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Languages, Volume 6, Issue 4 (December 2021) – 44 articles

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Article
Function Words at the Interface: A Two-Tier Approach
by
Languages 2021, 6(4), 197; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040197 (registering DOI) - 29 Nov 2021
Viewed by 195
Abstract
The distinction between function words and content words poses a challenge to theories of the syntax–prosody interface. On the one hand, function words are “ignored” by the mapping algorithms; that is, function words are not mapped to prosodic words. On the other hand, [...] Read more.
The distinction between function words and content words poses a challenge to theories of the syntax–prosody interface. On the one hand, function words are “ignored” by the mapping algorithms; that is, function words are not mapped to prosodic words. On the other hand, there are numerous accounts of function words which form prosodic words and can even be analysed as heads of larger prosodic units. Furthermore, function words seem to be a driving factor for the formation of prosodic structures in that they can largely be held accountable for the non-isomorphism between syntactic and prosodic constituency. This paper discusses these challenges with a focus on a particular function word, and the first-person nominative pronoun in Swabian, a Southern German dialect. By means of two corpus studies, it is shown that the pronoun occurs in two forms, the prosodic word [i:] and the enclitic [ə]. Depending on clause position and focus structure, the forms occur in complementary distribution. Occurrences of n-insertion allow for the establishment of a recursive prosodic word structure at the level of the phonological module. The findings support a new proposal in the form of a two-tier mapping approach to the interface between syntax and prosody. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phonology-Syntax Interface and Recursivity)
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Article
The Acquisition of Verbal Epistemic Stance Marking during Study Abroad: The Case of je pense in L2 French
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Languages 2021, 6(4), 196; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040196 (registering DOI) - 29 Nov 2021
Viewed by 252
Abstract
Epistemic stance markers, such as je pense in French, take on a variety of discursive functions, ranging from asserting an opinion, indicating the source of information, and mitigating a claim, to pragmatic functions, such as gaining time for discourse planning. Previous research suggests [...] Read more.
Epistemic stance markers, such as je pense in French, take on a variety of discursive functions, ranging from asserting an opinion, indicating the source of information, and mitigating a claim, to pragmatic functions, such as gaining time for discourse planning. Previous research suggests that the epistemic marker je pense is mostly used in French conversation to express opinions and can be used as an indicator of the development of a learner’s assertiveness and pragmatic competence during a study abroad period. Using a functional approach, this paper seeks to find out the extent to which study abroad fosters the development of assertiveness and pragmalinguistic competence among L2 learners, through an analysis of stance marking in interview data from 26 Anglophone learners of French, who spent nine months abroad in a French-speaking country, and 10 French native speakers. The results show that learners are globally less assertive in their use of je pense than native speakers, particularly prior to departure, and that they develop pragmatic uses of je pense, thereby showing a development in their interactional strategies. Finally, the high inter-variability in the way learners used je pense suggests the importance of personal style. Full article
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Article
Washback Effects of Diagnostic Assessment in Greek as an SL: Primary School Teachers’ Perceptions in Cyprus
Languages 2021, 6(4), 195; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040195 (registering DOI) - 26 Nov 2021
Viewed by 219
Abstract
Washback of diagnostic tools targeted to young migrant learners has been an under-researched area in the language assessment field. This paper explores teachers’ perceptions on the Greek Diagnostic Language Assessment (GDLA) tool recently introduced into the SL preparatory classes of the Cyprus primary [...] Read more.
Washback of diagnostic tools targeted to young migrant learners has been an under-researched area in the language assessment field. This paper explores teachers’ perceptions on the Greek Diagnostic Language Assessment (GDLA) tool recently introduced into the SL preparatory classes of the Cyprus primary education. The tool’s implementation coincides with the launch of a new SL curriculum. The objective is fourfold: (1) to examine GDLA’s washback effects on teaching/assessment, (2) to investigate washback’s variability with respect to several contextual variables, (3) to collect feedback on the perceived credibility of the tool, and (4) to reflect on the use of the GDLA tool as a lever of instructional reform in support of curricular innovation. The study employs a mixed-methods approach and draws on (a) quantitative data (questionnaire, 234 informants) and (b) qualitative data (interviews, 6 participants). The results indicate a positive and quite strong washback on teaching and assessment. However, they bring to the surface several misconceptions on the purpose and the implementation of diagnostic assessment, pointing to gaps in the teachers’ assessment literacy. They also bring into play school administration constraints. Finally, they imply that a diagnostic assessment aligned to a context-sensitive curriculum may bind the test to positive washback. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in Language Testing and Assessment)
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Article
Training the Trainers in Language Assessment via Mentoring: Building Expertise to Promote Language Assessment Literacy of Ukrainian University Teachers
Languages 2021, 6(4), 194; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040194 (registering DOI) - 26 Nov 2021
Viewed by 223
Abstract
This mixed-methods study described a case of group-based informal mentoring, a conceptual model of which was aligned with an effective mentoring program found in the literature. The research questions that were addressed in the study included: (1) Will mentoring training, conducted within a [...] Read more.
