Languages, Cultures and Linguistics Research Collection
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- PublicationThe Acquisition of Community Speech Norms by Asian Immigrants Learning English as a Second Language: a preliminary study(Cambridge University Press, 1991-03)
;We investigate Vietnamese and Cambodian immigrants' acquisition of the variable (ing), which occurs in progressive tenses, participles, noun phrases, etc., and which can be pronounced [iŋ] or [In]. A VARBRUL 2 program analysis of native speaker speech shows that the production of (ing) is constrained by phonological, grammatical, stylistic, and social factors. An analysis of the nonnative speakers' acquisition of these norms shows that [In] is more frequent before anterior segments (reflecting ease of articulation), and that males use [In] more frequently than females, especially in monitored speech (perhaps reflecting their desire to accommodate to a male native speaker norm rather than to an overall native speaker norm). The analysis also shows evidence of grammatical constraints which are different from those in the native speakers' speech. This difference may reflect the fact that it is easier to acquire the [In] variant in “frozen forms,” such as prepositions, than in productive rules. 1549Scopus© Citations 140
- PublicationThe Acquisition of Sociolinguistic Native Speech Norms: effects of a year abroad on L2 learners of French(John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1995)
- PublicationVariation in French Interlanguage : a longitudinal study of sociolinguistic competence(John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1996-06)
- PublicationSociolinguistics and Language Learning in a Study Abroad Context(Dickinson College, 1998)This article will focus on the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence by second language learners during a period of study abroad. Various aspects of sociolinguistic competence will be discussed and some of the principal factors which affect it will be described. Factors which affect sociolinguistic competence emerging from research in the area of study abroad include some which are central to the acquisition of second languages in general: context of acquisition, level of proficiency, degree of contact with native speakers, role of input, individual differences and the issue of native speaker norms. The research described will outline what we know about the sociolinguistic and sociocultural aspects of study abroad. The literature which exists to date on this aspect of second language acquisition (SLA) will be reviewed, including both quantitative and qualitative studies. Finally, we will address the question of the benefits (if any) of studying abroad for the acquisition of sociolinguistic and sociocultural competence. Where possible, an attempt will be made to see how this experience compares with that of learners who have not been abroad. Some of the studies to be discussed in this article were carried out with the explicit intention of focusing on the sociolinguistic area (Marriott 1995; Regan 1995; and Siegal 1995). There are also other year abroad studies which, although not focusing specifically on the sociolinguistic aspects of the process, nevertheless reveal further information about what happens during a study abroad period, for example, Lafford (1995) and Lapkin, Hart and Swain (1995). Various aspects of the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence are addressed in these articles.
- PublicationA Note on the Chueta Figure in Ana María Matute's Primera memoria(Ministry of Education, Spanish Embassy, London, 1998)The lyricism of Ana María Matute’s prose has sometimes obscured what Janet Pérez has rightly called her "determined sociopolitical engagement". A one-time member of the Turia group, which included the young Juan Goytisolo, she has been associated with other practitioners of the novela social, albeit often with certain reservations. However, such reservations may in part be due to the fact that what has gone unappreciated in Matute’s engagement (besides, as Pérez notes, its determined intent) is its subtlety. Her use of the chueta figure in Primera memoria, for instance, is both understated yet fundamental.
- PublicationLa grammatica italiana: il lavoro comincia adesso(Il Mulino, 2000-06)Sulla terminologia è sempre necessario intendersi, ma in alcuni ambiti questo avvertimento è meno sconato che in altri. In ambito lingustico, dire "lingua" o "italian" senza prescisare di cosa si parli lascia il concetto talmente vago da essere inservibile. Di qui l'abbondanza terminologica con cui gli studi di linguistica italiana mirano a riflettere le numerose distinziono rese necessaire dall'analisi sociolinguistica: italiano popolare più o meno unitario, italiano regionale, italiono scritto / partlato, italiano standard o neo-standard, italiono dell'uso medio, è cosi via. --- The high degree of variation within the Italian-speaking community is well known; but are all Italian speakers native speakers of the same cognitive system? Contemporary syntactic research on Italian has brought to light some disagreement in acceptability judgements, often systematic. This may be evidence that varieties of Italian are distinct instantiations of Universal Grammar, which differ in what their speakers know, not just what they say. If on the other hand variation in judgements proves illusory, or idiolectal, then we must conclude that the conspicuous non-uniformity of Italian varieties conceals a unified competence, or «grammar» in the cognitive sense. Either result would greatly contribute to the understanding of the Italian linguistic situation, testifying to the fruitfulness of interaction between cognitively-oriented and historical/socio-linguistically research.
