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Languages, Volume 7, Issue 4 (December 2022) – 71 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The relationship between executive functions (EFs) and bilingualism has been characterised by optimism for a bilingual advantage until the last decade, when a steady stream of articles reported failure to find a consistently positive effect for bilingualism. This paper examines the possible effect of culture among bilingual studies on EFs by first contextualising how bilingual EFs are studied and outlining the absence of culture as a macro variable, followed by a discussion on how culture and language are often conflated. This paper directs attention to emerging research that tracks the importance of culture as a separate variable from language and discusses why macro culture and individual monoculturalism or biculturalism need to be carefully elucidated as a factor that can interact with the bilingual experience in shaping EFs. View this paper
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17 pages, 369 KiB  
Article
Argument Marking and Verbal Agreement in the Speech of Georgian Children
by Tamar Makharoblidze, Teona Damenia, Nino Doborjginidze, Nino Tsintsadze, Tinatin Tchintcharauli and Tamar Kalkhitashvili
Languages 2022, 7(4), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040314 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1364
Abstract
This paper describes the language acquisition and verb-forming processes related to the issue of argument marking for native-speaker Georgian children from 24 to 42 months of age, who were born and raised in Georgia. Because of the complexity of the Georgian verbal system, [...] Read more.
This paper describes the language acquisition and verb-forming processes related to the issue of argument marking for native-speaker Georgian children from 24 to 42 months of age, who were born and raised in Georgia. Because of the complexity of the Georgian verbal system, it is a challenge to study the acquisition process in this language. We attempted to observe how native-speaker children overcome this complexity during the acquisition process. The study is based on samples of four Georgian-speaking children from the developing corpus of Georgian-speaking children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Errors of Commission in Child Language)
32 pages, 5168 KiB  
Article
Language Contact and Phonological Innovation in the Voiced Prepalatal Obstruents of Judeo-Spanish
by Travis G. Bradley and Claire Julia Lozano
Languages 2022, 7(4), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040313 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3420
Abstract
This article traces the development of voiced prepalatal obstruents /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ in Judeo-Spanish, the language spoken by the Sephardic Jews since before their expulsion from late-15th century Spain. Using Medieval Spanish as a comparative starting point, we examine [...] Read more.
This article traces the development of voiced prepalatal obstruents /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ in Judeo-Spanish, the language spoken by the Sephardic Jews since before their expulsion from late-15th century Spain. Using Medieval Spanish as a comparative starting point, we examine diachronic innovations in the phonological status and distribution of affricate /dʒ/ and fricative /ʒ/ in Judeo-Spanish during the diaspora, focusing in particular on the effects of lexical borrowing from Turkish and French in territories of the former Ottoman Empire. In contemporary Sephardic communities that are in contact with non-Sephardic varieties of Mainstream Spanish, some speakers occasionally replace syllable-initial /∫/, /dʒ/, and /ʒ/ in certain Judeo-Spanish words by a voiceless velar /x/ in efforts to accommodate the pronunciation of the corresponding Mainstream Spanish cognate form. We provide a novel analysis of Judeo-Spanish voiced prepalatal obstruents, including their diachronic and synchronic variation under language contact. The analysis combines a constraint-based approach to phonological alternations, as formalized in Optimality Theory, with a usage-based representation of the mental lexicon, as proposed in Exemplar Theory, to account for speaker- and word-specific variability. A hybrid theoretical model provides a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between lexicon and grammar in Judeo-Spanish phonology than is available in previous structuralist descriptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Language Variation and Change in Spanish)
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28 pages, 5132 KiB  
Article
Is There an Effect of Diglossia on Executive Functions? An Investigation among Adult Diglossic Speakers of Arabic
by Najla Alrwaita, Lotte Meteyard, Carmel Houston-Price and Christos Pliatsikas
Languages 2022, 7(4), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040312 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2436
Abstract
Recent studies investigating whether bilingualism has effects on cognitive abilities beyond language have produced mixed results, with evidence from young adults typically showing no effects. These inconclusive patterns have been attributed to many uncontrolled factors, including linguistic similarity and the conversational contexts the [...] Read more.
Recent studies investigating whether bilingualism has effects on cognitive abilities beyond language have produced mixed results, with evidence from young adults typically showing no effects. These inconclusive patterns have been attributed to many uncontrolled factors, including linguistic similarity and the conversational contexts the bilinguals find themselves in, including the opportunities they get to switch between their languages. In this study, we focus on the effects on cognition of diglossia, a linguistic situation where two varieties of the same language are spoken in different and clearly separable contexts. We used linear mixed models to compare 32 Arabic diglossic young adults and 38 English monolinguals on cognitive tasks assessing the executive function domains of inhibition, and switching. Results revealed that, despite both groups performing as expected on all tasks, there were no effects of diglossia in any of these domains. These results are discussed in relation to the Adaptive Control Hypothesis. We propose that any effects on executive functions that could be attributed to the use of more than one language or language variety may not be readily expected in contexts with limited opportunities for switching between them, especially in younger adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multilingualism: Consequences for the Brain and Mind)
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12 pages, 856 KiB  
Article
Translanguaging Practices of a Multiethnic and Multilingual Deaf Family in a Raciolinguistic World and Beyond
by Anna Lim
Languages 2022, 7(4), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040311 - 09 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3796
Abstract
In this autoethnography, I recount the translanguaging practices of my multiethnic and multigenerational signing deaf family in Manila, Philippines. I examine the impact of a multilingual upbringing on how family members function in various milieus, particularly in education. I discuss how language use [...] Read more.
