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Second Language Acquisition of the English Dative Alternation by Native Speakers of Arabic

Abstract

This paper reports on an experimental study that investigates the influence of the disparity between English and Arabic on second language acquisition, namely the phenomenon of the acquisition of the English dative alternation by Arab learners. The disallowance of certain Arabic verbs to occur in the double object dative structure causes difficulty for Arab learners to acquire English as far as the acquisition of the dative alternation is concerned. The experiment is devised to examine whether Arab learners are sensitive to syntactic and semantic properties associated with the English dative alternation. The experiment involved picture tasks with two structures: the prepositional dative structure and the double object dative structure. Overall, the results of the experiment show that the L2 learners failed to acquire the double object dative structure which does not exist in their L1. Based on these results, it is argued that L1 has an important effect on the acquisition of L2.

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Shane Leslie and the Irish Support for Language Struggle in Poland

Abstract

This paper tells a little known story of the collecting and delivery of signatures of Irish school children from the northern part of Ireland as an act of moral support for Polish students on strike in defense of the Polish language at schools in the Prussian partition of Poland, in the first decade of the 20th century (Płygawko 1991). The bound signatures are in the Czartoryski Museum in Cracow, Poland, but the information about the action has not been found in Irish sources, and the Polish signatures collected in response seem to be missing. The role of the organizer of the initiative, Shane Leslie, is emphasized in this paper. It describes the background of this exchange of sympathy, and discusses possible reasons why the story remains obscure.

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What Happened to Primitive Cornish /I/ When Long in Closed Syllables?

Abstract

Of the four unrounded front vowels in Primitive Cornish, /i/, /ɛ/ and /a/ remained stable when long in closed syllables, but /ɪ/ had a tendency to fall together with /ɛ/. Jackson (1953) and Williams (1995) dated this change to the twelfth century, but the present research indicates that in most words, the change took place substantially later. An analysis of spellings and of rhymes show that not all words changed at the same time. Most stressed monosyllables in historical /-ɪz/ were pronounced [-ɪːz] in Middle Cornish and [-ɛːz] in Late Cornish. Those with historical /-ɪð/ and /-ɪθ/ were dimorphic in Middle Cornish (i.e. they were spelled with both <y~i> and <e>), showing the sound-change in progress during that time. The process of change from [ɪː] to [ɛː] was one of lexical diffusion. The implications for the revived language are briefly examined.

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Young Speakers: A Pilot Study of Gaelic Bilinguals’ Language Practices

Abstract

Studies of primary school pupils’ Gaelic to date have largely relied on criterion referenced tests to measure attainment against curricular expectations: with only NicLeòid’s (2015) work on student attitudes and Nance’s research (e.g. 2013 and 2015) on comparative phonology bucking this trend. There is a surprising lack of information or research about the language forms and bilingual repertoire of young speakers. A better understanding of young people’s language practices requires the Gaelic research community to develop datasets from spontaneous interactions. This paper draws on a pilot study with a primary 5-6 school cohort in Gaelic-medium education. Using a combination of audio and audio-visual data from the classroom together with data on young speakers’ language attitudes, this paper examines pupils’ determination and strategies to maintain the classroom language as Gaelic. The results of this pilot study can inform the development of new methodologies for collaborative research with the school community on children’s linguistic development and attainment. Such research, it is argued, is necessary in light of the dependency of the Gaelic language planning model on the primary school for the production of new Gaelic speakers.

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Irish and Polish in a New Context of Diversity in Northern Ireland’s Schools

Abstract

While Modern Languages are in decline generally in the United Kingdom’s post-primary schools, including in Northern Ireland (Speak to the Future 2014), the international focus on primary languages has reawakened interest in the curricular area, even after the ending in 2015 of the Northern Ireland Primary Modern Languages Programme which promoted Spanish, Irish and Polish in primary schools. This paper will consider the situation in policy and practice of Modern Languages education, and Irish in particular, in Northern Ireland’s schools. During the years of economic growth in the 1990s Ireland, North and South, changed from being a country of net emigration to be an attractive country to immigrants, only to revert to large-scale emigration with the post-2008 economic downturn. While schools in Great Britain have had a long experience of receiving pupils from diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, firstly from the British Empire and Commonwealth countries, Northern Ireland did not attract many such pupils due to its weaker economic condition and the conflict of the Northern Ireland Troubles. The influx from Poland and other Accession Countries following the expansion of the European Union in 2004 led to a sudden, significant increase in non-English speaking Newcomer pupils (DENI 2017). The discussion in Northern Ireland about a diverse democracy has hitherto concentrated on the historical religious and political divide, where Unionist antipathy led to the Irish Language being dubbed the ‘Green Litmus Test’ of Community Relations (Cultural Traditions Group 1994). Nevertheless, the increasing diversity can hopefully ‘have a leavening effect on a society that has long been frozen in its “two traditions” divide’ (OFMDFM 2005a: 10). This paper will revisit the role and potential of Irish within the curricular areas of Cultural Heritage and Citizenship. An argument will also be made for the importance of language awareness, interculturalism and transferable language learning skills in Northern Ireland’s expanded linguistic environment with a particular focus on Polish.

