Events

March 8th, 2018: Dr. Julia Menard-Warwick

March 1st, 2018: Dr. Justin Spence

February 15th, 2018: Dr. Vai Ramanathan and Dr. Claudia Sánchez Gutiérrez

January 18th, 2018: Professor Carlee Arnett

November 28th, 2017: Dr. Claudia Sánchez Gutiérrez and Hugo Mailhot

November 14th, 2017: Dr. Vai Ramanathan


March 8th, 2018: Dr. Julia Menard-Warwick

Dr. Julia Menard-Warwick from the Department of Linguistics will discuss “Inclusionary and Exclusionary Interpretation Practices in Bilingual Parent Meetings”

Time: Thursday, March 8th, 11:00-11:50

Location: Voorhies 228

Abstract: From 2014-2016 I conducted an ethnographic study of parent participation at a bilingual elementary school in California, centered on the following research questions:

What programs and factors within programs facilitate the bilingual engagement of parents at Live Oak Elementary (pseudonym)? That is, what facilitates the engagement of Spanish-speaking parents with the school community, and what facilitates the engagement of English-speaking parents with Spanish-speaking parents?

Initial results indicated that many aspects of the parent programs at the school fostered a climate of inclusion for parents from both language backgrounds; however, interpretation practices at English-dominant meetings appeared to be a limiting factor for increased participation by Spanish-speaking parents. To better understand how interpretation was (not) working at the school, I further analyzed data on the participation of one highly active Spanish-dominant parent (pseudonym Imelda) in meetings conducted primarily in English. In presenting a case study of Imelda’s interpretation experiences at parent meetings between January 2015 and April 2016, this paper seeks to show the relationship between Imelda’s (non)participation in particular meetings and the ways that interpretation was configured in these meetings.

 

March 1st, 2018: Dr. Justin Spence

Dr. Justin Spence from the Department of Native American Studies will discuss “Linguistic and Narrative Perspectives on California Dene Migrations”

Time: Thursday, March 1st, 11:00-11:50

Location: Voorhies 228

February 15th, 2018: Dr. Vai Ramanathan and Dr. Claudia Sánchez Gutiérrez

Dr. Vai Ramanathan from the Department of Linguistics and Dr. Claudia Sánchez Gutiérrez will give a workshop on women in academia.

Time: Thursday, February 15th, 11:00-11:50

Location: Voorhies 228

January 18th, 2018: Professor Carlee Arnett

Professor Carlee Arnett from the Department of German will discuss “Concept-based approaches and the use of animations to to teach grammar”.

Time: Thursday, January 18th, 11:00-11:50

Location: Voorhies 228

Abstract: Concept-based approaches to grammar teaching generally adopt the cognitive linguistic view of language and present grammar as a conceptually motivated system that is rooted in embodied  experiences (e.g. force, dynamics, space, etc.) and other principles of human perception (figure-ground). This presentation reports on a study which used animations to make the respective grammar principles of concept-based explanations more transparent to learners. To this end, forty-nine first-year students of German were divided into two groups. The experimental group worked with concept-based explanation of the German passive by means of multimedia animations and performed tasks that aim to foster the relevant conceptualization processes and the control group was presented with a form-based explanation taken from the textbook used. The results of the posttest show that the students in the experimental group significantly outperformed those in the control group, especially in the tasks where the passive was tested in semantic and pragmatic contexts.

 

November 28th, 2017: Dr. Claudia Sánchez Gutiérrez and Hugo Mailhot

Dr. Claudia Sánchez Gutiérrez from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and Hugo Mailhot from the Department of Computer Science will discuss “MorphoLex: A morphological database for English and French words”

Time: Tuesday, November 28th, 3:10-4:00

Location: Voorhies 228

Abstract: Most of the new words a reader encounters in English or French are morphologically complex. Also, theoretical models of language processing propose that morphology plays an important role in visual word processing. Nevertheless, studies on the subject show contradicting results that are difficult to reconcile. One factor that may explain these contradictions is the lack of a sizeable and reliable morphological database. As a consequence, there are enormous methodological differences in the way the values for morphological variables are calculated across studies. To address this gap, we created MorphoLex_EN and MorphoLex_FR, two morphological databases with computations for a wide range of relevant variables, including family size, productivity and family frequency for the affixes and roots for 70,000 English words and 40,000 French words respectively. During our presentation, we will explain the structure and specificities of both databases as well as present some of the struggles of creating this type of database. Additionally, we will exemplify how the databases can be used by means of a series of regression models that will allow us to look into the effect of all our new variables on the processing of 4,724 morphologically complex nouns.

