UNT Theses and Dissertations - Browse

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Finitness and Verb-Raising in Second Language Acquisition of French by Native Speakers of Moroccan Arabic

Description: In this thesis, the three hypotheses on the nature of early L2 acquisition (the Full Transfer/Full Access view of Schwartz and Sprouse (e.g., 1996), the Minimal Trees view of Vainikka and Young-Scholten (e.g., 1996), and the Valueless Features view of Eubank (e.g., 1996)), are discussed. Analysis of the early French production by two native speakers of Moroccan Arabic is done to determine if the L1 grammar is transferred onto the L2 grammar. In particular, the phenomena of verb-raising (as determined by the verb's position vis-a-vis negation) and finiteness are examined. The results of this study indicate that the relevant structures of Moroccan Arabic do not transfer onto the emerging French grammar.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Aboutaj, Heidi H. (Heidi Huttar)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Female Inheritors of Hawthorne's New England Literary Tradition

Description: Nineteenth-century women were a mainstay in the New England literary tradition, both as readers and authors. Indeed, women were a large part of a growing reading public, a public that distanced itself from Puritanism and developed an appetite for novels and magazine short stories. It was a culture that survived in spite of patriarchal domination of the female in social and literary status. This dissertation is a study of selected works from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Mary E. Wilkins Freeman that show their fiction as a protest against a patriarchal society. The premise of this study is based on analyzing these works from a protest (not necessarily a feminist) view, which leads to these conclusions: rejection of the male suitor and of marriage was a protest against patriarchal institutions that purposely restricted females from realizing their potential. Furthermore, it is often the case that industrialism and abuses of male authority in selected works by Jewett and Freeman are symbols of male-driven forces that oppose the autonomy of the female. Thus my argument is that protest fiction of the nineteenth century quietly promulgates an agenda of independence for the female. It is an agenda that encourages the woman to operate beyond standard stereotypes furthered by patriarchal attitudes. I assert that Jewett and Freeman are, in fact, inheritors of Hawthorne's literary tradition, which spawned the first fully-developed, independent American heroine: Hester Prynne.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Adams, Dana W. (Dana Wills)
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Beowulf": Myth as a Structural and Thematic Key

Description: Very little of the huge corpus of Beowulf criticism has been directed at discovering the function and meaning of myth in the poem. Scholars have noted many mythological elements, but there has never been a satisfactory explanation of the poet's use of this material. A close analysis of Beowulf reveals that myth does, in fact, inform its structure, plot, characters and even imagery. More significant than the poet's use of myth, however, is the way he interlaces the historical and Christian elements with the mythological story to reflect his understanding of the cyclic nature of human existence. The examination in Chapter II of the religious component in eighth-century Anglo-Saxon culture demonstrates that the traditional Germanic religion or mythology was still very much alive. Thus the Beowulf poet was certainly aware of pre-Christian beliefs. Furthermore, he seems to have perceived basic similarities between the old and new religions, and this understanding is reflected in the poem. Chapter III discusses the way in which the characterization of the monsters is enriched by their mythological connotations. Chapter IV demonstrates that the poet also imbued the hero Beowulf with mythological significance. The discussion in Chapter V of themes and type-scenes reveals the origins of these formulaic elements in Indo-European myth, particularly in the myth of the dying god. Chapter VI argues that both historical and mythological layers of meaning reflect traditional man's view of history as cyclic, a temporal period with a beginning and an end. At the juncture between end and beginning is conflict, which is necessary for regeneration. The interlacing of Christian, historical and mythic elements suggests the impossibility of extricating the individual and collective historical manifestations from the cosmic imperative of this cycle. The Beowulf poet perhaps saw in the ancient myths which permeated his cultural traditions the basis of meaning ...
Date: May 1990
Creator: Aitches, Marian A. (Marian Annette)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Theme of Isolation in Selected Short Fiction of Kate Chopin, Katherine Anne Porter, and Eudora Welty