In this autoethnography, I recount the translanguaging practices of my multiethnic and multigenerational signing deaf family in Manila, Philippines. I examine the impact of a multilingual upbringing on how family members function in various milieus, particularly in education. I discuss how language use throughout my childhood has impacted my experiences with languaging after immigrating to the United States as an adult. Interspersed in this personal narrative are traipses into historical and sociological observations about the Filipino community’s view of the deaf identity and how deaf Filipinos have been and are still being regarded. Finally, I explore the promulgation and implementation of the language policies in my motherland and assimilation efforts of immigrant parents on the translanguaging practices of the Filipino deaf here in the United States. I describe the ways in which home discourse practices affect the educational experiences of deaf Filipino immigrants in the U.S. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translanguaging in Deaf Communities)
21 pages, 1170 KiB  
Article
The Realization of Information Focus in Catalan
by Silvio Cruschina and Laia Mayol
Languages 2022, 7(4), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040310 - 09 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1768
Abstract
Answers to wh-questions are the most widespread method to elicit information focus. When studying the syntax of focus, however, this method is problematic because the most natural answer to a wh-question is often a fragment that only includes the focus. This problem has [...] Read more.
Answers to wh-questions are the most widespread method to elicit information focus. When studying the syntax of focus, however, this method is problematic because the most natural answer to a wh-question is often a fragment that only includes the focus. This problem has led to considerable controversy in the literature about the position in which information focus is realized, particularly for Spanish, but also for Catalan. In order to enhance the naturalness and reliability of the question-answer test, we designed an experiment with a new elicitation technique (i.e., questions with a delayed answer) in which some material is inserted between the question and the point in which the participant is asked to answer the question, so that the Catalan participants would spontaneously utter a full sentence instead of a fragment, without being explicitly instructed to do so. The material of this production experiment was then adapted in a rating experiment on the acceptability of preverbal and postverbal information foci in Catalan. The results of this second study confirm the findings of the production experiment: postverbal focus is always preferred over preverbal focus, both in the case of subjects and objects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narrow Focus and Fronting Strategies)
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25 pages, 1690 KiB  
Article
The Interplay of Emotions, Executive Functions, Memory and Language: Challenges for Refugee Children
by Julie Franck and Hélène Delage
Languages 2022, 7(4), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040309 - 07 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1837
Abstract
Refugee children tend to show low emotional well-being and weak executive functions that may have consequences on language and therefore complicate a potential diagnosis of Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) in this population. We assessed the performance of 140 children living in Switzerland aged [...] Read more.
Refugee children tend to show low emotional well-being and weak executive functions that may have consequences on language and therefore complicate a potential diagnosis of Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) in this population. We assessed the performance of 140 children living in Switzerland aged 5 to 8 (20 monolinguals, 86 non-refugee bilinguals, 34 refugee bilinguals) on LITMUS language tasks (nonword repetition, sentence repetition, parental questionnaire), standardized language tasks, memory and executive function tasks. Parents also filled in the Child Behavior Checklist providing a measure of their child’s emotional well-being. Results indicate that refugee children are more emotionally vulnerable and show weaker performance in memory and executive functions tasks compared to non-refugee children, in line with the existing literature. Moreover, when compared to non-refugee bilingual children with similar length of exposure to French, refugee children are disadvantaged on all language tasks. Whereas emotional well-being does not predict language performance, memory and executive functions show up as predictors of both LITMUS and standardized language tasks, although in an unsystematic way. It is concluded that refugee children are at risk across the board and that a better understanding of the complex interplay between well-being, executive functions, memory and language is needed in order to build more appropriate diagnostic tools for these children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bilingualism and Language Impairment)
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28 pages, 13957 KiB  
Article
Phrase-Level ATR Vowel Harmony in Anum—A Case of Recursive Prosodic Phrasing
by Frank Kügler
Languages 2022, 7(4), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040308 - 06 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1543
Abstract
(1) Like many other Kwa languages, Anum employs a pattern of [ATR] vowel harmony that is regressive and [+ATR] dominant (RVH). This paper analyses RVH as a phrasal process which takes into account recursive phonological phrases. The proposal argues for an application of [...] Read more.