This mixed-methods study described a case of group-based informal mentoring, a conceptual model of which was aligned with an effective mentoring program found in the literature. The research questions that were addressed in the study included: (1) Will mentoring training, conducted within a short (1-month) period, enable inexperienced presenters to develop and conduct an effective workshop in LTA? (2) In what way(s) has mentoring training impacted the mentees as prospective trainers in LTA? The training was implemented by one mentor and two mentees, with the immediate purpose to organize a platform to disseminate the results of an Erasmus+ staff mobility program. The data were collected via a questionnaire, a self-efficacy scale and reflection logs about the mentoring procedure, as well as the workshop in LTA conducted by the mentees with the purpose to enhance Ukrainian university teachers’ LAL. The outcome of the training reported a high success level of the workshop among 37 attendees. In addition, the participants of the mentoring training (n = 2) demonstrated improvement in their organizational skills and professional growth. The mentoring framework proved to be an effective strategy for implementing study objectives and can be recognized as a successful model for the promotion of language assessment literacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in Language Testing and Assessment)
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Article
Learner Development of a Morphosyntactic Feature in Argentina: The Case of vos
Languages 2021, 6(4), 193; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040193 (registering DOI) - 24 Nov 2021
Viewed by 140
Abstract
Students have been found to improve their sociolinguistic competence, particularly regarding the acquisition of dialectal features, while studying abroad. Nevertheless, most of the research on learner development of morphosyntactic features in Spanish-speaking immersion contexts has examined that of variants characteristic of Peninsular Spanish [...] Read more.
Students have been found to improve their sociolinguistic competence, particularly regarding the acquisition of dialectal features, while studying abroad. Nevertheless, most of the research on learner development of morphosyntactic features in Spanish-speaking immersion contexts has examined that of variants characteristic of Peninsular Spanish in Spain, namely clitics and the informal second-person plural vosotros. Since the informal second-person singular, vos, is more prevalent than its equivalent, , in several Latin American countries, learner acquisition of this feature also merits investigation. This article explores second-language learner production of vos among 23 English speakers during a 5-month semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a popular study abroad destination. The findings from the multivariate analysis of over 1200 tokens of and vos indicate that learners used vos verb forms over 70% of the time by the end of the sojourn. Factors including social networks, proficiency level, mood, and task significantly influenced this use. Most notably, the stronger the learners’ social networks, the more they used vos verb forms and learners with high proficiency levels used these forms more than lower-proficiency learners. This study provides one of the first accounts of the acquisition of a widespread morphosyntactic feature of Latin American Spanish. Full article
Article
The Southern Moroccan Dialects and the Hilāli Category
Languages 2021, 6(4), 192; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040192 (registering DOI) - 23 Nov 2021
Viewed by 163
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to review the classification of the southern Moroccan dialects, advancing on the general description of these varieties. Recent descriptive studies provided us with new sources on the linguistic reality of southern Morocco, shedding light on the status [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to review the classification of the southern Moroccan dialects, advancing on the general description of these varieties. Recent descriptive studies provided us with new sources on the linguistic reality of southern Morocco, shedding light on the status of dialects commonly classified as Bedouin or ‘Hilāli’ within the Maghrebi context. To do so, the paper highlights conservative and innovative features which characterize the dialects of the area, focusing mainly—but not exclusively—on the updated data for two distant localities in southern Morocco: Essaouira and its rural outskirts—the Chiadma territory (Aquermoud and Sīdi Īsḥāq)—and Tafilalt, in south-eastern Morocco. The southern dialects have been situated in an intermediary zone between pre-Hilāli and Hilāli categories for a long time. Discussing their situation may contribute to understanding what distinguishes them as a dialectal group and also the validity of the ‘Hilāli’ category in the Moroccan context. Full article
Article
The Development of Discourse and Morphological Features in L2 Narratives: A Study with Classroom Spanish-Speaking Learners of French
Languages 2021, 6(4), 191; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040191 - 19 Nov 2021
Viewed by 237
Abstract
Previous research has examined the organization of second-language French narratives through discourse or morphological analyses. At the discourse level, the analyses have investigated the foreground/background relationship. Conversely, at the morphological level, the analyses have examined the role played by verbal morphology and verbal [...] Read more.
Previous research has examined the organization of second-language French narratives through discourse or morphological analyses. At the discourse level, the analyses have investigated the foreground/background relationship. Conversely, at the morphological level, the analyses have examined the role played by verbal morphology and verbal predicates. Different methodological caveats have limited the interpretation of findings in both types of analyses. In order to provide new data, this cross-sectional study examined the evolution of discourse and morphological resources in the written narratives of Mexican Spanish-speaking learners of French whose language learning experience is limited to the classroom. The learners in the cross-sectional sample (n = 11) were selected from a population of 88 participants who completed lexical, past-tense and general proficiency tests. They also generated two written narratives during silent-film retelling tasks. The cross-sectional sample selection was based on the learners’ test scores and the results of parametric statistical analyses. The narratives were analyzed for the identification of foreground/background clauses, verbal morphology and verbal predicates. The results reveal that, as learners’ past-tense knowledge increases, the organization of narratives consolidates through a developmental path that involves the interrelated growth of discourse and morphological features. Full article
Article
Auditory and Acoustic Evidence for Palatalization of the Nasal Consonant in Cairene Arabic
Languages 2021, 6(4), 190; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040190 - 18 Nov 2021
Viewed by 166
Abstract
This paper introduces the palatalized nasal [nʲ] as an allophonic realization of coronal /n/ in Cairene Arabic. The palatalized variants of the phonemes previously described in acoustic and sociolinguistic terms include the alveolar stops [t, d] and their pharyngealized counterparts [tˤ, dˤ], which [...] Read more.
