Study "Language / Linguistics" Essays 111-164

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Dialects Language -- the Social Mirror Term Paper

… Dialects

Language -- the Social Mirror in a California Classroom

The more diverse the classrooms of the state of California become in the future, the greater the diversity of dialects, languages, and vocabulary will come from the mouths of students. In her study of sociolinguistics, Elaine O. Chaika notes how different regional and city dialects, the presence of two languages in a child's life as well as cultural differences can impact that child's expression in different settings and amongst different groups of people, including in the context of the classroom. For example a student may speak Spanish at home, English in the classroom and a combination 'Spanglish' on the playground with peers.

Thus, bilingualism and diversity is a reality in the United States, and this is true, perhaps even more so, in California. Bilingualism alone produces not simply many languages but many dialects. Spanish is one of the most common languages other than English spoken in the United States. (Chaika, 1994, p.35) Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Dominican-American children may make up a teacher's classroom, and depending if these bilingual students are first, second or third generation, may speak with a different level of English and Spanish fluency. Between even their own forms of Spanish, however, there will many regional differences in dialect and vocabulary. Thus, teacher cannot even assume a natural cohesion between all Spanish speakers in the classroom, but approach every child from his or her own unique cultural and familial context.

Similarly, there may be Asian students with similar difficulties, if from first-generation homes, grappling with the often-considerable differences between Indo-European languages such as English and their own native tongues, spoken at homes. Again, the teacher must be mindful that simply because students come from the same region does not mean that they have a natural cultural cohesion, as their languages and dialects will be different. Also, often students from particular Asian backgrounds may have parents who operate their own businesses, where the students work after school, limiting their exposure to social, spoken English outside of the classroom. As with bilingual Spanish speakers, in a mixed classroom of native English speakers and individuals who speak English as a second language, students may be more reticent, not because of lack of intelligence or natural shyness (although culture may have an influence in inhibiting Latina girls or Asian students) but because of a lack of confidence speaking formal English.

Where a student lives in the city, regardless of his or her native language or may also limit his or her exposure to English, or to Standard English. Certain ethnic neighborhoods may not be primarily English speaking. In the case of English-speakers, such as African-Americans, students may feel more comfortable speaking their city-specific dialect. A teacher must remember only the so-called "correct English myth holds that there is one real English, Standard English, and that deviations from it are impoverished and unworthy." (Adger, 1997) The myth of the single correct dialect or way of speaking is one of the issues Chaika… [read more]


Language of Geoffrey Chaucer Term Paper

… " ( ibid)

Furthermore, in this regard Schlauch also refers to the fact that Chaucer's writing and use of language often differed from the accepted form of London English, For example,

....it can be established that Chaucer inclined to some slight archaisms in usage, perhaps for aesthetic reasons such as the requirements of metre, as compared with the current speech of London in his time. It is likely, for instance, that the typical unaccented final -e ? Of Middle English was more frequently suppressed in ordinary conversation than is the case in Chaucer's verse, where scansion indicates that it was normally (though not universally) retained except before a word beginning with a vowel.

( ibid)

Notwithstanding the above view, most critics and studies leave little doubt as to the impact and significance of Chaucer in the development of the English language and literature. Possibly one of the most important aspects is that he increased the prestige of English in terms of its perception as a literary language. He was also responsible for "extending the range of its poetic vocabulary and meters." (Chaucer, Geoffrey 1340-400)

He was also the first poet in English to use iambic pentameter. He was extremely influential with regard to the works and language of later writers and poets. There is little doubt that "For the Renaissance, he was the English Homer." (ibid) John Dryden, who was to modernize the Canterbury tales, called Chaucer " ... The father of English poetry." ( ibid)

Bibliography

Baugh, Albert C. A History of the English Language. 2nd ed. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1959.

Chaucer, Geoffrey 1340-400) August 15, 2005.

http://www.cartage.org.lb/en/themes/Biographies/MainBiographies/C/chaucergeoffrey/2.html

English Language. Encarta. August 16, 2005. http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761564210_2/English_Language.html

Emerson, Oliver Farrar. The History of the English Language. New York: Macmillan, 1894.

Schlauch, Margaret. The English Language in Modern Times, since 1400.…… [read more]


Communicative Language Teaching Communicative Competence Term Paper

… Communicative Language Teaching

Communicative Competence

In the past few years, the area of study termed "communicative competence" has received widespread attention as an alternative and successful method of teaching foreign language students. The desired outcome of the language learning process… [read more]


Secret Languages Term Paper

… Secret Languages

One of the most common "secret" languages is Pig Latin. Although many people can converse in Pig Latin, the language is still uncommon enough that it can be used to cloak sensitive conversations. Pig Latin is a playful variant of English, and has nothing at all to do with Latin. In Pig Latin, which is mainly a spoken as opposed to written language, the speaker removes the first consonant sound of every word, adds the vowel sound "Ay" and moves the resulting syllable to the end of the word. For example, the word "secret" becomes "ecretsay," the word "pen" becomes "enpay," the word "toilet" becomes "oilettay," the word "magazine" becomes "agazinemay," and the word "toast" becomes "oasttay." Consonant groups that form one single sound are treated as the same consonant and are moved together. For example, the word "glue" becomes "ueglay," not "lueglay." The word "school" becomes "oolschay," which sounds like "oolskay." Similarly, the word "scissors" would become "issorsscay," because the "sc" sound remains a soft "s." Pig Latin is therefore more of a verbal than a written language but can be used effectively in writing.

If a…… [read more]


Baby Acquire Language Term Paper

… Language Acquisition

It is unclear exactly how babies and young children acquire language. In humans, language acquisition seems to be instinctual and innate: babies begin making nonsense noises very soon after birth and before long are imitating the sounds they hear in the environment. Because babies can vocalize sounds and syllables, it would seem that language acquisition is at least in part instinctual and innate. On the other hand, learning the complexities of grammar, structure, and usage require memorization and rote skills. Very much like many other things children learn, language involves part innate nature, part environmental nurture.

When children learn basic sensory-motor skills, from manipulating their eating utensils to walking to throwing a ball, they also rely on learning tools such as imitation and means of correction such as punishment and reward systems. Like Pavlov training his dogs, parents and older siblings often use very basic means to teach young children how to perform simple activities. Some activities, like riding a bicycle, take practice, trial and error. Although many of the basic sensory-motor skills used by human beings are hard-wired, some of the more graceful activities…… [read more]


Language and Literacy Every Workplace Term Paper

… More often than not, the only contact that I have with members of the executive board is through written communications and word-of-mouth.

Language and literacy inevitably brings up issues related to ethnic and linguistic diversity as well as issues related… [read more]


Language Facilitates Criticism and Understanding? Term Paper

… (Sutton, 1993, p. 426)

However, even researchers striving for unbiased and hard data do not always have the recourse of objective, hard factual data. Consider a forensic investigation that involves querying bystanders about the same accident. The individual testimonies of the different people, all of whom saw the same little old lady slip on the sidewalk, will surely differ to some extent as to what happened and who was at fault. The investigator must interpret the validity of the different person's testimony and credibility from the language that the individuals use, just as much as when, in a much less frantic situation, one might compare the different responses of friends who all saw the same film. On some level, qualitative language analysis is part of life -- part of the critical skills of discrimination all individuals must deploy in life.

Also, even the apparently pre-existing categories that exist in data-based analysis are part of qualitative language. When one attempts to analyze different 'gendered' responses, and divides test subjects into men and women, one is engaged in a distinction that is located in language and culture in a qualitative fashion -- of if one fails to break down responses into different demographic groups, there is also a certain qualitative statement being made, that cultural or gender distinctions are not important to the data being reported or recorded. Furthermore, being mindful of qualitative biases as researchers and readers not only enable one to analyze reports more effectively, but also to be more reflectively and rigorously self-critical about one's own biases when setting up a study, reading a document, reflecting upon the results gleaned from a personal or professional investigation.

The subjective is thus inescapable -- it influences how we break elements of a text or study group down, how we express ourselves in language, as well as influences what we to expect to learn. Language influences how we 'see' categories at all, even the distinction between the quantitative and the qualitative itself. Of course, this does not mean that one needs to sink into relativism -- rather that through knowledge of how qualitative language is deployed and use, one can make one's own use of it more self-critical and reasonable.

Works Cited

Custer, R.L. (1996). Qualitative research methodologies. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, 34, 3-6. Retrieved 13 May 2005 from Qualitative Research Database at ttp://www2.gsu.edu/~mstswh/courses/it7000/papers/qualitat.htm

Hoepfl, M.C. (1997, Fall). Choosing qualitative research: A primer for technology education researchers. Journal of Technology, 9, 12-39. Retrieved 13 May 2005 from Qualitative Research Database at ttp://www2.gsu.edu/~mstswh/courses/it7000/papers/qualitat.htm

Sutton, B. (1993). The rationale for qualitative research: A review of principles and theoretical foundations. Library Quarterly, 63, 411-430. Retrieved 13 May 2005 from Qualitative Research Database at ttp://www2.gsu.edu/~mstswh/courses/it7000/papers/qualitat.htm… [read more]


Language Is the Perfect Instrument of Empire Term Paper

… Language Is the Perfect Instrument of Empire:

Case for Teaching English Globally

Though the British empire over half a century ago, the mark it left on the world remains. The many countries colonized by Britain continue to use English colloquially… [read more]


Is it Possible to Say That Men and Women Use Language Differently? Term Paper

… ¶ … men and women is a continually debated issue, which has significant personal, professional, political and social ramifications. Naturally, males and females do differ biologically. Less clear, however, are other possible differences. For example, the psychological variations between men… [read more]


Language and Language Diversity Play Term Paper

… Though language is generally empowering, it also presents limitations, especially with the wide variety of languages that have developed through time. Differences in language use results to different worldviews, or the perspective in which the individual tries to analyze and understand his/her reality. Instead of promoting unity and understanding among humans in general, language diversity creates sub-human cultures and creates misunderstanding because of the non-universality of each of these languages. In effect, though language and the capability to communicate is deemed as vital to human society, diversity and differences in terms of language (i.e., codes or symbols) limit people from their respective cultures, and cannot establish universal understanding and unity.

