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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

Communicative pedagogical grammar for learning another language

Imssalem, Nuwara Mohammed January 1997 (has links)
The main purpose of this research is to argue the case for" A Communicative Pedagogical Grammar" based on an educationally informed approach to language learning. As a reflection of the central nature of grammar in the process of communication, the literature of the 90s has begun to express the need for pedagogical grammar which reflects real language communication. It is believed that this need can be met by the adaptation of McEldowney's pedagogical grammar which she began to develop 25 years ago in relation to the learning of English. The hypothesis is that the nature of the grammatical description and methodology followed is central to the concept of teaching grammar communicatively. In other words, the pedagogical description should be discourse based and the methodology should reflect the role of grammar in real life communication. Therefore, this thesis is making the argument for McEldowney's approach to grammar learning and teaching on the basis that her framework integrates grammar and lexis in a piece of discourse. It also integrates learning tasks and these tasks are designed in such a way that they increase learners' awareness of the role of grammar in communication: i.e. grammar exists to enable us to mean. The thesis is divided into six chapters. Chapters One and Two outline the development of the main stream language learning grammars, syllabuses and methodologies under the central headings to be found in the literature - "structural", "situational", "functional" and "communicative If • Chapters Three to Six present McEldowney's "discourse-based" approach to language teaching and learning and argue for her communicative pedagogical grammar which sees grammar as a tool of communication which is integrated into pieces of discourse and taught through an integration of the language skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing. The main argument of these chapters is that the majority of syllabuses (structural, situational, functional, communicative) and the grammar books and coursebooks of the 90s still basically treat grammar in the same way as it is treated in a formal descriptive grammar. They do not on the whole consider authentic grammatical usage as a means of illustrating the normal communicative behaviour of linguistic form and the type of description they use leads to many learning problems of the sort that McEldowney's approach seeks to solve.

Investigation into the early acquisition of verb-argument structure

Theakston, Anna L. January 1998 (has links)
This study examines the early acquisition of verb-argument structure within the theoretical frameworks of both nativist and empiricist approaches to language acquisition. The aim is to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of each approach and establish to what extent each approach provides an accurate description of the developmental data. Data collect ion took the form of naturalistic audio-tape recordings of individual mother-child dyads engaged in normal everyday interaction. Twelve predominantly middle-class families took parr in the study. The children are all first-borns and monolingual. At the beginning of the study. the children were aged between 21-24 months with MLUs of between 1.00-2.50. Each child was taped for two separate hours in each three week period for the duration of one year. In total, 395 hours of data were collected. The data was transcribed in CHAT format using the CHILDES system of transcription (MacWhinney. 1995). Three separate analyses were carried out to assess the role of performance limitations in the acquisition of verb-argument structure (Valian, 1991), the role of semantically simple or 'light' verbs in early speech (Pinker. 1989). and the development of argument structure from a constructivist perspective (Tomasello, 1992). In all cases, the method of analysis used was fine-grained and operated at the lexical level rather than at the level of abstract grammatical classes. The findings of these studies suggest that analysis at the general level, as adopted by nativist ihcorixts, typically results in children being credited with an abstract knowledge of grammatical categories and rules which is not supported by fine-grained analysis of [he data. When the data is examined at the lexical level. there is evidence to suggest that children acquire verb-argument structure in a lexically-specific manner based around individual verbs and other lexical items. Thus. in no sense do children show evidence of operating with innate grammatical knowledge. Furthermore, the particular verbs and structures the children acquire early in development are closely related to the verbs and structures used by their mothers. with frequency of use playing a particularly important role. These findings suggest that children are unlikely to learn language guided by innate grammatical knowledge of the type assumed by nativist theorists. Instead. it is proposed that the process of language acquisition may depend on a distributional processor which is sensitive to the distributional regularities of the input. This process would predict that children will first learn lexically-specific patterns of high frequency in the input. and only over time will children come to acquire the more complex grammatical classes assumed to exist in adult language.

