UNT Libraries - Browse


Alternative Complementation in Partially Schematic Constructions: a Quantitative Corpus-based Examination of COME to V2 and GET to V2

Description: This paper examines two English polyverbal constructions, COME to V2 and GET to V2, as exemplified in Examples 1 and 2, respectively. (1) the senator came to know thousands of his constituents (2) Little Johnny got to eat ice cream after every little league game. Previous studies considered these types of constructions (though come and get as used here have not been sufficiently studied) as belonging to a special class of complement constructions, in which the infinitive is regarded as instantiating a separate, subordinate predication from that of the “matrix” or leftward finite verb. These constructions, however, exhibit systematic deviation from the various criteria proposed in previous research. This study uses the American National Corpus to investigate the statistical propensities of the target phenomena via lexico-syntactic (collostructional analysis) and morpho-syntactic (binary logistic regression) features, as captured through the lens of construction grammar.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Lester, Nicholas A.

Burushaski Case Marking, Agreement and Implications: an Analysis of the Hunza Dialect

Description: This thesis was written to explore the structural case patterns of the Burushaski sentence and to examine the different participant coding systems which appear between noun marking and verb agreement. Verb suffixes follow nominative alignment patterns of agreement, while the verb prefix agrees with the affected argument as determined by semantic relations, as opposed to syntactic ones. The agent noun phrase is directly marked when highly active or volitional, suggesting a system of agent marking on the noun phrase and nominative alignment on the verb suffix. Nominative alignment also allows for a less marked presence of passive voice. Burushaski's agent marking is not entirely consistent; however, its nominative alignment is consistent. The conclusion is that Burushaski is not an ergative language at all.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Smith, Alexander

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

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 found as well.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Sales, Rachel

Understanding the Owner’s Manual: the United States Constitution Examined Through the Lens of Technical Communication

Description: This dissertation explores the collaborative process and use of language that went into the creating the United States Constitution in 1787. From a technical communication perspective, the collaborative process explored did not develop any new theories on collaboration, but instead, allows scholars to track the emergence of a well-documented America collaborative process from the early period of the developing American nation on a document that has remained in use for over 235 years. in addition to examining this collaborative process, the author also discusses the use of passive voice and negative language in the first article of the Constitution.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Elerson, Crystal

Zero Anaphora and Meithei

Description: The focus of this thesis is to determine what factors predict zero anaphora in Meithei. The data for this thesis is derived from pear stories. Arguments were tabulated in spreadsheets counting nouns, pronouns, and zero anaphors; they were also examined for their semantic role and information status. The findings showed the agent role was typically represented by reduced forms of reference, the majority of the time by zero anaphora. Other semantic roles were typically represented by lexical full forms of reference. Agents were strongly correlated to previous subjects. Other semantic roles were typically found in the other information status categories. The conclusion drawn from these findings is semantic role and information status influence accessibility, and accessibility determines whether or not arguments are represented by zero anaphors in Meithei.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Cockerham, Terence