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Language Contact in the Inner City: the Acquisition of AAVE Features by Bilingual Hispanic Adolescents

Description: Sociolinguists working in Northern urban areas have shown that Hispanics who come in contact with African Americans sometimes acquire features of African American vernacular English (AAVE). However, the acquisition of AAVE features by Hispanics in the South has yet to be documented. Specifically, no one has studied the kind of English that Hispanics in Texas are acquiring. The present study investigates this issue through research in an inner-city area of Dallas: Oak Cliff. During the past twenty-five years, the population of Oak Cliff has changed from a largely African American community to include a substantial number of Hispanics. Though their neighborhoods remain fairly separate, sports and gangs provide an arena for extended contact. This study investigates the extent to which AAVE grammatical features are being acquired by bilingual Hispanic adolescents who hang out with African Americans. The analysis for this paper focuses on the relationship between contact and depth of acquisition of AAVE syntactic constraints on the use the copula (is/are, be). Preliminary results show that be+V+ing as an habitual form has been incorporated into the grammar of these subjects, suggesting fundamental changes towards an AAVE grammatical system.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Coleman, Jeffrey Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Investigation of the Semantics of Active and Inverse Systems

Description: This study surveys pronominal reference marking in active and inverse languages. Active and inverse languages have in common that they distinguish two sets of reference marking, which are referred to as Actor and Undergoer. The choice of one series of marking over another is shown to be semantically and pragmatically determined.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Yang, Lixin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Children and Childhood in Hawthorne's Fiction

Description: This paper explores the role of children and childhood in Nathaniel Hawthorne's fiction. Moreover, it asserts that the child and childhood are keys to a better understanding of Hawthorne's fiction.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Sitz, Shirley Ann Ellis
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mark Twain, Nevada Frontier Journalism, and the "Territorial Enterprise" : Crisis in Credibility

Description: This dissertation is an attempt to give a picture of the Nevada frontier journalist Samuel L. Clemens and the surroundings in which he worked. It is also an assessment of the extent to which Clemens (and his alter ego Twain) can be considered a serious journalist and the extent to which he violated the very principles he championed.
Date: May 1995
Creator: Wienandt, Christopher
Partner: UNT Libraries

Wordsworthian Romanticism in the Fiction of Bernard Malamud

Description: This dissertation is a study of the romantic elements in Bernard Malamud's fiction that can be seen as representing a romantic ideology closely related to the romanticism of William Wordsworth.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Shipman, Barry M. (Barry Mark)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Fictional World of Rolando Hinojosa

Description: Rolando Hinojosa's Klail Citv Death Trip Series purports to give a picture of life in the Texas Rio Grande Valley from roughly the 1930s to the present. Much of Hinojosa's attention is directed toward the tensions that characterize relations between the mexicano and Anglo cultures. Hinojosa's novel sequence in large part documents the ever-increasing acculturation and assimilation of the mexicano into Anglo society.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Lee, Joyce Glover
Partner: UNT Libraries

Edmund Spenser as Protestant Thinker and Poet : A Study of Protestantism and Culture in The Faerie Queene

Description: The study inquires into the dynamic relationship between Protestantism and culture in The Faerie Oueene. The American Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr makes penetrating analyses of the relationship between man's cultural potentials and the insights of Protestant Christianity which greatly illuminate how Spenser searches for a comprehensive religious, ethical, political, and social vision for the Christian community of Protestant England. But Spenser maintains the tension between culture and Christianity to the end, refusing to offer a merely coherent system of principles based on the doctrine of Christianity.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Kim, Hoyoung
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Scholarly Trickster in Jacobean Drama: Characterology and Culture

Description: Whereas scholarly malcontents and naifs in late Renaissance drama represent the actual notion of university graduates during the time period, scholarly tricksters have an obscure social origin. Moreover, their lack of motive in participating in the plays' events, their ambivalent value structures, and their conflicting dramatic roles as tricksters, reformers, justices, and heroes pose a serious diffculty to literary critics who attempt to define them. By examining the Western dramatic tradition, this study first proposes that the scholarly tricksters have their origins in both the Vice in early Tudor plays and the witty slave in classical comedy. By incorporating historical, cultural, anthropological, and psychological studies, this essay also demonstrates that the scholarly tricksters are each a Jacobean version of the archetypal trickster, who is usually associated with solitary habits, motiveless intrusion, and a double function as selfish buffoon and cultural hero. Finally, this study shows that their ambivalent value structures reflect the nature of rhetorical training in Renaissance schools.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Oh, Seiwoong
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Disfigured Muse : Supreme Readers in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens

Description: In "Discourse in the Novel," Mikhail Bakhtin tells us that "Every discourse presupposes a special conception of the listener, of his apperceptive background and the degree of his responsiveness." My study of Wallace Stevens's poetry examines Stevens's "conception of the listener"—in the form of his intratextual readers, their responsiveness, and the shapes that responsiveness takes—and attempts to formulate out of that examination Stevens's theory of reading embodied in his canon of poems.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Hobbs, Michael B. (Michael Boyd)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Matters of Troy and Thebes and Their Role in a Critique of Courtly Life in Chaucer and the Gawain-Poet

Description: Both Chaucer and the Gawain-poet use the Matters of Troy and Thebes as material for a critique of courtly life, applying these literary matters to the events and actions in and around Ricardian England. They use these classical matters to express concerns about the effectiveness of the court of Richard II. Chaucer uses his earlier works as a testing ground to develop his views about the value of duty over courtly pursuits, ideas discussed more completely in Troilus and Criseyde. The Gawain-poet uses the Matter of Troy coupled with the court of King Arthur to engage in a critique of courtly concerns. The critiques presented by both poets show a tendency toward duty over courtly concerns.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Jones, Oliver M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Moments: a Diary

Description: In my preface I have tried to show what a diary is, why they might be of interest to others, why I think they are valid and should be considered as such. I have defended my diary as being worthy material for a thesis, or myself as worthy of being called a writer. (Traditionally, writing in a diary doesn't qualify one as being a writer, even though you might write millions of pages and spend your entire lives doing it.) Edited selections of my diary make up the body of the thesis. These selections are divided into four main sections which suggested themselves during editing. To summarize the diary as a whole, I would say it's about human relationships.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Craig, Mendy J. (Mendy Jeneen)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Tennyson's Lyricism: The Aesthetic of Sorrow

Description: The primary purpose of this study is to show that anticipations of the "art for art's sake" theory can be found in Tennyson's poetry which is in line with the tenets of aestheticism and symbolism, and to show that Tennyson's lyricism is a "Palace of Art" in which his tragic emotions-- sadness, sorrow, despair, and melancholic sensibility--were built into beauty.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Kang, Sang Deok
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Evolution of Survival as Theme in Contemporary Native American Literature: from Alienation to Laughter

Description: With the publication of his Pulitzer Prize winning novel, House Made of Dawn. N. Scott Momaday ended a three-decade hiatus in the production of works written by Native American writers, and contributed to the renaissance of a rich literature. The critical acclaim that the novel received helped to establish Native American literature as a legitimate addition to American literature at large and inspired other Native Americans to write. Contemporary Native American literature from 1969 to 1974 focuses on the themes of the alienated mixed-blood protagonist and his struggle to survive, and the progressive return to a forgotten or rejected Indian identity. For example, works such as Leslie Silko's Ceremony and James Welch's Winter in the Blood illustrate this dual focal point. As a result, scholarly attention on these works has focused on the theme of struggle to the extent that Native American literature can be perceived as necessarily presenting victimized characters. Yet, Native American literature is essentially a literature of survival and continuance, and not a literature of defeat. New writers such as Louise Erdrich, Hanay Geiogamah, and Simon Ortiz write to celebrate their Indian heritage and the survival of their people, even though they still use the themes of alienation and struggle. The difference lies in what they consider to be the key to survival: humor. These writers posit that in order to survive, Native Americans must learn to laugh at themselves and at their fate, as well as at those who have victimized them through centuries of oppression. Thus, humor becomes a coping mechanism that empowers Native Americans and brings them from survival to continuance.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Schein, Marie-Madeleine
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rewriting Woman Evil?: Antifeminism and its Hermeneutic Problems in Four Criseida Stories

Description: Since Benoit de Sainte-Maure's creation of the Briseida story, Criseida has evolved as one of the most infamous heroines in European literature, an inconstant femme fatale. This study analyzes four different receptions of the Criseida story with a special emphasis on the antifeminist tradition. An interesting pattern arises from the ways in which four British writers render Criseida: Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Crisevde is a response to the antifeminist tradition of the story (particularly to Giovanni Boccaccio's II Filostrato); Robert Henryson's Testament of Cresseid is a direct response to Chaucer's poem; William Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida aligns itself with the antifeminist tradition, but in a different way; and John Dryden's Troilus and Cressida or Truth Found Too Late is a straight rewriting of Shakespeare's play. These works themselves form an interesting canon within the whole tradition. All four writers are not only readers of the continually evolving story of Criseida but also critics, writers, and literary historians in the Jaussian sense. They critique their predecessors' works, write what they have conceived from the tradition of the story, and reinterpret the old works in that historical context.
Date: May 1995
Creator: Park, Yoon-hee
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Problematic British Romantic Hero(ine): the Giaour, Mathilda, and Evelina