3. In the process of critical thinking, one is able to process information that she or he receives. This means that in the critical thinking process, there is an active transfer of message into the brain, wherein it assigns to a particular category in which this information is appropriately assigned. Once this information has been processed in the brain, the individual is now able to ascertain whether the information should be retained in his/her brain (memory, specifically) or not.

Thus, in the act of persuading a person, it is essential that the individual receiving the information determine whether this information is worth keeping or not. Furthermore, the individual also determines whether knowledge about the information should also constitute into action. In effect, critical thinking allows one to make systematic steps in identifying whether the thinking self should be persuaded by the information-giver or not.… [read more]


"If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What It? Term Paper

… ¶ … Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?"

This paper will look at the argument presented by James Baldwin in his essay called "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?." This paper will discuss the logical soundness of the author's case by examining his line of reasoning and his use of evidence. Paying attention to writing style, structure of the argument, evidence provided and what is inferred by his use of tone; this paper will examine Baldwin's message.

The Author's Argument

James Baldwin makes the argument language itself is not the issue but the role of language and its relationship to people in society. Basically his argument is that language is born out people's use. He writes, "Language incontestably, reveals the speaker. Language, also, for more dubiously, is meant to define the other" (par. 1). He defines "other" as someone "refusing to be defined by a language that has never been able to recognize him" (Baldwin, par.1). Does this mean that language applies to people in different ways? That one person using a certain language can totally reject it and invent a new one out of the old? Baldwin seems to think so and continues this stance by offering a solid example. He elaborates that people from different French speaking countries use French differently to a point the French being used has a different context for the setting. "A Frenchman living in Paris speaks a subtly and crucially different language from that of the man living in Marseilles" (Baldwin, par. 2). He uses this element of context to back up his argument about English acting the same way. How does he do this effectively? Could this argument prove the element of context applies not only to nationality but also race?

He believes language acts a universal tool for humanity despite the issue of context. He notes, "What joins all languages, and all men, is the necessity to confront life, in order, not inconceivably, to outwit death" (Baldwin, par. 3). In this regard, he believes with knowledge of language comes power and it can be used a political tool. He reflects that there is a time and place for its use, "reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity" (Baldwin, par. 3). He explains because language is powerful, using it correctly is important and could mean life or death in certain situations.

Still the individual speaking brings to language their style of articulation. He explains his argument also applies to English. The variations found are less to do with physical surroundings but more to do with class, race and the relationship between the two. He comments that he does not "know what white Americans would sound like if there had never been any black people in the United States, but they would not sound the way they sound" (Baldwin, par. 4). This only solidifies the idea that one language can feed off the… [read more]


Properties of Human Language (Displacement Term Paper

… Human language can also be subtle, as in poetry, and have dual and even multiple levels and significances of meaning. It can also be transmitted after the fact of the speaker's demise, as a reader can read about the joy of someone who is fictional and imagined, by an author died a long time ago.

Question 2: (Chapter 17) How does the process of acquiring a native language and the process of learning a foreign language differ?

Acquiring a language naturally from one's loved ones is done in a non-structured fashion, and in dialogue usually with a caregivers. Rather than stressing tenses, which children often misuse, communication of nouns and simple ideas rather than grammatical structure is stressed. (184) Because one usually learns one's first, native language a child, there is also an initial tendency to learn this language in a less distinctive fashion, referring to flowers rather than a rose, for example. (186) This may reflect, although it is a cross-cultural phenomena, the way that adults speak to children, although some scholars have also suggested it reflects the biological state of the human mind in early stages of development, and also is one reason why it is easier to acquire a language earlier in life. Children are also apt to call a bow-wow a dog, and to overextend their first animal names to other animals. (185)

Thus, learning a non-primary language in school depends greater specificity. Later in life, one better understands the importance, when communicating, of using more specific nouns and communicating the sense of tense, of when an action was completed. Learning a second language often stresses the distinct differences of sentence order and structure, something that young children are apt to eschew when they are first learning their native, primary language.

Work Cited

Yule, George. "The Study of…… [read more]


Language and Communication the Power Term Paper

… As a speaker of my native language, I am able to identify myself strongly to my heritage and Asian identity. Practicing and speaking my native language even in a foreign land allows me to reiterate my personality of being a member of Asian culture, yet able to assimilate with American culture. Through the Taiwanese language, I can express my thoughts without expressing them explicitly; this characteristic of my native language allows me to state things and communicate without being too direct, expressing my thoughts and ideas with a deeper meaning that must be thought upon carefully with the individual I am communicating with.

As a speaker of English, I am able to understand the way English-speakers perceive and interpret their world through their language. In English, I learn to be more direct and explicit in communicating my ideas, thoughts, and feelings with other people. It is evident that my perspective has changed when I speak in the English language, and this change had clashed with my values and attitudes as a Taiwanese native speaker. However, I am slowly able to reconcile these contrasting natures of Taiwanese and American culture, making me more flexible and able to adapt to their social environment. Indeed, the power of language in communication, as in my case, has been limitless, certainly full of benefits than detriments, keeping within me an open-minded attitude in understanding and acknowledging the differences among people in human society.… [read more]


Foreign Language Education in High Term Paper

… So even on a personal basis, more knowledge means more choices, and that alone would seem to be a cogent reason for foreign language study for any student, college-bound, tech-school bound, or workplace bound. It is worthwhile to note that… [read more]


Language Determines Thought: The Creation Term Paper

… People exposed to one culture, which may characteristically have a different language, may interpret their realities differently from another culture. That is, people of A language may have a different way of interpreting, solving conflicts, and relating with other people vis-a-vis people from another, which speaks a different language B.

To illustrate the power of language in affecting thinking, particularly ways in which people relate with others and perceive social realities, a comparative analysis of two culturally-different societies are analyzed. Filipino vs. American language are characteristically different with each other: the former is characterized as a highly collective society, while the latter as individualist. Filipino as the language of the Philippines, have numerous terms for actions and adjectives that are value-laden, with emphasis on Filipino values of cooperation, collectivism, respect, and hospitality. Filipinos, furthermore, is especially characterized as respectful people, with the words "po" and "opo" used when speaking with an older person or an individual with a high status in the society or an organization. The Filipino (language) example show how language affects critical thinking of its people: regard for hierarchical statuses and discrimination in terms of age and/or socioeconomic and political status is apparent with the utilization of the terms "opo" and "po." This observation is essential in critical thinking, since people are better able to understand the social realities of people in the Filipino society as expressed implicitly in their use of their language.

Bibliography

Adler, R. (1998). Interplay: Process of Interpersonal Communication. NY: Harcourt Brace & Co.

Santrock, J. (2001). Psychology. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Book Co.… [read more]


Politics and the English Language Term Paper

… ' Although the use of such phrase truly created a strong effect to the audiences, Lincoln's speech is vague. This may prompt other observers to note whether Lincoln's words are expressed with truth or for dramatic flair and effect only.

The next lines of the speech shifts to a more concrete and clearer explanation and description of the 'great Civil War,' as Lincoln describes the current civil strife. However, the other half of the speech's second paragraph shifts back again to vagueness as Lincoln acknowledges the bravery and patriotism of the American people who have 'sacrificed' their lives for the nation's liberty and cause. The passage, "We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this," where audiences hearing this passage may not be able to discern in concrete terms the President's meaning. The dramatic phrase, "dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place," is an indirect way of telling the people that the speaker intends to mark the battlefield as a place where people have died for the country. The use of imagery and symbolism is apparent in this passage; however, the passage lacks clarity as a result of the succeeding lines that follow after this thought has been expressed.

Lastly, the inspirational speech that moved and stirred patriotism among the citizens of America contains the use of meaningless words and verbal false limbs. The third paragraph of the speech contains a lengthy description that only expresses thoughts on bravery, freedom, and patriotism. These words are not used in the speech; rather, meaningless words and phrases are used to replace the clearer equivalent of thoughts and concepts of "freedom," "bravery," and "patriotism." The passage, "... that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth," shows America's invincibility in the face of a social strife, an implication of America's powerful legacy of freedom and patriotism, obtained through the display of bravery. These are only implied meanings, since Lincoln states in vague terms America's triumph in the midst of a war. Thus, Lincoln's speech is only meaningful for those who are able to relate to the experience he is talking about, which are the people of the American society during that period. Put in another time period, Lincoln's speech is vague and meaningless, giving the audience no idea what he pertains to when addressing or talking about a particular thought.

This example shows how Orwell uses language in analyzing the social and political implications the writer/speakers use to elucidate their feelings and/or thoughts. Orwell's objective study of modern English prose writing and composition shows how he treats political sentiments and beliefs in a neutral, unbiased manner, basing his analysis on the quality of vagueness or insincerity the text… [read more]


Politics and English Language Term Paper

… He cites various examples from everyday modern phrases, which are used commonly but can certainly complicate the writing. The following passage from David Lodge's Small World might give you some idea about what is meant by unclear modern writing. "Language is a code. But every decoding is another encoding.... It is the terpsichorean equivalent of the hermeneutic fallacy of recoupable meaning, which claims that if we remove the clothing of its rhetoric from a literary text we discover the bare facts it is trying to communicate.... To read is to surrender oneself to an endless displacement of curiosity and desire from one sentence to another. The text unveils itself before us, but never allows itself to be possessed; and instead of striving to possess it we should take pleasure in its teasing."