This paper introduces the palatalized nasal [nʲ] as an allophonic realization of coronal /n/ in Cairene Arabic. The palatalized variants of the phonemes previously described in acoustic and sociolinguistic terms include the alveolar stops [t, d] and their pharyngealized counterparts [tˤ, dˤ], which can be palatalized preceding the high, front vowel [i:]. While previous studies have anecdotally noted that the coronal nasal /n/ can undergo palatalization in the same environment, this variant has not been systematically investigated. Focusing on syllable-final /-ni:/ segments, I first use auditory measures to show that the palatalized variant occurs with some regularity (~50%) in the read speech of seven speakers of Cairene Arabic. Then, I provide acoustic evidence that this perceived difference significantly correlates with the difference in F2 values taken from the onset and midpoint of the vowel following the nasal consonant. There is also evidence of a lexical effect, such that borrowings exhibit less palatalization than non-borrowings. This study contributes data for the unexamined Cairene nasal and supports the likelihood of palatalization of coronals at the typological level. Full article
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Article
The That-Trace Effect: Evidence from Spanish–English Code-Switching
Languages 2021, 6(4), 189; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040189 - 17 Nov 2021
Viewed by 222
Abstract
The that-trace effect is the fact that many languages (like English) ban the extraction of embedded-clause subjects but not objects over an overt complementizer like that, while many other languages (like Spanish) allow such extractions. The effect and its cross-linguistic variation [...] Read more.
The that-trace effect is the fact that many languages (like English) ban the extraction of embedded-clause subjects but not objects over an overt complementizer like that, while many other languages (like Spanish) allow such extractions. The effect and its cross-linguistic variation have been the subject of intense research but remain largely a mystery, with no clear consensus on their underpinnings. We contribute novel evidence to these debates by using Spanish–English code-switching (the use of two languages in one sentence) to test five contemporary theoretical accounts of the that-trace effect. We conducted a formal acceptability judgment experiment, manipulating the extracted argument and code-switch site to test different combinations of linguistic features. We found that subject extraction is only permitted in Spanish–English code-switching when both the C head (que ‘that’) and the T head (i.e., the verb) are in Spanish, but not when either functional head is in English. Our results demonstrate indirect support for two of the five theories we test, failing to support the other three. Our findings also provide new evidence in favor of the view that the that-trace effect is tightly linked to the availability of post-verbal subjects. Finally, we outline how our results can narrow the range of possible theoretical accounts, demonstrating how code-switching data can contribute to core questions in linguistic theory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Syntactic Properties of Code-Switching)
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Article
A Toolkit for the Investigation of Greek EFL Teachers’ Assessment Literacy
Languages 2021, 6(4), 188; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040188 - 16 Nov 2021
Viewed by 299
Abstract
The role of assessment in a learner-centred environment is considered to be significant for both learners and teachers. Most of the time, however, it is used in traditional ways and ignores learners’ individual needs. Based on the results of a survey conducted in [...] Read more.
The role of assessment in a learner-centred environment is considered to be significant for both learners and teachers. Most of the time, however, it is used in traditional ways and ignores learners’ individual needs. Based on the results of a survey conducted in 2019, in which a questionnaire was administered to a hundred and twenty EFL teachers, the present study aims to investigate Greek EFL teachers’ responses to communicative testing techniques and their awareness of assessment methods and principles. The aforementioned survey revealed that the majority of EFL teachers in the Greek educational context use traditional tests to assess their students and, although they are aware of alternative assessment methods and the benefits they offer, they fail to employ them. Thus, a 106-item tool was created in order to help teachers design, develop, and critically evaluate tests, as well as reflect on their assessment techniques to promote the use of alternative assessment and supplement the teachers’ theoretical knowledge and experience. Ninety-three EFL teachers evaluated themselves and rated their practices through the toolkit to find out the type of assessors that they are. The findings revealed that a lot of the participants are aware of the key principles of assessment and try to assess the four skills in a communicative and authentic way to a great extent, but most of them are mainstream assessors. The findings can be used to help design samples of authentic tasks for all skills and assessment-related teacher training material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in Language Testing and Assessment)
Article
Romance and Croatian in Contact: Non-Clitic Auxiliaries in Istro-Romanian
Languages 2021, 6(4), 187; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040187 - 13 Nov 2021
Viewed by 385
Abstract
This paper focuses on Istro-Romanian and argues that the TAM auxiliaries of this variety are not morphophonological clitics. This analysis is supported by the existence of several empirical phenomena (auxiliary-licensed VP-ellipsis, scrambling, and interpolation), some not found in modern Romance, others very rare [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on Istro-Romanian and argues that the TAM auxiliaries of this variety are not morphophonological clitics. This analysis is supported by the existence of several empirical phenomena (auxiliary-licensed VP-ellipsis, scrambling, and interpolation), some not found in modern Romance, others very rare in modern Romance. This property of Istro-Romanian auxiliary verbs accounts, in conjunction with other features of this variety (e.g., the availability of C-oriented and I-oriented pronominal clitics), for the massive variation in the word order of pronominal clitics, auxiliaries, and the lexical verb found in the Istro-Romanian sentential core. An endangered Romance variety spoken in Istria and in the diaspora, historically related to (Daco-)Romanian, Istro-Romanian has been in contact with Croatian since the settlement of Istro-Romanians in the Istrian peninsula. As some of the Istro-Romanian features and phenomena are found both in Croatian and in old Romanian, it appears that contact with Croatian acts as a catalyst of structural convergence engendering the retention of an archaic property of Istro-Romanian auxiliaries: a lower position on the grammaticalization cline, closer to the full word status of their etyma. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Ethnicity on Identification of Korean American Speech
Languages 2021, 6(4), 186; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040186 - 09 Nov 2021
Viewed by 434
Abstract
Research on ethnic varieties of American English has found that listeners can identify speaker ethnicity from voice alone at above-chance rates. This study aims to extend this research by focusing on the perception of race and ethnicity in the voices of ethnically Korean [...] Read more.