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Abilities of phonological awareness in the context of cognitive development in preschool age

Abstract

Phonological awareness is considered a key phenomenon having crucial position among abilities and processes which are important and responsible for the development of reading and writing (initial literacy). The paper deals with the significance and level of development of selected cognitive functions of a child in relation to the abilities of phonological awareness. The child’s current cognitive development is a predictor for certain level of phonological awareness. The paper is focused on a description of speech perception, language, oral vocabulary and phonological memory of children in preschool age. It is an output of the research project VEGA no. 1/0637/16 Development of a Diagnostic Tool to Assess the Level of Phonemic Awareness of Children in Preschool Age.

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Early childhood teachers’ perceptions of intercultural education in state schools of Thessaloniki and surrounding areas

Abstract

This paper is going to argue that while early childhood teachers seem to have positive perceptions about intercultural education, the in-question students seem to be compelled to adopt different cultural habits. Data were gathered through a questionnaire distributed in 9 areas of Thessaloniki, completed by 161 teachers. The results showed that most teachers feel that they have enough knowledge about the curriculum regarding intercultural education, perform activities regarding interculturalism and diversity; they believe that students from different cultures feel welcomed and equally treated and participate in all class activities. Teachers suggest that students from different cultures build good relationships with all their peers and there is positive communication between students from different cultures as well as between their parents and teachers. However, the suggestion of most of the sample that students are compelled to adopt Greek cultural habits constrains this positive picture. It is possible that teachers feel that they are achieving positive results regarding intercultural education. It may be possible to recommend that the approaches that teachers report as part of their current practice should continue or that teachers’ own recommendations should be explored further to determine what sort of approach to intercultural education is being adopted.

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Expert-lay interaction in jury trials (case study of closing arguments)

Abstract

This study arises out of the intention to examine the features of expert-lay interaction in a jury trial. The paper studies closing arguments constructed by legal experts as possible worlds which would be attractive for jurors. Theory of possible worlds is employed to present discourse practices as versions of the real world which may overlap, supplement or contradict one another. Legal experts construe and present possible worlds to jury members who deliver verdicts on the case, i.e. possess decisional power. Efficient involvement of jurors into the possible world constructed by the legal expert signals formation of discourse of concord. In order to make their own possible world more credible than the world of the procedural opponents, legal experts employ different interaction tools: description of legal concepts, empathy, appeals to social values, imperative and question utterances, personalization.

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Expression evaluation of a quoted author in academic discourse: Inter-language (Lithuanian and English) case study

Abstract

The aim of this article is to analyse subject expression evaluation of the non-author language, i.e. the author whose thoughts, discoveries, research results or assumptions are relied on in scientific texts in Lithuanian and English languages, elucidate both universal properties of expression evaluation and the specific ones determined by a particular language and culture. Publication texts of education science field of social science area were selected for the research. Expression evaluation of a quoted author was analysed identifying neutral (surname / name and surname, nationality and residence, scientific and professional activity, time, scientific discoveries, activity achievements, family relations) and subjective (logic and emotional evaluation) attributes. It was determined that education science texts of both languages, Lithuanian and English, do not exhibit a variety of quoted author expression. No examples purveying all possible semantic meanings of attributes were found in both languages. Prevalence of neutral attributes of science subjects and similar aspects of usage of some attributes (surname / name and surname, nationality or residence) reveal general citation traditions determined by universal scientific text regularities rather than a particular language or culture. On the other hand, some tendencies were observed characteristic only to the texts of one or another language and reflecting specific evaluation features of science subject. In the articles of native English speakers, scientific discoveries, results of scientific activity of quoted authors are emphasised whereas Lithuanian authors are more liable to highlight scientific or professional activity and time. Moreover, it is essential to mention that every text represents its author‘s personality to some extent. Thus, the choice of the particular means of expression can be determined by personal qualities of an author.

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