(1) Like many other Kwa languages, Anum employs a pattern of [ATR] vowel harmony that is regressive and [+ATR] dominant (RVH). This paper analyses RVH as a phrasal process which takes into account recursive phonological phrases. The proposal argues for an application of the process within and across non-maximal phonological phrases (φ) and a blocking of application across maximal phonological phrases (φmax). (2) Investigating RVH in Anum in more detail, the size of constituents and the complexity of sentence structures are varied. Target sentences were recorded and transcribed for [ATR] vowel harmony. (3) The empirical data show that RVH applies frequently between words that belong to either the same or to different syntactic constituents, but is blocked between two verb phrases of a serial verb construction and between any word and a following sentence-final time adverbial. Interestingly, RVH occurs between a sentence-initial subject constituent and a following verb or verb phrase, independent of the size of the subject constituent and the remaining number of words in the sentence. (4) The proposed OT analysis accounts for RVH within syntax-phonology Match Theory and addresses both word-level and phrase-level harmony. The special behaviour of subject constituents that prosodically phrase together with verbs and with constituents of the verb phrase (VP) is discussed. Either a phonological well-formedness constraint or a syntactically distinct input may account for phrasing effects with subject constituents in Anum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phonology-Syntax Interface and Recursivity)
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18 pages, 670 KiB  
Article
Language Attrition and Lived Experiences of Attrition among Greek Speakers in London
by Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga and Petros Karatsareas
Languages 2022, 7(4), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040307 - 05 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2196
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate attrition effects in a group of L1-Greek–L2-English speakers and to explore their views on attrition and their feelings about their own use of both languages. The first part (n = 32) was a psycholinguistic [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate attrition effects in a group of L1-Greek–L2-English speakers and to explore their views on attrition and their feelings about their own use of both languages. The first part (n = 32) was a psycholinguistic study measuring semantic and formal verbal fluency which was part of a broader project. The second part (n = 14) was a sociolinguistic study of semi-structured interviews aiming to gain insights into participants’ lived experiences of attrition. In verbal fluency, monolinguals outperformed bilinguals in the number of correct responses in both semantic and formal fluency. The analysis of the interview transcripts suggested that attriters experience attrition negatively, as a loss of a competence they once had, with two types of negative experiences emerging more prominently: (a) the realisation that they have difficulties with lexical retrieval and (b) stigmatising and judgemental comments by (non)-attriters. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods, this study on attriters can give us unique insights into their lived experience of attrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Investigating Language Contact and New Varieties)
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15 pages, 2689 KiB  
Article
Task Modality Effects on the Production and Elaboration of Language-Related Episodes: A Study on Schoolchildren’s Interactions in a Foreign Language
by Francisco Gallardo-del-Puerto and María Martínez-Adrián
Languages 2022, 7(4), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040306 - 05 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1329
Abstract
Task-modality has been found to constrain the production of LREs in adults and children. However, there are no studies with young learners that have offered a comprehensive analysis of LREs. To this end, this paper will examine the effect of task-modality on the [...] Read more.
Task-modality has been found to constrain the production of LREs in adults and children. However, there are no studies with young learners that have offered a comprehensive analysis of LREs. To this end, this paper will examine the effect of task-modality on the features targeted in them, as well as on their level of engagement/elaboration during primary-school learners’ performance of a task containing both an oral and a written component (OW), and an only oral task with an editing phase (OE). In general terms, both tasks fostered more elaborate meaning-focused LREs than form-focused LREs, while a higher level of engagement with the language was obtained in the OW task. A fine-grained analysis of the different targets indicated that while in terms of meaning-focused LREs, the OW task led the learners to attend to and elaborate discussions on word choice, the OE task enhanced learners’ focus and engagement in word meaning. As for form-focused LREs, the OW task fostered a greater focus on morphosyntactic aspects and spelling, with a higher engagement in the latter. Morphosyntactic aspects were also the target of learners’ discussions in the OE task together with phonological aspects, with slightly more elaborate discussions in the latter. Full article
22 pages, 1698 KiB  
Article
Does Japanese/German L1 Metrical and Tonal Structure Constrain the Acquisition of French L2 Morphology?
by Cyrille Granget and Elisabeth Delais-Roussarie
Languages 2022, 7(4), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040305 - 01 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1368
Abstract
In different studies dedicated to the acquisition of verbal morphology by bilingual children or by L2 learners, it has been noted that differences in the acquisition process cannot be accounted for by only considering the distance between L1 and L2 morphology. Some forms, [...] Read more.
In different studies dedicated to the acquisition of verbal morphology by bilingual children or by L2 learners, it has been noted that differences in the acquisition process cannot be accounted for by only considering the distance between L1 and L2 morphology. Some forms, such as auxiliaries, may occur in L2 productions without being motivated by L1 morphology. To account for this, the prosodic transfer hypothesis—according to which the acquisition of morphology in the non-dominant language is influenced by the prosody of the dominant language—has been formulated. That prosodic features may influence the acquisition of morphology is interesting as it shows that the acquisition process must be apprehended by considering interfaces and interrelations between the various levels of linguistic description. The aim of this contribution is thus twofold: (i) clarifying to which aspects of prosody prosodic transfer hypothesis refers (specifically, among tonal and metrical prosodic elements, which one comes into play to account for morphological development); and (ii) explaining the importance of considering grammatical interfaces in study on L2 development. To do so, an exploratory study, which relies on the analysis of L2 French narratives produced by two learners with L1 Japanese and two with L1 German, was achieved. This preliminary analysis of the data suggests that metrical structure—more precisely, the nature of the basic metrical unit—may constrain the occurrence of auxiliary and vowel-final forms in the productions of Japanese learners. Full article
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27 pages, 1752 KiB  
Article
N-to-D Movement within Compounds and Phrases:Referential Compounding, -s Possessives, and Title Expressions in Dutch
by Marijke De Belder
Languages 2022, 7(4), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040304 - 29 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1393
Abstract
Noun–noun concatenations can differ along two parameters. They can be compounds, i.e., single words, or constructs, i.e., constituents, and they can have modificational non-heads or referential non-heads. Of the four logical possibilities, one was argued not to exist: compounds of which the non-head [...] Read more.
