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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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries