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  • Author: Judit Nagy x
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Hydrological and Morphological Changes of the Lower Danube Near Mohács, Hungary

Abstract

Various direct human impacts changed the hydro-morphology of the Danube during the last centuries. The aims of the present study are (1) to analyze the water regime of the Danube River using the data of Mohács gauging station (1900-2013), and (2) to study the channel development (1952-2014) in connection with water regime changes and human impacts at a section near Bogyiszló (upstream of Mohács). According to the results the height of low water stages decreased by approx. 136 cm (1.2 cm/year), and new, high record flood stages were measured too. The discharge values appertaining to the same low water stages doubled, thus nowadays almost twice as much water flows through the cross-section of the channel at a given stage as at the beginning of the studied period. As the duration of low stages increased, the sandbar development intensified, thus the channel became narrower (by 48% at some places) and deeper thalweg evolved. Therefore, a smaller cross-section for flood-waves evolved, affecting the height of flood. These changes affect shipping, as due to riverbed incision and decrease of low water stages, the lowest shipping water level has to be set repeatedly at lower stages. Besides water extraction from the channel will have difficulties, thus irrigation and industrial cooling water supply will be limited in the future.

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Discourse Intonation and Information Structure: An Empirical Study of Existential There Constructions in Non-native Spontaneous Speech

Abstract

The management of given and new information is one of the key components of accomplishing coherence in oral discourse, which is claimed to be a problematic area for language learners (Celce-Murcia, Dörnyei, and Thurrell 1995: 14). Research on discourse intonation proposes that instead of the given/new dichotomy, givenness should be viewed as a continuum, with different types of accessibility (Baumann & Grice 2006). Moreover, Prince (1992) previously categorized information structure into Hearer-old/Hearer-new and Discourse-old/Discourse-new information. There is consensus on the fact that focus or prominence associated with new information is marked with nuclear pitch accent, and its main acoustic cue, fundamental frequency (f0) (Ward & Birner 2001: 120). Non-native intonation has been reported to display numerous differences in f0 range and patterns compared to native speech (Wennerstrom 1994; Baker 2010). This study is an attempt to address the issue of marking information structure in existential there sentences by means of f0 in non-native spontaneous speech. Data originates from task-based interactions in the Wildcat Corpus of Native- and Foreign-Accented English (Van Engen et al. 2010). This paper examines two issues: (1) information structure in relation to the notions of givenness and different types of accessibility (Baumann & Grice 2006) and to Prince’s (1992) multidimensional taxonomy and (2) the use of f0 peaks to mark the prominence of new information. Several differences were measured among native speakers regarding the use of f0, sentence type, and complexity.

Open access
Teaching Cultural Differences through Korean Canadians: Teaching Material Development for English as a Foreign Language Classes

Abstract

Introduction: Students of English as a foreign language must possess intercultural communicative skills in order to be able to interpret and discuss the cultural diversity that surrounds them when they use English for communicational purposes. This paper claims, and is based on the conviction, that the development of these skills takes place primarily through teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in most educational contexts. This approach is facilitated by the fact that the English language functions as the most widely used foreign language in the context of culture teaching.

Methods: Based on these considerations and with a view to theoretical and practical aspects concerning teaching material development, the presented study discusses some fundamental concepts associated with the relationship between teaching EFL, teaching cultural information and developing students’ intercultural skills. After reviewing potential theories, it adopts Byram’s (1997, 2008) Intercultural Communicative Competence model as a theoretical foundation for creating teaching materials for the purpose of developing students’ intercultural communicative skills.

Results: The study presents the results of this endeavour through the example of author-designed worksheets focusing on Canadian content, and analyses a worksheet that covers Korean immigrant culture in Canada in order to demonstrate, with the help of this example, how theoretical considerations can be put into practice in the scope of developing teaching materials with Canadian content focusing on the development of intercultural communicative skills.

Discussion: Within the scope of English as a foreign language, Byram’s (1997, 2008) Intercultural Communicative Competence model proves a very practical model to be used for the purpose of designing worksheets that develop students’ intercultural communicative skills: this is proved on the basis of the analysis of the above-mentioned worksheet. It is also demonstrated that teaching intercultural communicative skills through Canadian contents is a feasible and practicable way of introducing students to the concept of interculturality through the cultural heritage of an English-speaking country.

