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Languages, Volume 6, Issue 3 (September 2021) – 43 articles

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Article
Effects of Adjective Type on Position and Interpretation in Native Polish Classroom Learners of Spanish
Languages 2021, 6(3), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030153 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 351
Abstract
This study examines the effect of adjective type on distribution and interpretation of Spanish adjectives in native Polish classroom learners of Spanish. A native Spanish group (n = 16), an advanced Spanish learner group (n = 24), and an intermediate Spanish [...] Read more.
This study examines the effect of adjective type on distribution and interpretation of Spanish adjectives in native Polish classroom learners of Spanish. A native Spanish group (n = 16), an advanced Spanish learner group (n = 24), and an intermediate Spanish learner group (n = 25) completed one task examining knowledge of the syntactic distribution of intensional and classifying adjectives and two tasks examining interpretive knowledge of the syntax–semantic distribution of qualifying adjectives in Spanish. While native-like convergence largely obtained for the interpretive tasks, statistically significant differences obtained between native and learner groups on the syntactic task, perhaps a by-product of overgeneralization of the postnominal position resulting from explicit instruction. The main import of this study is that examination of an understudied and typologically–distinct language pairing allows for syntactic and syntax–semantic microvariations to inform the L2 learners’ outcomes on the tasks. Full article
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Article
Después de usted: Variation and Change in a Spanish Tripartite Politeness System
Languages 2021, 6(3), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030152 - 13 Sep 2021
Viewed by 213
Abstract
This study focuses on the address paradigm in the Spanish spoken in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, a Latin American variety which presents speakers with three options—one polite (usted), and two familiar (pan-Hispanic and regional vos). Recent quantitative studies [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the address paradigm in the Spanish spoken in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, a Latin American variety which presents speakers with three options—one polite (usted), and two familiar (pan-Hispanic and regional vos). Recent quantitative studies have shown that the range of polite usted is shrinking in the dialect, as younger respondents reserve it for hierarchical contexts or for much older addressees. Indeed, speakers are uncertain about appropriate address choice to convey deference without distance. The present analysis supplements the previous quantitative data with responses of Montevideo speakers to an attitudinal interview (n = 12) analyzed qualitatively for themes with Atlas.ti. It finds that while speakers reject usted, they have adopted a range of strategies to maintain distinctions in politeness, including address avoidance, mirroring, and the repurposing of as an intermediate polite form. Full article
Article
Re-Thinking Peer Reviewing in the Virtual Context: The Roles of Giving and Receiving Online Feedback in L2 Spanish Classrooms
Languages 2021, 6(3), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030151 - 10 Sep 2021
Viewed by 200
Abstract
This study explores learners’ online peer review practices during a four-week second language writing project. The project was developed in a multi-section Spanish writing course at the college level. The study investigates how college Spanish learners give online feedback to their peers, whether [...] Read more.
This study explores learners’ online peer review practices during a four-week second language writing project. The project was developed in a multi-section Spanish writing course at the college level. The study investigates how college Spanish learners give online feedback to their peers, whether there is any relationship between the feedback roles they assume and their final performance, and the additional factors that may influence online peer reviewing practices. A total of 76 students participated in the study, all of whom received training prior to writing three drafts and giving and receiving feedback comments during two online peer review sessions. Descriptive statistical measures were used to analyze the types of online feedback students used most frequently. The comparative effects of giving comments were analyzed along with those of receiving comments by means of multiple regression analyses, in order to examine the relationship of these elements to final project performance as writers. Results support the learning-by-reviewing hypothesis, which argues that giving feedback to peers helps feedback-givers write better essays themselves. A follow-up analysis also shows that learning by reviewing online is most evident when giving specific types of online feedback, which students of all proficiency levels can learn how to do. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue L2/HL Writing and Technology)
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Article
Being a Student or at Home: Does Topic Influence How Bilinguals Process Words in Each Language?
Languages 2021, 6(3), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030150 - 09 Sep 2021
Viewed by 282
Abstract
Research has assessed how language use differences between bilinguals (e.g., whether two languages are used approximately equally often or not) influence language processing. However, first (L1) and second (L2) language use might also differ within bilinguals, depending on the topic of conversation. For [...] Read more.
Research has assessed how language use differences between bilinguals (e.g., whether two languages are used approximately equally often or not) influence language processing. However, first (L1) and second (L2) language use might also differ within bilinguals, depending on the topic of conversation. For example, a Mandarin–English bilingual studying in North America or the UK might talk about exams in English but about their childhood in Mandarin. In this study, we therefore examined how topics associated with either the L1 or L2 can influence language processing. Twenty-nine Mandarin–English students in North America/the UK completed a lexical decision task in single-language contexts (all words/pseudowords in one language) and in dual-language contexts (alternating between Mandarin and English). Half of the words referred to L1-associated topics (childhood and family life) and half were L2-associated (studying and life at university). Topic influenced L2 processing, with L2-associated topics being processed faster than topics associated with the L1 in single- and dual-language contexts. In contrast, topic did not influence L1 processing. This suggests that L2 processing might not only be influenced by differences between bilinguals but also by differences within bilinguals. In contrast, L1 processing might be less susceptible to influences of topic-specific language use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multilingualism: Consequences for the Brain and Mind)
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Review
The Critical Period Hypothesis for L2 Acquisition: An Unfalsifiable Embarrassment?