Description: Romantic heroes are questers, according to Harold Bloom and Northrop Frye. Whether employing physical strength or relying on the power of the mind, the traditional Romantic hero invokes questing for some sense of self. Chapter 1 considers this hero-type, but is concerned with defining a non-questing British Romantic hero. The Romantic hero's identity is problematic and established through contrasting narrative versions of the hero. This paper's argument lies in the "inconclusiveness" of the Romantic experience perceived in writings throughout the Romantic period. Romantic inconclusiveness can be found not only in the structure and syntax of the works but in the person with whom the reader is meant to identify or sympathize, the hero(ine). Chapter 2 explores Byron's aesthetics of literature equivocation in The Giaour. This tale is a consciously imbricated text, and Byron's letters show a purposeful complication of the poet's authority concerning the origins of this Turkish Tale. The traditional "Byronic hero," a gloomy, guilt-ridden protagonist, is considered in Chapter 3. Byron's contemporary readers and reviewers were quick to pick up on this aspect of his verse tales, finding in the Giaour, Selim, Conrad, and Lara characteristics of Childe Harold. Yet, Byron's Turkish Tales also reveal a very different and more sentimental hero. Byron seems to play off the reader's expectations of the "Byronic hero" with an ambiguous hero whose character reflects the Romantic aesthetic of indeterminacy. Through the accretive structure of The Giaour, Byron creates a hero of competing component characteristics, a focus he also gives to his heroines. Chapters 4 and 5 address works that are traditionally considered eighteenth-century sentimental novels. Mathilda and Evelina, both epistolary works, present their heroines as worldly innocents who are beset by aggressive males. Yet their subtext suggests that these girls aggressively maneuver the men in their lives. Mathilda and Evelina create ...
Date: May 1995
Creator: Poston, Craig A. (Craig Alan)
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

Sharing the Light: Feminine Power in Tudor and Stuart Comedy

Description: Studies of the English Renaissance reveal a patriarchal structure that informed its politics and its literature; and the drama especially demonstrates a patriarchal response to what society perceived to be the problem of women's efforts to grow beyond the traditional medieval view of "good" women as chaste, silent, and obedient. Thirteen comedies, whose creation spans roughly the same time frame as the pamphlet wars of the so-called "woman controversy," from the mid-sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth centuries, feature women who have no public power, but who find opportunities for varying degrees of power in the private or domestic setting.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Tanner, Jane Hinkle
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Blurred Boundaries between Film and Fiction in Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses, and Other Selected Works

Description: This dissertation explores the porous boundaries between Salman Rushdie's fiction and the various manifestations of the filmic vision, especially in Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses, and other selected Rushdie texts. My focus includes a chapter on Midnight's Children, in which I analyze the cinematic qualities of the novel's form, content, and structure. In this chapter I formulate a theory of the post-colonial novel which notes the hybridization of Rushdie's fiction, which process reflects a fragmentation and hybridization in Indian culture. I show how Rushdie's book is unique in its use of the novelization of film. I also argue that Rushdie is a narrative trickster. In my second chapter I analyze the controversial The Satanic Verses. My focus is the vast web of allusions to the film and television industries in the novel. I examine the way Rushdie tropes the "spiritual vision" in cinematic terms, thus shedding new light on the controversy involving the religious aspects of the novel which placed Rushdie on the most renowned hit-list of modern times. I also explore the phenomenon of the dream as a kind of interior cinematic experience. My last chapter explores several other instances in Rushdie's works that are influenced by a filmic vision, with specific examples from Haroun and the Sea of Stories, "The Firebird's Nest," and numerous other articles, interviews, and essays involving Rushdie. In my conclusion I discuss some of the emerging similarities between film and the novel, born out of the relatively recent technology of video cassette recorders and players, and I examine the democratizing effects of this relatively new way of seeing.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Quazi, Moumin Manzoor
Partner: UNT Libraries