Research on ethnic varieties of American English has found that listeners can identify speaker ethnicity from voice alone at above-chance rates. This study aims to extend this research by focusing on the perception of race and ethnicity in the voices of ethnically Korean speakers of English. Bilingual Korean Americans in California provided samples of English speech that were rated by 105 listeners. Listeners rated the speakers on their likelihood of being a certain race or ethnicity (including Asian and White). Listeners who were Korean themselves rated the speakers as more likely to be Asian and Korean, whereas non-Asian listeners rated the speakers as more likely to be White. Non-Asian listeners also demonstrated a negative correlation between rating a voice as Asian and rating a voice as belonging to a native-born American, while Asian listeners did not. Finally, a positive correlation between pitch and perceived Asianness was found for female speakers, corresponding to listeners’ metalinguistic commentary about the hallmarks and stereotypes of Asian or Asian American speech. The findings implicate the listener’s own ethnic identity and familiarity with a speech variety as an important factor in sociolinguistic perception. Full article
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Article
Pitch Range and Voice Quality in Dimasa Focus Intonation
Languages 2021, 6(4), 185; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040185 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 272
Abstract
This paper presents an analysis of Dimasa focus intonation. The acoustic analysis shows that narrow focus sentences undergo a jump in the pitch range irrespective of the underlying tonal value of the morpheme it attaches to. In addition to f0 expansion, the prosodic [...] Read more.
This paper presents an analysis of Dimasa focus intonation. The acoustic analysis shows that narrow focus sentences undergo a jump in the pitch range irrespective of the underlying tonal value of the morpheme it attaches to. In addition to f0 expansion, the prosodic property of focus in Dimasa was found to have different (tense) phonation in morphologically marked narrow focus sentences when compared to the broad focus context. Thus, the tense phonation property of sentences bearing morphological focus is not only an acoustic property of a higher pitch range but may also be an acoustic cue of discourse-level intonation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Interaction between Phonation and Prosody)
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Article
The Role of Linguistic Typology, Target Language Proficiency and Prototypes in Learning Aspectual Contrasts in Italian as Additional Language
Languages 2021, 6(4), 184; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040184 - 05 Nov 2021
Viewed by 251
Abstract
The study examines how prototypes and typological relationships between the L1, the L2 and the target language (TL) interact with TL proficiency in learning Italian as additional language. Low-proficiency and high-proficiency undergraduate learners of Italian (N = 25) with Swedish as L1 performed [...] Read more.
The study examines how prototypes and typological relationships between the L1, the L2 and the target language (TL) interact with TL proficiency in learning Italian as additional language. Low-proficiency and high-proficiency undergraduate learners of Italian (N = 25) with Swedish as L1 performed an oral retelling story test, aiming to elicit the Italian aspectual contrast perfective-imperfective. Their tense selection was analyzed considering the predicates’ lexical aspect and the learners’ knowledge of a Romance L2, or lack thereof. The findings show that the typological proximity between the L2 and the TL exerts a differential role depending on TL proficiency. Initially, it is beneficial for accelerating the overall emergence of the imperfetto as an aspectual marker. However, the prototype factor and, more specifically, the predicates’ dynamicity influences the selection of past inflectional morphology. At more advanced stages, knowledge of a Romance language helps learners move beyond prototypical associations with the passato prossimo, but it does not seem to influence the use of the imperfetto among high-proficiency learners. These results are discussed in the light of research on the second and additional language learning of aspectual contrasts in Romance languages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Syntax-Semantics Interface in the Romance Languages)
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Article
A Typological Analysis of Cognate Infinitives in Lebanese Arabic Based on Comparative Semitic Evidence
Languages 2021, 6(4), 183; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040183 - 04 Nov 2021
Viewed by 258
Abstract
Despite the relatively scarce literature on the topic and the lack of terminological consensus among scholars, Cognate Infinitives (CI) have been identified to share formal and functional characteristics across Semitic. The present study provides a description of the formal features of Cognate Infinitives [...] Read more.