According to Orwell, the third common mistake is the use of passive voice instead of active. The author feels that when writers replace active sentences with passive, they make simple language more complicated, which adds to the vagueness of the writing. For clearer and more precise writing it is better to use active voice, which conveys the message directly instead of in a roundabout manner.

The fourth mistake pointed out by Orwell is the use of pretentious and meaningless words. Orwell maintains modern writers find it important to use foreign words or pretentious phrases which are not well understood by the readers and only give rise to the risk of possible misinterpretation. This is a very common mistake that is often regarded as a sign of knowledge and vast vocabulary by the writers but tends to leave readers more confused. For this reason, instead of trying to decode the writing, they would much rather switch to some other writer with more meaningful and less obscure views. But if we thought that only few modern writers make these errors, then we are certainly grossly mistaken. This is because some of the best institutions in the country that are known for their quality education are found guilty of these common mistakes in writing. For example, the following passage is extracted from an anthropology course description at Stanford University and this is by far the most unclear piece of writing I have come across.

This course attempts to sort out the significance and mobilization potential of a new jumble of cultural practices located in the terrain that calls for, yet paradoxically refuses, boundaries. This terrain is situated in the borderzone between identity-as-essence and identity-as-conjecture, and its practices challenge the ludic play with essence and conjuncture as yet another set of postmodernist binarisms. Much work on resistance has been response-oriented, reacting to the Eurocenter by occupying either the essence pole or the hybrid pole. The course stakes out this new terrain, where opposition is not only responsive, but creative. It is a guerrilla warfare of the interstices, where minorities rupture categories of race, gender, sexuality, and class in the center as well as on the margins, and where such rupture intersect with… [read more]


Noam Chomsky's Language Term Paper

… By giving the dolphins a waterproof keyboard with a set of symbols, Herman also found that the dolphins could produce language as well as understand it. The dolphins learned that pushing certain key symbols with their snouts generated specific whistling sounds. In effect, they were "writing" sentences while they were speaking. Through this technique, the researchers further concluded that dolphins were capable of understanding language, could use abstract concepts and can think in terms of the past and future (Hume).

These are all cognitive abilities that were previously solely as human abilities. In addition, the use of a specific set of whistles and the ability to understand and express the differences between "bring the ball to the basket" and "bring the basket to the ball" demonstrate both Chomsky's creative aspect of language and the various human uses of language as thought expression and communication.

However, most researchers also believed that only dolphins in captivity demonstrated this ability. Researchers like Herman and Norris believed that while dolphins had the ability to use language, they had not evolved to a point where language use came naturally.

In the wild

In 2000, marine biologist Vincent M. Janik of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts challenged this prevailing belief. Janik recorded and analyzed more than 1,700 whistle signals between bottle-nosed dolphins swimming along the Moray Firth coast of Scotland. He concluded that the dolphins responded to each other in matching signals, echoing identical whistles ("Dolphin Whistles Offer Signs of Language Ability").

Furthermore, Janik believes that dolphin already have this differential whistling ability at birth, in keeping with Chomsky's theory that the ability for language is inborn in every human. Within its first year, he proposed that each dolphin calf develops its unique personal sound signal, which is composed of a pattern of rising and falling tones. This sound is similar to the "whistle" of the calf's parents, allowing dolphins to communicate to which pod they belong. However, the sound is also significantly differentiated enough to be recognized as the calf's own "acoustic signature" (Suplee).

Janik proposes that another dolphin may imitate the signature whistle of another in order to address the individual (Tyack). It is similar to a human's ability to recognize a friend's voice over the telephone. The dolphin's ability for "vocal labeling," in alliance with its demonstrated ability to understand and manipulate human syntax and grammar, may provide the basis for social communication among dolphins.

Conclusion

In conclusion, dolphins share similar traits with humans, lending credence to the belief that dolphins can use language. They have both fairly large brains in relation to their bodies and are both highly social beings.

In addition, dolphins have demonstrated an ability to develop, recognize, imitate and manipulate a system of sounds to create various meanings. Their ability to string together agreed-upon symbols to form new sentences is in keeping with Chomsky's writings on the "creative aspect" of language. Based on these qualities, researchers have thus concluded that dolphins and other cetacean mammals have all… [read more]


Bilingual First Language Acquisition Term Paper

… Infants use multiple cues to determine word boundaries between the ages of six months to 24 months. As early as 7.5 months of age, infants can detect stress patterns in speech and later, phonotactic nuances (i.e., acceptable consonant clusters at… [read more]


Language Controversy the Art Term Paper

… Naylor uses personal details about her own family, friends and experiences to expalsin how the word "nigger," which is basically taboo in our society, can have a positive meaning. She also uses languages to persuade the reader to understand both sides of the argument.

In Ward Churchill's Crimes Against Humanity (1991), the author compares the use of politically incorrect language with the tragedy that occurred during World War II. Churchill reveals how the Nazis labeled the Jews using language that carried negative connotations. Churchill shows how powerful language really is, as it convinced an entire nation that the Jewish population was worthless and should be executed.

In addition, Churchill attacks the use of politically incorrect language in sports teams. According to Churchill, being labeled as savages in sports dehumanizes Native Americans. To make his point, Churchill adds some fictional sports teams, including "the St. Louis 'Sluts,' Boston 'Bimbos,' Detroit 'Dykes,' and the Fresno 'Fags.'" Churchill's use of language hits home for his readers, and he also appeals to their feelings of sympathy by showing how language can dehumanize people.

By using such explicit names, he is able to make a very poignant point. Churchill uses language to appeal directly to the reader's feelings of sympathy. He does this with his references to World War II and the dehumanizing names of sports teams, causing his argument to be very strong in its appeal to the emotion.

Rosalie Maggio, in Bias-Free Language: Some Guidelines (Goshgarian, 2001), uses concrete examples and situations to explain the power of language and get her point across. Maggio shows how the generic association of masculine pronouns with the Presidency makes it hard for people to imagine a woman in office.

Maggio also points out that when one racial group becomes so accustomed to using derogatory language to label other groups, it becomes easier for them to justify inflicting harm upon these groups.

Maggio makes an important point, saying that specific language leads to dramatic actions and choices. She is basically saying that language shapes our perceptions and ultimately influences our beliefs and values. Maggio stresses that when things and people are labeled or named, they are dentified through this language.

These different examples of gender and cultural texts show why and how certain research and argumentation strategies are important to illustrate different topics. Many individuals, groups and writers have attempted to transform language in an effort to discourage racism and violence. However, changing the language would rob us of more direct and colorful words, in many cases.

It is important to understand that discussions of language and its negative effect on society often arise because different groups experience discrimination on a daily basis and are denied many basic rights and opportunities because of it. Many of the words that are used to label people have the power and are often used to justify oppression.

As the articles discussed in this paper clearly show, our choice of language is extremely important. Using politically correct terminology provides groups with… [read more]


Psycholinguistics Gives Term Paper

… She had been isolated from almost all human contact, held in a baby crib most of her life, and had never been spoken to. She was physically immature, and could not walk or talk, and had no ability to speak. Psychologists spent years attempting to teach Genie to speak. While she did eventually learn to communication, Genie's ability to speak never moved much past beyond the extent of that of a chimpanzee. She never learned to manipulate grammar, or use suffixes or prefixes. Genie eventually stopped using language later in her life and was committed to a mental institution (Kolb and Whishaw).

Psycholinguistics has also been invaluable in elucidating many of the mechanisms behind the human ability to discern written language. Psycholinguistic theories like Chomsky's move easily to written language, which follows similar developmental patterns. Further, there also appears to be a genetic basis to the development of syntax and grammar in written language, across languages and cultures (Taylor).

Further, psycholinguistics has helped to develop useful models for teaching children to read. For example, Psycholinguists have determined that humans look for subject/verb patterns in written language, and then move onto the next pattern. As such, individual words are "chunked" into meaningful bits (Taylor).

In conclusion, psycholinguistics has played an invaluable role in determining the underlying basis of language development. Psycholinguistics offers a comprehensive and viable understanding of language development. As such, psycholinguistic approach to teaching children to read, write, and speak is likely to be the most effective and appropriate tool for educators.

Works Cited

Kess, Joseph F. (1992) Psycholinguistics: psychology, linguistics, and the study of natural language. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Kolb, Bryan and Whishaw, I.Q. (1985).

Fundamentals of human neuropsychology, 2nd ed. New York: Freeman.

McConnell, James V. Understanding Human Behavior, 6th ed. Fort Worth: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.

McGroarty, Mary E. (2001). Language and psychology. Publication info: Port Chester, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Taylor, Insup. (1990).

Psycholinguistics: learning and using language.

Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

Weaver, Constance. (1988).

Reading process and practice: from socio-psycholinguistics to whole language. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann.

Xrefer. Psycholinguistics. 05 November 2002. http://www.xrefer.com/entry/443536… [read more]


Cognitive Psychology and Language Development Term Paper

… Milgram's experiments in obedience were ethical, but from at least one perspective, they were not admirable. Contemporary research is governed by rather stringent human subjects review committees and human subjects policies that must be followed in order to gain permission to conduct research with people as subjects. In particular, the human subjects policies are designed to ensure that subjects understand that they can end their participation in the study at will, that they voluntarily engage with the study, and that they give consent to participating only after they have been informed about any adverse conditions that could be associated with their participation in the research.

