28 Matching Results

Search Results

Taking the Irish Pulse: A Revitalization Study of the Irish Language

Description: This thesis argues that Irish can and should be revitalized. Conducted as an observational study, this thesis focuses on interviews with 72 participants during the summer of 2013. All participants live in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. This thesis investigates what has caused the Irish language to lose power and prestige over the centuries, and which Irish language revitalization efforts have been successful. Findings show that although, all-Irish schools have had a substantial growth rate since 1972, when the schools were founded, the majority of Irish students still get their education through English-medium schools. This study concludes that Irish will survive and grow in the numbers of fluent Irish speakers; however, the government will need to further support the growth of the all-Irish schools. In conclusion, the Irish communities must take control of the promotion of the Irish language, and intergenerational transmission must take place between parents and their children.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Roloff, Donna Cheryl
Partner: UNT Libraries

Lines by Someone Else: the Pragmatics of Apprompted Poems

Description: Over the last sixty years, overtly intertextual poems with titles such as “Poem Beginning with a Line by John Ashbery” and “Poem Ending with a Line by George W. Bush” have been appearing at an increasing rate in magazines and collections. These poems wed themselves to other texts and authors in distinct ways, inviting readers to engage with poems which are, themselves, in conversation with lines from elsewhere. These poems, which I refer to as “apprompted” poems, explicitly challenge readers to investigate the intertextual conversation, and in doing so, they adopt inherent risks. My thesis will chart the various effects these poems can have for readers and the consequences they may hold for the texts from which they borrow. Literary critics such as Harold Bloom and J. H. Miller have described the act of borrowing as competitive and parasitic—“agon” is Bloom’s term for what he sees as the oedipal anxiety of poets and poets’ texts to their antecedents, but an investigation of this emerging genre in terms of linguistic pragmatics shows that apprompted poems are performing a wider range of acts in relation to their predecessors. Unlike Bloom’s theory, which interprets the impulse of poetic creation through psychoanalysis, I employ linguistic terms from Brown and Levinson’s linguistic Politeness theory to analyze apprompted poems as conversational speech events. Politeness theory provides a useful analysis of these poems by documenting the weight of threats to the positive and negative “faces” of the participants in each poetic conversation. I have documented these “face-threatening-acts” and used them to divide apprompted poems into five major speech events: satire, revision, promotion, pastiche, and ecclesiastic. Ultimately, this paper serves at the intersection of literary criticism and linguistics, as I suggest a theoretical approach to the interpretation and criticism of apprompted poems by way of linguistic pragmatics.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Gibson, Kimberly Dawn
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Be" in Dallas Black English

Description: This dissertation purposes to answer the question of whether or not the verb system of Black English in Dallas has the same features as those that characterize Black English in other sections of the country. Specifically, it describes in detail the use of the verb "be" within the speech of blacks in the Dallas metropolitan area and accounts for these usages formally within the framework of a transformational-generative grammar of the type proposed by Noam Chomsky.
Date: August 1972
Creator: Jones, Nancy (Nancy N.)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Why the Japanese double-ga construction cannot be scrambled.

Description: This thesis presents a comprehensive study of the Japanese double-ga construction and offers an explanation as to why the Japanese double-ga construction does not allow scrambling. In chapter 2, the particle-ga and the particle-wa are defined as the focus marker and the topic marker respectively. The different shades of meaning that both particles have are also explained. Chapter 3 illustrates the Japanese double -ga construction. Chapter 4 deals with the impossibility of scrambling in the double-particle constructions. A strong parallelism is shown between the double-ga construction and the double-wa construction. The claim is that there are three "pragmatic slots" that the particle-ga and -wa can occupy in the sentence. The rigid-fixed-order of these three slots contributes to the prohibition of scrambling.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Hoye, Masako Oku
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Teaching linguistic mimicry to improve second language pronunciation.

Description: This thesis tests the hypothesis that a whole language approach to ESL (English As A Second Language) pronunciation with emphasis on suprasegementals through the use of linguistic mimicry is more effective than a focus on segmentals in improving native speakers perceptions of accent and comprehensibility of ESL students' pronunciation of English. The thesis is organized into seven chapters. Chapter 2 is a discussion of the factors that affect the degree of foreign accent in second language acquisition. Chapter 3 gives a background on current ESL pedagogy followed by a description of the linguistic mimicry approach used in this research in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 and 6 are discussion of Materials and Methods and Conclusions and Implications.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Yates, Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

A test of the effects of linguistic stereotypes in children's animated film: A language attitude study.