Noun–noun concatenations can differ along two parameters. They can be compounds, i.e., single words, or constructs, i.e., constituents, and they can have modificational non-heads or referential non-heads. Of the four logical possibilities, one was argued not to exist: compounds of which the non-head is referential were considered to be principally excluded. In this article, I argue that Dutch has compounds with a referential non-head. They resemble the Dutch s-possessive in that their non-heads involve movement to a referential layer. However, unlike the possessive structures, the compounding structure contains head incorporation which results in word-hood. The article further discusses title expressions, such as Prince Charles, which are argued to be referential construct states. Together with the syntactic structure of titles plus proper names, the referential compounds further contribute evidence to the idea that a ban on N-to-D movement for certain uniquely referring roots, such as sun and Bronx, is extra-syntactic. Full article
10 pages, 386 KiB  
Article
The Nature and Function of Languages
by Franco Fabbro, Alice Fabbro and Cristiano Crescentini
Languages 2022, 7(4), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040303 - 28 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 7568
Abstract
Several studies in philosophy, linguistics and neuroscience have tried to define the nature and functions of language. Cybernetics and the mathematical theory of communication have clarified the role and functions of signals, symbols and codes involved in the transmission of information. Linguistics has [...] Read more.
Several studies in philosophy, linguistics and neuroscience have tried to define the nature and functions of language. Cybernetics and the mathematical theory of communication have clarified the role and functions of signals, symbols and codes involved in the transmission of information. Linguistics has defined the main characteristics of verbal communication by analyzing the main tasks and levels of language. Paleoanthropology has explored the relationship between cognitive development and the origin of language in Homo sapiens. According to Daniel Dor, language represents the most important technological invention of human beings. Seemingly, the main function of language consists of its ability to allow the sharing of the mind’s imaginative products. Following language’s invention, human beings have developed multiple languages and cultures, which, on the one hand, have favored socialization within communities and, on the other hand, have led to an increase in aggression between different human groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multilingualism: Consequences for the Brain and Mind)
22 pages, 2836 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Heritage Language Experience on Perception and Imitation of Prevoicing
by Emily J. Clare and Jessamyn Schertz
Languages 2022, 7(4), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040302 - 27 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1579
Abstract
This work tests the effect of heritage language background on imitation and discrimination of prevoicing in word-initial stops. English speakers with heritage languages of Spanish (where prevoicing is obligatorily present) or Cantonese (where prevoicing is obligatorily absent), as well as monolingual English speakers, [...] Read more.
This work tests the effect of heritage language background on imitation and discrimination of prevoicing in word-initial stops. English speakers with heritage languages of Spanish (where prevoicing is obligatorily present) or Cantonese (where prevoicing is obligatorily absent), as well as monolingual English speakers, imitated and discriminated pairs of stimuli differing minimally in prevoicing, both in English (participants’ dominant language) and Hindi (a foreign language), and they also completed a baseline word reading task. Heritage speakers of Spanish were expected to show the highest performance on both imitation and discrimination, given the contrastive status of prevoicing in Spanish. Spanish speakers did indeed show more faithful imitation, but only for Hindi, not English, sounds, suggesting that imitation performance can differ based on language mode. On the other hand, there were no group differences in imitation of prevoicing in English or in discrimination in either language. Imitation was well above chance in all groups, with substantial within-group variability. This variability was predicted by individual discrimination accuracy, and, for Cantonese speakers only, greater prevoicing in baseline productions corresponded with more faithful imitation. Overall, despite an expectation for differences, given previous evidence for the influence of heritage languages on production and perception of English voiced stops, our results point to a lack of cross-language influence on perception and imitation of English prevoicing. Full article
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21 pages, 1055 KiB  
Article
Verbs That Express Passive Hearing in Catalan and French: Semantic Change of the Forms sentir (Catalan) and entendre (French)
by Carla Ferrerós-Pagès
Languages 2022, 7(4), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040301 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1167
Abstract
This paper aims to study the meanings of passive auditory perception verbs in Catalan (sentir) and French (entendre) with regards to diachronic semantic change and from the point of view of cognitive semantics. These verbs do not originally encode [...] Read more.
This paper aims to study the meanings of passive auditory perception verbs in Catalan (sentir) and French (entendre) with regards to diachronic semantic change and from the point of view of cognitive semantics. These verbs do not originally encode the meaning related to perception, at least not historically. By taking examples drawn from diachronic and synchronic lexicographical sources, I have analyzed the meanings conveyed by these two verbs and their metaphorical and metonymic projections from their origin to their current use. This research provides new data on semantic extensions related to verbs of perception: certain projections that are frequently related to this kind of verb do not always occur in the direction predicted by inter-linguistic studies. Particularly, the study of the evolution in the French form entendre contradicts the expectations that can be drawn from other studies of verbs on this conceptional domain in that it seems to have evolved in the opposite direction, i.e., from intellectual understanding to sensorial perception. Full article
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31 pages, 529 KiB  
Article
Errors of Commission in Constructions Involving Movement to the CP Domain
by Elaine Grolla
Languages 2022, 7(4), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040300 - 24 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1196
Abstract
In this overview paper, I discuss data from child languages available in the literature that instantiate errors of commission. I focus on three constructions involving movement to the left periphery of the clause: the production of aux-doubling (where more than one auxiliary verb, [...] Read more.