The experiments caused considerable stress to the study participants based on false beliefs about the outcomes of their own actions. That said, the research provided valuable information about human nature with respect to obedience to authority figures, and also about the accuracy of predicting the behavior of others under circumstances such as those presented during the experiment.

Question 2.

The Bowflex ad featuring the 50-year-old grandmother of a five-year-old is quite persuasive. The woman featured on the ad does not look like she is 50-years old and she has a very attractive face, long luxurious hair, and a slim, shapely body. She TV advertisement shows her actively engaged in using the Bowflex and swimming and lounging in a two-piece bikini swimsuit. The primary element of persuasion used in the advertisement is ethos. The woman featured in the ad seems credible, respectable, and certainly exhibits the healthy, fit persona to which she refers and to which she attributes her shapely body. She reasonably talks about loosing weight over a period of time that is believable. While it does seem that her statement that she saw results from using the Bowflex right away may seem a bit exaggerated, the rest of her testimony seems credible. The advertisement works because any 50-year-old woman watching the TV ad would want to look as slim and fit as the woman featured in the ad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0Y5o1FvGXU&list=PLD4284B0B4A0EB5D8&index=3… [read more]


ECE Expressive Language Case Study

… Language Disorders in Children

MLU

The mean length of utterance in Jay's sample of 25 meaningful utterances is 3.8 or 3.5. Three uses of slang (gotta, gonna) by Jay increase the count to 83 morphemes, which results in a score of 3.8. If these slang words were considered one morpheme, the rate would be 3.5. However, since the meaning of the slang words is compound, as in "got to" or "going to," the slang words may be considered two morphemes for each occurrence. The MLUM for children with language impairment (affected) in the age range 3.0 to 3.5 years is 2.84. Jay's MLUM falls between the age ranges of 5.0 to 5.5 years and 5.6 to 5.11 years for children with language impairment, which shows MLUM to be 3.72 and 3.95, respectively (Rice, et al., 2010). The MLUM for children without language impairment has been shown to be higher in each age range (Rice, et al., 2010). Accordingly, Jay's MLUM can be considered to be within typical limits. The main caveat in this analysis is that 25 intelligible utterances is low, by research standards that recommend a sample of more than 50 utterances (Rice, et al., 2010).

MLUW

MLUM

Group

Age Range

N

Mean

Std Dev

Cohen's d Effect Size

Mean

Std Dev

Cohen's d Effect Size

Affected

2;6-2;11

6

2.37

0.32

0.93

2.59

0.39

0.90

Affected

3;0-3;5

15

2.84

0.38

0.97

3.07

0.48

1.07

Affected

3;6-3;11

24

3.10

0.75

1.04

3.36

0.80

1.09

Affected

4;0-4;5

54

3.31

0.70

1.22

3.64

0.80

1.22

Affected

4;6-4;11

72

3.60

0.62

0.95

3.95

0.70

1.01

Affected

5;0-5;5

84

3.72

0.61

1.05

4.09

0.70

1.10

Affected

5;6-5;11

97

3.95

0.60

0.85

4.34

0.67

0.89

Source: Rice, et al., 2010.

DSS

DSS Score = # of points / # of utterances

Jay's Developmental Sentence Score on the 25 utterances sample is 100 points divided by 15 sentences = 6.67. One limitation of this analysis is that the DSS uses a 50 utterances sample. Only children that score below the 10 percentile or more than one standard deviation below the mean are likely to need intervention. Jay scores at the 50th percentile, which shows a benchmark score of 6.64 for 3 years 6-month.

Correct/Incorrect Form Analysis

Jay's speech sample notably lacks use of past tense, third person, possessives, contractible copula, and contractible auxiliary phrases. Referencing Brown's morphemes, Jay's use of language corresponds with the age of mastery range for 28 to 46 months. At 41 months of age, Jay is approaching the upper end of the range but his expressive language appears to be developing normally. It is possible that the language sample has not produced many opportunities for Jay to use past tense, as it appears that he is narrating his play -- perhaps interacting with objects while an adult looks on.

Type Token Ratio

Jay's Type Token Ratio (TTR) scored the conventional way is .67. This score is calculated by dividing the number of different words produced in the sample by the total number… [read more]


How Language Can Give Rise to Cultural Misunderstandings Essay

… ¶ … Language:

Kingston, Tannen, and Klass show the limits of language

Words are an extremely important part of the way human beings communicate. However, as well as building bridges between people, words can also create misunderstandings and divides. This can be seen in an analysis of Maxine Hong Kingston personal essay "Silence," the socio-linguist Deborah Tannen's essay "Men and Women Talking on the Job," and the physician Perry Klass' essay "Learning the Language." All of these essays illustrate how someone can have a grasp of the surface meanings of a language but fail to fully understand the way that language is operating in a specific context. Language is located in a culture and simply knowing the meaning of vocabulary does not mean that someone fully understands the language. This is reflected in my own personal experiences as an ESL student as well as the observations I have made in school and the workplace.

The Chinese-American author Maxine Hong Kingston's essay "Silence" describes how Kingston spent her years growing up largely in a profound state of silence. Although Kingston could speak, she chose to remain mute at school. Kingston grew up bilingual, able to speak both Chinese and English but this left her feeling torn between two worlds. She had no way to reconcile her two cultures as a small child. Silence was her only defense and means of protest as a little girl. "My silence was thickest -- total -- during the three years I covered my school paintings with black paint. I painted layers of black over houses and flowers and suns" (Kingston 2). The only students Kingston felt comfortable with were the African-American students whom she knew also felt culturally excluded from the school environment. A critical aspect of Kingston's discomfort was the way in which the school day was structured. Students were called upon to recite individually, which made her uncomfortable, versus being able to speak in a collective voice as was customary in the Chinese school she also attended. Unable to reconcile the two words, Kingston protested in silence. As a non-native speaker, Kingston's essay resonated with me. Very often people who are not native speakers of the language may be able to speak it but are frightened of doing so for fear of seeming awkward or not understanding the subtle cues native speakers make when voicing their opinions. Silence, smiling, and nodding are the only way to deal with this uncomfortable situation. Kingston was used to a collective environment where fitting into a common social order was good; the school she was a part of was individualistic. I have often seen immigrant Chinese students called passive or quiet in American schools, simply because they are not loud and do not debate what is being discussed in class. People fail to understand that in some cultures open disagreement is considered rude and wrong.

It is not only people from different cultures who are judged harshly as poor speakers because they do not have the same… [read more]


Inari Sami -- an Endangered Research Paper

… In their struggle to get actively involved in the globalization process, some people abandon their cultural values and adopt values from other cultures in hope that this would improve their lives. This leads to situations like the one in the Inari Sami community, as most young individuals within it direct their attention toward matters other than the group's indigenous language. Language is an essential concept in this community, taking into account that it is one of the factors enabling Inari Sami individuals to focus on their traditional connection to the natural world.

By visiting the Sami museum in Finland, one is probable to learn more concerning the Inari Sami community's strength and its dedication to preserve its values. In the face of globalization however, individuals no longer have time to focus on matters such as disappearing languages, as these respective matters have nothing to do with concepts that actually interest them.

One of the most surprising elements concerning the present day condition of Inari Sami is its association with Finnish rapper Amoc (Lahteenmaki & Vanhala-Aniszewski 72). The singer writes his lyrics in Inari Sami and this seems to rejuvenate the language in a series of ways, as it enabled younger Inari Sami individuals to realize that there are many reasons why they should focus on preserving this language instead of ignoring the valuable role it plays in their lives and in their community.

Bibliography:

Lahteenmaki, Mika, and Vanhala-Aniszewsk, Marjatta, Language Ideologies in Transition: Multilingualism in Russia and Finland, (Peter Lang, 2010)

Proctor, James, "Lapland: The Bradt Travel Guide," (Bradt…… [read more]


Sociolinguistic Aspect of Greek Dialects Essay

… Greek Sociolinguistics

Socilinguistic Aspect Of Greek Dialects

Perceptions of dialectical variation in Modern Greek

What is a dialect? "Different language communities have certain ways of talking that set them apart from others. Those differences may be thought of as dialects -- not just accents (the way words are pronounced) but also grammar, vocabulary, syntax and common expressions" (Malone n.d.). In the nation of Greece, because of geographic and political divides, many distinct dialects of standard Modern Greek have developed. This paper will explore how different dialects have different emotional and social connotations for modern Greeks, both Greek-Americans who learned Greek in the U.S. And native speakers from Greece.

Theoretical framework

According to Joseph & Tserdanelis, in Modern Greek, "depending on how one decides the difficult question of distinguishing between dialects of a language as opposed to separate languages, the highly divergent modern form of Greek known as Tsakonian, spoken still in the eastern Peloponnesos (in Greece), could well be considered now a separate language from the rest of Modern Greek, and the Pontic dialects once spoken along the Black Sea coast of Asia Minor…modern Cypriot shows significant differences on all levels (phonological, morphological, and syntactic) that invite classification as a separate language, though this judgment is perhaps a more difficult one than in the case of Tsakonian or Pontic" (Joseph & Tserdanelis). The reason that Cypriot has developed into such a distinct linguistic specimen is very easy to guess, given the physical divisions between itself and the mainland, as well as the political conflicts that have resulted in Turkish influence in the region. Additionally, "the dialects of the Ionian Islands and those of Kydonies and Moschonisia constitute some major examples to this situation since they have been heavily affected by Italian and Turkish, respectively" (Modern Greek dialects, 2013, Laboratory of Modern Greek Dialects). The fact that Greek exhibits so many linguistic distinctions, to the point that new languages have been created in relatively recent years, highlights its dialectical variation. Dialects are very clearly 'coded' in a regional fashion to the ear of Greeks, and these different regions have strong class as well as geographical associations. Perceptions of 'foreignness' can also taint subjective perceptions of Greek dialects.