Languages 2021, 6(3), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030149 - 06 Sep 2021
Viewed by 357
Abstract
This article focuses on the uncertainty surrounding the issue of the Critical Period Hypothesis. It puts forward the case that, with regard to naturalistic situations, the hypothesis has the status of both “not proven” and unfalsified. The article analyzes a number of reasons [...] Read more.
This article focuses on the uncertainty surrounding the issue of the Critical Period Hypothesis. It puts forward the case that, with regard to naturalistic situations, the hypothesis has the status of both “not proven” and unfalsified. The article analyzes a number of reasons for this situation, including the effects of multi-competence, which remove any possibility that competence in more than one language can ever be identical to monolingual competence. With regard to the formal instructional setting, it points to many decades of research showing that, as critical period advocates acknowledge, in a normal schooling situation, adolescent beginners in the long run do as well as younger beginners. The article laments the profusion of definitions of what the critical period for language actually is and the generally piecemeal nature of research into this important area. In particular, it calls for a fuller integration of recent neurolinguistic perspectives into discussion of the age factor in second language acquisition research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Variability and Age in Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism)
Article
Teaching via Zoom: Emergent Discourse Practices and Complex Footings in the Online/Offline Classroom Interface
Languages 2021, 6(3), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030148 - 05 Sep 2021
Viewed by 420
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic caused educational institutions across the world to face a new reality: when teachers and students do not share the same physical space (fractured ecologies), drastic changes in the everyday procedures and routines of teaching become an immediate necessity. In this [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused educational institutions across the world to face a new reality: when teachers and students do not share the same physical space (fractured ecologies), drastic changes in the everyday procedures and routines of teaching become an immediate necessity. In this paper, we trace some of the effects of this new situation in online classes of three experienced university teachers in the early days of the pandemic. We zoom in on dimensions of the classroom interface such as: turn-taking procedures, socialization, peer scaffolding and feedback; strategic footing changes across institutional and conversational roles; joking and humor. Not surprisingly, we found that the systematic absence of multimodal contextualization cues like gaze direction and tracing the origin of sound/speech were a trouble source in these online multiparty settings. We also saw, however, that teachers and students were successful in reinventing themselves and in devising new ways to deal with the changed circumstances. We end the paper with a number of implications for research into the classroom interface, both online and offline. Full article
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Article
A Historical Reconstruction of Some Pronominal Suffixes in Modern Dialectal Arabic
Languages 2021, 6(3), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030147 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 250
Abstract
The morphology of the pronominal suffixes in dialectal Arabic are of particular interest for scholars of the history of Arabic for two main reasons. First, multiple dialects attest suffixes that, from a comparative perspective, apparently retain final short vowels. The second and more [...] Read more.
The morphology of the pronominal suffixes in dialectal Arabic are of particular interest for scholars of the history of Arabic for two main reasons. First, multiple dialects attest suffixes that, from a comparative perspective, apparently retain final short vowels. The second and more complicated issue concerns the vowels which precede the suffixes in the dialects, which are thought to either have been case inflecting or epenthetic. In this paper, I take up Jean Cantineau’s “embarrassing question” of how to account for the development of the vowels of the pronominal suffixes. Based on data from dialectal tanwīn in modern dialects, and attestations from pre-modern texts as well, I will argue that the pre-suffix vowels did originate in case inflecting vowels, but that no historical model heretofore proposed can satisfactorily account for how the various dialectal forms might have arisen. I identify two major historical developments and propose models for each. First, I suggest that dialects in which the pre-suffixal vowels harmonized with the suffix vowels developed via a process of harmonization across morpheme boundaries before the loss of final short vowels. For dialects in which one vowel is generalized, I argue that a post-stress neutralization took place, which led to a single vowel both before suffixes and tanwīn as well. Finally, I rely on evidence from the behavior of the suffixes to argue that the final vowel of the 3fs suffix was originally long, but that those of the 3ms, 2ms, and 2fs were most likely short. Full article
Article
Towards a Dialect History of the Baggara Belt
Languages 2021, 6(3), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030146 - 30 Aug 2021
Viewed by 254
Abstract
The Baggara Belt constitutes the southernmost periphery of the Arabic-speaking world. It stretches over 2500 km from Nigeria to Sudan and it is largely inhabited by Arab semi-nomadic cattle herders. Despite its common sociohistorical background, the ethnography of Baggara nomads is complex, being [...] Read more.
