Present tense marking as a synopsis of Southern American English: Plural verbal -s and zero 3rd singular.

Present tense marking as a synopsis of Southern American English: Plural verbal -s and zero 3rd singular.

Date: May 2005
Creator: Aguilar, Amanda G.
Description: This thesis explores the evolution plural verbal -s ("People thinks he is guilty") and zero 3rd singular ("He think he is guilty") in data from two sources on Southern English: The Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States (LAGS) and The Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (LAMSAS). The research questions that underlie this study consider (1) the demographic association of plural verbal -s and zero 3rd singular, (2) the maintenance of each form, (3) the constraints on their use, and (4) the origins of -s variability. The atlas data suggest the following for plural verbal -s: (1) it has a British source, (2) it was present in both African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and early Southern White English (SWE), and (3) there were different grammatical constraints on its use in AAVE and SWE. Data for zero 3rd singular -s suggest this form (1) did not have a British source and (2) that it has historically been an AAVE feature.
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Teaching linguistic mimicry to improve second language pronunciation.

Teaching linguistic mimicry to improve second language pronunciation.

Date: May 2003
Creator: Yates, Karen
Description: This thesis tests the hypothesis that a whole language approach to ESL (English As A Second Language) pronunciation with emphasis on suprasegementals through the use of linguistic mimicry is more effective than a focus on segmentals in improving native speakers perceptions of accent and comprehensibility of ESL students' pronunciation of English. The thesis is organized into seven chapters. Chapter 2 is a discussion of the factors that affect the degree of foreign accent in second language acquisition. Chapter 3 gives a background on current ESL pedagogy followed by a description of the linguistic mimicry approach used in this research in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 and 6 are discussion of Materials and Methods and Conclusions and Implications.
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A Corpus-Based Approach to Gerundial and Infinitival Complementation in Spanish ESL Writing

A Corpus-Based Approach to Gerundial and Infinitival Complementation in Spanish ESL Writing

Date: May 2011
Creator: Martinez-Garcia, Maria Teresa
Description: This paper examines the use of infinitival and gerundial constructions by intermediate Spanish learners. The use of those two patterns creates problems for second language learners at intermediate and advanced levels. However, there are only few studies on their second language acquisition, and fewer focus on Spanish learners. This study tries to resolve this and to this end, I retrieved all hits of the two constructions from the Spanish component of the International Learner Corpus of English (SP-ICLE). I run a distinctive collexeme analysis (DCA) to identify the verbs that are associated with either pattern. The results are discussed at three different levels: (i) the identification of verbs that Spanish learners associate with each construction; (ii) a systematic comparison with previous studies on native speakers to show possible similarities/discrepancies; and (iii) a comparison of the results with findings on German learners to discuss possible effects of language similarity and transfer.
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Perception of Foreign Accented Speech: the Roles of Familiarity and Linguistic Training

Perception of Foreign Accented Speech: the Roles of Familiarity and Linguistic Training

Date: May 2012
Creator: Sales, Rachel
Description: This paper seeks to address the issue by examining two factors that potentially affect a listener’s perception of foreign accented speech: degree of familiarity (as acquired through a work or personal environment) and amount of ESL or linguistic training. Speech samples were recorded from 18 international students from Hispanic, Asian, and Middle-eastern backgrounds and across all proficiency levels as designated by their academic English program. Six native English speakers were also recorded to serve as a basis for comparison. Listeners were drawn from two pools: people with ESL and/or linguistic training (n=42) and laypersons with no such specialist training (n=36). After completing a background questionnaire to assess familiarity with foreign accented speech, each listener rated all 24 speech samples on the dimensions of comprehensibility, degree of accent, and communicative ability. Results indicate that participants with ESL/linguistic training rate foreign accented speech more positively on all three dimensions than laypersons with no such training. Additionally, degree of familiarity with foreign accented speech is positively correlated with how participants rated the accented speech samples. a number of highly significant interactions between these and other factors including sex of the speaker, proficiency level of the speaker, and L1 family of the speaker were ...
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A test of the effects of linguistic stereotypes in children's animated film: A language attitude study.

A test of the effects of linguistic stereotypes in children's animated film: A language attitude study.

