English
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Past Events

Nov21

linguistics research brownbag

Transcribing non-native speech: the development of a crowdsourcing tool to evaluate perceptions of accented speech: s. weinberger, j. nelson, s. kunath, z. gao, v. luu, t. vo

Linguistics

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Robinson Hall A, #447

every tuesday at noon. students and faculty meet to talk about their research. alway informal, sometimes planned presentations. just come with a lunch!

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Nov17

Dissertation Defense: Baraa Rajab, Linguistics. Morphological Variability in Second Language Arabic

Linguistics

Friday, November 17, 2017 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Robinson Hall A, #447

A prominent theory of variability in L2 learners’ use of inflectional morphology is the Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis (MSIH). The MSIH argues that morphological variability results from ‘performance limitations’ - particularly when a learner is under communication pressure (Prevost&White, 2000). Such pressure is expected to be highest during production, and lower during receptive tasks, and thus many studies of L2 variability have focused exclusively on production. Recent work has shown that variable comprehension of agreement also occurs in second language learners (L2ers) (McCarthy,2008). This suggests that receptive tasks can help adjudicate among theories of morphological variability and into the mechanisms responsible. McCarthy (2007) also suggests that L2ers resort to the underspecified form when making production or comprehension errors; Morphological Underspecification Hypothesis (MUSH). Nevertheless, studies comparing production and comprehension are few and are restricted mainly to the Romance languages. This dissertation investigates morphological variability in gender and number agreement in English-speaking L2 learners’ production and comprehension of Arabic NP agreement and DO clitic agreement. The focus on Arabic is motivated by two important gaps: first, Arabic L2 acquisition is relatively understudied; second, Arabic has full agreement in gender and number, with a three-way number distinction (singular/dual/plural) in NPs and DO clitics. The acquisition of dual by L2ers not encoding this distinction is not well understood. Here I use L1 speakers of English; a language that does not encode number or gender agreement among nominal constituents. Data from 3 cross-sectional experiments at 2 proficiency levels were collected to test the predictions of the MSIH (Prevost and White, 2000) and MUSH (McCarthy, 2007). Results of the experiments suggest (1) Morphological variability is a persistent problem for L2ers even at advanced proficiency levels; (2) Morphological Variability extends to comprehension, however, it decreases in comprehension; (3) Animacy plays a role in the acquisition of agreement; where human targets were numerically higher in agreement accuracy than non-human targets; (4) The use of feminine adjectives in masculine contexts suggests that feminine is the default for errors in Arabic. On the other hand, since variability clearly decreased in comprehension compared to production, these results confirm predictions of the MSIH, that decreasing communication pressure decreases variability.

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Nov16

Visiting Writers Series Presents Hannah Tinti

Creative Writing

Thursday, November 16, 2017 7:30 PM
Johnson Center, George's, 3rd Floor

Hannah Tinti’s short story collection Animal Crackers was a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway award. Her first novel, The Good Thief, is a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and winner of the The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Her newest novel, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, was published in March 2017. She is the co-founder of the magazine One Story and for 14 years was Editor in Chief. In 2014 One Story won the AWP Prize for Best Small Press.  There will be a reception preceding the reading at 7:00pm at the same venue.

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Nov14

linguistics research brownbag

Weighing Segmental/Structural Errors in Foreign Accent, Zhiyan Gao and steven weinberger

Linguistics

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Robinson Hall A, #447

every tuesday at noon. students and faculty meet to talk about their research. alway informal, sometimes planned presentations. just come with a lunch!

Read More »
Nov9

Visiting Writers Series Presents Myung Mi Kim

Creative Writing

Thursday, November 9, 2017 7:30 PM
Johnson Center, Meeting Room B, 3rd Floor

Myung Mi Kim’s poetry collections include Under Flag (1991), winner of the Multicultural Publishers Exchange Award of Merit; The Bounty (1996); DURA (1999); Commons (2002); River Antes (2006); and Penury (2009). She has taught at San Francisco State University and in the Poetics Program at SUNY Buffalo, where she is the James H. McNulty Chair of English. There will be a reception at 7:00, before the reading, in the JC West Lounge.

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Nov9

Visiting Writers Series Presents Kristen Radtke

Creative Writing

Thursday, November 9, 2017 7:30 PM
Johnson Center, Meeting Room G, 3rd Floor

Kristen Radtke is the author of the graphic nonfiction book Imagine Wanting Only This (2017). She is the managing editor of Sarabande Books and the film & video editor of TriQuarterly magazine. She has an MFA from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program. There will be a reception immediately following the reading in the JC West Lounge.

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