Description: "The Theme of Isolation in Selected Short Fiction of Kate Chopin, Katherine Anne Porter, and Eudora Welty" examines certain prototypical natures of isolation as recurrent and underlying themes in selected short fiction of Chopin, Porter, and Welty. Despite the differing backgrounds of the three Southern women writers, and despite the variety of issues they treat, the theme of isolation permeates most of their short fiction. I categorize and analyze their short stories by the nature and the treatment of the varieties of isolation. The analysis and comparison of their short stories from this particular perspective enables readers to link the three writers and to acknowledge their artistic talent and grasp of human psychology and situations.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Arima, Hiroko, 1959-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Characteristics of Intensive English Program Directors

Description: The purpose of this study is to discover if there exists a difference between the perceived roles and functions of intensive English program (IEP) directors and what they actually are. The study is a partial replication of Matthies (1983). A total of 46 subjects participated in a nation-wide survey which asked the respondents to rate the importance of functions and skills in good job performance and in self-assessment of ability. The findings indicated that IEP directors rate the activities associated with administration higher in importance than teaching skills, yet rate themselves better at teaching overall. Additionally, the respondents have more and higher degrees in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics than previously seen by Matthies (1983).
Date: August 1994
Creator: Atkinson, Tamara D. (Tamara Dawn)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Saul Bellow's Creation of Ambiguity and Deception in Herzog and The Dean's December

Description: Argues that Bellow purposefully creates ambiguity and deception using impersonal narration and free indirect discourse in order to present Herzog and The Dean's December as reflections of an ambiguous and deceptive world. The discussion of impersonal narration is based on Wayne Booth's theories about the confusion of distance resulting from impersonal narration; the discussion of free indirect discourse is drawn from a number of definitions. Utilizes a number of specific references to the texts and to criticisms of the texts to demonstrate the absence of norms and the effect that the ambiguity and deception may have on readers.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Banks, Paul J. (Paul Jerome)
Partner: UNT Libraries

From Boyd City to the Big City and Beyond: Six Stories with a Critical Introduction

Description: The critical introduction to this collection of short fiction argues that writing is reading and that reading is writing. The argument draws descriptions of writing as reading from such diverse sources as Sherwood Anderson, Roland Barthes, Neil Simon, J. Hillis Miller and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, as well as from the author's own experience. Descriptions of reading from phenomenological and subjective criticism, including the theories of Georges Poulet, Wolfgang Iser, Stanley Fish and David Bleich, affirm the creative role of the reader, show that the reader, in fact, writes the text in the process of reading. The introduction concludes that reader, writer and text are all constructs of language, that both reading and writing are, ultimately and primarily, thought.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Barringer, Bobby D. (Bobby Dewayne)
Partner: UNT Libraries

East, West, Somewhere in the Middle

Description: A work of creative fiction in novella form, this dissertation follows the first-person travails of Mitch Zeller, a 26-year-old gay man who is faced with an unexpected choice. The dissertation opens with a preface which examines the form of the novella and the content of this particular work.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Behlen, Shawn Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries

Wuthering Heights: A Proto-Darwinian Novel

Description: Wuthering Heights was significantly shaped by the pre-Darwinian scientific debate in ways that look ahead to Darwin's evolutionary theory more than a decade later. Wuthering Heights represents a cultural response to new and disturbing ideas. Darwin's enterprise was scientific; Emily Brontë's poetic. Both, however, were seeking to find ways to express their vision of the nature of human beings. The language and metaphors of Wuthering Heights suggest that Emily Brontë's vision was, in many ways, similar to Darwin's.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Bhattacharya, Sumangala
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Mislike Me not for My Complexion": Shakespearean Intertextuality in the Works of Nineteenth-Century African-American Women