Making a case : narrative and paradigmatic modes in the legal-lay discourse of English jury trial

Heffer, Chris January 2003 (has links)
This thesis is a study of the language used by legal professionals before English juries. it investigates a distinction between two principal cultural-cognitive modes and examines their effect on forensic discourse. The 'paradigmatic' mode is evident in the discourse of professional legal argumentation, while the 'narrative' mode typifies the sociolinguistic praxis of 'lay' language users. The thesis argues that 'legal-lay' discourse is characterised by a dialectical relationship resulting from the attempt by barristers and judges to satisfy both the paradigmatic demands of the law and the lay jury's narrative constructions of social experience. Thus legal professionals invoke a range of discoursal. strategies oriented to both modes. These strategies are explored in a set of corpora of legal-lay genres, including 100 witness examinations and judicial summings-up to the jury. The barrister's discourse is shown to draw heavily on the narrative mode despite paradigmatic legal constraints on witness examination. It is also claimed that accommodation to the narrative mode in the judge's legal directions might assist jury comprehension, but that such 'narrativisation' may increase the risk of judicial bias. The study is an interdisciplinary one and employs a wide range of quantitative and qualitative methods.

Processing of syntactic dependencies in agrammatism : the role of predictability

Varkanitsa, Maria January 2015 (has links)
The aim of this thesis is to explore the role of Predictability, that is, whether or not a dependency can be identified at an early stage of derivation on the basis of syntactic cues, in the sentence comprehension deficits in agrammatism. To that end, I investigate the comprehension of sentences with scope relations by Greek-speaking patients with agrammatic and non-agrammatic aphasia. Three different structures are investigated, namely sentences with contrastive focus in the object DP, ambiguous doubly quantified sentences and double object constructions with quantified object DPs. More specifically, sentences with contrastive foci provide an appropriate minimal pair to explore the role of Predictability. The reason is that in Greek object contrastive foci can either appear pre-verbally after A’-movement, resulting in predictable dependencies, or remain in situ. In situ contrastive foci require covert movement operations in order to be interpreted contrastively, resulting in unpredictable dependencies. My experimental hypothesis is that the agrammatic patients will exhibit a dissociation in processing predictable and unpredictable dependencies, with the former being impaired compared to the latter. To provide further evidence that successful processing of sentences with in situ contrastive foci reflects patients’ intact knowledge of covert movement mechanisms I examine the comprehension of ambiguous doubly quantified sentences, whose inverse scope interpretation requires the establishment of a covert movement dependency. The reason for examining double object constructions with quantified DPs is to further explore whether agrammatic patients are able to construct complex syntactic representation. The results indicate that problems with syntactic processing in agrammatic patients are largely confined to predictable dependencies, with performance on unpredictable dependencies relatively unimpaired.

An investigation into the semantic-syntactic interface in typically developing children and children with grammatical specific language impairment

Gallon, Nicholas Jane January 2007 (has links)
This thesis presents an initial investigation of the semantic-syntactic interface in a sub-group of children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI): the Grammatical (G)-SLI group. Previous research of this group has largely focused on their morpho-syntactic abilities and more recently on the morpho-phonological interface. In contrast, the semantic ability of children with SLI in general is an area that has received little investigation and the question remains as to whether their deficit extends to the semantic-syntactic interface. The thesis focuses on aspect. Understanding of lexical and grammatical aspect is investigated using grammatical judgement and sentence-picture matching tasks. The impact of aspect on passives, a grammatical construction that children with G-SLI have difficulty with is also investigated. The group of children with G-SLI who participated were aged between 11 and 16 and their performance was compared to 3 groups of typically developing children matched on either grammar (LAI, mean age 6) or vocabulary (LA2, LA3 mean ages 7 and 9 respectively) ability. The investigations revealed that children with G-SLI were impaired in their understanding of the past progressive. Their difficulty in reconciling an ongoing event with something that is happening in the past provides evidence of morpho-syntax impacting on semantic interpretation. They also found descriptions of events that derived their telic interpretation compositionally, from the addition of a PP, to be harder to understand those that did not, providing further evidence of syntax impacting on semantics. The results are consistent with van der Lely's CGC hypothesis which emphasises the cumulative and interactive effects that deficits in grammar can have on linguistic constructions. Specifically the thesis shows how syntactic context affects understanding and performance in semantic aspect. It also indicates that the interaction and/or impact of language components on each other should be more fully considered in both theoretical and clinical contexts.