Limitations: The theoretical background and the teaching material development project described below can serve as a potential model for designing similar worksheets, but the actual use and efficiency of this and similar worksheets depends on the applicable national curriculum and the specificities (primarily the language and motivational levels) of the class where such materials are intended for use. This also means that some aspects of the project are worth reconsidering when one intends to design their own teaching materials.

Conclusion: For the design of worksheets developing intercultural communicative skills, this study provides a tried and tested methodological model to follow and presents a worksheet that can function as a potential model. In addition, this paper hopes to generate further research in the field of developing teaching materials focusing either on the development of intercultural communicative skills or on Canadian culture, and, through setting an example, it encourages the creation of worksheets of a comparable design or topic.

Open access
Sudden Phytophthora Dieback of Wild Cherry Trees in Northwest Hungary

Abstract

During a regular survey of declining forests in 2011, sudden dieback symptoms were observed on scattered wild cherry trees (Prunus avium) in a mixed deciduous forest stand, located in the flood plain area of the Rába River, in northwest Hungary. In this study, we correlated both soil conditions and presence of Phytophthora spp. to dieback of cherry trees. Two Phytophthora species, P. polonica and P. plurivora, were isolated from the rhizosphere soil of the dying trees. By contrast, only P. polonica was recovered from the necrotic tissues of symptomatic roots. Stem and root inoculation tests on cherry seedlings showed pathogenicity of both species, although P. polonica proved to be more virulent. This is the first report of natural infections of P. polonica.

Open access
Online hypergraph coloring with rejection

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the online hypergraph coloring problem with rejection, where the algorithm is allowed to reject a vertex instead of coloring it but each vertex has a penalty which has to be paid if it is not colored. The goal is to minimize the sum of the number of the used colors for the accepted vertices and the total penalty paid for the rejected ones. We study the online problem which means that the algorithm receives the vertices of the hypergraph in some order v 1, . . . , vn and it must decide about vi by only looking at the subhypergraph Hi = (Vi, Ei) where Vi = {v 1, . . . , vi} and Ei contains the edges of the hypergraph which are subsets of Vi. We consider two models: in the full edge model only the edges where each vertex is accepted must be well-colored, in the trace model the subsets of the edges formed by the accepted vertices must be well colored as well. We consider proper and conflict free colorings. We present in each cases optimal online algorithms in the sense that they achieve asymptotically the smallest possible competitive ratio.

Open access
Changes in Floodplain Vegetation Density and the Impact of Invasive Amorpha fruticosa on Flood Conveyance

Abstract

Flood conveyance of floodplains is significantly influenced by the riparian vegetation cover, since vegetation affects flow velocity, therefore has a considerable impact on flood height and rate and pattern of sedimentation. However, climate change promotes the spread of invasive species, and their rapid growth results in dense vegetation stands, thus they have a significant impact on floodwater hydraulics. The aims of the present study are (1) to analyse the long-term changes in land-use and vegetation density on the Lower Tisza River, (2) to evaluate the role of the invasive Amorpha fruticosa in increasing vegetation density, and (3) to model the effect of dense floodplain vegetation on flood level and flood conveyance. Long-term (1784-2017) changes of land-use suggest that in natural conditions the study area was occupied by wetlands (92%), thus water covered the area for almost the whole year. In the 19th century, after levee constructions the wetlands were replaced by meadows and pastures (94%), then by the end of the 20th century planted and riparian forests replaced these land-covers. As a result, the mean roughness (0.14) of the floodplain has increased threefold until the early 21st century. Today forests are invaded by Amorpha fruticosa, which increases the vegetation density by 3% in riparian forests, by 23% in forest plantations, and by up to 100% in abandoned pastures and a rable lands. According to the results of HEC-RAS (Hydrologic Engineering Center’s River Analysis System) and CES (Conveyance Estimation System) models, if floodplain vegetation was managed and Amorpha fruticosa was cleared from the floodplain, peak flood level would decrease by 15 cm. Due to dense vegetation, the flood conveyance decreased by 4-6%, and the presence of Amorpha fruticosa reduced the flood flow velocities by 0.014-0.016 m/s. Accordingly, clearance of the floodplain from Amorpha fruticosa would have positive effects on flood protection, since peak flood stages would decrease and flood waves would shorten.

