linguistics

Talking Place, Speaking Race: African Americans, Their Englishes, and Local Identity

Sociolinguists, long concerned with the connections between language and localness, have shown that the ways in which speakers use features of ethnoracially or locally marked varieties are highly salient in their construction of identities of place. In the urban U.S., place identity is enmeshed with identities of class and identities of race: to be from a place is to embody its racial makeup and class delineations just as much as its physical locale.  
 
This present study combines quantitative analysis and discourse analysis to analyze the speech of middle- and upper-class African American residents of a rapidly-gentrifying neighborhood in Washington, D.C. The data show that drawing upon an ethnolinguistic repertoire (Benor 2010) which combines features of African American English style as well as features of prestige white varieties of English allows speakers to reinforce racial identities which align them with the neighborhood's rich African American identity even while their class identity might better align them with the outsiders. Ultimately, I argue that the linguistic expression of class and place identity is not an add-on to the enactment of racial identities, but that language is in fact the primary site wherein these intersecting identities are negotiated.
Date: 
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Location: 
WTY Library 2-34a (Active Learning Classroom)

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The Shugnani Lexicon of Folk Medicine

Date: 
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

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Trails and Tribulations: Chatino conceptions of the dead

The Chatino people from Oaxaca, Mexico, believe that the departed begin a new life that is parallel to the world of the living, known in the Chatino language as JlyaG.  In order to reach JlyaG, the recently departed must traverse on a treacherous path that goes through mountains, rivers, and towns. Jlya is a metaphysical place that corresponds to an actual location in our plane of existence found towards the northern part of the Chatino region in the municipality of Zenzontepec (coordinates 16° 32′ 0″ N, 97° 30′ 0″ W). 
Prayers, stories, myths, place, and performance are crucial elements in the practice and belief of the Chatino concept of the dead. In the Chatino town of San Marcos Zacatepec, when an adult dies, family members call an expert to perform a speech called TiA SuAKnaA or ‘prayer to the dead.’ The TiA SuA KnaA is recited at the dead person’s wake. The goal of the speech is to guide the dead through the trail of the dead and to encourage them not to come back and taunt their family members, friends, and community members either by showing up in individual’s dreams or appearing as a ghost quB tiqE.
The departed also need to demonstrate endurance, agility, and artistic skills. For example, when they reach a place called SaA tqenA, located in the town of Cieneguilla, San Juan Quiahije (coordinates 16.3000° N, 97.3167° W), the dead have to dance. The dead men, in addition to dancing, must whistle or sing. Women only have to dance. Hence, Chatinos believe that artistic abilities such as dancing, whistling, and singing must be learned and practiced during the course of a person’s lifetime. This presentation will discuss these aspects of Chatino conceptions of the dead and describe the verbal art of the rituals involved as the recently dead move on to JlyaG.
 
Date: 
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Location: 
Niles Gallery (Fine Arts Library).

Seminar Series: "The question of oralism and the experiences of deaf children, 1880–1914"

Date: 
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Location: 
W.T. Young Library 2-34A (Active Learning Classroom)

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MALTT Graduate Student Conference

Date: 
Saturday, February 27, 2016 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Location: 
UKAA Auditorium & Alumni Gallery (W.T. Young Library)

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Seminar Series: Undergraduate Research Showcase

EVENT SCHEDULE

12:00-12:25:  Gihyun Gal   (faculty mentor: Greg Stump).
12:25- 12:50:  Aaron Mueller   (faculty mentor: Mark Lauersdorf).
1:00-1:50: Corey Meeks   (faculty mentor: Jennifer Cramer).

ABSTRACTS

Gihyun Gal
Comblending in Korean neologisms with borrowing English words
This research focuses on an interesting type of word formation process in Korean that involves the combination of different morphological processes, namely compounding, blending, abbreviation and acronym. As previously shown, both of these processes are both very productive in Korean (Jung 1992, Seo 2013, Lee 2014). 'Comblending', a term I coined to describe this new process, draws from the above-mentioned processes and seem to be on the rise on the World Wide Web and on social media like Instagram. However, although they might be argued to arise from those sources, these new forms get integrated in current speech rather than just being used on the previously mentioned platforms. More importantly, in many of those neologisms also involve borrowings from English and include an agent-like word 족[dʒok], which means 'person or group of people'.
(1) Grup dʒok 'elders who keep on living like students' > grown-ups + dʒok
(2) BMW dʒok 'Office workers using public transport' > Bus Metro Walking + dʒok
(3) Naports dʒok 'People who enjoys sports after work' > 'night' [naɪt] + sports + dʒok
(4) Eomma cri 'interrupted PC user, usually by his/her mother' > Eomma ‘mother’+crisis
(5) Chilaryman 'person who still live with his parents' > child + salaryman
Such data raise questions relating to (1) the internal structure of these new complex words (2) the order of which the different processes come into play (3) the type of analysis that would appropriately describe this peculiar process and (4) whether we have instances of phonological overlapping or not. I will here examine these newly coined words from an argue that given the derived meanings, a purely morphological approach seem favorable. When the Korean neologisms are formed by either compound process or blend process, some sub-processes would be happened such as acronym or abbreviation before the neologisms are coined completely through compound or blend processes by Korean speakers on the World Wide Web or on social media. Because those two processes would be a sort of important process in order to form of the Korean neologisms productively. Through the neologisms, it is possibly to glance some tendencies of current Korean social situations. Because most of Korean neologisms mirror of thoughts of Korean aspect such as lifestyle, a desire of education, social economy situation and characters of people.