Focus and the syntax-phonology interface

Szendroei, Kriszta January 2001 (has links)
The aim of this work is to describe the different ways languages express focus and to explain why languages use exactly these ways. I give a detailed account of focus in three languages: Hungarian, English and Italian. The work is based on the assumption that the following principle operates at the interface between the grammar and the conceptualintentional system of the mind. (1) Focus Interpretation: The focus of a clause is any syntactic constituent that contains the main stress of the intonational phrase corresponding to the clause. (Following Reinhart 1995:62) It is widely believed that languages may mark focus by a special word order only. I argue against this view in my discussion about Hungarian. In Hungarian, a special word order is used when a particular element is in focus. I argue that this special word order is intimately related to the way main stress is assigned in the language. Thus I establish a crucial link between two types of focus marking: one which uses a phonological marker, e.g. English, and one which marks focus by special word order, e.g. Hungarian, reducing the latter ultimately to phonology. Subsequently I describe the architecture of the grammar from the perspective of focus marking. I show that languages that mark focus by main stress may realise marked focus patterns in three dfferent ways. Furthermore, I show that these three ways are the only possible ways to express focus by main stress. There is no other possibility available. From a theoretical perspective this work intends to investigate the role of the different modules of the grammar, in particular of syntax and phonology and the mapping between the two, in the representation of certain pragmatic notions such as focus.

Copredication, quantification and individuation

Gotham, M. G. H. January 2014 (has links)
This thesis addresses the various problems of copredication: the phenomenon whereby two predicates are applied to a single argument, but they appear to require that their argument denote different things. For instance, in the sentence ‘The lunch was delicious but went on for hours’, the predicate ‘delicious’ appears to require that ‘the lunch’ denote food, while ‘went on’ appears to require that it denote an event. Copredication raises philosophical issues regarding the place of a reference relation in semantic theory. It also raises issues concerning the ascription of sortal requirements to predicates in framing a theory of semantic anomaly. Finally, many quantified copredication sentences have truth conditions that cannot be accounted for given standard assumptions, because the predicates used impose distinct criteria of individuation on the objects to which they apply. For instance, the sentence ‘Three books are heavy and informative’ cannot be true in a situation involving only a trilogy (informationally three books, but physically only one), nor in a situation involving only three copies of the same book (physically three books, but informationally only one): the three books involved must be both physically and informationally distinct. The central claims of this thesis are that nouns supporting copredication denote sets of complex objects, and that lexical entries incorporate information about their criteria of individuation, defined in terms of equivalence relations on subsets of the domain of discourse. Criteria of individuation are combined during semantic composition, then accessed and exploited by quantifiers in order to specify that the objects quantified over are distinct in defined ways. This novel approach is presented formally in Chapters 2 and 3, then compared with others in the literature in Chapter 4. In Chapter 5, the discussion is extended to the question of the implications of this approach for the form that a semantic theory should take.