The Baggara Belt constitutes the southernmost periphery of the Arabic-speaking world. It stretches over 2500 km from Nigeria to Sudan and it is largely inhabited by Arab semi-nomadic cattle herders. Despite its common sociohistorical background, the ethnography of Baggara nomads is complex, being the result of a long series of longitudinal migrations and contacts with different ethnolinguistic groups. Thanks to a number of comparative works, there is broad agreement on the inclusion of Baggara dialects within West Sudanic Arabic. However, little or nothing is known of the internal classification of Baggara Arabic. This paper seeks to provide a comparative overview of Baggara Arabic and to explain dialect convergences and divergences within the Baggara Belt in light of both internally and externally motivated changes. By providing a qualitative analysis of selected phonological, morphosyntactic, and lexical features, this study demonstrates that there is no overlapping between the ethnic and dialect borders of the Baggara Belt. Furthermore, it is argued that contact phenomena affecting Baggara Arabic cannot be reduced to a single substrate language, as these are rather induced by areal diffusion and language attrition. These elements support the hypothesis of a gradual process of Baggarization rather than a sudden ethnolinguistic hybridization between Arab and Fulani agropastoralist groups. Over and above, the paper aims at contributing to the debate on the internal classification of Sudanic Arabic by refining the isoglosses commonly adopted for the identification of a West Sudanic dialect subtype. Full article
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Article
Mahdia Dialect: An Urban Vernacular in the Tunisian Sahel Context
Languages 2021, 6(3), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030145 - 27 Aug 2021
Viewed by 335
Abstract
This paper aims to present some preliminary results of the linguistic analysis of the dialect of the Wilāya of Mahdia on which few studies exist, focused mainly on phonology. My analysis, here extended to the morpho-syntactic level, is based on a corpus of [...] Read more.
This paper aims to present some preliminary results of the linguistic analysis of the dialect of the Wilāya of Mahdia on which few studies exist, focused mainly on phonology. My analysis, here extended to the morpho-syntactic level, is based on a corpus of interviews taken from some social media pages. The sample will be composed of respondents of different geographical origin (from Mahdia and some nearby towns), gender, age and social background. A deeper knowledge of the Arabic of Mahdia region, which is a bundle of urban, Bedouin and “villageois” varieties, would contribute to throw new light on the features of the Saḥlī dialects and would add a small piece to the complex mosaic of Tunisian and Maghrebi dialects, whose traditional categories of classification should be reconsidered. Full article
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Article
Feature Matching Does Not Equal Convergence: Acquisition of L2 French Accusative Pronouns by L1 Spanish Speakers
Languages 2021, 6(3), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030144 - 26 Aug 2021
Viewed by 352
Abstract
Our study aims to determine whether formal similarity between two languages (operationalized via the Feature Reassembly Hypothesis) allows adult L2 learners of French (Spanish native speakers; NSs) to straightforwardly acquire third-person singular accusative clitics in their L2. Additionally, we examined the role of [...] Read more.
Our study aims to determine whether formal similarity between two languages (operationalized via the Feature Reassembly Hypothesis) allows adult L2 learners of French (Spanish native speakers; NSs) to straightforwardly acquire third-person singular accusative clitics in their L2. Additionally, we examined the role of surface similarity, since French and Spanish overlap and diverge in several ways. In terms of formal similarity, third-person accusative clitic pronouns in Spanish are almost perfect analogues of their French counterparts. In terms of surface similarity, however, while the feminine accusative pronouns are identical (“la” [la]), the masculine ones differ in Spanish (“lo” [lo]) and French (“le” [lǝ]). Participants included French NSs (n = 26) and Spanish-speaking L2 French learners (n = 36). Results from an offline forced-choice picture selection task and an online self-paced reading task did not support the Feature Reassembly Hypothesis because learners showed considerable difficulty with the interpretation and processing of these pronouns, revealing that, unlike French NSs, their interpretations and processing are guided by the feature [±Human] and, to a lesser degree, by gender, which might be due to the surface-level similarity between feminine accusative clitic pronouns in both languages. Full article
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Article
Multimodal Approaches for Heritage and Second Language Instructor Training
Languages 2021, 6(3), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030143 - 24 Aug 2021
Viewed by 324
Abstract
This piece explores the need to provide better training to graduate student instructors by first conducting a needs analysis of current graduate students and recent graduate students regarding their conceptualizations of writing, multiliteracies, and second (L2) and heritage language (HL) pedagogies. Based on [...] Read more.
This piece explores the need to provide better training to graduate student instructors by first conducting a needs analysis of current graduate students and recent graduate students regarding their conceptualizations of writing, multiliteracies, and second (L2) and heritage language (HL) pedagogies. Based on this survey, it is evident that with just one teaching methods course as the typical training graduate student instructors receive it behooves us to implement innovative pedagogy in other ways to develop graduate students’ abilities to navigate new technological tools and reconsider how they can teach writing in the L2/HL courses. Based on previous research as well as practical experience, this paper discusses several approaches for training and preparing graduate students to reconsider their preconceived notions of what it means to learn to write in an L2 or HL to include more focus on multiliteracies and technological skills to prepare students for 21st century communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue L2/HL Writing and Technology)
Article
Relativized Prosodic Domains: A Late-Insertion Account of German Plurals
Languages 2021, 6(3), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030142 - 23 Aug 2021
Viewed by 363
Abstract
In late-insertion, realizational models of morphology such as Distributed Morphology (DM), the insertion of Vocabulary Items (VIs) is conditioned by cyclic operations in the syntax. This paper explores whether an isomorphic relationship can be established between cyclic operations such as phases and prosodic [...] Read more.