While Modern Greek is traditionally characterized as being either a northern and southern dialect, within this rather crude division is a great deal of linguistic multiplicity. "This categorization is far from covering all the deviances among the numerous dialectal varieties; in most dialects, high- or low-frequency of contact induced change is observed, depending on the degree of contact with a different language" (Modern Greek dialects, 2013, Laboratory of Modern Greek Dialects). The differentiation within Modern Greek, and the strong regional…… [read more]


Teaching Methods Hypothesis and Null Research Proposal

… Hypothesis: Colleges need to change the teaching methods in Translation and Languages courses as the current methods are insufficient to develop the translation skills required for a career as a professional qualified translator.

Quantitative Methods and Qualitative Methods:

The research will include qualitative and quantitative methods. The qualitative methods will be based on the interviews and focus groups held with college administration, teachers and students enrolled in such programs. The qualitative analysis will help in analyzing the deep rooted insights of the research problem. The interviews with administration will aid in focusing on the priority given by students to such courses and the opportunity of a career after attaining required translation skills. The interviews with teachers will focus on the current teaching methods that have been used by them and their suggestions on improving the standard of education provided. Finally the students will be interviewed in order to gain their view on how much competent do they feel after clearing such courses and what they feel can be improved to help them in their courses structure.

The quantitative methods will also be used for the objective analysis of the research. Various sampling methods will be used to attain quantitative information through distributing questionnaires in different colleges. The questionnaire will cover all the aspect of the research questions that will help the researcher to develop an objective analysis about the findings. Different statistical tools will also be used to get a clear picture of the findings of the research.

Theoretical Framework:

The following are the four theories that can be used in the theoretical framework for the research:

Engagement Theory:

The engagement theory is currently not applied in the Colleges teaching the Translation courses. The theory suggests a model of learning which is based on technology and integrates many elements of learning that had been employed in the past. The idea is to engage the students in class participation through various virtual exchanges and a much friendlier atmosphere which is provided through the aid of technology. Hiltz, an expert in online teaching methods mentions that the role of social networking is often used in order to create a higher level of engagement of students with each other. (Hiltz, 2004)

Constructivist Learning Theory:

The theory is based on the presumption that students can learn the most when they are actively involved in the teaching process when they are able to receive information passively. Learners are allowed to learn in an environment where they can express themselves and interpret meanings on their own understanding. Critical thinking is promoted through independent learning where the role of teacher is restricted to only facilitating the students. Bain Ken mentions that the active involvement mixed with a democratic environment can foster better translation skills of students. (Bain, 2004)

Group Work and Team Work:

The teaching methods currently used in such courses usually have some group assignments as a part of their courses. However the translation courses must have more group projects as students are more comfortable in… [read more]


Translation as Gunilla Anderman Puts Essay

… Translation

As Gunilla Anderman puts it, "language has never been considered as important as literature" in academic circles. There is a perceived hierarchical relationship between language and literature, namely that language is a vehicle for literature. While literature depends on language, language is merely a tool and has no internal aesthetic or even value. This dichotomy has led to a binary opposition between literary translation vs. literary interpretation. The translation is viewed as the mundane and pedestrian activity; the interpretation is perceived as the more complex activity requiring in-depth semantic mastery. Daniel Gile argues that there may be no "fundamental difference between literary translators and non-literary translators." Gile essentially disparages the false hierarchy between texts labeled literature and those that are not.

Peter Newmark denies the relevance of the dichotomy between literary translation and literary interpretation, noting that it is a false dichotomy. Yet in criticizing this dichotomy, Newmark presents yet another false opposition between "interpretation in general and non-literary translation." He states, " "Literary translation is concerned with the mind or imagination, whilst non-literary translation is about the world, extralinguistic reality." Non-literary translation is concerned with nothing but "factual truth," whereas literature has a loftier goal of "aesthetic truth," and he adds, "unless it's trivial literature but that's another matter." Newmark clearly admits his academic snobbery when it comes to determining what texts are classified as literature and what texts are not, and that the act of translating or interpreting texts is constricted by the perceived quality or academic merit of those texts.

There is, therefore, a politics of translation or a politics of linguistics. As Fraser puts it, it is a matter of hierarchies, of different types of translation and interpretation and where they fit into the canon of academic research and practical application. There are completely different perceptions of professions that are related to either translation or interpretation. Fraser,…… [read more]


Function of Language in Macbeth Conclusion

… Macbeth's Desire For Kingship: Conclusion

This paper uses a Lacanian hermeneutic to argue that Macbeth enters into the discourse of the witches in a manner which explains his moral trajectory over the course of Shakespeare's tragedy. Macbeth begins the play… [read more]


Saussure's Conception of the Linguistic Sign Essay

… Saussure

Ferdinand de Saussure's book Course in General Linguistics was extremely important due to the way it made human language more intelligible, revealing some of the ways it functioned as a system of signs. In particular, Sausurre argues that a "sign," by which he means a "two-sided linguistic unit," is made up of two inextricable constituent parts: the signifier and the signified (Saussure 2011, p. 103). By signifier, Saussure means the "sound-image," or what most people think of as a spoken word, and by signified, he means the larger concept being referred to. From here, Saussure attempts to describe how language allows for meaning on the basis of difference between signs.

For Saussure, signification is process by which a sign acts, signifying the signified in the action of language use. One must speak of signifier and signified at the same time, because as Saussure notes, "a succession of sounds is linguistic only if it supports an idea" (Saussure 2011, p. 103). Perhaps the most important thing to realize about the relationship between signifier and signified is that this relationship is always arbitrary, meaning that there is no inherent, meaningful connection between the signifier and the signified other than whatever connection has emerged due to the social evolution of language.

If the signifier and signified are what make up a sign, what actually allows people to make sense of the system of signs that constitutes language is the difference between them. This is what Saussure means by "value," because the value of a particular sign is only evident when it is considered within its larger system, because the value of a sign (and according to Saussure, almost anything) can only be determined by comparing and contrasting it to similar and dissimilar things (Saussure 2011, p. 115). Recognizing that the meaning of language comes from the difference between signs is important because it allows one to begin discussing…… [read more]


Arabic Morphology Morph = Form Term Paper

… Aspects of Contemporary Arabic morphology

Arabic language morphology is divided into two significant parts which is a well-established fact (Bohas & Guillaume, 1984). Primitive nouns constitute the first part that do not relate to verbs but it is possible to… [read more]


Brain Mechanisms in Early Language Acquisition Patricia Reaction Paper

… ¶ … Brain Mechanisms in Early Language Acquisition

Patricia K. Kuhl's 2010 article entitled "Brain Mechanisms in Early Language Acquisition" provides an interest glimpse at the cognitive processes and neurological functioning of the brain which promote the learning of a language in early childhood. She explains how recent leaps in technology have allowed researches an inside glimpse into the workings of the brain in order to try to better understand how children naturally learn their native languages. Kuhl (2010) presents the idea that the brain is most effective at breaking languages down to the phonetic level, which can be seen in neurological research even in the youngest of children. Thus, Kuhl posits that phonetic elements are some of the strongest vehicles for teaching language acquisition, because this is the very same strategy that the brain naturally chooses earlier on. Kuhl asserts that this phonetic strategy is facilitated and nurtured through social interactions as well. The author also suggests that this importance placed on phonetic structures continues to be the main strategy the brain uses as the child continues to grow and evolves ever more complicated knowledge of language. She provides the example of school aged children learning to read using very similar neurological processes as when they were younger toddlers learning how to speak the native language of their parents. Having worked with children in learning both English grammar and a second language, I see how this would work. Phonetic strategies are crucial for children learning both linguistic and reading abilities.

Thus, this article has several implications to how language should be taught within a classroom. My teaching practice could best learn by imitating the natural strategies of the brain to acquire new language skills. Essentially, understanding how the brain naturally learns a language can help me create lessons that draw on the same mental processes and strategies as the earlier acquisition of…… [read more]


Lesson Plan Grade 5th English/Language Essay

… For gifted students, identify higher-level words to expand vocabulary and show how commonplace words can be used in unexpected ways. (Such as 'choice' -- which can be a noun (a decision) but also an adjective (something which is very good).

Motivation: Students will be motivated because they will be able to volunteer the words: allow students to be as funny or as crazy as the want when suggesting words. If presenting the lesson around a holiday (like Halloween) or many of the students in the class are particularly interested in something coming up (like the release of a new cartoon or sporting event), suggest words that revolve around the occasion. Ask students to brainstorm words based upon pictures, such as listing to what words come to mind when looking at a cartoon: this reinforces the lesson for visual learners and students less confident in English.

Teacher input: The teacher will review the definitions of the different parts of speech, after asking the class to give their own definitions and providing examples. The teacher will point to the words in the picture and use repetition to reinforce the meaning. The teacher will write down next to the words on the board what part of speech the words are from (such as dog=noun) to visually reinforce the lesson.

Concept/skills/instruction: Definitions and examples of parts of speech; sentence diagramming

Student output: Students will brainstorm words, provide their own definitions of the parts of speech and then diagram sentences collectively as a class. After the in-class brainstorming, students will be asked to brainstorm in teams, and then individually using worksheets at home. The worksheets will ask students to diagram sentences, list different words under parts of speech categories, and finally draw a picture where they must label an example of each part of speech (for example, a picture of a boy running might be labeled with: running=verb; sneakers=noun; quickly=adverb; sweaty=adjective, etcetera).

Learning interactions: In-class 'sharing' of favorite words and creation of own definitions of parts of speech. Sharing existing knowledge. Learning how to 'teach' other students as well as understanding the concepts themselves in team-based learning.