In this overview paper, I discuss data from child languages available in the literature that instantiate errors of commission. I focus on three constructions involving movement to the left periphery of the clause: the production of aux-doubling (where more than one auxiliary verb, either followed by neg or not, is produced in yes/no and Wh-questions), medial Wh-questions (where two Wh-phrases are produced in long-distance Wh-questions), and the production of full resumptive DPs in the relativized position of the relative clause. I claim that these extra elements are not produced at random places, but precisely at the locations where copies (or traces) of the moved elements are claimed to occur. This is taken as an indication of children’s abstract grammatical knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Errors of Commission in Child Language)
38 pages, 595 KiB  
Article
Explaining the Diversity in Malay-English Code-Switching Patterns: The Contribution of Typological Similarity and Bilingual Optimization Strategies
by Jeanine Treffers-Daller, Sheikha Majid, Yap Ngee Thai and Naomi Flynn
Languages 2022, 7(4), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040299 - 23 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3531
Abstract
Bilingual speakers often engage in code-switching, that is the use of lexical items and grammatical features from two languages in one sentence. Malaysia is a particularly interesting context for the study of code-switching because Malay-English code-switching is widely practiced across formal and informal [...] Read more.
Bilingual speakers often engage in code-switching, that is the use of lexical items and grammatical features from two languages in one sentence. Malaysia is a particularly interesting context for the study of code-switching because Malay-English code-switching is widely practiced across formal and informal situations, and the available literature reveals that there is a great diversity in switch patterns in this language pair. One of the most remarkable characteristics of Malay-English code-switching is the high frequency of switches of function words (pronouns, modal verbs, demonstratives, etc.), which is very unusual in most code-switching corpora. Here, we analyse the structural properties of Malay-English code-switching, which have received less attention than functional analyses in the academic literature on code-switching in this language pair. We first summarize the literature on the different types of code-switching that are found in a range of sources, and then analyze the code-switching patterns in the speech of two teachers of English in Malaysia. We conclude with a discussion of the variables that can explain the diversity found, in particular structural factors (similarity between the word orders of both languages, and the limited number of inflections), and bilingual optimization strategies, as well as strategies of neutrality and efficiency. Full article
19 pages, 1099 KiB  
Article
A Duoethnography of a Chinese Pre-Service Teacher’s Encounters with Young Learner Spelling Errors in the English Classroom
by Yimei Jing and Barry Lee Reynolds
Languages 2022, 7(4), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040298 - 23 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1751
Abstract
A large body of research has indicated that young second language (L2) learners often have problems with spelling, such as letter omission and mis-ordering. To give due attention to this issue, a duoethnographic study was undertaken by two researchers from different language education [...] Read more.
A large body of research has indicated that young second language (L2) learners often have problems with spelling, such as letter omission and mis-ordering. To give due attention to this issue, a duoethnographic study was undertaken by two researchers from different language education backgrounds. The data were collected by way of 18 conversations (86,213-word transcription). These transcribed conversations were then reconstructed in order to accurately present the dialogue that took place between the two researchers. The conversations centered around four themes related to young Chinese learners’ English spelling issues, namely: the roles of a practicum mentor and supervisor; factors resulting in young learners’ spelling issues; the relationship between spelling and reading; implications for future teaching. The findings of this study suggest that future English teachers of young learners should implement morphological instruction, encourage students to read more, instruct students on how to make and use word cards, and explain how delayed copying should be used for spelling practice. This duoethnograpy also suggests that mentors, supervisors, and pre-service teachers should engage in duoethnographic research in order to better understand mentoring, supervision, and teaching issues, whilst also promoting professional development. Full article
15 pages, 391 KiB  
Article
Interrogative Constructions in Guaraní: Grammatical, Pragmatic and Typological Aspects
by Silvina Paz and Alejandra Vidal
Languages 2022, 7(4), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040297 - 23 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1426
Abstract
This article is set in the framework of typological and functional studies on interrogativity, and focuses on the study of Guaraní, based on primary data collected in Formosa (Argentina). Interrogative constructions encode the speaker’s request for information, and their intention to confirm the [...] Read more.
This article is set in the framework of typological and functional studies on interrogativity, and focuses on the study of Guaraní, based on primary data collected in Formosa (Argentina). Interrogative constructions encode the speaker’s request for information, and their intention to confirm the underlying statement of the information that is the focus of the question. This topic has been partially addressed in previous descriptive works on Guaraní. There are, however, aspects in this domain yet to be explored. One involves the functions and meanings of the different interrogative strategies this language exhibits and the semantic particularities of their combination. In this regard, we analyze the distribution, meaning and pragmatic function of clitics =pa and =piko in polar and content questions. Furthermore, a preliminary analysis of tag questions (as a subtype of polar questions) is advanced here. Finally, we also discuss the way how the concurrence of interrogative words and clitics in Guarani is pragmatically and semantically motivated by the speaker’s epistemic attitude when posing the question. Full article
18 pages, 5268 KiB  
Article
Labeling, Concord, and Nominal Syntax in Turkish
by İsa Kerem Bayırlı
Languages 2022, 7(4), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040296 - 22 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1671
Abstract
According to Chomsky’s Labeling Algorithm the merger of two phrases, i.e., {XP, YP}, is labeled either via feature sharing between the two elements or by ignoring the lower copies of movement chains. It is not immediately clear, within this approach, how adjunction structures [...] Read more.