In late-insertion, realizational models of morphology such as Distributed Morphology (DM), the insertion of Vocabulary Items (VIs) is conditioned by cyclic operations in the syntax. This paper explores whether an isomorphic relationship can be established between cyclic operations such as phases and prosodic domains. In the spirit of D’Alessandro and Scheer’s (2015) proposal of a Modular Phase Impenetrability Condition (MPIC), we strive to provide an analysis in which prosodic boundaries in even smaller, word-level-like syntactic structures—the ‘lexical domain’—can be identified solely within the syntax. We propose a DM-account for the distribution of nominal plural exponency in German, which reveals a dominant trend for a trochaic-foot structure for all but -s-plural exponents (Wiese 2001, 2009). Inspired by Gouskova’s (2019) and Svenonius’ (2016) work concerning the prosody–morphology interface, we argue that the index of a Prosodic Word ω in non-s-plurals is associated with a specific feature configuration. We propose that only a n[+pl(ural)] configuration, in which the nominalizing head n hosts the SynSem-feature Num(ber)[+pl(ural)], rather than a general cyclic categorizing phase head such as n, indexes a Prosodic Word ω for nominal plural exponents in (Standard) German. Based on this empirical evidence from German plural exponency, we argue that (i) prosodic boundaries can be established directly by syntactic structures, (ii) these prosodic boundaries condition VI insertion during the initial stages of Spell-Out, and (iii) prosodic domains are based on individual languages’ syntactic structures and feature configurations, and are thus relativized and language-specific in nature. Full article
Article
Contrastive Feature Typologies of Arabic Consonant Reflexes
Languages 2021, 6(3), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030141 - 23 Aug 2021
Viewed by 543
Abstract
Attempts to classify spoken Arabic dialects based on distinct reflexes of consonant phonemes are known to employ a mixture of parameters, which often conflate linguistic and non-linguistic facts. This article advances an alternative, theory-informed perspective of segmental typology, one that takes phonological properties [...] Read more.
Attempts to classify spoken Arabic dialects based on distinct reflexes of consonant phonemes are known to employ a mixture of parameters, which often conflate linguistic and non-linguistic facts. This article advances an alternative, theory-informed perspective of segmental typology, one that takes phonological properties as the object of investigation. Under this approach, various classificatory systems are legitimate; and I utilize a typological scheme within the framework of feature geometry. A minimalist model designed to account for segment-internal representations produces neat typologies of the Arabic consonants that vary across dialects, namely qāf,ǧīm,kāf, ḍād, the interdentals, the rhotic, and the pharyngeals. Cognates for each of these are analyzed in a typology based on a few monovalent contrastive features. A key benefit of the proposed typologies is that the featural compositions of the various cognates give grounds for their behavior, in terms of contrasts and phonological activity, and potentially in diachronic processes as well. At a more general level, property-based typology is a promising line of research that helps us understand and categorize purely linguistic facts across languages or language varieties. Full article
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Article
Collaborative Multimodal Writing via Google Docs: Perceptions of French FL Learners
Languages 2021, 6(3), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030140 - 20 Aug 2021
Viewed by 388
Abstract
In spite of the growing integration of computer-mediated collaborative writing and multimodal composition in second language (L2) classrooms, research on collaborative multimodal writing, as an innovative writing pedagogy, is still underway and largely underrepresented particularly in non-English learning contexts. To bridge this research [...] Read more.
In spite of the growing integration of computer-mediated collaborative writing and multimodal composition in second language (L2) classrooms, research on collaborative multimodal writing, as an innovative writing pedagogy, is still underway and largely underrepresented particularly in non-English learning contexts. To bridge this research gap, the author of this study implemented a multimodal writing task in which seven French FL learners jointly created digital postcards describing their vacation activities in groups of two or three over the period of eight weeks. The study sought to explore learners’ perceptions of the benefits and challenges of this type of pedagogy and the factors mediating their writing processes. The analyses of a post-task questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews, triangulated with the finished products, indicated that overall, collaborative multimodal writing was a motivating learning experience. Several themes emerged regarding the perceived benefits (i.e., improvement in their writing skills, genre awareness and semiotic awareness, mutual learning through peer assessment and easy synchronous writing and revising via Google Docs), as well as challenges (i.e., tensions between partners largely due to frustrations over unequal participation, lack of control over the joint text and technical glitches). This paper provides significant implications for collaborative multimodal writing research and pedagogy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue L2/HL Writing and Technology)
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Article
Fundamental Frequency and Phonation Differences in the Production of Stop Laryngeal Contrasts of Endangered Shina
Languages 2021, 6(3), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030139 - 17 Aug 2021
Viewed by 308
Abstract
Shina is an endangered Indo-Aryan (Dardic) language spoken in Gilgit, Northern Pakistan. The present study investigates the acoustic correlates of Shina’s three-way stop laryngeal contrast across five places of articulation. A wide range of acoustic correlates were measured including fundamental frequency (F0), spectral [...] Read more.
Shina is an endangered Indo-Aryan (Dardic) language spoken in Gilgit, Northern Pakistan. The present study investigates the acoustic correlates of Shina’s three-way stop laryngeal contrast across five places of articulation. A wide range of acoustic correlates were measured including fundamental frequency (F0), spectral tilt (H1*-H2*, H1*-A1*, H1*-A2*, and H1*-A3*), and cepstral peak prominence (CPP). Voiceless aspirated stops were characterized by higher fundamental frequency, spectral tilt, and cepstral peak prominence, compared to voiceless unaspirated and voiced unaspirated stops. These results suggest that Shina is among those languages which have a raising effect of aspiration on the pitch and spectral tilt onsets of the following vowels. Positive correlations among fundamental frequency, spectral tilt, and cepstral peak prominence were observed. The findings of this study will contribute to the phonetic documentation of endangered Dardic languages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Interaction between Phonation and Prosody)
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Article
Social Networks: A Source of Lexical Innovation and Creativity in Contemporary Peninsular Spanish
Languages 2021, 6(3), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030138 - 16 Aug 2021
Viewed by 312
Abstract
There is no doubt that the Internet, where English is ubiquitous, has revolutionized our way of life. Socially, it has opened frontiers to such an extent that nowadays human beings can be permanently connected, no matter the distance between them, in virtual encounters [...] Read more.