Evidence of learning: Successful completion with minimal errors of individual worksheet; class participation. Ability to use concept independently when teaching other students or creating new work.

Product or performance: Successful completion with minimal errors of individual worksheet; class participation and consistent improvement in use of grammar on other assignments. Assessment: Students will be assessed primarily based on the performance of individual worksheets, although class participation will also be required and team participation will be observed in class

Traditional/Portfolio/Performance: Traditional (individual homework performance), portfolio (team-based work) and performance (in-class participation)

Student reflection: Students will understand how in their own daily interactions, they are constantly using the different parts of speech. Students will be able to understand how the parts of speech function separately and also using complete sentences. ESL learners will have challenging words classified in their minds; visual learners and learners less confident with language will gain confidence… [read more]


Animal Communication Research Paper

… Analysis suggests that meaningful information is being conveyed by these behaviors, but it is disputed whether this phenomenon is truly language. Sign language and computer keyboards are used in primate language research because non-human primates lack vocal cords and other human speech organs. However, primates do possess the manual dexterity required for keyboard operation ("Great Ape Language").

Bottle-nosed dolphins dominate many marine acts because of their intelligence and researchers believe much of the dolphin's brain is used for communication. While it is not known if dolphins have a formal language, they do communicate with a signature whistle to identify themselves. Dolphins lack vocal cords but use a complicated system of whistles, squeaks, moans, trills and clicks produced by sphincter muscles within the blow hole to make sounds. Using echolocation dolphins send out frequencies by clicking. The clicking sounds bounce off objects and the returning sound waves are picked up by the dolphin's bulbous forehead and lower jaw and interpreted as to distance, size and shape of object. This sound system is particularly useful at night or in murky waters as it allows the dolphin to navigate even if visibility is poor. Dolphins have produced sound frequencies from 0.25 to 200 kHz, using the higher frequencies for echolocation and the lower frequencies for communication and orientation ("Dolphin Communication").

Conclusion

It is clear that we can communicate with some animals to some extent. Great apes have learned languages based on hand gestures and symbols. Parrots can learn to speak words, and even use those words to demonstrate feats of learning. Many animals can learn respond to hand gestures and voice commands. Research shows humans have the ability to convey meaning to animals of almost any kind. By recording animal sounds and playing them back, we can attract their attention or elicit the same behavior as the original call. In some cases researchers have modified signals and elicited modified behavior. These and other experiments help to shed light on how and to what extent animals can communicate.

Works Cited

"Dolphin Communication." Beach-Netcom. Atlantic Bottle-Nosed Dolphin. (2012) Web. 9 June 2012. < http://www.beach-net.com/dolphins.html

"Great Ape Language." Science Daily. (nd.) Web. 9 June 2012.

Hockett, Charles F. "The Origin of Speech." Columbia.edu. September 1960. Web. 9 June 2012.

Mannell, Robert. "Animal Communcation and Language." Macquarie University, Department of Linguistics. (1999). Web. 9 June 2012.

Morell, Virginia. "Minds of their Own." National Geographic. March 2008. Web. 9 June 2012. < http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/03/animal-minds/virginia-morell-text/1>

Pearce, John M. Animal Learning and Cognition:An Introduction, 3rd ed. East Sussex, UK: Psychology Press, 2008. Print.

Toothman, Jessika. "How do Animals Communicate?" Animal Planet.com. 22 March 2010. Web. 7 June 2012. < http://animals.howstuffworks.com/animal-facts/animals-communicate.htm>… [read more]


Standardization, Expectation, and Judgment Essay

… On the other hand, when we are at home in the company of our family members and close friends, we do not have to meet such a rigid set of expectations. We dress comfortably and informally, and this is reflected in our language as well. We know that we will not be judged or any less loved because we speak in sentence fragments and run-ons.

Cecelia Cutler takes this idea further in her essay. We often speak in ways that reflect who we are: our social class, our education level, our ethnicity, our race, our neighborhood. We may not always be conscious of all the things we say and what they reveal about us, but reading this essay made it easy to recognize how frequently we do this. Cutler describes the process of "crossing over" from one language variety to another. This is a sociolinguistic process, according to Cutler, and it is one which "can evoke a distinct sense of movement across social or ethnic boundaries." This movement may be the result of a number of different motivations, she explains, some positive, some negative.

For example, she mentions a few specific groups of teenagers, such as white suburban teenagers, who "cross over" into African-American English because they strongly identify with hip hop music and culture. This kind of crossing over reflects admiration for the music; musicians who have been raised in completely different settings (white suburbia) use the words and accents of musicians who were raised in urban, African-American settings. The musician Marshal Mathers, popularly known as Eminem, was an early example of this kind of crossing over. An example of using a different language variety in a negative way is that of mimicking individuals who speak broken English, or who speak with a heavy foreign accent. This type of "crossing over," when it is occurs, is not to express an identification with a group, but to clearly express their separateness, and it can certainly foster a deep sense of animosity that may go beyond words.

Every time we open our mouths to communicate, we deliver a message that goes beyond the content of the words. This is true in written speech as well, but the spontaneity of face-to-face conversations gives us less time to filter or edit our words. What we say, how we say it, and to whom we say it: all of these factors are used to determine who we truly are, or who we are trying to be. We may not be aware of how very much we reveal when we speak; however, it might be worth the time and effort to understand some of these important subtleties of language, and to do what many authority figures told us when we were growing up: to think before we speak.

References

Cutler, C. Crossing over. MacNeil/Lehrer Productions.

Retrieved May 1, 2012 from http://www.pbs.org/speak/speech/correct/gatekeeping/

Fought, J.G. Gatekeeping. MacNeil/Lehrer Productions.

Retrieved May 1, 2012 from http://www.pbs.org/speak/speech/correct/gatekeeping/… [read more]


Comparative Analysis of British and American English Multiple Chapters

… British and American English

Comparative Analysis of British and American English

Benefits of a comparative, polyimide approach

Conscious identification of differences

Traditional Standard English (SE)

Other standardized Wes

Unity within English

Zero-marking of 3rd person singular verbs

Modal Past in… [read more]


Vocabulary Acquisition Literature Review

… Laufer Min

Language Acquisition: Literature Review

Laufer, B. & Rozovski-Roitblat, B. (2011). Incidental vocabulary acquisition: The effects of task type,-word occurrence and their combination. Language Teaching Research, 15(4), 391-411

For some number of decades, it had been more commonplace for… [read more]


Child Development in Observing Toby Term Paper

… Furthermore, he is able to identify his emotions by having the correct facial expression for each emotion he expressed. In other words, Toby is a well adjusted five-year-old preschooler that has strong language skills and emotional state for his age group.

Along with strong language ski8lls, Toby's cognitive development is right on target for a five-year-old. As I observed him, he asked his mother to help him with the kid's chemistry set so that he could see how things mixed together and what would happen when those things were mixed. He also wanted his mother to help him sort his blocks in groups of colors. For example, one group would be his blue blocks and another coup would be his red blocks. Then, he wanted to cook a hotdog by himself in the family microwave. This shows great cognitive development because he wanted to cook and explore (Early Learning).

"Five-year-olds are interested in sorting and grouping (Flavell, Miller, & Miller, 1992). They can successfully sort objects on the basis of a single feature, such as color, shape, and size. Sorting things on the basis of more abstract concepts, such as an object's use, is more challenging. Kim proudly showed her teacher how she sorted all the beads into different color groups. When asked to sort all the toys in the dramatic play area that could be used in the kitchen, the group included spoons, artificial foods, as well as a doll and teddy bear. Kim explained that she frequently played with her doll and teddy in her kitchen at home" (Wasik, Cognitive Development in Preschooler).

In observing Toby, his verbalizations, vocabulary, language, emotional state, and cognitive development are fully developed according to the standards of his age group. He has very strong language skills because he is able to form sentences such as I am playing Dora the Explorer. His fine motor skills have some work because he does not understand how to hold a pencil correctly, however he is able to string beads together. His cognitive development is very high because he wants to experiment with mixing things together, sorting things in groups and wants to cook. By observing him, it is easily concluded that he is sociable because he is very talkative and always asking question. I have concluded that Toby's verbalizations, vocabulary, language, emotional state, and cognitive development are fully developed for his age group.

Works Cited

Early Learning. Cognitive Learning in Preschoolers. n.d.

http://www.del.wa.gov/publications/eceap/docs/WebChart_Cognitive.pdf. 27 April 2012.

Wasik, C. Seefeldt|B.A. Cognitive Development in Preschooler. 2006.

http://www.education.com/reference/article/cognitive-development-preschoolers/?page=6. 27 April 2012.

-- . Language Development in Preschoolers. 2006.

http://www.education.com/reference/article/language-development-preschool-children/?page=3. 27 April 2012.… [read more]


Syntax Analysis There Is Conflict Research Proposal

… ¶ … Syntax Analysis

There is conflict whether syntax is innate or whether it is learned. Based on a 1973 study that investigated whether L2 (second language) errors that children make are created by 'creative construction" or "habit formation," this study plans to conduct a replication of that study with the difference that the phenomenon of "unique errors" (explained later) will be the syntactic element that will be investigated.

At one time, behaviorism held the center place positing that syntax was an element that was picked up from one's environment. In the 1960s, however, Chomsky showed that rather than picked up from environmental factors, syntax / grammar was innate in a person. Dulay, & Burt (1973) conducted research investigating whether advanced syntax of L2 was also innate or whether it was something that was arduously acquired by the child by particular taught linguistic rules.

According to the habit formation theory, certain errors are predicted in the syntax of the child learning a new language and these errors will appear whenever the second language and the child's natural language diverge. The errors are called 'interference' errors since they persist with the child's (or individual's) attempt to learn the new language.