Huck, Tom, and No. 44: the Tripartite Twain

Description: In this study, I show that three major areas of Mark Twain's personality—conscience, ego, and nonconformist instincts—are represented, in part, respectively by three of his literary creations: Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, and No. 44. The origins of Twain's personality which possibly gave rise to his troubled conscience, need for attention, and rebellious spirit are examined. Also, Huck as Twain's social and personal conscience is explored, and similarities between Twain's and Tom's complex egos are demonstrated. No. 44 is featured as symbolic of Twain's iconoclastic, misanthropic, and solipsistic instincts, and the influence of Twain's later personal misfortunes on his creation of No. 44 is explored. In conclusion, I demonstrate the importance of Twain's creative escape and mediating ego in the coping of his personality with reality.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Crippen, Larry L. (Larry Lee)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Incest Taboo in Wuthering Heights : A Modern Appraisal

Description: A modern interpretation of Wuthering Heights suggests that an unconscious incest taboo impeded Catherine and her foster brother, Heathcliff, from achieving normal sexual union and led them to seek union after death. Insights from anthropology, psychology, and sociology provide a key to many of the subtleties of the novel by broadening our perspectives on the causes of incest, its manifestations, and its consequences. Anthropology links the incest taboo to primitive systems of totemism and rules of exogamy, under which the two lovers' marriage would have been disallowed because they are members of the same clan. Psychological studies provide insight into Heathcliff and Catherine's abnormal relationship—emotionally passionate but sexually dispassionate—and their even more bizarre behavior—sadistic, necrophilic, and vampiristic—all of which can be linked to incest. The psychological manifestations merge with the moral consequences in Bronte's inverted image of paradise; as in Milton's Paradise, incest is both a metaphor for evil and a symbol of pre-Lapsarian innocence. The psychological and moral consequences of incest in the first generation carry over into the second generation, resulting in a complex doubling of characters, names, situations, narration, and time sequences that is characteristic of the self-enclosed, circular nature of incest. An examination of Emily Bronte's family background demonstrates that she was sociologically and psychologically predisposed to write a story with an underlying incest motif.
Date: August 1992
Creator: McGuire, Kathryn B. (Kathryn Bezard)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Myths, Hierophanies, and Sacraments in William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha Fiction

Description: Critical reactions to the religious experiences contained in William Faulkner's fiction have tended to fall within the context of traditional Christian belief systems. In most instances, the characters' beliefs have been judged by the tenets of belief systems or religions that are not necessarily those on which the characters base their lives. There has been no effort to understand the characters' spirituality as the basis of an independent religious belief system. Mircea Eliade's methods and models in the study of comparative religion, in particular his explanation of the interaction of the sacred and the profane during a hierophany (the manifestation of the sacred), can be applied to the belief systems of Faulkner's characters to reveal the theologies of the characters' religions, the nature of the belief systems on which they base their lives. Identification of those stories associated with hierophanies in Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha fiction enables the isolation and analysis of the sacred stories and sacraments of Yoknapatawpha County's civil religion. The storytellings examined appear in Flags in the Dust, "A Justice," and Absalom, Absalom!. The storytellers and the audiences are all a part of the Yoknapatawpha community, and the stories are drawn from a common history. The sacralization and use of particular stories to explain certain events reflects the faith life of the community as a whole, as well as that of the individual participating in the ritual. The explication of the profane experiences the myths are meant to sanctify will reveal that the individuals, and consequently, the community, are in the process of discarding their old, civil religion. As a result, they have lost the ability to adapt their ancestral myths to fit the existential crises they presently face. Unable to infuse the present with the sacred, Yoknapatawpha1s younger generation is overwhelmed by the chaos that surrounds it.
Date: May 1995
Creator: Zimmermann, David H. (David Howard)
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Weaving a new wreath of immortal leaves": Bildung, Awakening, and Self-Redefinition in the Fiction of Elizabeth Stoddard

Description: Elizabeth Stoddard (1823-1902) has been overlooked by most modern literary critics and scholars. She needs to be incorporated into the canon of the American novel in order to establish a deserved critical visibility and to retain it for many years to come. Her groundbreaking fiction, unconventional by any nineteenth-century standard, especially as evidenced by The Morsesons and by some of her short stories, is characterized by penetrating psychology, individuality, and enduring literary qualities.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Quawas, Rula B. (Rula Butros Audeh)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fanny Fern: A Social Critic in Nineteenth-Century America

Description: This dissertation explores Fanny Fern's literary position and her role as a social critic of American lives and attitudes in the nineteenth-century. A reexamination of Fern's literary and non-literary works sheds light on her firm stand for the betterment of all mankind. The diversity and multiplicity of Fern's social criticism and her social reform attitudes, evident in Ruth Hall. Rose Clark, and in voluminous newspaper articles, not only prove her concern for society's well-being, but also reflect her development of and commitment to her writing career.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Tongra-ar, Rapin
Partner: UNT Libraries