Date: May 2007
Creator: Trowell, Melody
Description: This study examined the claim that animated films influence childrens' opinions of accented-English. Two hundred and eighteen 3rd through 5th graders participated in a web-based survey. They listened to speakers with various accents: Mainstream US English (MUSE), African American Vernacular English (AAVE), French, British, and Arabic. Respondents judged speakers' personality traits (Work Ethic, Wealth, Attitude, Intelligence), assigned jobs/life positions, and provided personal information, movie watching habits, and exposure to foreign languages. Results indicate: (1) MUSE ranks higher and AAVE lower than other speakers, (2) jobs/life positions do not correlate with animated films, (3) movie watching habits correlate with AAVE, French, and British ratings, (4) foreign language exposure correlates with French, British, and Arabic ratings.
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The Role of Motivation in Second Language Pronunciation

The Role of Motivation in Second Language Pronunciation

Date: August 2005
Creator: Wen, Tao-Chih
Description: This thesis investigates the phonological ability of exceptional second language (L2) learners of English and their levels of motivation. This study is the first of its kind to do a large-scale examination of L2 learners whose first languages (L1s) do not belong to the same Indo-European language family as English. Fifteen non-native speakers (NNSs) of English filled out a questionnaire and produced four speech samples, including a picture description task, paragraph reading task, sentence reading and word reading task. Fifteen native speaker (NS) controls also produced the same speech samples. Four NSs judged all participants' accents. Six NNSs scored as highly as NSs on some of the speech segments using a 2-standard deviation (SD) cut-off point. There was no significant correlation between their scores on pronunciation and motivation.
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Mary/merry and horse/hoarse: Mergers in Southern American English

Mary/merry and horse/hoarse: Mergers in Southern American English

Date: May 2004
Creator: Ehrhardt, Brooke
Description: Phonetic mergers in American English have been studied throughout the last half century. Previous research has contributed social and phonetic explanations to the understanding of front and back vowel mergers before /l/, front vowel mergers before nasals and phonetically unconditioned back vowel mergers. Using data from the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States (LAGS) and the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (LAMSAS), this thesis examines the spread of the front vowel mergers in Mary and merry and the back vowel mergers in horse and hoarse. The two complementary sources of data allow for a social and phonetic approach to the examination of the merger.
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Regional accent discrimination in hiring decisions: A language attitude study

Regional accent discrimination in hiring decisions: A language attitude study

Date: August 2000
Creator: Markley, E. Dianne
Description: Evidence is presented to support the notion that US regional accents influence decisions in the hiring process. Fifty-six people who hire for a variety of corporations participated in a computerized survey, during which they listened to speakers from regions of the US reading the same passage. Respondents judged the speakers on personal characteristics commonly considered in hiring decisions, attempted to identify the speakers' regions, and selected job categories for each speaker, in addition to providing information about their own linguistic security. Results indicate: 1) judgments based on regional accents strongly correlate to selection of job categories, 2) respondents were not able to identify regional accents correctly, and 3) negative judgments were assigned to the speakers of accents that were correctly identified.
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Speaking up! Adult ESL students' perceptions of native and non-native English speaking teachers.

Speaking up! Adult ESL students' perceptions of native and non-native English speaking teachers.

Date: December 2004
Creator: Torres, Julie West
Description: Research to date on the native versus non-native English speaker teacher (NEST versus non-NEST) debate has primarily focused on teacher self-perception and performance. A neglected, but essential, viewpoint on this issue comes from English as a second language (ESL) students themselves. This study investigated preferences of adults, specifically immigrant and refugee learners, for NESTs or non-NESTs. A 34-item, 5-point Likert attitudinal survey was given to 102 students (52 immigrants, 50 refugees) enrolled in ESL programs in a large metropolitan area in Texas . After responding to the survey, 32 students volunteered for group interviews to further explain their preferences. Results indicated that adult ESL students have a general preference for NESTs over non-NESTs, but have stronger preferences for NESTs in teaching specific skill areas such as pronunciation and writing. There was not a significant difference between immigrants' and refugees' general preferences for NESTs over non-NESTs based on immigration status.
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Exploring Thai EFL University Students' Awareness of Their Knowledge, Use, and Control of Strategies in Reading and Writing

Exploring Thai EFL University Students' Awareness of Their Knowledge, Use, and Control of Strategies in Reading and Writing

Date: December 2006
Creator: Tapinta, Pataraporn
Description: The purpose of this research was to conduct case studies to explore and describe Thai university students' awareness and application of cognitive and metacognitive strategies when reading and writing in English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL). Four participants, including two high and two low English language proficiency learners, were selected from 14 students enrolled in a five-week course called English for Social Sciences offered at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand in 2005. The major sources of data for the analyses included the transcripts of the participants' pair discussions, think-aloud protocols, interviews, and daily journal entries. In addition, field work observations, reading and writing strategy checklists, participants' written work, and the comparison of the pretest and posttest results were also instrumental to the analyses. The interpretive approach of content analysis was employed for these four case studies. Findings were initially derived from the single-case analyses, and then from cross-case analyses. Major findings revealed that strategic knowledge enhanced these English-as-a-foreign- language (EFL) learners' proficiency in English reading and writing. However, applying elaborative strategies for higher-level reading was challenging for most of the participants. Two crucial factors that impeded their development were the learners' uncertain procedural and conditional knowledge of strategy uses and their limited English language ...
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