The authors, thereupon, conducted several studies in which they tested their question on 5- to 8-year-olds.

The "creative construction theory" however which is a successor of Chomsky's innate hypothesis says that different errors should appear in learning of advanced syntax of L2 since the first language is innate and the child is learning a new one which is not impacted by his straining to remember the syntax rules of the first. In other words, since L1 is innate, it exists independent of L2 and all the child strains to internalize is the syntactic rules of L2. The errors would be 'developmental" errors since their pattern would be the same of children in the early stages of acquiring their first language.

The differences in semantic, syntactic and phonological errors between the two are, according to the authors, evident.

Method

The authors tested outcome on a group of 145 Spanish-speaking 8-year-olds and 388 unambiguous errors were tabulated. The children were gathered from two different school areas -- two form California and one in NY. The Bilingual Syntax measure (BSM) was used as tool by their teachers. The BSM measures proficiency of L2 in children in the context of eliciting natural speech form the child.

Errors were then classified into three types -- (1) developmental (the errors that were similar to L1 acquisition errors); (2) interference (the errors that reflected child arduously merging one language with another); (3) unique -- those that appeared in neither of the two categories.

Results showed that tabulation of errors into each category revealed that 3% of the 388 error types were interference whilst 85% were developmental and 12% were unique.

Whilst the…… [read more]


Tutoring Grammar Term Paper

… Tutoring Grammar

The student who I chose for this grammar lesson was an undergraduate student at the University. The student was completely deaf although able to communicate through speaking and lip reading. The student was a proficient writer as far as getting thoughts onto paper; however, her struggle was with verbs. Apparently in sign language verbs do not have any tense. So, the sign for run in sign language can mean run, ran or running. It was this issue that caused her to seek out tutoring help. Apparently she had already submitted one paper which received a very poor grade due to the verb mistakes.

Context of Tutoring

This student was referred to me by the university learning center. She qualified for the learning center program because she was deaf. She was very intelligent and I could tell she desperately wanted to learn the right way to draft her papers. Immediately I observed her paying close attention to my conversational use of verbs and trying to apply the verbs herself. She was in her first year of college, so the concept of writing papers was new to her, as her instructors at her deaf school were not strict when it came to grammar in papers. This was my first meeting with her and it lasted one hour.

Grammar Point: Verbs

The first half hour, she described her problem and showed me the first paper from her professor. During the conversation, I could tell that she was struggling with verbs not only in her papers but also in spoken conversation, although in conversation it did not seem as awkward. I pulled up a basic grammar lesson on verb tenses on my laptop and we read it together. She had many questions and I answered each one using examples as this seemed to make the most sense to her.

The second half of the session was spent working on her most recent paper that was to be submitted in a few days. I always have the policy when tutoring that I guide the editing, but do not make changes on my own. Instead, as I read the paper I stop the pen at problem areas and wait for the student to figure it out. So, we started working through the paper and within the first paragraph there were already four verb tense related mistakes. She had trouble with figuring out these first four and had to look back at the grammar lesson and check the tense of each. To further help facilitate her learning, I encouraged her to cross out the mistake and write the correct verb above the line.

By the second paragraph she was understanding the most common forms of verbs and able to correct the mistakes without looking at the lesson. By the end of the paper, she was picking out the mistakes without me pausing. I knew by the end of her paper that she understood the concept and would be alright from this point forward.

Examples of… [read more]


Chomsky Noam Thesis

… This dissimilarity is due to the application of various transformations, pronunciation, and word insertion rules. Transformational-generative grammar can also be distinguished by the difference between language proficiency and language performance ("Linguistics," 2009).

Transformational linguistics has also a strong influence on… [read more]


According to the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis Language Influences Thought Essay

… Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis

According to the linguistic relativity hypothesis, what people think is influenced by the language they know, because the structure of the language affects the conceptualization that they have of their surrounding world (Deutscher, 2010; Niemeier & Dirven, 2000). I would have to agree with this for the most part, because when a person looks at the world, he or she identifies things in that world based on not only the words for the objects that are viewed but the concepts of what those objects are for. For example, seeing a chair produces the word "chair" in the mind of someone who speaks English, but it also brings up the concept of sitting. What kind of sitting is thought of, though, (after a long day of work, while holding a baby, while eating, because of sickness or disability, etc.) may be based on the past experience of the person and not strictly focused on the sitting concept itself. Because of that, I do not necessarily think that language influences all thought. Sometimes, memories from the past and other feelings that come up from seeing or hearing something also influence the thoughts a person has about the items seen in his or her world.

The different aspects of thought that are being dealt with are important to address, as well. Thoughts are not static, and they flow quite freely from one to the next in the minds of most people. Because that is the case, there are many issues about thought to consider - including the fact that thoughts seem to often appear at random. In other words, a thought may come from something in the subconscious, instead of from another thought that was recognized or from something that was seen or heard (Deutscher, 2010). Because it can be very difficult to determine from whence a thought actually came, it can also be very difficult to "make sense" of that thought in the context of how it relates to language. It can also be difficult to take that thought and tie it into other thoughts or into specific words, as it is not uncommon for people…… [read more]


Sociolinguistics Defining Simplicity: Jamaican Patwa Term Paper

… One interesting note is that many individuals mark the permanence, if anything can be called permanent about language based on its written use. This can in part be seen by the development of canon of literature or a canon of… [read more]


Opportunities to Help Young Learners "Know Essay

… ¶ … Opportunities to Help Young Learners "Know a Word"

No one is able to predict the exact moment at which young learners will acquire knowledge, but this "ah-ha" moment is familiar to most experienced teachers who recognize when the… [read more]


Gap for L2? Research Paper

… If differences between the groups were however discovered with baseline testing and these differences disappeared later on, situational factors may conceivably be posited as possible explanation of difference in ability of L2 acquisition. Contribution of this study is important since it is well-known that a critical age exists for L1 acquisition and that beyond that it is much harder for the individual to learn / acquire the language. Teachers and students of L2 would profit by the knowledge of whether or not acquisition of L2 shares the same characteristics. Results would enable teachers and students to determine whether or not a preferable period of language instruction exists.

References

Champagne-Muzar, C., Schneiderman, E.I., & Bourdages, J.S. (1993). Second

language accent: The role of the pedagogical environment. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 31, 143-1-60.Lenneneberg (1967)

McLaughlin, B. (1985). Second-language acquisition in childhood: Vol. 2. School-age children. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Marinova-Todd, S. et al., (2000). Three Misconceptions about Age and L2 Learning, TESOL Quarterly, 34,, pp. 9-34.

Penfield, W., & Roberts, L. (1959). Speech and brain-mechanisms. Princeton, NJ:

Weber-Fox, C., & Neville, H. (1999). Functional neural subsystems are differentially affected by…… [read more]


Right From the Beginning Lightbown Term Paper

… Lightbown and Spada (180) conclude that research on second language acquisition has yet to provide one method that is effective for all learners in all learning environments. Therefore, more classroom research is needed in this area. Based on the information that is available thus far, teachers need to consider a variety of approaches to decide which will be the most beneficial for the students in their classrooms.

Works Cited:

Brown, H. Douglas. "Forty Years of Language Teaching." Language Teaching 40.1 (2007): 1,1-2. ProQuest Education Journals. Web. 28 June 2011.

DeKeyser, Robert. "Practice for Second Language Learning: Don't Throw Out the Baby with the Bathwater." International Journal of English Studies 10.1 (2010): 155,155-165,170. ProQuest Education Journals. Web. 28 June 2011.

Hathcock, Dani. Wittgenstein, Behaviorism, and Language Acquisition. Drury University. 2000. Web. 27 June 2011. http://www.drury.edu/multinl/story.cfm?ID=2435&NLID=166

Lightbown, Patsy M. And Nina Spada. How Languages Are Learned. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Print.

Schwab, Robert. Second Language Acquisition: Second Language Learning in the Classroom. 2006. Web. 27 June 2011. http://www.bobschwab.com/SLA/SLA%20Section%206_files/frame.htm

Second Language Acquisition. Web. 28 June 2011. http://www.powershow.com/view/808f-NzJmN/Second_Language_Acquisition_flash_ppt_presentation

Swan, Michael. "Forty Years of Language Teaching." Language Teaching 40.1 (2007): 1,3-4. ProQuest Education Journals. Web. 28 June 2011.

Tao, Guo, Zhou Lijuan, and Rosalind Raymond Gann. "Studies on Contrastive Analysis." International Forum of Teaching and Studies 4.1 (2008): 62,62-74,118-119. ProQuest Education Journals. Web. 28 June 2011.

Tarone,…… [read more]


Psycholinguistics and Threat Prediction Discussion Chapter

… Psycholinguistics and Threat Prediction: Analyzing the Words That Hurt

The purpose of the study is to conduct research into actual language and see what constitutes a presage of violence and what does not. The applications are valuable and obvious in the field of psycholinguistics. Within the study, several approaches including game theory, threat simulation theory, options theory, lexical features, phonological features and finally syntactic features in order to answer the following questions.

What is threatening language?

Are there specific levels of escalation within threatening language?

How can these levels of escalation be determined through the language used?

How does escalation of language lead to an actual violent act?

Within the scope of the research, there is especially a huge amount of work to be carried out in the area of game and options theory where both epistemic and frequentistic methodology has been applied to the prediction of human behavior (Jaeger, 2008, pp. 407-408). While previously game theory has provided more insightful than quantitative results for psycholinguistics, impressive results from the gambling industry where human behavior has been accurately and profitably predicted based upon the work of Harrah's CEO and former Harvard associate Dr. Gary Loveman. In Dr. Loveman's work, the Harrah's hotel and casino chain scientifically gauges and accurately predicts a specific variable in human behavior: the willingness to spend money (Metters, et. al., 2008, pp. 162-163).

