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Does the Provision of an Intensive and Highly Focused Indirect Corrective Feedback Lead to Accuracy?

Description: This thesis imparts the outcomes of a seven-week long quasi-experimental study that explored whether or not L2 learners who received intensive and highly focused indirect feedback on one type of treatable error - either the third person singular -s, plural endings -s, or definite article the - eventually become more accurate in the post-test as compared to a control group that did not. The paired-samples t-test comparing the pre-test and post-test scores of both groups demonstrates that the experimental group did no better than the control group after they received indirect corrective feedback. The independent samples t-test measuring the experimental and control group's accuracy shows no significant difference between the two groups. Effect sizes calculated, however, do indicate that, had the sample sizes been bigger, both groups would have eventually become more accurate in the errors targeted, although this would not have been because of the indirect feedback.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Jhowry, Kheerani

Do College Students with ADHD have Expressive Writing Difficulties as Do Children with ADHD?

Description: This study analyzed the expressive writing of college students. Twenty-two ADHD students and 22 controls were asked to write a story based on a picture story and a personal challenge. The texts were compared based on several qualitative and quantitative parameters. The results show that students in both groups presented similar text quality. Out of six qualitative parameters only one was statistically different between the two groups: ADHD students performed worse in adequacy, but only in the picture task. Students writings were also investigated using corpus based analysis. This analysis showed that ADHD students used less unusually frequent words in the picture story but more in the challenge task. Taken together the findings indicate no significant difference in expressive writing between ADHD and non ADHD college students. An explanation to this result is that college students with ADHD may have passed the filter of prior education.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Mantecon, Hripsime Der-Galustian

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

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.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Martinez-Garcia, Maria Teresa

Processing Instruction and Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling: A Study of Input in the Second Language Classroom

Description: This paper reports a study of VanPatten's processing instruction (PI) and Ray's TPRS. High school students in a beginning Spanish course were divided into three groups (PI, TPRS, and control) and instructed in forms using the Spanish verb gustar. Treatment included sentence-level and discourse-level input, and tests included interpretation and production measures in a pretest, an immediate posttest, and a delayed posttest given two and a half months following treatment. The PI group made the greatest gains in production measures and in a grammaticality judgment test, and the TPRS group made the greatest gains in written fluency. The PI group's statistical gains in production measures held through the delayed posttest.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Foster, Sarah Jenne

Exposing Deep-rooted Anger: A Metaphor Pattern Analysis of Mixed Anger Metaphors

Description: This project seeks to serve two purposes: first, to investigate various semantic and grammatical aspects of mixed conceptual metaphors in reference to anger; and secondly, to explore the potential of a corpus-based, TARGET DOMAIN-oriented method termed metaphor pattern analysis to the study of mixed metaphor. This research shows that mixed metaphors do not pattern in a manner consistent with statements made within conceptual metaphor theory. These metaphors prove highly dynamic in their combinability and resist resonance between SOURCE DOMAINS used. Also shown is the viability of metaphor pattern analysis as a methodology to approach mixed metaphor research.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Barron, Andrew T.

NNS Use of Adverbs in Academic Writing

Description: Recent studies have begun to redefine the idea of accuracy in second language acquisition to include not only grammatical correctness, but also native-like selection. This is an exploratory study aimed at identifying areas of nonnative-like selection of adverbs, such as sentence position, semantic category preferences, frequency of use and breadth of word choice. Using corpus-linguistic methods it compares the writing of nonnative English speakers at an intermediate and advanced level to both American college students’ writing and published academic writing. It also conducts in-depth case studies of three of the most commonly used adverbs. It finds that while advanced students are grammatically accurate, there are still several ways in which their use of adverbs differs from that of native speakers.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Heidler, Linda E.

Directions Toward a “Happy Place”: Metaphor in Conversational Discourse

Description: This paper aims to show how people use and understand metaphorical language in conversational discourse. Specifically, I examine how metaphorical language has the potential to be either effective or ineffective in its usage, and how they are bound to the contextual environment of the conversation. This particular setting is a conversation between a researcher and a participant involved in a therapeutic program. Metaphorical language is shown to be helpful for understanding difficult subjects; however, I found most metaphorical occurrences ineffective in meaning-making. Often these ineffective metaphors are elaborated or repeated throughout the discourse event, creating problems with cohesion and understanding. Metaphor use in conversation is an effective rhetorical tool for creating meaning, but it is also a problematic device when it comes to aligning participants' conversational goal.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Edwards, Jonathan Ryan

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

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

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.

