speakers achieve a number of communicative aims, but also presents an interpretive challenge for some listeners. There is debate about the skills that support the acquisition of irony comprehension in typical development, and about why verbal irony presents a challenge for many individuals, including children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders and second-language learners. Researchers have explored teaching verbal irony in a very small number of training studies in disparate fields. We bring together and review this limited research. We argue that a focus on training studies in future research could address a number of theoretical questions about irony comprehension and could help refine interventions for individuals who struggle with this form of social language. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Levels of Reality
Languages 2019, 4(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020022 - 03 Apr 2019
Viewed by 836
Abstract
Two fundamental aspects of conceptual and linguistic structure are examined in relation to one another: organization into strata, each a baseline giving rise to the next by elaboration; and the conceptions of reality implicated at successive levels of English clause structure. [...] Read more.
Two fundamental aspects of conceptual and linguistic structure are examined in relation to one another: organization into strata, each a baseline giving rise to the next by elaboration; and the conceptions of reality implicated at successive levels of English clause structure. A clause profiles an occurrence (event or state) and grounds it by assessing its epistemic status (location vis-à-vis reality). Three levels are distinguished in which different notions of reality correlate with particular structural features. In baseline clauses, grounded by “tense,” the profiled occurrence belongs to baseline reality (the established history of occurrences). Basic clauses incorporate perspective (passive, progressive, and perfect), and since grounding includes the grammaticized modals, as well as negation, basic reality is more elaborate. A basic clause expresses a proposition, comprising the grounded structure and the epistemic status specified by basic grounding. At higher strata, propositions are themselves subject to epistemic assessment, in which conceptualizers negotiate their validity; propositions accepted as valid constitute propositional reality. Propositions are assessed through interactive grounding, in the form of questioning and polarity focusing, and by complementation, in which the matrix clause indicates the status of the complement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HDLS 13: Challenges to Common Beliefs in Linguistic Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Sound Symbolism Facilitates Long-Term Retention of the Semantic Representation of Novel Verbs in Three-Year-Olds
Languages 2019, 4(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020021 - 28 Mar 2019
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Abstract
Previous research has shown that sound symbolism facilitates action label learning when the test trial used to assess learning immediately followed the training trial in which the (novel) verb was taught. The current study investigated whether sound symbolism benefits verb learning in the [...] Read more.
Previous research has shown that sound symbolism facilitates action label learning when the test trial used to assess learning immediately followed the training trial in which the (novel) verb was taught. The current study investigated whether sound symbolism benefits verb learning in the long term. Forty-nine children were taught either sound-symbolically matching or mismatching pairs made up of a novel verb and an action video. The following day, the children were asked whether a verb can be used for a scene shown in a video. They were tested with four videos for each word they had been taught. The four videos differed as to whether they contained the same or different actions and actors as in the training video: (1) same-action, same-actor; (2) same-action, different-actor; (3) different-action, same-actor; and (4) different-action, different-actor. The results showed that sound symbolism significantly improved the childrens’ ability to encode the semantic representation of the novel verb and correctly generalise it to a new event the following day. A control experiment ruled out the possibility that children were generalising to the “same-action, different-actor” video because they did not recognize the actor change due to the memory decay. Nineteen children were presented with the stimulus videos that had also been shown to children in the sound symbolic match condition in Experiment 1, but this time the videos were not labeled. In the test session the following day, the experimenter tested the children’s recognition memory for the videos. The results indicated that the children could detect the actor change from the original training video a day later. The results of the main experiment and the control experiment support the idea that a motivated (iconic) link between form and meaning facilitates the symbolic development in children. The current study, along with recent related studies, provided further evidence for an iconic advantage in symbol development in the domain of verb learning. A motivated form-meaning relationship can help children learn new words and store them long term in the mental lexicon. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Development of the Articles in Castilian: A Functional Approach
Languages 2019, 4(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4020020 - 28 Mar 2019
Viewed by 733
Abstract
The development of the definite and indefinite articles in Castilian may be regarded as an instance of capitalization or adfunctionalization, following partial exaptation of the Latin demonstrative ille, which involves progressive widening without significant loss of function, the rendering of overt distinctions [...] Read more.
The development of the definite and indefinite articles in Castilian may be regarded as an instance of capitalization or adfunctionalization, following partial exaptation of the Latin demonstrative ille, which involves progressive widening without significant loss of function, the rendering of overt distinctions which were previously covert through the contrast between definite article, indefinite article and the “zero” determiner, the creation of new expressive possibilities and the facilitating of further distinctions in the grammatical system in combination with other determiners (usage with possessives, demonstratives and tal is examined). Full article
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