While the Metters article centers more on the specific statistical aspects of Loveman's approach, a practical example can be shown of the effect that the research has upon the functioning of the Harrah's Casino chain on a customer service level. While not a law enforcement example, the revolutionary implications can easily be carried over into the threat arena. For instance, Loveman quotes an example of a casino customer that most of the industry would not consider a typical prospect. However, by using game theory to predict the customer's behavior, they are able specifically tailor the staff's service to match this predicted behavior and keep her coming back many more times to game and to enjoy the hotel's amenities. In this effort, they use an extensive data base that tracks customer purchases and spending in the casino, as well as gaming habits and preferances. By mining this data and using statistical analysis to process it, they have being able to accurately anticipate the customer's behavior. Harrah's can offer attractive options packages based upon that will impress the patron and attract their business (Loveman, 2003, p. 1). If one can use game theory to predict one type of human behavior such as spending and behavior in games of chance, one should be able to predict violent behavior of potential and active perpetrators. Dr. Loveman and his company is not just a scientific, but also a financial success.

It is the opinion of this author that it would be profitable to apply this approach of analysis to provide more accuracy to the field of linguistics and to not just profile, but accurately predict the behavior of… [read more]


Teaching Common Idiomatic Expressions Through Intensive Reading for Young Adult Pre-Intermediate ESL Students Research Paper

… Teaching Idiomatic Expressions

An idiom is an expression, word, or even phrase that has a unique of figurative meaning that is understood colloquially but that is often unrelated to the literal meaning of the word or phrase. American English, for… [read more]


Momaday's Theory of the Importance of Language and the Imagination as it Is Expressed Term Paper

… ¶ … Man

Scott Momaday, in both his poetry and in his criticism, shows an incisive knowledge of humanity and of the functions and nature of language. Especially evident in much of his writing, and made explicit in his commentary and criticism at several points, is the connection that exists between language and humanity, and the manner in which language is truly the only vehicle by which a sense of humanity can be achieved or expressed -- and vice versa, one might argue. The imagination also plays an important role in Momaday's writing and his philosophy of man, and is strongly linked to language; it is the ability to associate elements of the world with elements of thought -- that is, expressible thought, which is language almost by definition -- in a free and unhindered manner that is the essence of humanity, and this is imagination. It is what allows man to perceive himself and the world around him in a meaningful and communicable way. This assertion makes its presence known in a variety of ways and with wide implications throughout Momaday's works.

In an essay titled, "The Man Made of Words," (1970), Momaday writes, "the state of human being is an idea, an idea which man has of himself. Only when he is embodied in an idea, and the idea is realized in language, can man take possession of himself" (88). That is, it is only when man can imagine himself in a way that is expressible to others -- and more importantly, to himself -- in a concise and repeatable manner that he has truly achieved the status and being of "man." An idea, after all, is a concise and repeatable expression of some naturally occurring complexity, meaning it has been framed in a conscious way, and man is the creature of consciousness.

According to Momaday, it is precisely the gift of language that allows for this framing, and is the automatic hallmark of consciousness in the human sense. This is made perhaps more clear by the story of the arrowmaker, with which Momaday opens "The Man Made with Words." Spotting an intruder outside his teepee, the arrowmaker converses in his wife in normal tones, yet he is actually asking the stranger outside to identify himself if he understands the language being spoken. Receiving no response, the arrowmaker shoots and kills his enemy. According to Momaday, this story, "centers upon [the] procession of words to meaning. It seems in fact to turn upon the very idea that language involves the elements of risk and responsibility" (11). When language is the creative and identifying force, it necessarily and automatically carries the weight of the world and all of survival on its shoulders.

In his memoir The Names (1996), which the author himself considers both autobiographical and a work of the imagination, language and imagination are again both seen as the essential creative force both in terms of thought and in terms of reality. That is, it is through the… [read more]


Thai Culture and TESOL Essay

… English in Thailand

Teaching English as a foreign language is a difficult task in any culture. The nation of Thailand has a long history of attempting to guarantee that its citizens can speak English. There are many factors that influence… [read more]


Impact of Second Culture Acquisition for ESL Learners in Acquiring a Second Language Research Paper

… ¶ … acquisition of language is a difficult endeavor that can be greatly affected by cultural differences (May). Cultural differences can be a significant impediment to the ability of individuals to learn a second language. At the same time once… [read more]


Pragmatic Models in the Analysis Term Paper

… While making absolute use of these presumptions, a speaker can utter one thing and still manage to mean something else from it, as with the utterance "Nature abhors a vacuum. The listener depends on these presumptions in order to make a contextually driven conclusion from what the speaker utters to what she actually means.

The strength and weaknesses of the pragmatics models

The pragmatic model that we have studied both represent the way the human language can be effective. However there are certain merits and demerits associated with their representation and usage. The very first and evident strength that the model bears is the fact that they allow for a more general and simplified way of understanding the human interaction process my means of very direct and succinct methods. This therefore helps in the faster understanding of the human correlation mechanism by means of easy to understand models.

The weaknesses of the implicature model however is that it is never specific and therefore can bring about problems associated with ambiguity. This problem is also eminent in the speech act theory. Speech act theory makes use of certain set of conventions that are pre-set. Because the basic center of the theory is surrounded by the notion that words, when put together do not always bring out a fixed meaning.

Bibliography

Bach, K. (1987a). On communicative intentions: A reply to Recanati. Mind & Language, 2, 141-154.

Bach, K. (1999a). The semantics-pragmatics distinction: What it is and why it matters. In K. Turner (Ed). The semantics-pragmatics interface from different points-of-view (pp. 65-84). Oxford: Elsevier.

Bach, K. & R.M. Harnish (1979). Linguistic communication and speech acts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Carston, R. (1988). Implicature, explicature, and truth-theoretic semantics. In Ruth Kempson (Ed). Mental Representations: The Interface between Language and Reality

Davis, S. (Ed). (1991). Pragmatics: A reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fraser, H.B. (1975). Hedged performatives. In P. Cole & J. Morgan (Eds). Syntax and Grice, H.P. (1957). Meaning. Philosophical Review, 66, 377

Grice, H.P. (1961). The causal theory of perception. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supp. Vol. 35, 121-152.

Grice, H.P. (1989). Studies in the way of words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Levinson, S.C. (2000). Presumptive meanings: The theory of generalized conversational implicature.

Recanati, F. (1987). On defining communicative intentions. Mind & Language, 1

Recanati, F. (1989). The pragmatics of what is said. Mind & Language, 4, 295-329.

Schelling, T. (1960). The strategy of conflict. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Schiffer, S. (1972). Meaning.…… [read more]


English Language Learners Research Proposal

… ELLs

Elsa is an eager learner, described by her teachers as someone with great academic and social potential. She performs well in class and shows no behavioral problems. Elsa appears to enjoy reading, as the teacher describes Elsa reading by… [read more]


Russian Language as a Second Official Language in Ukraine Thesis

… Ukraine: Walking the Linguistic Tightrope Between Ukraine and Russian

After the demise of the Soviet Union, many of the newly independent former republics changed their official national languages from Russian to that of the national 'ethnic' language. This was done for patriotic and practical reasons in most instances. In many of the outer-lying republics of the U.S.S.R., such as the Baltic republics and the Muslim and East Asian republics, Russian had never been the predominant conversational language of the populace. Russian was a language imposed upon the citizens by the leaders of the U.S.S.R. In a show of Soviet tyranny. However, in other republics, with a closer relationship with Russia such as the Ukraine, the relationship with the Russian language was more tenuous.

Today, Ukraine's official language is Ukrainian, but most residents of the Ukraine are bilingual. When the Ukraine severed from Russia in 1996 and created its own constitution, Ukrainian was declared the official state language (Reid 101). This may have been admirable as a political rallying cry of independence: however, as a practical policy in a nation where Russian is the predominant language of nearly 50% of the population in some areas, the wisdom of doing so is questionable (Ukrainian language, Try Ukraine, 2009). A more reasonable solution would be to establish Russian as the second official language of the Ukraine. This would show greater respect to the linguistic diversity of the nation, and also make the Ukraine more competitive on the international stage, given the relatively limited use of Ukrainian elsewhere in the world.

Ukrainian and Russian are both Slavic languages, which makes the country's bilingualism fairly easy to support: "Both use the Cyrillic alphabet and about a third of the words are similar" between Russian and Ukrainian (Ukrainian language, Try Ukraine, 2009). While overall, the populations of Ukrainian and Russian speakers within the city is about equal, "the preferred spoken language in most cities of southern, eastern, and northern Ukraine is Russian," thus to deny the influence of Russian upon the lives of many Ukrainian citizens to alienate large portions of the nation (Ukrainian language, Try Ukraine, 2009). Many people on a colloquial level merge the two languages: "Large segments of the population -- for example, street vendors, laborers, farmers, and many others -- speak a mixture of the two languages that leans either towards Russian or Ukrainian. This mix is commonly called 'Surzhyk' or 'Surzhik'" (Ukrainian language, Try Ukraine, 2009). This hybridization further supports the idea that both languages be taught in the schools, to ensure that good standard Russian and Ukrainian grammar is understood by a wide segment of the population.

"It would be naive to think that after a generation or two of 'Ukrainization' Russian will disappear or play a marginal role in Ukrainian society. People very rarely change their mother tongue and are almost always successful in passing it on to their children, regardless of the language of instruction in schools. The proportion of Ukrainians who consider Ukrainian or Russian their mother… [read more]

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