Description: Caliban, the ultimate figure of linguistic and racial indeterminacy in The Tempest, became for African-American writers a symbol of colonial fears of rebellion against oppression and southern fears of black male sexual aggression. My dissertation thus explores what I call the "Calibanic Quadrangle" in essays and novels by Anna Julia Cooper, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins. The figure of Caliban allows these authors to inflect the sentimental structure of the novel, to elevate Calibanic utterance to what Cooper calls "crude grandeur and exalted poesy," and to reveal the undercurrent of anxiety in nineteenth-century American attempts to draw rigid racial boundaries. The Calibanic Quadrangle enables this thorough critique because it allows the black woman writer to depict the oppression of the "Other," southern fears of black sexuality, the division between early black and white women's issues, and the enduring innocence of the progressive, educated, black female hero ~ all within the legitimized boundaries of the Shakespearean text, which provides literary authority to the minority writer. I call the resulting Shakespearean intertextuality a Quadrangle because in each of these African-American works a Caliban figure, a black man or "tragic mulatto" who was once "petted" and educated, struggles within a hostile environment of slavery and racism ruled by the Prospero figure, the wielder of "white magic," who controls reproduction, fears miscegenation, and enforces racial hierarchy. The Miranda figure, associated with the womb and threatened by the specter of miscegenation, advocates slavery and perpetuates the hostile structure. The Ariel figure, graceful and ephemeral, usually the "tragic mulatta" and a slave, desires her freedom and complements the Caliban figure. Each novel signals the presence of the paradigm by naming at least one character from The Tempest (Caliban in Cooper's A Voice from the South; "Mirandy" in Harper's Iola Leroy; Prospero in Hopkins's ...
Date: August 1996
Creator: Birge, Amy Anastasia
Partner: UNT Libraries

Thais Taking Turns: How Thais Participate in Group Work in the American Classroom

Description: Using Ethnography of Communication, Conversational Analysis, and surveys, Thai students' participation in group work was studied to determine how they interact with native English-speaking students. Issues discussed are: (1) behaviors Thai students display during group work; including comparisons and contrasts to native students' behaviors, (2) prejudices native students have about including Thai students in group work, (3) Thais' strengths and weaknesses in group work, and (4) perceptions native and Thai students and their professors have regarding group work and its importance to successful course completion. The study concludes by recommending ways that both Thai students and their professors can enhance the learning outcomes of courses that heavily emphasize group work.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Bischof, Janine Chere
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Evolution of Dexter and Me

Description: The Evolution of Dexter and Me is a collection of one vignette and four short stories. All of the stories deal with young men figuring out and coping with their daily life and environment. The "Dexter stories" deal with a character I developed and evolved, Dexter, a sane young man trying to find the best way to cope in an insane system.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Bond, Ray (Edgar Ray)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Non-Native Speakers of English and Denominal Regularization

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine whether nonnative speakers of English have access to specifically-linguistic constraints governing past tense morphology. Forty non-native speakers of English rated the naturalness of 29 exocentric, or headless, verbs in a partial replication of Kim, Pinker, Prince, and Prasada (1991) which looked at the same phenomenon in native speakers. Nonnative speaker performance was similar to the 40 subject native speaker control group. A correlation also existed between length of residence and subject ratings. The results imply that non-native speakers have access to the rules governing past tense morphology although not as completely as native speakers.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Borden, David S. (David Scott)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mark Twain: "Cradle Skeptic"

Description: Critics discussing Mark Twain's early skepticism have, to date, confined their explorations to short studies (articles or book chapters), brief references in passing, or buried their insights in discussions on other topics. Other critics ignore Twain's atheistic statements and see his beliefs as theistic or deterministic. Others ascribe his attitudes in the "dark writings" to late life disappointments. This study demonstrates that Twain's later attitudes towards religion, determinism, social reform and institutions were products of his family heritage, his social environment, and his early reading. Chapter 1 introduces the major premises of the study, and Chapter 2 reviews the critical background. Chapter 3 discusses the family and hometown influences: on Twain's skeptical thought, and Chapter A discusses Twain's early literary and philosophical influences. Chapter 5 examines Twain's early writings in letters and frontier tales and sketches, showing the development of his anti-religious attitudes. Chapter 6 concludes the study.
Date: August 1990
Creator: Britton, Wesley A. (Wesley Alan)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Red Dresses for Funerals

Description: Red Dresses for Funerals contains a scholarly preface concerning the nature of factuality versus credibility in the writing of fiction. Four original short stories are included in this thesis. "A Night With Lawrence Welk" explores the relationship between a patient and student intern psychologist. "Red Dresses for Funerals" is about a wedding that plays a significant role in a variety of the characters' lives. "Trace Elements" is the only story involving young children. "Trace Elements" explores the beginning of understanding of some of the grimmer aspects of reality. "Expectations, Great and Otherwise" addresses the issue of denial. These stories are linked by their setting, a small town in Texas.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Brooks, Michelle Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ways of Pulling a Person Out of the Water