There is no doubt that the Internet, where English is ubiquitous, has revolutionized our way of life. Socially, it has opened frontiers to such an extent that nowadays human beings can be permanently connected, no matter the distance between them, in virtual encounters where social networks play a crucial role. Linguistically, on the other hand, it has created a new global language which combines properties of written and oral speech. The Internet’s lexical level, in particular, is described as extremely innovative, creative and playful since it is full of neologisms, many of which are Anglicisms, coined to name the new realities constantly brought along with the evolution of the digital world. In order to demonstrate that social networks are indeed the source of a wide array of creative and playful neological Anglicisms in Peninsular Spanish, we have carried out a corpus-based analysis of the names of five current social and interactive forms of Internet communication in two contemporary Spanish corpora; specifically, that of the indirect social network generically known as the blog and those of the direct social networks Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp. Our study focuses, specifically, on four facets of these neological Anglicisms: (i) their date of introduction into the language; (ii) their frequency of occurrence; (iii) their diverse spellings; and (iv) finally, the different word-formation processes they enter. Full article
Article
Attitudes of South Tyrolean University Students towards German Varieties
Languages 2021, 6(3), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030137 - 13 Aug 2021
Viewed by 220
Abstract
This paper examines language attitudes of South Tyroleans towards German varieties used in educational institutions by means of a questionnaire survey with 55 university students. The aim of this paper is to provide an insight into subjects’ attitudes towards their own and other [...] Read more.
This paper examines language attitudes of South Tyroleans towards German varieties used in educational institutions by means of a questionnaire survey with 55 university students. The aim of this paper is to provide an insight into subjects’ attitudes towards their own and other German (standard) varieties, with a focus on the sociolinguistic situation in South Tyrol (northern Italy). Previous studies have shown that the German-speaking community often have the notion that their own standard variety is deficient combined with a feeling of linguistic inferiority towards German speakers from Germany. Therefore, this article seeks to answer the following research questions: Which attitudes do South Tyrolean university students have towards the different German (standard) varieties? Do university teacher-training students get in touch with the concept of the pluricentric variation within the German standard variety during their education? Results reveal that despite a certain awareness of the issue of linguistic variation in the German language, the standard variety used in Germany still enjoys high prestige among our subjects compared to other German standard varieties. Moreover, results show that the students were hardly confronted with the subject of the German standard variety used in South Tyrol or with the variation of the German language during their high school years. However, this changes as soon as they attend university. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Language Attitudes, Vitality and Development)
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Article
On the Integration of Dative Adjuncts into Event Structures in Yapa Languages
Languages 2021, 6(3), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030136 - 13 Aug 2021
Viewed by 297
Abstract
Warlpiri and Warlmanpa (Ngumpin-Yapa languages of Australia) exhibit a complex predicate construction in which a class of preverbs introduces a single argument that is not shared by the argument structure of the inflecting verb, nor is there necessarily any shared event structure. This [...] Read more.
Warlpiri and Warlmanpa (Ngumpin-Yapa languages of Australia) exhibit a complex predicate construction in which a class of preverbs introduces a single argument that is not shared by the argument structure of the inflecting verb, nor is there necessarily any shared event structure. This is problematic for many theories of linking structures of complex predicates, since no arguments or events are shared between the predicative elements of the complex predicate. The same grammatical relation is instantiated by a beneficiary adjunct. In light of new research in event and argument structure, I propose a lexical rule which introduces an applicative argument to account for the beneficiary construction; and that the preverbs take another predicate as one of their arguments to account for the complex predicates. The applicative rule and the preverbs both introduce an argument of the same grammatical relation, leading to interesting interactions, given that two grammatical relations of the same type are not expected to co-occur within a single clause. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Australian Languages Today)
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Article
Nahuatl and Spanish in Contact: Language Practices in Mexico
Languages 2021, 6(3), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030135 - 13 Aug 2021
Viewed by 351
Abstract
The study reports on adults’ linguistic use of Nahuatl in the bilingual community of Santiago Tlaxco, Mexico. Using a survey approach, adults were asked to indicate their language choices (i.e., Spanish, Nahuatl or both languages) when interacting with people in various linguistic domains [...] Read more.