November 14th, 2017: Dr. Vai Ramanathan

Dr. Vai Ramanathan from the Department of Linguistics will give a workshop on job searching and employment as a language researcher, including answering all job-related questions and discussing several current job openings.

Time: Tuesday, November 14th, 3:10-4:00

Location: Voorhies 228

October 31, 2017: Dr. Eugênia Fernandes

Dr. Eugênia Fernandes from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese will discuss “Idioms in Brazilian Portuguese: lexicalization and grammaticalization based on a continuum analysis”

Time: Tuesday, October 31st, 3:10-4:00

Location: Voorhies 228

Abstract: The idioms are further evidence of the dynamic nature of languages. The study of this phenomenon in this research was done under typological-functional concepts. To address the linguistic analysis of idioms, I worked under the notions of continuum of grammaticalization and lexicalization: the creation of lexical items resulting from the joining of other lexical items. The research also permeated the distinctions between concepts of lexicalization, grammaticalization and phraseology. The corpus for the research was raised by the analysis of textbooks devoted to the teaching of Portuguese as a second language. Consisting on 245 idiomatic expressions, the corpus has gone through an analysis of five different aspects in each expression. I observed the level of fixity of each expression to establish them in a continuum of lexicalization. All expressions have also been tested from authentic genres in online contexts. The prototypes of idioms were identified by the behavior of the phenomenon in the analysis of the continuum. Idioms are necessarily pragmatic and learners of Portuguese as a foreign language need special support, since the materials available today do not fully meet their expectations. The analysis and systematization of idioms resulted in support for authors of textbooks and teachers of Portuguese, leading to the inclusion of results in future materials and teaching models that can now serve as an input in the classroom.

October 17th, 2017: Dr. Robert Bayley

Join us for our first invited talk of the 2017-2018 school year where Dr. Robert Bayley from the Department of Linguistics will discuss “Frequency effects in syntactic variation: Evidence from subject personal pronoun variation in U.S. Spanish and Mandarin Chinese”

Time: Tuesday, October 17th, 3:10-4:00

Location: Voorhies 228

Abstract: With the rise of exemplar theory (Bybee 2010), the role of lexical frequency in language variation and change has been a focus of considerable study, particularly in phonology (e.g. Bybee 2002; Jurafsky et al. 2001; Walker 2012). Results, however, have been mixed, with some studies showing strong frequency effects and others showing no such effects. Recently Erker and Guy (2012) extended the analysis of frequency effects to morphosyntactic variation. Based on data from 12 Dominican and Mexican speakers from Otheguy and Zentella’s (2012) New York City Spanish corpus, they examined the role of frequency in variation between null and overt subject personal pronouns (SPP), one of the most widely studied variables in Spanish sociolinguistics. Erker and Guy’s results suggest that frequency either activates or amplifies the effects of other constraints such as co-reference with the subject of the preceding verb and person and number. In this talk I examine the role of frequency on SPP variation in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, based on data collected in northern California, south Texas, and Harbin, China. Multivariate analyses of more than 8,600 tokens of U.S. Spanish and more than 6,600 tokens of Mandarin Chinese suggest that frequency has only a minimal effect on speakers’ choices between overt and null subject pronouns. The results presented in this study, as well as results presented in Bayley et al. (in press), Li and Bayley (forthcoming), and Martínez-Sanz and Van Herk (2012), suggest that the role of frequency, at least in this area of the grammar, has been considerably exaggerated and that well-established linguistic factors provide a better explanation for SPP variation than frequency.