Description: Ways of Pulling A Person Out of the Water contains a preface, which discusses the writing process as well as a discussion of the short story form, ten original short stories, and two chapters of a novel-in-progress. A number of the short stories explore issues such as eating disorders, sexual violence, and artistic choice in the specialized context of the dance community. The novel chapters further develop one of the short stories, "When You Are the Camera and the Camera Is You." The narrator, Diane, explores her life coping with agoraphobia and her family's car accident.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Brooks, Michelle Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Elusive Mother in William Faulkner's Major Yoknapatawpha Families

Description: Families in much of William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha fiction are built upon traditional patriarchal structure with the father as head and provider and the mother or mother figure in charge of keeping the home and raising the children. Even though the roles appear to be clearly defined and observed, the families decline and disintegrate.
Date: May 1995
Creator: Bunnell, Phyllis Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

(Broken) Promises

Description: The dissertation begins with an introductory chapter that examines the short story cycle as a specific genre, outlines tendencies found in minimalist fiction, and discusses proposed definitions of the short story genre. The introduction examines the problems that short story theorists encounter when they try to.define the short story genre in general. Part of the problem results from the lack of a definition of the short story in the Aristotelian sense of a definition. A looser, less traditional definition of literary genres helps solve some of the problem. Minimalist fiction and the short story cycle are discussed as particular forms of the short story. Sixteen short stories follow the introduction.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Champion, Laurie, 1959-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Maelstrom: the Last Coyote Tale

Description: It is a dark future, where corporations have taken the place of governmental bodies, and Earth is a myth, forgotten in the reconstruction after the Second Dark Age. One man--a clone--investigates a murder [that] leads him deep into a spirit quest of his own that will answer the questions of Man's heritage as well as his own identity. This story is a science fiction, but it is similar in structure to a Coyote tale and involves quite a bit of Navajo mythology. The use of Native American imagery is not an attempt to capitalize on another culture, but rather to study the culture and use allegorical elements that transcend many cultures. It must also be noted that non-Native American writers wrote all texts available on the subject. This fact should be taken into consideration by the reader.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Claiborne, J. Taylor (John Taylor)
Partner: UNT Libraries

American Sandwich: West Coast, East Coast, in Between

Description: The thesis begins with an introduction, followed by six short stories. The stories that follow span three or four regions of the American landscape and three or four decades of the twentieth century. What drives each story is the isolation of both narrator and main character (when these are not the same) from the world of the story. In each story, there is either a sense of wanting to belong or an urge to escape, or both. The paradox--also the writer's paradox--is that if one belongs, one has no need to escape; if one escapes, one can never belong.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Clark, Emily A. (Emily Alcorn)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Asleep in the Arms of God

Description: A work of creative fiction in the form of a short novel, Asleep in the Arms of God is a limited-omniscient and omniscient narrative describing the experiences of a man named Wafer Roberts, born in Jack County, Texas, in 1900. The novel spans the years from 1900 to 1925, and moves from the Keechi Valley of North Texas, to Fort Worth and then France during World War One, and back again to the Keechi Valley. The dissertation opens with a preface, which examines the form of the novel, and regional and other aspects of this particular work, especially as they relate to the postmodern concern with fragmentation and conditional identity. Wafer confronts in the novel aspects of his own questionable history, which echo the larger concern with exploitative practices including racism, patriarchy, overplanting and overgrazing, and pollution, which contribute to and climax in the postmodern fragmentation. The novel attempts to make a critique of the exploitative rage of Western civilization.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Clay, Kevin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Charles Dickens and Idiolects of Alienation

Description: A part of Charles Dickens's genius with character is his deftness at creating an appropriate idiolect for each character. Through their discourse, characters reveal not only themselves, but also Dickens's comment on social features that shape their communication style. Three specific idiolects are discussed in this study. First, Dickens demonstrates the pressures that an occupation exerts on Alfred Jingle from Pickwick Papers. Second, Mr. Gradgrind from Hard Times is robbed of his ability to communicate as Dickens highlights the errors of Utilitarianism. Finally, four characters from three novels demonstrate together the principle that social institutions can silence their defenseless constituents. Linguistic evaluation of speech habits illuminates Dickens's message that social structures can injure individuals. In addition, this study reveals the consistent and intuitive narrative art of Dickens.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Coats, Jerry B. (Jerry Brian)
Partner: UNT Libraries