Despite the relatively scarce literature on the topic and the lack of terminological consensus among scholars, Cognate Infinitives (CI) have been identified to share formal and functional characteristics across Semitic. The present study provides a description of the formal features of Cognate Infinitives in Lebanese Arabic (LA) based on the analysis of linguistic data gathered through a participant observation method. The novelty of this description lies in its comparative approach, which has been developed in the light of the Semitic evidence available, gathered through a review of the main literature available on the topic. The results of this comparative analysis reveal that the grammatical features of Cognate Infinitives in Lebanese Arabic seem to be in line with general Semitic trends that do not, however, always find their parallel in prescriptive descriptions of Cognate Infinitives in Classical or Standard Arabic. Full article
Article
Exploring the Pronunciation Awareness Continuum through Self-Reflection in the L2 French Learning Process
Languages 2021, 6(4), 182; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040182 - 01 Nov 2021
Viewed by 378
Abstract
Second language (L2) researchers have established that examining learners’ awareness of their own learning process and progress is essential. However, learners exposed to the same input in the classroom may differ in the way that they perform. This difference may be due to [...] Read more.
Second language (L2) researchers have established that examining learners’ awareness of their own learning process and progress is essential. However, learners exposed to the same input in the classroom may differ in the way that they perform. This difference may be due to the way and depth with which learners process the L2 information. The present study explores self-reflection (i.e., introspective verbal reports) to enhance L2 learning, helping learners develop an awareness of learning as a process. This four-semester-long study investigates whether there is a connection between phonological awareness and self-reflection and explores under which conditions self-reflection could be most beneficial for pronunciation. Sixty learners of French, divided into a Treatment group (with self-reflection) and a Comparison group (without self-reflection), were tracked across semesters. Results on pre/post read-aloud tests surrounding pronunciation lessons—on the vowels /y/-/u/ and the use of liaisons—were contrasted with students’ responses to self-reflection questionnaires to explore their learning process. The study revealed that overall, self-reflection led to better learning outcomes, and that a link between attention and understanding may exist, but when this link is absent, learners using self-reflection may not linearly progress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Awareness in (I)SLA)
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Article
Changes in Anticipatory VtoV Coarticulation in French during Adulthood
Languages 2021, 6(4), 181; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040181 - 29 Oct 2021
Viewed by 230
Abstract
In this study, we test whether anticipatory Vowel-to-Vowel coarticulation varies with age in the speech of 246 adult French speakers aged between 20 and 93. The relationship between coarticulation and the known age-related change in speech rate is also investigated. The results show [...] Read more.
In this study, we test whether anticipatory Vowel-to-Vowel coarticulation varies with age in the speech of 246 adult French speakers aged between 20 and 93. The relationship between coarticulation and the known age-related change in speech rate is also investigated. The results show a gradual decrease in the amount of coarticulation for speakers from 20 to mid-50s, followed by a more abrupt decrease for speakers older than 70. For speakers in between, diverse coarticulation profiles emerge. Speech rate is also found to evolve from early to late adulthood and not only for older speakers; it shows a gradual decrease for speakers up to mid-50s and a more abrupt deceleration afterwards. Yet, the relationship between rate and coarticulation is not linear; it appears stronger for the younger speakers, with faster speakers coarticulating more, than for the adults over 70 y.o.a. Results are discussed in relation to possible changes in the parametrization and coordination of speech units at different ages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging- and Disease-related Changes in Speech Production)
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Review
Examining Pedagogical Translanguaging: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Languages 2021, 6(4), 180; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040180 - 26 Oct 2021
Viewed by 551
Abstract
In the past two decades translanguaging has proven to be a potent concept in applied linguistics, having generated a large amount of literature that explores theoretical and empirical dimensions of this linguistically inclusive pedagogical approach to language teaching and learning. This systematic literature [...] Read more.
In the past two decades translanguaging has proven to be a potent concept in applied linguistics, having generated a large amount of literature that explores theoretical and empirical dimensions of this linguistically inclusive pedagogical approach to language teaching and learning. This systematic literature review focuses on empirical studies that draw on the translanguaging framework in English language teaching (ELT) and beyond. Following PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews, this study aims to shed light on the current state of knowledge about the affordances of translanguaging pedagogies in a plethora of educational contexts worldwide and to highlight possible avenues for future research. Eleven databases were searched to obtain a dataset spanning from 2011 till February of 2021 and yielding nearly 3000 publications. After duplicate removal, abstract screening, and application of the inclusion/exclusion criteria, a total of 233 studies were coded and analysed to address the research questions. As a result, this systematic review synthesizes the state of knowledge on pedagogical translanguaging, with the aim to inform educators about developments in this rapidly growing field and support researchers in identifying future research priorities on the subject of drawing on learners’ full linguistic repertoires for linguistically inclusive education. Full article
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Article
‘In Ukrainian, Please!’: Language Ideologies in a Ukrainian Complementary School
Languages 2021, 6(4), 179; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040179 - 26 Oct 2021
Viewed by 284
Abstract
This article examines the language practices of teachers and students in a Ukrainian complementary school, and the language ideologies influencing teachers’ responses to students’ language practices in a Ukrainian complementary school. The data presented in this analysis comprise a collection of fieldnotes collected [...] Read more.