Description: This study examined the claim that animated films influence childrens' opinions of accented-English. Two hundred and eighteen 3rd through 5th graders participated in a web-based survey. They listened to speakers with various accents: Mainstream US English (MUSE), African American Vernacular English (AAVE), French, British, and Arabic. Respondents judged speakers' personality traits (Work Ethic, Wealth, Attitude, Intelligence), assigned jobs/life positions, and provided personal information, movie watching habits, and exposure to foreign languages. Results indicate: (1) MUSE ranks higher and AAVE lower than other speakers, (2) jobs/life positions do not correlate with animated films, (3) movie watching habits correlate with AAVE, French, and British ratings, (4) foreign language exposure correlates with French, British, and Arabic ratings.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Trowell, Melody
Partner: UNT Libraries

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.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Language Choice in the ESL and FL Classrooms: Teachers and Students Speak Out

Description: This paper compares English as a second language (ESL) and foreign language (FL) teachers' and students' perspectives regarding target language (TL) and first language (L1) use in the respective classrooms. Teachers and students were given questionnaires asking their opinions of a rule that restricts students' L1 use. Questionnaires were administered to 46 ESL students, 43 FL students, 14 ESL teachers, and 15 FL teachers in Texas secondary public schools. Results were analyzed using SPSS and R. Results demonstrated an almost statistical difference between perspectives of ESL and FL students regarding TL and L1 use, while teacher results demonstrated no statistical difference between the groups. Students had a more positive perspective of the rule than teachers.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Fernandez, Cody
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mary/merry and horse/hoarse: Mergers in Southern American English

Description: Phonetic mergers in American English have been studied throughout the last half century. Previous research has contributed social and phonetic explanations to the understanding of front and back vowel mergers before /l/, front vowel mergers before nasals and phonetically unconditioned back vowel mergers. Using data from the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States (LAGS) and the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (LAMSAS), this thesis examines the spread of the front vowel mergers in Mary and merry and the back vowel mergers in horse and hoarse. The two complementary sources of data allow for a social and phonetic approach to the examination of the merger.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Ehrhardt, Brooke
Partner: UNT Libraries

Present tense marking as a synopsis of Southern American English: Plural verbal -s and zero 3rd singular.

Description: This thesis explores the evolution plural verbal -s ("People thinks he is guilty") and zero 3rd singular ("He think he is guilty") in data from two sources on Southern English: The Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States (LAGS) and The Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (LAMSAS). The research questions that underlie this study consider (1) the demographic association of plural verbal -s and zero 3rd singular, (2) the maintenance of each form, (3) the constraints on their use, and (4) the origins of -s variability. The atlas data suggest the following for plural verbal -s: (1) it has a British source, (2) it was present in both African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and early Southern White English (SWE), and (3) there were different grammatical constraints on its use in AAVE and SWE. Data for zero 3rd singular -s suggest this form (1) did not have a British source and (2) that it has historically been an AAVE feature.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Aguilar, Amanda G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An analysis of the syntactic and lexical features of an Indian English oral narrative: A Pear Story study.

Description: This pilot study addresses the distribution of nonstandard syntactic and lexical features in Indian English (IE) across a homogeneous group of highly educated IE speakers. It is found that nonstandard syntactic features of article use, number agreement and assignment of verb argument structure do not display uniform intragroup distribution. Instead, a relationship is found between nonstandard syntactic features and the sociolinguistic variables of lower levels of exposure to and use of English found within the group. While nonstandard syntactic features show unequal distribution, nonstandard lexical features of semantic reassignment, and mass nouns treated as count nouns display a more uniform intragroup distribution.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Seale, Jennifer Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving Topic Tracking with Domain Chaining

Description: Topic Detection and Tracking (TDT) research has produced some successful statistical tracking systems. While lexical chaining, a non-statistical approach, has also been applied to the task of tracking by Carthy and Stokes for the 2001 TDT evaluation, an efficient tracking system based on this technology has yet to be developed. In thesis we investigate two new techniques which can improve Carthy's original design. First, at the core of our system is a semantic domain chainer. This chainer relies not only on the WordNet database for semantic relationships but also on Magnini's semantic domain database, which is an extension of WordNet. The domain-chaining algorithm is a linear algorithm. Second, to handle proper nouns, we gather all of the ones that occur in a news story together in a chain reserved for proper nouns. In this thesis we also discuss the linguistic limitations of lexical chainers to represent textual meaning.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Yang, Li
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Semantic Shift and the Link between Words and Culture.

Description: This thesis is concerned with the correlation between cultural values and the semantic content of words over time; toward this purpose, the research focuses on Judeo-Christian religious terminology in the English language. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is of central interest to this study, and the implications of the hypothesis, including a bidirectional interpretation allowing for both the influence of language on worldview and culture on language, is of great relevance to the research findings and conclusions. The paper focuses on the etymology and sources of religious terminology in the English language, the prominent category of terms with both religious and secular applications attained through semantic shift, and the role of religious words as English taboo. The research findings imply that a bidirectional understanding of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is the correct one. This is achieved both through analysis of historical events and linguistic development which emphasize the speaker's role in language development and through the study of societal values that are reinforced through linguistic practices, namely taboo.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Dunai, Amber
Partner: UNT Libraries

Awakening a World With Words: How J.R.R. Tolkien Uses Linguistic Narrative Techniques to Take His Readers to Faery in His Short Story Smith of Wootton Major.

Description: J.R.R. Tolkien uses specific linguistic narrative techniques in Smith of Wootton Major to make the world of Wootton Major and the nearby land of Faery come to life for his readers. In this thesis, I examine how Tolkien accomplishes this feat by presenting a linguistic analysis of some parts of the story. My analysis is also informed by Tolkien's own ideas of fairy-stories, and as such, it uniquely shows the symbiotic relationship between Tolkien's theories and his narrative art.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Pueppke, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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
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

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

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
Partner: UNT Libraries