Aaron Mueller
Lexical and Semantic Shift in the Linguistic Construction of Social Gender: A Corpus-Based Analysis of Written U.S. English
This study aims to track shifts in linguistic constructions of gender in written U.S. discourse using the Corpus of Historical American English (1810-2009). Lexical values were examined by dividing selected gender words by gender and by word type (e.g. male pronouns, female titles); per-million occurrences were observed by decade and word-type category. Semantic values were compared by decade through calculating mutual information and t-scores for select collocations. Preliminary results indicate that male words appear more frequently than female words for almost every word-type category; non-binary gender words appeared too infrequently for analysis. Semantically, men are associated with appearance, wealth, and power, and intellectual pursuits; women, mainly with appearance. Appearance was the main semantic association for all genders, though women exhibited this to a greater extent than men. Mutual information and t-scores varied less than was expected; this could suggest that linguistic constructs of these genders have changed little despite perceived sociocultural progress.

Corey Meeks
Creative production and pedagogy: Teaching and learning through documentary creation
As students and teachers transition into the modern classroom, we must understand how to teach and learn in new ways. Educators may teach the way they are taught, yet there are many reasons that suggest we cannot continue to teach as we have for the past several hundred years. Dr. Cramer experimented with the idea of teaching through creating in a class on American English (LIN/ENG 310), and she facilitated the creation of a documentary that would showcase our knowledge about dialectal variation in the United States. Ultimately, the class produced a roughly 20-minute film on the dialects of Kentucky, a topic selected and cultivated by the students themselves. Several teams did everything from scripting to video production and editing with minimal control from the instructor. By playing their roles, they were given a better reason to understand and internalize the material covered in the course compared to hearing it in a lecture or reading it from a book. We hope teachers will continue to experiment with the idea of teaching through creating, as the Italian enlightenment thinker Vico Giambattista said, "To know is to put together the elements of things."

Date: 
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Location: 
Niles Gallery (Fine Arts Library)

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Seminar Series: "A Preliminary Investigation of Overlapping Talk in Peer Interaction: Implications for CA-for-SLA Research"

When more than one person talks simultaneously, overlaps happen. Overlapping talk is a ubiquitous phenomenon found in any speech exchange systems (cf., Schegloff, 2000). However, when it comes to the second language acquisition (SLA) research, overlapping talk has seldom been taken up as an object of investigation.

In this presentation, I will present my preliminary investigation of overlapping talk observed during pair work activities in elementary Japanese language classrooms at a U.S. university. The data come from a corpus of 67 video-recorded pair work cases. A conversation-analytic (CA) framework is used to closely examine the occurrences of overlapping talk on a turn-by-turn basis.

By drawing on the ‘unusual’ characteristics of overlapping talk found in the database, I will discuss whether or not these pair work activities afford opportunities for SLA.

Through this presentation, I would also like to discuss how CA, established by sociologists, such as Harvey Sacks and Emanuel Schegloff, can be applied to the analysis of L2 interaction data in order to advance our understanding of the SLA process.

Date: 
Friday, April 22, 2016 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Location: 
W.T. Young Library 2-34A (Active Learning Classroom)

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Seminar Series: "Fue muerto: Suppletion in Spanish Analytic Passives"

This presentation details a case study of two competing participles of the Spanish verb matar ‘to kill’ (matado/muerto ‘killed/dead’). I provide quantitative data from corpora of modern Spanish that show that muerto ‘dead’ is the preferred form for matar in passive periphrastics. The use of the participle muerto (from the infinitive morir ‘to die’) in the paradigm of matar has long been considered a textbook example of verbal suppletion in Romance; however, I offer an alternate explanation. The objective of this analysis is to demonstrate that these two participles are best considered to be allomorphs of the same archimorpheme /to die/. The general premise of my claim is that agentivity determines the distribution of forms: an agentive reading triggers the participle matado, while a non-agentive reading triggers muerto. The nature of this particular instance of verbal allomorphy provides insight into the origins and maintenance of irregular verbal forms in language.

Date: 
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Location: 
Alumni Gallery (W.T. Young Library)

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Seminar Series: "Trails and Tribulations: Chatino conceptions of the dead"

The Chatino people from Oaxaca, Mexico, believe that the departed begin a new life that is parallel to the world of the living, known in the Chatino language as JlyaG.  In order to reach JlyaG, therecently departed must traverse on a treacherous path that goes through mountains, rivers, and towns. Jlya is a metaphysical place that corresponds to an actual location in our plane of existence found towards the northern part of the Chatino region in the municipality of Zenzontepec (coordinates 16° 32′ 0″ N, 97° 30′ 0″ W). 

Prayers, stories, myths, place, and performance are crucial elements in the practice and belief of the Chatino concept of the dead. In the Chatino town of San Marcos Zacatepec, when an adult dies, family members call an expert to perform a speech called TiA SuA KnaA or ‘prayer to the dead.’ The TiA SuA KnaA is recited at the dead person’s wake. The goal of the speech is to guide the dead through the trail of the dead and to encourage them not to come back and taunt their family members, friends, and community members either by showing up in individual’s dreams or appearing as a ghost quB tiqE.

The departed also need to demonstrate endurance, agility, and artistic skills. For example, when they reach a place called SaA tqenA, located in the town of Cieneguilla, San Juan Quiahije (coordinates 16.3000° N, 97.3167° W), the dead have to dance. The dead men, in addition to dancing, must whistle or sing. Women only have to dance. Hence, Chatinos believe that artistic abilities such as dancing, whistling, and singing must be learned and practiced during the course of a person’s lifetime. This presentation will discuss these aspects of Chatino conceptions of the dead and describe the verbal art of the rituals involved as the recently dead move on to JlyaG.

Date: 
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Location: 
Niles Gallery (Fine Arts Library)

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"LingoFest" - free hands-on activity day introducing linguistics to primary and secondary school students.

See the website

Date: 
Saturday, October 10, 2015 - 10:00am to 2:00pm
Location: 
Funkhouser Building.

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