This article examines the language practices of teachers and students in a Ukrainian complementary school, and the language ideologies influencing teachers’ responses to students’ language practices in a Ukrainian complementary school. The data presented in this analysis comprise a collection of fieldnotes collected over the course of one academic year in a Ukrainian complementary school located in the Midlands, England. The analysis of these data identifies the presence of two seemingly contradictory language ideologies—separate bilingualism and flexible bilingualism—seemingly coexist in the complementary school, implied through teachers’ and students’ language practices and teachers’ responses to students’ language choice. The analysis also considers the use of Russian in the Ukrainian complementary school, thus exploring the use of a language other than the heritage language (Ukrainian) and the societal majority language (English) in this setting, highlighting the linguistic diversity within this context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multilingualism in Migrant Contexts)
Article
An Innovative Copula in Maghrebi Arabic and Its Dialectological Repercussions: The Case of Copular yabda
Languages 2021, 6(4), 178; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040178 - 26 Oct 2021
Viewed by 269
Abstract
Research on copulas in Arabic dialects has hitherto largely focused on the pronominal copula, and has also mostly ignored Maghrebi dialects. Drawing on published literature as well as fieldwork-based corpora, this article identifies and analyzes a hitherto undescribed verbal copula in dialects of [...] Read more.
Research on copulas in Arabic dialects has hitherto largely focused on the pronominal copula, and has also mostly ignored Maghrebi dialects. Drawing on published literature as well as fieldwork-based corpora, this article identifies and analyzes a hitherto undescribed verbal copula in dialects of Tunisian and northwestern Libya deriving from the verb yabda (“to begin”). We show that copular yabda occurs mostly in predicational copular sentences, with time reference including the habitual present and generic future. It takes nominal, adjectival, and locational predicate types. We also argue for broader inclusion of syntactic isoglosses in Arabic dialectology, and show how copular yabda crosses the traditional isogloss lines established on the basis of phonology, morphology, or lexicon, and therefore contradicts established dialect classifications such as Bedouin/sedentary or Tunisian/Libyan. Full article
Article
Multilingualism in Migrant Contexts in Pakistan and the UK: Transcending Physical, Social and Symbolic Borders in Transnational Social Spaces
Languages 2021, 6(4), 177; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040177 - 25 Oct 2021
Viewed by 319
Abstract
This paper is based on a four-year ethnographic study of multilingualism in transnational Mirpuri families in Azad Kashmir (Pakistan) and Lancashire (United Kingdom). Data were collected in a range of physical settings in Pakistan and the UK as well as social spaces online. [...] Read more.
This paper is based on a four-year ethnographic study of multilingualism in transnational Mirpuri families in Azad Kashmir (Pakistan) and Lancashire (United Kingdom). Data were collected in a range of physical settings in Pakistan and the UK as well as social spaces online. Migrants’ literacy practices are often related to the standard language variety of the country to which the migrant is moving. However, this paper suggests that migration requires different kinds of literacies, not all of which relate to standard writing system use. The study sought to understand how these literacies are shaped in Pakistan before they are taken up in the UK, by seeing them as part of migrants’ everyday translanguaging. This perspective involves exploring how different language varieties (such as Punjabi, Urdu and English) and different linguistic resources (such as scripts, styles and registers) are appropriated by migrants at different stages of their migration trajectories alongside migrants’ own perspectives on these practices. The findings demonstrate how migrant families counter discrimination in their everyday multilingualism as part of the translingual practices which transcend physical, social and symbolic borders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multilingualism in Migrant Contexts)
Article
Multi-Dimensional Variation in Adult Speech as a Function of Age
Languages 2021, 6(4), 176; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040176 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 390
Abstract
We present a multidimensional acoustic report describing variation in speech productions on data collected from 500 francophone adult speakers (20 to 93 y.o.a.) as a function of age. In this cross-sectional study, chronological age is considered as a continuous variable while oral productions, [...] Read more.
We present a multidimensional acoustic report describing variation in speech productions on data collected from 500 francophone adult speakers (20 to 93 y.o.a.) as a function of age. In this cross-sectional study, chronological age is considered as a continuous variable while oral productions, in reading and speech-like tasks, are characterized via 22 descriptors related to voice quality, pitch, vowel articulation and vocalic system organization, time-related measures and temporal organization, as well as maximal performances in speech-like tasks. In a first analysis, we detail how each descriptor varies according to the age of the speaker, for male and female speakers separately. In a second analysis, we explore how chronological age is, in turn, predicted by the combination of all descriptors. Overall, results confirm that with increasing age, speakers show more voice instability, sex-dependent pitch changes, slower speech and articulation rates, slower repetition rates and less complexity effects in maximal performance tasks. A notable finding of this study is that some of these changes are continuous throughout adulthood while other appear either at old age or in early adulthood. Chronological age appears only moderately indexed in speech, mainly through speech rate parameters. We discuss these results in relation with the notion of attrition and with other possible factors at play, in an attempt to better capture the multidimensional nature of the notion of “age”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging- and Disease-related Changes in Speech Production)
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Article
Between Loss and Salvage: Kabyles and Syrian Christians Negotiate Heritage, Linguistic Authenticity and Identity in Europe
Languages 2021, 6(4), 175; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040175 - 25 Oct 2021
Viewed by 584
Abstract
This paper brings together two different communities, Kabyles (Amazighs) and Syrian Christians, who are nevertheless marked by some commonalities: a strong diasporic dispersal as a historical experience, political, cultural and linguistic marginalization in their countries of origin, the deep association of collective identity [...] Read more.