- PublicationThe morphological dimension of polarity licensing(De Gruyter, 2002)Polarity items must, by definition, fit inside the scope of their licenser; items like any N, in addition, appear to require a c-commanding and overt licenser. It is argued that the relevant restriction refers to precedence, not e-command, and that it is morphological, not syntactic. This implies a morphological dimension of dependence, in addition to the semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic ones. The analysis relies on the separation between syntax and a postsyntactic morphological component: the exponents of the relevant polarity items require an [operator] feature that never appears in the corresponding feature bundle at the output of syntax. This mismatch is resolved by copying the feature from the licensing operator, provided it is present at morphological structure (overt) and linearly preceding.
832Scopus© Citations 3
- PublicationGrammaire du nengee : Introduction aux langues aluku, ndjuka et pamaka(IRD Editions, 2003)
;Les populations businenge, ou Noirs Marrons, sont de plus en plus nombreuses et jouent un rôle de plus en plus important dans la société guyanaise. Depuis plusieurs années déjà, le besoin de mieux connaître les langues et les cultures businenge s'exprime de façon pressante, à l'extérieur comme à l'intérieur des communautés. Nous avons cependant essayé de donner quelques clés qui faciliteraient la compréhension du nenge(e). En fait, ce livre est avant tout une base linguistique pour qui veut connaître la grammaire de cette langue, ou encore pour les enseignants qui souhaitent en savoir plus sur la langue de leurs élèves. Les différentes parties de la langue sont décrites de façon précise, même si nous ne prétendons pas en 200 pages décrire toutes les formes de variation qui peuvent exister. --- The Bushinengue (or Maroon) people are steadily increasing in numbers and play an ever more important role in Guyanese society. A crucial need to understand Bushinengue languages and cultures has been evident for many years, both from within and from outside these communities. We have thus attempted to provide several keys that will facilitate the comprehension of Nenge(e). This book is above all a foundational linguistic linguistic text for those who want to know the grammar of the language, and indeed for teachers who wish to know more about the language of their own students. The different parts of speech are described precisely, though we do not make any claims to have detailed in a book of 200 pages every possible form of variation that may exist. 475
- PublicationCreole formation as Language Contact: The case of the Suriname Creoles(John Benjamins Publishing, 2003)The aim of the present study is twofold: First, it discusses the formation of radical creoles based on an examination of creole formation in Suriname. The discussion focuses on investigating and illustrating the processes and mechanisms involved in the formation of radical creoles and on determining the nature of the resulting strctures. Second, based on the findings, the study critically evaluates the tenets of the main current theories of creole formation. The investigation suggests that the main inputs to the formation of the predecessor(s) of the modern creoles of Suriname were the range of creole varieties, L2 and pidgin varieties of English (and Portuguese) spoken by the early plantation population and the native African languages of the slaves who arrived during Suriname’s transition to sugar monoculture. The processes and mechanisms that played a role in its formation were similar to those observed in cases of L2 acquisition.
- PublicationPlural mass nouns and the compositionality of number(Presses Universitaires de Nancy, 2004)It is true that, as is well known since Allan (1980), mass and count are best seen as preferences rather than absolute values for lexical items; for instance, clothes cannot be governed by a numeral, but it tolerates the count quantifier a few. Even so, the existence of plurals that, at the very least, share some properties with mass nouns, raises questions about the chain of reasoning I have sketched out above. In fact, the assumption that plural nouns must refer to collections of individuals is simply wrong, even in languages where the number category would appear to correlate straightforwardly with the contrast between one and more than one. My first goal here will be to substantiate this empirical claim (section 2). Secondly, I will address in section 3 a theoretical question that cannot even be posed, let alone answered, without realizing that plural nouns can be non-count: the relation between semantic and morphological structure in mass plurals, whose interpretation does not seem to accord with the interpretation of the plural affix. How can a noun modified by this affix fail to denote non-singleton sets and still retain a compositional interpretation? The answer is that mass plurals are indeed semantically plural, but they refer to manifold complexes of non-individual parts. The familiar onemany contrast of book vs. books is not a primitive, defining trait of plurality, but a consequence of the semantics of the noun and of the way plurality combines with it. Variation along either of these two dimensions can bring about different readings—which are the empirical concern of this paper.