According to Chomsky’s Labeling Algorithm the merger of two phrases, i.e., {XP, YP}, is labeled either via feature sharing between the two elements or by ignoring the lower copies of movement chains. It is not immediately clear, within this approach, how adjunction structures such as {aP, nP} are to be labeled. In those languages where adjectives show concord with nouns in φ features, the shared features may provide the label.This option is not available for non-concord languages, however. In this paper, we focus on the labeling of {aP, nP} in Turkish, a non-concord language. We claim that the categorizing n0 head in Turkish lacks grammatical features, as a result of which aP fails to find valued instances of its unvalued features. In the absence of feature sharing, aP is marked as a Spell-Out domain, and {aP, nP} is labeled as nP as soon as aP is sent to the interfaces. Since aP in Turkish is a Spell-Out domain, the left-branch extraction of adjectives (i.e., aP movement) is not possible. Moreover, the lack of any grammatical features on n0 in Turkish accounts for the availability of suspension of the plural morpheme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theoretical Studies on Turkic Languages)
26 pages, 1784 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Assessment Identifies Morphosyntactic Deficits in Mono- and Bilingual Children with Developmental Language Disorder
by Olivia Hadjadj, Margaret Kehoe and Hélène Delage
Languages 2022, 7(4), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040295 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2566
Abstract
Dynamic Assessment (DA) is recommended for testing bilinguals as it tests the child’s learning potential and not her or his previously acquired language knowledge. Thus, it allows language difficulties to be distinguished from difficulties related to a lack of L2 exposure. This study [...] Read more.
Dynamic Assessment (DA) is recommended for testing bilinguals as it tests the child’s learning potential and not her or his previously acquired language knowledge. Thus, it allows language difficulties to be distinguished from difficulties related to a lack of L2 exposure. This study presents the findings of DA of morphosyntax in French-speaking monolingual and bilingual children, both Typically Developing (TD) and with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). We examined whether DA was able to distinguish TD from DLD in children, irrespective of their linguistic group (mono- versus bilingual). Morphosyntactic skills were assessed in a sample of 37 children with DLD (19 bilinguals) and 42 with TD (18 bilinguals), aged from 5 to 12. We assessed six syntactic structures: simple sentences (SVO) in present and past tense, subject relatives, accusative clitic pronouns, passives, and object relatives. We provided graduated prompts if children were not able to produce the target sentences. The results confirmed the accuracy of our morphosyntactic task to disentangle children with TD from children with DLD, regardless of their linguistic group. Moreover, cutoffs for each structure as well as for the total score, as determined via ROC curves, indicated high sensitivity and specificity for children with DLD who had a documented morphosyntactic deficit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bilingualism and Language Impairment)
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33 pages, 4897 KiB  
Article
Revisiting the Modal Verb huì with an Interactional Linguistic Approach
by Yan Zhou
Languages 2022, 7(4), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040294 - 21 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1854
Abstract
This study takes an interactional linguistics and conversation analysis-based approach to analyze the modal verb huì ‘will’ in the recurrent formular of commissive actions, [wǒ huì X (de)] ‘I will X.’ Data analyses show that this format has two variations differentiated [...] Read more.
This study takes an interactional linguistics and conversation analysis-based approach to analyze the modal verb huì ‘will’ in the recurrent formular of commissive actions, [wǒ huì X (de)] ‘I will X.’ Data analyses show that this format has two variations differentiated by the prosodic stress on huì. The format with the unstressed huì is often observed in turn-initiating position where the speaker offers to perform a future action or informs the recipient of their arrangement of an established activity. The format with the stressed huì appears in both initiating and responding positions although it is less frequently observed. Stressed huì is often used to reassure the recipient of an existing commitment to performing a future action. This study highlights the significance of prosody in the study of modal verbs and the benefits of studying individual words in a linguistic formula situated in specific interactional contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research on Chinese Morphology)
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15 pages, 416 KiB  
Article
Even Simultaneous Bilinguals Do Not Reach Monolingual Levels of Proficiency in Syntax
by Wei Li and Joshua K. Hartshorne
Languages 2022, 7(4), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040293 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1487
Abstract
While there is no doubt that children raised bilingual can become extremely proficient in both languages, theorists are divided on whether bilingualism is effectively monolingualism twice (the “Two Monolinguals in One Brain” hypothesis) or differs in some fundamental way from monolingualism. A strong [...] Read more.
While there is no doubt that children raised bilingual can become extremely proficient in both languages, theorists are divided on whether bilingualism is effectively monolingualism twice (the “Two Monolinguals in One Brain” hypothesis) or differs in some fundamental way from monolingualism. A strong version of the “Two Monolinguals” hypothesis predicts that bilinguals can achieve monolingual-level proficiency in either (or both) of their languages. Recently, Bylund and Abrahamsson argued that evidence of lower syntactic proficiency in simultaneous bilinguals was due to confounds of language dominance; when simultaneous bilinguals are tested in their primary language, any difference disappears. We find no evidence for this hypothesis. Meta-analysis and Monte Carlo simulation show that variation in published results is fully consistent with sampling error, with no evidence that method mattered. Meta-analytic estimates strongly indicate lower syntactic performance by simultaneous bilinguals relative to monolinguals. Re-analysis of a large dataset (N = 115,020) confirms this finding, even controlling for language dominance. Interestingly, the effect is relatively small, challenging current theories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Variability and Age in Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism)
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16 pages, 4298 KiB  
Article
Acquisition of the Epistemic Discourse Marker Wo Juede by Native Taiwan Mandarin Speakers
by Chun-Yin Doris Chen, Chung-Yu Wu and Hongyin Tao
Languages 2022, 7(4), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040292 - 15 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1274
Abstract
This study examines the use of a fixed expression, wo juede (WJ) ‘I feel, I think’, in Taiwan Mandarin in the context of two types of oral production tasks: argumentative and negotiative discourses. The participants consisted of two groups used for [...] Read more.