This paper brings together two different communities, Kabyles (Amazighs) and Syrian Christians, who are nevertheless marked by some commonalities: a strong diasporic dispersal as a historical experience, political, cultural and linguistic marginalization in their countries of origin, the deep association of collective identity with an “endangered” heritage language, a lived experience of multilingualism, and a post-emigration struggle of language maintenance and transmission. The Kabyles have roots in northern Algeria, and associate their language, Kabyle, with a pre-Arabized history of northern Africa, with claims to cultural authenticity and indigeneity. This paper focuses on research conducted in the UK, a relatively new immigrant setting for this community. The Syrian Christians originate from Turkey and have dispersed across different European countries since the 1960s. They make strong identity claims to Aramaic, “the language of Jesus”, yet have also found its preservation and intergenerational transmission challenging. This paper focuses on research conducted in the German speaking context. Drawing on ethnographic research with these communities, we bring their post-migration language preservation activisms into a dialogue. This shows the enduring significance of the heritage language for social, cultural and historical identity, despite considerable language decline. It also demonstrates that the current survival of the “mother tongue” hinges on multilingual and multi-sited language activisms which bear the hallmarks of both new creativities and diminishing fluencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multilingualism in Migrant Contexts)
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Article
On the Primary Influences of Age on Articulation and Phonation in Maximum Performance Tasks
Languages 2021, 6(4), 174; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040174 - 21 Oct 2021
Viewed by 365
Abstract
Maximum performance tasks have been identified as possible domains where incipient signs of neurological disease may be detected in simple speech and voice samples. However, it is likely that these will simultaneously be influenced by the age and sex of the speaker. In [...] Read more.
Maximum performance tasks have been identified as possible domains where incipient signs of neurological disease may be detected in simple speech and voice samples. However, it is likely that these will simultaneously be influenced by the age and sex of the speaker. In this study, a comprehensive set of acoustic quantifications were collected from the literature and applied to productions of sustained [a] productions and Alternating Motion Rate diadochokinetic (DDK) syllable sequences made by 130 (62 women, 68 men) healthy speakers, aged 20–90 years. The participants were asked to produce as stable (sustained [a] and DDK) and fast (DDK) productions as possible. The full set of features were reduced to a functional subset that most efficiently modeled sex-specific differences between younger and older speakers using a cross-validation procedure. Twelve measures of [a] and 16 measures of DDK sequences were identified across men and women and investigated in terms of how they were altered with increasing age of speakers. Increased production instability is observed in both tasks, primarily above the age of 60 years. DDK sequences were slower in older speakers, but also altered in their syllable and segment level acoustic properties. Increasing age does not appear to affect phonation or articulation uniformly, and men and women are affected differently in most quantifications investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging- and Disease-related Changes in Speech Production)
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Article
Connecting the Lines between Old (Epigraphic) Arabic and the Modern Vernaculars
Languages 2021, 6(4), 173; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040173 - 20 Oct 2021
Viewed by 390
Abstract
This paper investigates three linguistic features—wawation, the 1CS genitive clitic pronoun, and the relative pronoun—that are shared between the ancient epigraphic forms of Arabic and modern dialects, to the exclusion of Classical Arabic. I suggest that these features represent the earliest linguistic layer [...] Read more.
This paper investigates three linguistic features—wawation, the 1CS genitive clitic pronoun, and the relative pronoun—that are shared between the ancient epigraphic forms of Arabic and modern dialects, to the exclusion of Classical Arabic. I suggest that these features represent the earliest linguistic layer of the modern dialects. Full article
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Article
Why Is There No Raising to Object in Spanish? A Study of Code-Switching
Languages 2021, 6(4), 172; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040172 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 282
Abstract
Raising to Object (RtoObj), like other types of Raising configurations, features a determiner phrase (DP) in a dual-clausal relationship with both the matrix and the embedded clauses. RtoO is possible in English and a few other languages, most famously, Icelandic. However, it is [...] Read more.
Raising to Object (RtoObj), like other types of Raising configurations, features a determiner phrase (DP) in a dual-clausal relationship with both the matrix and the embedded clauses. RtoO is possible in English and a few other languages, most famously, Icelandic. However, it is not possible in many other languages, such as Spanish. As far as we can tell, insight into what licenses RtoObj is largely speculative. The main goal of this paper is to limit the range of possible hypotheses by pinpointing the source of the cross-linguistic difference using code-switching data. A priori, we could hypothesize two possible sources for the licensor of RtoObj: it could be a feature in the matrix clause or a feature in the infinitival complement. In this chapter, we present code-switching data that support the second option: English TdefP is linked to the licensing of RtoObj. We find that early Spanish/English bilinguals overwhelmingly prefer code-switched RtoObj samples when the infinitival complement is in English and they reject RtoObj when the complement is a Spanish infinitival. This suggests that Spanish Tdef is either different or altogether missing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Syntactic Properties of Code-Switching)
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Article
Bailando, me paso el día bailando y los vecinos mientras tanto no paran de molestar. Parar de + inf as an Interruptive Verbal Periphrasis in Spanish
Languages 2021, 6(4), 171; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040171 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 290
Abstract
The main aim of this paper is to describe the Spanish construction parar de + inf, an aspectual verbal periphrasis which expresses the interruption of the event referred to by the infinitive in affirmative clauses, and the continuity and repetition of this [...] Read more.