- PublicationIntroduction: The acquisition of sociolinguistic competence(Wiley-Blackwell, 2004-08)
; 5352Scopus© Citations 57
- PublicationThe speech event kuutu in the Eastern Maroon community(John Benjamins, 2004-12)Sociolinguistic analyses of creoles are generally restricted to morphosyntactic aspects, drawing their data from vernacular speech in informal interviews. While this approach has undoubtedly contributed to a better understanding of the grammatical competence of creole speakers, it has provided relatively little insight into their communicative competence. The present study follows the 'ethnography of speaking' approach (Hymes 1972) to investigate the social and linguistic properties of an important formal event in the Eastern Maroon community, the kuutu 'council meeting'. The data underlying this study were collected among the Pamaka maroons. My investigation shows that the kuutu event is characterized by structured social and linguistic practices that provide important face-saving strategies, and create an aura of dignity, importance and respectability. The social practices described here include participation privileges, and procedures for organizing and holding a kuutu. Concomitant linguistic practices include turn-taking procedures as well as lexical and pragmatic choices. The social conventions and speech acts described here are primarily associated with titled persons and elders, who are the sole active participants in a kuutu. The analysis provided also suggests that speech genre analysis offers important insights into the nature of linguistic varieties and the social meanings they index.
- PublicationGreeting and social change(John Benjamins, 2005)This paper discusses greeting routines in the Eastern Maroon community of Suriname and French Guiana. The paper argues that there are two broad sets of greeting routines. They have different origins, linguistic structures and distinct social meanings (e.g. setting, social groups, social relationship). As a result of social changes in the community, their social distribution, frequency and their social meanings are currently changing. The ‘urban’ greetings are being extended to all kinds of new social spheres and are increasingly losing their negative or subculture connotations while the ‘village’ greetings are becoming restricted to a relatively small set of situations and kinds of interactions. Moreover, new kinds of greeting practices emerge to symbolically assert existing social distinctions and to mark newly emerging social realities.
- PublicationPoliteness and face in Caribbean Creoles: an overview(John Benjamins Publishing, 2005)
;The present volume attempts to make a contribution towards highlighting the importance of communicative practices in the Caribbean context by exploring politeness issues in a number of different Caribbean Creole communities (e.g. Suriname, Guyana, Guadeloupe, Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica) and across communities in the region. We decided to focus on one particular region rather than on creole communities in general for a number of reasons. 344
- PublicationI significati delle nominalizzazioni in -ATA e i loro correlati morfologici(Bulzoni Editore, 2005)
- PublicationVariation linguistique dans les situations formelles chez les Pamaka(L'Harmattan, 2005-11)
- PublicationTracing the origin of modality in the creoles of Suriname(John Benjamins Publishing, 2006)The present paper attempts to shed light on the origin of creole TMA systems by investigating the emergence of two subsystems of modality in the creoles of Suriname. The investigation is based on a comparative linguistic analysis of modality in three maroon creoles and six Gbe varieties, and on a preliminary investigation of early historical documents (Goury 2003). The aim is to determine the role of the Gbe languages in the formation of these creol es and to show how input from both European and African sources, aided by universal principles of contact - induced change and language - internal change, shaped the grammar of these creoles. The paper suggests that many aspects of the creole modality system h ave their source in Gbe languages. At the same time, it is clear that they are in no way exact (or in some cases even close) replicas of the Gbe modality systems.
- PublicationLanguage naming practices, ideologies and linguistic practices: Toward a comprehensive description of language varieties(Cambridge University Press, 2006-07)
;Although it is well accepted that linguistic naming conventions provide valuable insights into the social and linguistic perceptions of people, this topic has not received much attention in sociolinguistics. Studies focus on the etymology of names, details about the social and historical circumstances of their emergence, and their users, and sometimes make recommendations about the appropriateness of terms. This article departs from this tradition. Focusing on the term 'Takitaki' in French Guiana, it shows that an analysis of the discursive uses of language names by all local actors provides significant insights into the social and linguistic makeup of a complex sociolinguistic situation. Descriptions of languages in such settings should be based on the varieties identified by such an analysis and on practices in a range of naturalistic interactions. Based on these analytical steps, the authors propose a multi-perspective approach to language documentation. 535Scopus© Citations 22
- PublicationGoidelic inherent plurals and the morphosemantics of number(Elsevier, 2006-11)After numbers above 2, nouns are singular or plural depending on the language. But in Irish and Scottish some nouns must be singular and others plural, in a variety of dialectal patterns. Once the semantic basis underlying all these patterns is clarified, the ‘‘irregular’’ distribution of number in Goidelic fits neatly into the typological pattern of classifier constructions. Number seems arbitrary in some constructions, because that is where nouns are interpreted as transnumerals: apparent singulars are just numberless, and plurals are inherently plural stems. This provides a unified explanation for a host of constructions beside numeratives, and affords a deeper understanding of the way aspects of lexical semantics are encoded by number morphology.
663Scopus© Citations 12