This study examines the use of a fixed expression, wo juede (WJ) ‘I feel, I think’, in Taiwan Mandarin in the context of two types of oral production tasks: argumentative and negotiative discourses. The participants consisted of two groups used for comparison: one group of children from Grades 2, 4, and 6, and one group of adults (college students). The results show that both groups were more inclined to utilize WJ in argumentative genres than in negotiative genres. Of the seven pragmatic functions associated with WJ, the participants all had a strong preference to use WJ for the commenting/reasoning function. Developmental patterns gleaned from the data indicate that children’s language expands as their age increases. The implications of the findings for cross-linguistic comparison in the realm of epistemic modality are explored in this paper. This study contributes to the study of Chinese morphology by drawing more attention to the acquisition and development patterns of fixed expressions in larger chunks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research on Chinese Morphology)
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4 pages, 280 KiB  
Editorial
Language Practices in English Classrooms: Guest Editors’ Introduction to the Special Issue
by Pia Sundqvist, Erica Sandlund, Marie Källkvist and Henrik Gyllstad
Languages 2022, 7(4), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040291 - 14 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1658
Abstract
English is taught in classrooms across the globe to learners of all ages, from very young learners in primary school to older learners who have reached retirement and occupy their time in the so-called third age by studying English [...] Full article
16 pages, 980 KiB  
Article
The Perceived Importance of Language Skills in Europe—The Case of Swedish Migrants in France
by Klara Arvidsson and Andreas Jemstedt
Languages 2022, 7(4), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040290 - 14 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1801
Abstract
In a European context, where member states of the European Union share a common language policy, multilingualism and foreign language (FL) learning are strongly promoted. The goal is that citizens learn two FLs in addition to their first language(s) (L1). However, it is [...] Read more.
In a European context, where member states of the European Union share a common language policy, multilingualism and foreign language (FL) learning are strongly promoted. The goal is that citizens learn two FLs in addition to their first language(s) (L1). However, it is unclear to what extent the multilingual policy is relevant in people’s lives, at a time when the English language is established as a lingua franca. This survey-based study contributes insights into the relevance of the EU multilingual policy in an intra-European migration context, by focusing on Swedish migrants (n = 199) in France, who are L1 speakers of Swedish. We investigated the perceived importance of skills in FL French, FL English, and L1 Swedish, for professional and personal life. The quantitative analyses showed that participants perceive skills in French and in English to be equally important for professional life, whereas skills in Swedish were perceived to be less important. For personal life, skills in French were perceived as the most important, followed by skills in English, and then Swedish. In conclusion, the European multilingual language policy appears to be reflected in Europeans’ lives, at least in the case of Swedish migrants in France. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Second Language Acquisition in Different Migration Contexts)
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27 pages, 616 KiB  
Article
Lexical Borrowing Targets Spans
by Deniz Tat
Languages 2022, 7(4), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040289 - 11 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1691
Abstract
In this study, I revisit the claim that nominals denoting complex events must derive from discernible verbal stems and must be headed by an overt nominalizer. I show that Turkish has a set of nominals, crucially of foreign origin, which provides counter-evidence to [...] Read more.
In this study, I revisit the claim that nominals denoting complex events must derive from discernible verbal stems and must be headed by an overt nominalizer. I show that Turkish has a set of nominals, crucially of foreign origin, which provides counter-evidence to both claims. From the perspective of Turkish grammar, they are morphologically noncompositional, manifesting neither a detectable verbal basis nor an overt nominalizer although they are categorically complex event nominals. Since (zero-)derived nominals of Turkic origin do not allow argument structure, the puzzling makeup of underived complex event nominals in question boils down to their loan word nature. I show that their behavior is different from both derived nominals as well as gerundive nominals in important ways. I claim that they are defective nominalizations lacking an nP representation. After reviewing previous accounts of these nominals, I consider three syntactic approaches to word derivation, which differ in their theoretical assumptions only in granularity, and conclude that the Spanning approach of Bye and Svenonius provides us with a conceptually superior account. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Word Formation and Language Contact: A Formal Perspective)
10 pages, 1214 KiB  
Article
Feature Borrowing in Language Contact
by Alessandra Tomaselli, Ermenegildo Bidese and Andrea Padovan
Languages 2022, 7(4), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040288 - 09 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1967
Abstract
In this paper, we consider mood selection in embedded clauses by focusing on a German-based minority language, Cimbrian, which is spoken in a northern Italian enclave. Mood selection in Cimbrian relies on the presence of two different complementizers, az and ke (the latter [...] Read more.