The main aim of this paper is to describe the Spanish construction parar de + inf, an aspectual verbal periphrasis which expresses the interruption of the event referred to by the infinitive in affirmative clauses, and the continuity and repetition of this event in negative clauses. Parar de+ inf is a verbal periphrasis whose consolidation in Spanish occurred in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The study on this structure is therefore associated with recent linguistic changes. Parar de + inf is a verbal periphrasis characteristic of the colloquial language, which has complicated the study of the real use of parar de + inf. The language used in situations of communicative proximity is under-represented in the corpora. Thus, estimates of the frequencies of use of linguistic forms associated with colloquial language forms should be taken with caution, as frequency of use may differ significantly across discourse traditions. In this regard, it is important to think about the role of frequency data in historical studies of language. Full article
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Article
Cultivating a Culture of Bilingualism: Evaluating a Home Language Arts Curriculum for SIFE
Languages 2021, 6(4), 170; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040170 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 156
Abstract
This study is a mixed-methods exploratory study of a Spanish Home Language Arts (HLA) pilot curriculum designed for Students with Interrupted Education (SIFE) as it was implemented across six different schools in New York State during the 2019–2020 school year before the onset [...] Read more.
This study is a mixed-methods exploratory study of a Spanish Home Language Arts (HLA) pilot curriculum designed for Students with Interrupted Education (SIFE) as it was implemented across six different schools in New York State during the 2019–2020 school year before the onset of COVID-19. The focus of the study was to observe whether the HLA curriculum improved teacher practice in the increased use of the gradual release of responsibility and the curriculum-prescribed protocols. Another goal was to examine whether the use of the curriculum helped to improve student writing and bilingual literacy. A final goal of the study was to survey teachers on their perceptions of the curriculum, especially in how the lesson design fostered student engagement and collaboration with others. The results of the internal evaluation showed that the teachers improved in their practice, especially in the areas of gradual release and increased student time on task. The students were able to develop specific text analysis and writing skills using instructional protocols used in the home language and in English that were transferable across classroom contexts. In addition, the lessons encouraged students to leverage literacy skills and background knowledge in Spanish as a way to support learning new skills in both Spanish and English. Finally, the study showed that the use of the curriculum increased student engagement and collaboration in the classroom. Full article
Article
Added Alternatives in Spoken Interaction: A Corpus Study on German Auch
Languages 2021, 6(4), 169; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040169 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 131
Abstract
Particles such as German auch (‘also’) establish an additive relation between expressions in their scope (added constituent, AC) and context alternatives against the background of shared information (common denominator). In spoken interaction, however, explicit alternatives are not necessarily present and expressions can be [...] Read more.
Particles such as German auch (‘also’) establish an additive relation between expressions in their scope (added constituent, AC) and context alternatives against the background of shared information (common denominator). In spoken interaction, however, explicit alternatives are not necessarily present and expressions can be construed as alternatives against different variants of a common denominator. It is the aim of the present paper to investigate to what extent the presence of alternatives influences the construction of utterances containing an additive particle. This is particularly relevant for German, where speakers can choose between an unstressed and stressed version of auch. We ask whether properties of the alternatives and their common denominators influence the choice to use stressed or unstressed auch. In a corpus study on spoken language, we classified the versions of auch, the particles AC, the alternatives in the preceding context and their common denominator. The results show that the speaker’s choice is influenced by the relation of the utterance to context alternatives. Specifically, the degree of explicitness of alternatives, the number of alternatives, and the degree of abstractness of the common denominator influence the continuation of the discourse, measured by the preference for one of the two variants of the particle auch. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Role of Focus Alternatives in Language Production)
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Review
The Quest for Signals in Noise: Leveraging Experiential Variation to Identify Bilingual Phenotypes
Languages 2021, 6(4), 168; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6040168 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 440
Abstract
Increasing evidence suggests that bilingualism does not, in itself, result in a particular pattern of response, revealing instead a complex and multidimensional construct that is shaped by evolutionary and ecological sources of variability. Despite growing recognition of the need for a richer characterization [...] Read more.
Increasing evidence suggests that bilingualism does not, in itself, result in a particular pattern of response, revealing instead a complex and multidimensional construct that is shaped by evolutionary and ecological sources of variability. Despite growing recognition of the need for a richer characterization of bilingual speakers and of the different contexts of language use, we understand relatively little about the boundary conditions of putative “bilingualism” effects. Here, we review recent findings that demonstrate how variability in the language experiences of bilingual speakers, and also in the ability of bilingual speakers to adapt to the distinct demands of different interactional contexts, impact interactions between language use, language processing, and cognitive control processes generally. Given these findings, our position is that systematic variation in bilingual language experience gives rise to a variety of phenotypes that have different patterns of associations across language processing and cognitive outcomes. The goal of this paper is thus to illustrate how focusing on systematic variation through the identification of bilingual phenotypes can provide crucial insights into a variety of performance patterns, in a manner that has implications for previous and future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Variability and Age in Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism)
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