The study reports on adults’ linguistic use of Nahuatl in the bilingual community of Santiago Tlaxco, Mexico. Using a survey approach, adults were asked to indicate their language choices (i.e., Spanish, Nahuatl or both languages) when interacting with people in various linguistic domains including personal, public, occupational, and educational. Findings showed that Nahuatl was used predominately with family members, with the exception of children aged 12 and younger with whom bilingual use was the norm. Similarly, in the public domain, bilingual language use was preferred for interactions with young people (less than 18 years), indicating a trend toward a gradual displacement of Nahuatl. However, Nahuatl was still the preferred language for interactions in the occupational domain, in places of worship and within social circles. Spanish was preferred for the educational domain, at the clinic, and in unfamiliar settings, such as with strangers. While adult use of Nahuatl facilitates language maintenance, there is a need for increased intergenerational transmission. Results are discussed in the context of language planning. Full article
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Article
Accepting a “New” Standard Variety: Comparing Explicit Attitudes in Luxembourg and Belgium
Languages 2021, 6(3), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030134 - 12 Aug 2021
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Language maintenance efforts aim to bolster attitudes towards endangered languages by providing them with a standard variety as a means to raise their status and prestige. However, the introduced variety can vary in its degrees of standardisation. This paper investigates whether varying degrees [...] Read more.
Language maintenance efforts aim to bolster attitudes towards endangered languages by providing them with a standard variety as a means to raise their status and prestige. However, the introduced variety can vary in its degrees of standardisation. This paper investigates whether varying degrees of standardisation surface in explicit attitudes towards standard varieties in endangered vernacular speech communities. Following sociolinguistic models of standardisation, we suggest that explicit attitudes towards the standard variety indicate its acceptance in vernacular speech communities, reflecting its overall degree of standardisation. We use the standardised Attitudes towards Language (AtoL) questionnaire to investigate explicit attitudes towards the respective standard varieties in two related vernacular speech communities—the Belgische Eifel in Belgium and the Éislek in Luxembourg. The vernacular of these speech communities, Moselle Franconian, is considered generally vulnerable (UNESCO), and the two speech communities have opted to introduce different standard varieties: Standard Luxembourgish in Luxembourg shows lower degrees of standardisation and is only partially implemented. In contrast, Standard German in the Belgian speech community is highly standardised and completely implemented. Results show that degrees of standardisation surface in speakers’ explicit attitudes. Our findings have important implications for the role of standardisation in language maintenance efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Language Attitudes, Vitality and Development)
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Article
Korean Children’s Attitudes toward Varieties of English: The Role of Age and English Learning Environment
Languages 2021, 6(3), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030133 - 04 Aug 2021
Viewed by 386
Abstract
This study investigates young Korean children’s attitudes toward three English varieties: American English (AmE), Singapore English (SiE), and Korean English (KoE). A total of 42 Korean children participated in this study. For data analysis purposes, the results were categorized according to the children’s [...] Read more.
This study investigates young Korean children’s attitudes toward three English varieties: American English (AmE), Singapore English (SiE), and Korean English (KoE). A total of 42 Korean children participated in this study. For data analysis purposes, the results were categorized according to the children’s age and their experience of exposure to formal English learning. In addition to this, 30 Singaporean children were also involved in the study, and their results were compared with the results of the younger group of Korean children. A mixed methodological approach, which included a modified verbal guise technique appropriate for use with children and semi-structured interviews, was also adopted. The results show that 5-year-old Korean and Singaporean children do not prefer one specific variety of English more than the other varieties of English. However, this was not the case for 12-year-old Korean children. These older Korean children preferred AmE and SiE more than KoE, and the “speaker’s pronunciation” was considered to be the critical feature in determining these attitudes. The findings suggest that Korean children’s developing attitudes toward a particular variety of English emerge sometime during their elementary school years. Full article
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Article
The Melody of Speech: What the Melodic Perception of Speech Reveals about Language Performance and Musical Abilities
Languages 2021, 6(3), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030132 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 523
Abstract
Research has shown that melody not only plays a crucial role in music but also in language acquisition processes. Evidence has been provided that melody helps in retrieving, remembering, and memorizing new language material, while relatively little is known about whether individuals who [...] Read more.
Research has shown that melody not only plays a crucial role in music but also in language acquisition processes. Evidence has been provided that melody helps in retrieving, remembering, and memorizing new language material, while relatively little is known about whether individuals who perceive speech as more melodic than others also benefit in the acquisition of oral languages. In this investigation, we wanted to show which impact the subjective melodic perception of speech has on the pronunciation of unfamiliar foreign languages. We tested 86 participants for how melodic they perceived five unfamiliar languages, for their ability to repeat and pronounce the respective five languages, for their musical abilities, and for their short-term memory (STM). The results revealed that 59 percent of the variance in the language pronunciation tasks could be explained by five predictors: the number of foreign languages spoken, short-term memory capacity, tonal aptitude, melodic singing ability, and how melodic the languages appeared to the participants. Group comparisons showed that individuals who perceived languages as more melodic performed significantly better in all language tasks than those who did not. However, even though we expected musical measures to be related to the melodic perception of foreign languages, we could only detect some correlations to rhythmical and tonal musical aptitude. Overall, the findings of this investigation add a new dimension to language research, which shows that individuals who perceive natural languages to be more melodic than others also retrieve and pronounce utterances more accurately. Full article
Article
Psycholinguistic Evidence for Incipient Language Change in Mexican Spanish: The Extension of Differential Object Marking
Languages 2021, 6(3), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030131 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Spanish marks animate and specific direct objects overtly with the preposition a, an instance of Differential Object Marking (DOM). However, in some varieties of Spanish, DOM is advancing to inanimate objects. Language change starts at the individual level, but how does it [...] Read more.