In this paper, we consider mood selection in embedded clauses by focusing on a German-based minority language, Cimbrian, which is spoken in a northern Italian enclave. Mood selection in Cimbrian relies on the presence of two different complementizers, az and ke (the latter being borrowed from Romance varieties), each of which selectively require a specific mood. Az selects the mood subjunctive in modal sentences introduced by non-factive verbs, whereas ke co-occurs with the indicative in purely declarative clauses introduced by factive and semi-factive verbs. However, this binary distribution is challenged in the two following contexts, and it is precisely at this point that feature borrowing comes into play: (i) with the verb gloam ‘to believe/to think’, the expected binary pattern appears (irrealis az + subjunctive and the realis ke + indicative), but, crucially, a third construction emerges, namely ke + subj.; (ii) surprisingly, az + subj. displays some ‘gaps’ in its paradigm, specifically in the first person, which appeared in the data we collected via translation tasks from Italian into Cimbrian. Both phenomena shed light on how language contact works, not in terms of structural borrowing but rather in terms of the transfer of the specific features of a given lexical item. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Syntactic Variation and Change of Heritage Languages)
16 pages, 982 KiB  
Article
Working Memory Skills in DLD: Does Bilingualism Make a Difference?
by Eva Wimmer and Anna-Lena Scherger
Languages 2022, 7(4), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040287 - 09 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2888
Abstract
Recent studies have reported that several cognitive domains benefit from bilingualism, including working memory. The aim of the present study is to specifically explore the effects of bilingual experience on different functions of working memory in children with developmental language disorder (DLD) compared [...] Read more.
Recent studies have reported that several cognitive domains benefit from bilingualism, including working memory. The aim of the present study is to specifically explore the effects of bilingual experience on different functions of working memory in children with developmental language disorder (DLD) compared to monolingual children with and without DLD. We therefore investigated n = 42 German speaking monolingual and bilingual children with and without DLD aged six to eight years. We examined two components of working memory often impaired in DLD: verbal short-term memory and the central executive. We expected bilingual children to outperform their monolingual peers. However, our results do not show any advantage of bilingualism since bilingual typically developing (TD) children did not outperform monolingual TD children and bilingual children with DLD did not outperform monolinguals with DLD; this holds for all measures under investigation. The main outcome is that no disadvantage could be found for bilingual children in cognitive functions. Raising a child bilingually does not exacerbate linguistic and cognitive difficulties in children with DLD. However, our preliminary data suggest it does not lead to cognitive advantages in working memory either. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Cognitive Effects of Bilingualism in Developmental Disorders)
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26 pages, 4430 KiB  
Article
Micro-Contact in Southern Italy: Language Change in Southern Lazio under Pressure from Italian
by Valentina Colasanti
Languages 2022, 7(4), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040286 - 09 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4697
Abstract
This paper explores a novel case of contact-induced change due to micro-contact within Italy, where various Italo-Romance languages coexist (Standard Italian, Italiano Regionale ‘regional Italian’, and numerous local languages). Although morphosyntactic change due to micro-contact is probably widespread across Italy, it has received [...] Read more.
This paper explores a novel case of contact-induced change due to micro-contact within Italy, where various Italo-Romance languages coexist (Standard Italian, Italiano Regionale ‘regional Italian’, and numerous local languages). Although morphosyntactic change due to micro-contact is probably widespread across Italy, it has received almost no attention in the literature. This case study involves the complementizer system of the local language Ferentinese (Southern Lazio), which underwent restructuring over a very brief period. I claim that this change is a case of downward reanalysis from Force to Fin within the split CP, triggered by the regression of the subjunctive and its subsequent replacement by a new complementation strategy. In turn, I argue that this change was the by-product of an increase in the number of complementizers in the language, from two to three, due to micro-contact between Ferentinese and Italiano Regionale. Crucially, the latter furnished a complementizer form (che) identical to one already present in the Ferentinese system, leading to reanalysis. Thus, in addition to reporting on a novel case of micro-contact in Italy, this paper illustrates one pathway to the genesis of a rare three-way complementizer system and sketches an initial typology of how related complementizer systems have changed in diachrony. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Syntactic Variation and Change of Heritage Languages)
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28 pages, 6632 KiB  
Article
Prosodic Transfer in Contact Varieties: Vocative Calls in Metropolitan and Basaá-Cameroonian French
by Fatima Hamlaoui, Marzena Żygis, Jonas Engelmann and Sergio I. Quiroz
Languages 2022, 7(4), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7040285 - 07 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2141
Abstract
This paper examines the production of vocative calls in (Northern) Metropolitan French (MF) and Cameroonian French (CF) as it is spoken by native speakers of a tone language, Basaá. While the results of our Discourse Completion Task confirm previous descriptions of MF, they [...] Read more.
This paper examines the production of vocative calls in (Northern) Metropolitan French (MF) and Cameroonian French (CF) as it is spoken by native speakers of a tone language, Basaá. While the results of our Discourse Completion Task confirm previous descriptions of MF, they also further our understanding of the relationship between pragmatics and prosody across different groups of French speakers. MF favors the vocative chant in routine contexts and a rising-falling contour in urgent contexts. In contrast, context has little influence on the choice of contour in CF. A melody consisting of the surface realization of lexical tones is produced in both contexts. Regarding acoustic parameters, context only exerts a significant effect on the loudness of vocative calls (RMS amplitude) and has little effect on their F0 height, F0 range and duration. A target-use of vocative calls in CF thus does not amount to target-like use of the original standard target language, MF. Our results provide novel evidence for the transfer of lexical tones onto the contact variety of an intonation language. They also corroborate previous studies involving the pragmatics-prosody interface: the more marked a prosodic pattern is (here, the vocative chant), the more difficult it is to acquire. Full article
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