Open access
A Study of Parental Attitudes to Teacher Pronunciation in Very Early English

Abstract

Teaching English as a foreign language at an early (7–12) and even at a very early (under 7) age is becoming more and more popular and accessible, mainly due to the pressure from parents. Parents are essential stakeholders in the TEFL of these ages, and thus it is beneficial for the future of TEFL to do research into parental attitudes in order to be able to assure that expectations and outcomes meet. Our study examines parental attitudes towards the teacher and the ideal age to start learning a foreign language. Fifty Hungarian parents of children aged 0–7 completed our online questionnaire, which mapped the demographics and linguistic profiles of respondents and their views and attitudes related to language learning. Furthermore, attitudes towards teachers’ pronunciation (American, British, or Hungarian) were measured on a 5-point Likert-scale. The 8-item attitude scale showed good reliability (N = 50, Cronbach α = 0.772, p < 0.001). Parents generally placed high emphasis on native-like pronunciation. However, accent-related attitudes varied among parents preferring different ages to start FL learning. Parents favouring an early start preferred native-speaking teachers, with no preference for a British or American accent.

Open access
Dominance Relations in the Light of Repairmechanisms in Family-doctor-Patient and Hospital Teacher-Student Encounters

Abstract

Introduction: Repair mechanisms, both marked and unmarked, are present in institutional interactions including family doctor-patient and hospital teacher-student encounters. While in most of the cases unmarked repair is carried out by the dominant partner, sometimes marked repair mechanisms are initiated by the client. The present study was undertaken to throw light upon these marked repairs. The aim of the study is to compare two interactions, the first is between a GP and a patient and the second is between a hospital teacher and a student.

Material and method: The dominance relations in the recorded and transcribed dialogues were shown as the first step in the investigation of the repairs. After realising typical repair mechanisms, the focus of the analysis is directed to special occasions, where the initiator is not the dominant participant.

Results: The doctor-patient relationship can be characterized by the dominance of the doctor and in the teacher-student encounter by the dominance of the teacher. Although in most of the cases the dominant participant initiates the turns, the initiation of the non-dominant party can also be observed, in 16-20 % of the encounters.

Conclusions: The relatively frequent repairs of the non-dominant party suggests a diversion from the conventions of the institutional talk, which requires further investigation.

Open access
Role of Multidetector Computed Tomography in Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation – from Pre-procedural Planning to Detection of Post-procedural Complications

Abstract

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is an effective treatment option for patients suffering from symptomatic, severe aortic valve stenosis. Previously, only patients with prohibitive or high surgical risk were TAVI candidates; however, current guidelines already recommend TAVI as a treatment alternative for patients with intermediate surgical risk. Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) has gained great importance in the periprocedural assessment of patients who undergo TAVI. Due to the three-dimensional image visualization, MDCT allows the evaluation of anatomical structures in a more comprehensive manner compared to echocardiography, the traditional tool used in TAVI patient work-up. By providing accurate measurements of the aortic root, MDCT helps to avoid potential patient-prosthesis mismatch throughout transcatheter valve sizing. Moreover, MDCT is also a feasible tool for access route evaluation and to determine the optimal projection angles for the TAVI procedure. Although the routine MDCT follow-up of patients is currently not recommended in clinical practice, if performed, it could provide invaluable information about valve integrity and asymptomatic leaflet thrombosis. Post-procedural MDCT can provide details about the position of the prosthesis and complications such as leaflet-thrombosis, aortic regurgitation, coronary occlusion, and other vascular complications that can represent major cardiac emergencies. The aim of the current review is to overview the role of MDCT in the pre- and post-procedural assessment of TAVI patients. In the first part, the article presents the role of pre-TAVI imaging in the complex anatomical assessment of the aortic valve and the selection of the most appropriate device. The second part of the review describes the role of MDCT in patients who underwent TAVI to assess potential complications, some of them leading to a major cardiovascular emergency.

Open access