Spanish marks animate and specific direct objects overtly with the preposition a, an instance of Differential Object Marking (DOM). However, in some varieties of Spanish, DOM is advancing to inanimate objects. Language change starts at the individual level, but how does it start? What manifestation of linguistic knowledge does it affect? This study traced this innovative use of DOM in oral production, grammaticality judgments and on-line comprehension (reading task with eye-tracking) in the Spanish of Mexico. Thirty-four native speakers (ages 18–22) from the southeast of Mexico participated in the study. Results showed that the incidence of the innovative use of DOM with inanimate objects varied by task: DOM innovations were detected in on-line processing more than in grammaticality judgments and oral production. Our results support the hypothesis that language variation and change may start with on-line comprehension. Full article
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Article
On the Relationship between Frequency, Features, and Markedness in Inflection: Experimental Evidence from Russian Nouns
Languages 2021, 6(3), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030130 - 29 Jul 2021
Viewed by 346
Abstract
Markedness has a long tradition in linguistics as a way to describe linguistic asymmetries. In this paper, I investigate an argument about the necessity of markedness as a tool for capturing the structural distribution of inflectional affixes and predicting the behavioral consequences of [...] Read more.
Markedness has a long tradition in linguistics as a way to describe linguistic asymmetries. In this paper, I investigate an argument about the necessity of markedness as a tool for capturing the structural distribution of inflectional affixes and predicting the behavioral consequences of that distribution. Based on evidence from German adjectives, Clahsen et al. argue that the number of specified features of inflectional affixes (which I argue represents a type of markedness) affects reaction times in lexical access. Affixes’ features, however, overlap with how frequently they occur. Clahsen et al. investigate only three affixes in German, leaving open questions about the relationship between the two factors and whether features are necessary as a predictor of lexical processing. In this paper, I use a larger set of inflectional affixes in Russian to test the relationship between affix features and affix frequency. I find that the two traits of affixes are correlated based on frequencies from a corpus and that in a lexical decision task, affix frequency is the better predictor of response times. My results suggest that we should question the necessity of featural markedness for explaining how inflectional structure is processed and, more generally, that both corpus and experimental data suggest a surprisingly close relationship between affix features and affix frequency. Full article
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Article
Psycho-Social Constraints on Naturalistic Adult Second Language Acquisition
Languages 2021, 6(3), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030129 - 28 Jul 2021
Viewed by 477
Abstract
The following study investigated a rare case of adult immersion in a second language context without prior exposure to the language. It aimed to investigate whether Length of Residence (LoR) acts as a strong index of L2 speech performance when coupled with daily [...] Read more.
The following study investigated a rare case of adult immersion in a second language context without prior exposure to the language. It aimed to investigate whether Length of Residence (LoR) acts as a strong index of L2 speech performance when coupled with daily exposure and interaction with first language speakers. Twenty-two females from Africa and Asia who worked as Foreign Domestic Helpers (FDH) in Omani homes and with varying LoRs performed an AX discrimination and a production task which tapped into Omani consonants and clusters that are absent from their L1s; their accent was also rated by L1 Omani listeners. Results showed a surprising lack of significance of LoR on all the production and perception measures examined. Discrimination results showed a low sensitivity to Arabic consonantal contrasts that are lacking in the L1 across all participants, and a small positive effect of L1 literacy. Production results exhibited low accuracy on all Arabic consonants and a marked foreign accent as judged by L1 listeners, with a small positive effect of L2 literacy. We argue that the nature of the interactions between FDH and employers, along with uneven power relations and social distance, counteract any advantage of LoR and the immersion setting examined here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Psychological Factors in Bilingual Speech Production)
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Article
Definiteness Systems and Dialect Classification
Languages 2021, 6(3), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030128 - 28 Jul 2021
Viewed by 399
Abstract
In this article I explore how typological approaches can be used to construct novel classification schemes for Arabic dialects, taking the example of definiteness as a case study. Definiteness in Arabic has traditionally been envisioned as an essentially binary system, wherein definite substantives [...] Read more.
In this article I explore how typological approaches can be used to construct novel classification schemes for Arabic dialects, taking the example of definiteness as a case study. Definiteness in Arabic has traditionally been envisioned as an essentially binary system, wherein definite substantives are marked with a reflex of the article al- and indefinite ones are not. Recent work has complicated this model, framing definiteness instead as a continuum along which speakers can locate referents using a broader range of morphological and syntactic strategies, including not only the article al-, but also reflexes of the demonstrative series and a diverse set of ‘indefinite-specific’ articles found throughout the spoken dialects. I argue that it is possible to describe these strategies with even more precision by modeling them within cross-linguistic frameworks for semantic typology, among them a model known as the ‘Reference Hierarchy,’ which I adopt here. This modeling process allows for classification of dialects not by the presence of shared forms, but rather by parallel typological configurations, even if the forms within them are disparate. Full article
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Systematic Review
Promoting Literacy in Adult Second Language Learners: A Systematic Review of Effective Practices
Languages 2021, 6(3), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030127 - 27 Jul 2021
Viewed by 573
Abstract
Literacy is an essential tool for functioning in a modern society and, as such, it is often taken for granted when developing second language learning curricula for people who need to learn another language. However, almost 750 million people around the world cannot [...] Read more.