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

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

How Drawing Becomes Writing: Proto-orthography in the Codex Borbonicus

Description: The scholarship on the extent of the Nahuatl writing system makes something of a sense-reference error. There are a number of occurrences in which the symbols encode a verb, three in the present tense and one in the past tense. The context of the use of calendar systems and written language in the Aztec empire is roughly described. I suggest that a new typology for is needed in order to fully account for Mesoamerican writing systems and to put to rest the idea that alphabetic orthographies are superior to other full systems. I cite neurolinguistic articles in support of this argument and suggest an evolutionary typology based on Gould's theory of Exaptation paired with the typology outlined by Justeson in his "Origins of Mesoamerican Writing" article.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Bolinger, Taylor

Middle Voice Construction in Burushaski: From the Perspective of a Native Speaker of the Hunza Dialect

Description: This study is about voice system in Burushaski, focusing especially on the middle voice (MV) construction. It claims that the [dd-] verbal prefix is an overt morphological middle marker for MV constructions, while the [n-] verbal prefix is a morphological marker for passive voice. The data primarily come from the Hunza dialect of Burushaski, but analogous phenomena can be observed in other dialects. This research is based on a corpus of 120 dd-prefix verbs. This research has showed that position {-2} on the verb template is occupied by voice-marker in Burushaski. The author argues that the middle marker is a semantic category of its own and that it is clearly distinguished from the reflexive marker in this language. The analysis of the phenomenon in this study only comes from the dialect of Hunza Burushaski, so a lot of research remains to be done on the other three dialects of Burushaski: Yasin dialect, Nagar dialect and Srinagar dialect.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Karim, Piar

Drawing Boundaries and Revealing Language Attitudes: Mapping Perceptions of Dialects in Korea

Description: Perceptual dialectology studies have shown that people have strong opinions about the number and placement of dialect regions. There has been relatively little research conducted in this area on Korean, however, with early studies using only short language attitude surveys. To address this gap in research, in the present study, I use the 'draw-­?a-­?map' task to examine perceptions of language variation in Korea. I ask respondents to draw a line around places in Korea where people speak differently and provide names, examples, and comments about the language spoken in those areas. With the resulting data, I use ArcGIS 10.0 software to quantitatively identify, aggregate, and map the most salient dialect areas and categories for subjects' perceptions. I also perform a content analysis of the qualitative data provided by respondents using 'keywords.' During this process, I categorize comments and labels given by respondents to find emerging themes. Finally, I stratify perceptions of respondents by demographic factors, e.g., age, sex, and urbanicity, that have often been found to be important in language variation and change. An analysis of these data suggests that Koreans' perceptions of dialect regions are not necessarily limited by administrative boundaries. In fact, the data reveal not only perceptions of dialect variation unassociated with geographic borders, but they also tap into the way people connect ideas about language and place. Results from this study have implications for language attitudes research, perceptual dialectology methodology, and the relationship between language and place in Korea.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Jeon, Lisa

Reading Beyond the Words: How Implementing Esl Strategies During Modified Guided Reading Affects a Deaf Student’s Language Acquisition Process

Description: While Deaf students are not typically classified as English as a second language (ESL) students, the majority of deaf students first become fluent in a signed language, making them ideal candidates for ESL research. This case study has been designed to explore the ways in which one method of ESL reading instruction, known as modified guided reading (MGR), affects the language acquisition process, and resulting reading comprehension level, of a deaf student over eleven weeks. The study documented the student’s language acquisition development both in American Sign Language (ASL) and in English, as well as tracked the student’s growth in reading comprehension, metalinguistic awareness, and visual attention skills. The Accelerated Reader (AR) program, benchmark testing, and daily observations were used to measure growth. Findings of the study suggest that the ESL methods implemented through MGR positively impacted the student’s language acquisition process, reading comprehension level, metalinguistic awareness, and visual attention skills. Results showed an increase in all three of the student’s AR scores as follows: 31% in reading level, 13.1% in number of words read, and 13.2 % in comprehension test scores. Observations and benchmark testing revealed increased metalinguistic knowledge in word, syntactic, and pragmatic awareness. Visual attention skills were found to be the key element in allowing reading comprehension to take place and strategies for improving these skills were found to be a necessary part of the MGR process.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Christian, Laura