Static spatial expression in Ske : an Oceanic language of Vanuatu

Johnson, Kay January 2014 (has links)
The focus of the thesis is the expression of static spatial events in Ske, a previously undescribed Oceanic language spoken by a few hundred people on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. Static spatial events can be split in to two types: non-angular reference, used to express topological relations such as 'in', 'on' or 'near'; and angular reference, which see the speakers using a viewpoint with which to locate an entity. The second type involves the use of one of a range of FoRs or Frames of Reference (Levinson 1996, 2003; Levinson & Wilkins 2006). This study investigates how Ske speakers express both types of static spatial event. Locative predicates are obligatory components of non-angular reference in Ske. In this study, we analyse the seven Ske locative predicates within the frameworks proposed by Ameka & Levinson (2007) and Newman (2002). Cross-linguistic studies show that the semantics of locative predicates are typically analysed as coding the axial properties or actual geometric orientation of the Figure whose location they are describing; in Ske, however, locative predicates code support relations between Figure and Ground. Traditionally deixis has been omitted from FoR typology and was categorised as being a type of non-angular reference (Levinson & Wilkins 2006). This study finds that deictic reference has projective functions and this warrants its inclusion into the typology as a fourth FoR, the direct FoR, in support of Danziger (2010). Furthermore, the direct and other FoRs are able to combine in Ske in what we term 'composite FoRs'. When two FoRs combine, the function of the already well-formed expression may alter from one which locates an entity to one which orients an entity. Also, the rotation sensitivity of a composite FoR is in line with the sensitivities of its components. The study concludes that is it the composite FoRs, rather than the absolute FoR, which carries out the functions of the unavailable relative FoR in Ske. We also investigate the geocentric referencing system in Ske and analyse how Ske speakers describe directions and locations around their villages, their island and beyond. We find that the finer-grained FoR typology (Bohnemeyer & Levinson 2011) is relevant here and applied to Ske data was able to tease apart two types of reference which are typically classed as absolute FoRs. Within this revised typology Ske speakers are found to use an absolute FoR and a geomorphic FoR in locational and directional expressions, the geomorphic FoR having pragmatic functions and necessitating a shared knowledge of space. Different scales of space are also shown to impact the way Ske speakers express geocentric spatial references. Other issues raised in the study include the need for naturally observed data to be collected in order to capture the range and subtleties of how speakers talk about space and how cultural change is affecting the way Ske speakers express and conceptualise the space around them and the entities that occupy it.

Morphosyntax of Puma, a Tibeto-Burman language of Nepal

Sharma, Narayan Prasad January 2014 (has links)
Puma is an endangered Tibeto-Burman language of the Kiranti subgroup spoken by approximately 4,000 people in eastern Nepal. This dissertation investigates the phonology and morphosyntax of Puma. Data are presented and analysed from a crosslinguistic typological perspective where possible. The analysis is based mainly on annotated texts from a substantial corpus of spoken Puma, and from informally collected data and direct elicitation to supplement the corpus. Puma is a polysynthetic and complex pronominalised language where words can consist of a series of morphemes. Verbal agreement, where verbs agree with subjects and objects, is very complex, and differs strikingly from the case-marking system used with independent noun phrases. Case-marking of nouns and pronouns is split between nominative-accusative and ergative-absolutive-dative. Intransitive subjects also exhibit characteristics of a split-S pattern: some intransitive subjects display grammatical properties similar to those of transitive objects, while others do not. In contrast to Dryer's (1986, 2007) typology of primary object type and direct object type languages, Puma is neither a fully primary object nor a fully direct object language. Transitive verbs can be detransitivised with a kha- prefix or with zero, which is typologically more common (Bickel et al. 2007). For kha-detransitivisation the affected entity must be human; this is typologically unusual, but characteristic of the Kiranti subgroup. The syntactic pivot for both inter-clausal and intra-clausal syntax is 'subject', comprising the single argument of intransitive verbs and the agent-like argument of transitive verbs. Interestingly, the morphology does not treat these in a consistent way but the syntax does. Verbs fall into classes that show distinct syntactic behaviours in different constructions. Compound verbs, which are an areal feature of South Asian languages (Masica 1976), comprise verbal, nominal and lexical types. Different nominalisation and relativisation strategies exist for S human and non-human, A and P arguments. The dissertation aims to provide a comprehensive description of Puma and includes hundreds of examples drawn from the corpus, plus Appendices of sample verb paradigms and texts, and names of contributors.

The language of Romanos: the melodist

Mitsakis, K. January 1964 (has links)
No description available.

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