Literacy is an essential tool for functioning in a modern society and, as such, it is often taken for granted when developing second language learning curricula for people who need to learn another language. However, almost 750 million people around the world cannot read and write, because of limited or absent formal education. Among them, migrants face the additional challenge of having to learn a second language as they settle in a new country. Second language research has only recently started focusing on this population, whose needs have long been neglected. This contribution presents a systematic review of the classroom-based research conducted with such learners and aims at identifying the teaching practices that have proven to be successful and the principles that should inform curriculum design when working with this population. A first observation emerging from the review concerns the scarcity of experimentally validated studies within this domain. Nonetheless, based on the results of the available literature, this work highlights the importance of contextualized phonics teaching and of oral skills development, which turn out to be most effective when emphasis is put on learners’ cultural identities and native languages. Full article
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Article
Categories and Frequency: Cognition Verbs in Spanish Subject Expression
Languages 2021, 6(3), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030126 - 27 Jul 2021
Viewed by 437
Abstract
Are semantic classes of verbs genuine or do they merely mask idiosyncrasies of frequent verbs? Here, we examine the interplay between semantic classes and frequent verb-form combinations, providing new evidence from variation patterns in spontaneous speech that linguistic categories are centered on high [...] Read more.
Are semantic classes of verbs genuine or do they merely mask idiosyncrasies of frequent verbs? Here, we examine the interplay between semantic classes and frequent verb-form combinations, providing new evidence from variation patterns in spontaneous speech that linguistic categories are centered on high frequency members to which other members are similar. We offer an account of the well-known favoring effect of cognition verbs on Spanish subject pronoun expression by considering the role of high-frequency verbs (e.g., creer ‘think’ and saber ‘know’) and particular expressions ((yo) creo ‘I think’, (yo) no sé ‘I don’t know’). Analysis of variation in nearly 3000 tokens of unexpressed and pronominal subjects in conversational data replicates well-established predictors, but highlights that the cognition verb effect is really one of 1sg cognition verbs. In addition, particular expressions stand out for their high frequency relative to their component parts (for (yo) creo, proportion of lexical type, and proportion of pronoun). Further analysis of 1sg verbs with frequent expressions as fixed effects reveals shared patterns with other cognition verbs, including an association with non-coreferential contexts. Thus, classes can be identified by variation constraints and contextual distributions that are shared among class members and are measurably different from those of the more general variable structure. Cognition verbs in variable Spanish subject expression form a class anchored in lexically particular constructions. Full article
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Article
Recursion and the Definition of Universal Prosodic Categories
Languages 2021, 6(3), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030125 - 26 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 423
Abstract
It is widely agreed that prosodic constituents should mirror syntactic constituents (unless high-ranking prosodic constraints interfere). Because recursion is a feature of syntactic representations, one expects recursion in prosodic representations as well. However, it is of current controversy what kinds of syntactic representation [...] Read more.
It is widely agreed that prosodic constituents should mirror syntactic constituents (unless high-ranking prosodic constraints interfere). Because recursion is a feature of syntactic representations, one expects recursion in prosodic representations as well. However, it is of current controversy what kinds of syntactic representation motivate prosodic recursion. In this paper, the use of Phonological Phrase recursion is reviewed in several case studies, chosen because prosodic recursion mostly does not reflect syntactic recursion as defined in current syntactic theory. We provide reanalyses that do not appeal to prosodic recursion (unless syntactically motivated), showing that Phonological Phrase recursion is not necessary to capture the relevant generalizations. The more restrictive use of prosodic recursion we argue for has the following conceptual advantages. It allows for more consistent cross-linguistic generalizations about the syntax–prosody mapping so that prosodic representations more closely reflect syntactic ones. It allows the fundamental syntactic distinctions between clause (and other phases) and phrase to be reflected in the prosodic representation, and it allows cross-linguistic generalizations to be made about the prosodic domain of intonational processes, such as downstep and continuation rise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phonology-Syntax Interface and Recursivity)
Article
Quality of L2 Input and Cognitive Skills Predict L2 Grammar Comprehension in Instructed SLA Independently
Languages 2021, 6(3), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6030124 - 26 Jul 2021
Viewed by 576
Abstract
Input is considered one of the most important factors in the acquisition of lexical and grammatical skills. Input has been found to interact with other factors, such as learner cognitive skills and the circumstances where language is heard. Language learning itself has sometimes [...] Read more.
Input is considered one of the most important factors in the acquisition of lexical and grammatical skills. Input has been found to interact with other factors, such as learner cognitive skills and the circumstances where language is heard. Language learning itself has sometimes been found to enhance cognitive skills. Indeed, intensive contact with another language has been found to sometimes boost cognitive skills, even in intensive instructed settings, such as immersion programs (bilingual advantage hypothesis). In this paper, we report a cross-sectional study to assess grammar learning of 79 fourth grade German students learning L2 English in two immersion schools. Verbal teacher input was assessed using the Teacher Input Observation Scheme (TIOS, Items 14–25), and the learners’ L2 grammar comprehension was tested with the ELIAS Grammar Test II. Cognitive skills, including phonological awareness, working memory, and non-verbal intelligence, were determined using standardized assessment procedures. The results show that verbal input quantity and quality correlated significantly with the learners’ L2 grammar comprehension. None of the cognitive skills moderated the effect of input on grammar comprehension but all predicted it independently. The combination of L2 input and phonological awareness was found to be the most robust predictor of L2 grammar comprehension. Full article
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