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October 2012 - Volume 6 issue 4 - Pages 1-182


Designing a tagset for annotating the Tuvan National Corpus

Aziyana BAYYR-OOL, Institute of Philology, Novosibirsk, Russia

Vitaly VOINOV, University of Texas at Arlington, USA

Volume 6 issue 4 - October 2012 - pp. 1-24.


This paper examines various aspects of designing a part-of-speech (POS) tagset for annotating a textual corpus in the Tuvan language of Siberia (Turkic family). The issues raised are relevant by extension to designing tagsets in other languages. Preliminary issues discussed are Tuvan linguistic structure, the rationale for preferring a POS tagset at initial stages of corpus design, the metalanguage and orthography of the tagset, and the potential usefulness of existing tagsets for designing a new tagset. The paper then presents the specific linguistic attributes that are encoded in the Tuvan tagset, using the three-level model of Major Class > Subclass > Features. Difficulties involved in deciding whether a specific type of word is a major class or a subclass are illustrated with Tuvan language data. The actual structure of the individual tags to be used in the tagset is also discussed, examining several existing models that differ in terms of transparency and level of linguistic detail. Sample Tuvan words that have been tagged using the system laid out in the paper are provided to illustrate how this tagset design facilitates searching for decomposable morphosyntactic elements relevant to the grammatical structure of Tuvan (as well as that of other Turkic languages.)

KEYWORDS: Corpus Annotation; Tagset Design; Tuvan; Turkic


The processing of asymmetric and symmetric sentential conjunction

Ellen THOMPSON, Florida International University, USA

Javier COLLADO-ISASI, Florida International University, USA

Maria OMANA, Florida International University, USA

Amanda YOUSUF, Florida International University, USA

Volume 6 issue 4 - October 2012 - pp. 25-40.


Bjorkman (2010) claims that symmetric 'and' involves coordination of CPs, while asymmetric ‘and’ involves TPs. If the processor is guided by structural considerations, we predict a possible two-way split in the processing costs of these structures. We examine the processing time involved in sentences interpreted as: (i) temporal, (ii) causal, (iii) logical, versus the distinctions of (i) asymmetric (TP structure), (ii) symmetric (CP structure). Symmetric 'and' structures involve longer processing times than those of asymmetric, causal 'and', and although the processing times of structures with logical 'and' are longer than with temporal 'and', this distinction does not approach statistical significance.

KEYWORDS: Coordination; Conjunction; Production Times; Clausal 'and'; RSVP


The (re)nationalization of Hong Kong: The nexus of language and social identity in 2002 and 2009

Nancy SULLIVAN, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, USA

Robert T. SCHATZ, Metropolitan State College of Denver, USA

Carol Ming-hung LAM, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

Volume 6 issue 4 - October 2012 - pp. 41-70.


This research examined relationships between Hong Kong respondents’ choice of an official language (OL) for Hong Kong and their social identifications as Hong Kongers and as mainland Chinese. Two data sets were collected from Hong Kong university student respondents in 2002 (N = 241) and in 2009 (N = 188). Respondents indicated their OL choice by selecting from Cantonese, Putonghua, or English. ANOVA and logistic regression equations indicated that Hong Kong social identification predicted the Cantonese OL choice and mainland Chinese social identification predicted the Putonghua OL choice. Perceived instrumental value and self-rated language proficiency predicted the English OL choice. In addition, Cantonese OL choice frequencies and mean Hong Kong social identification scores increased between 2002 and 2009 whereas Putonghua OL choice frequencies and mean mainland Chinese social identification scores tended to decrease. We discuss implications of these findings for the Chinese government’s recent attempts to promote Putonghua and attachment to the Chinese mainland in Hong Kong.

KEYWORDS: National Identity; China nationalism; Social Identification; Hong Kong Official Languages; Language Attitudes; Hong Kong identification


Language learning motivation: Applying the L2 Motivational Self System

Brian G. RUBRECHT, Meiji University, Japan

Kayoko ISHIKAWA, Meiji University, Japan

Volume 6 issue 4 - October 2012 - pp. 71-96.


Dörnyei (2005) reconceptualized language learning motivation by positing it to be connected to a language learner’s identity. To reflect this notion, he constructed the L2 Motivational Self System, which examines the learner’s self as a second language user. Because identity is often of central concern to double and returnee children in Japan, it was thought that Dörnyei’s model could effectively explain the English learning motivation of an adolescent bicultural bilingual double girl in Japan who had previously lived in the U.S. Research conducted via multiple semi-structured interviews before, during, and after a 9-day trip to the U.S. had revealed her to claim to possess 2 distinct English “voices.” To make sense of these voices, Dörnyei’s model was then applied to the girl’s case, with special attention paid to the model’s Ideal L2 Self component, as her voices appeared to be related to her motivation. Results found the model useful in explaining her desires to improve at English, for her 2 voices represented her current and future L2 selves and her motivation came from her desire to merge her 2 voices into a single voice. However, the peculiarities of the girl’s case highlight the areas of the model that require modification.

KEYWORDS: Motivation; Self; Identity; Bilingual; Returnee; Double


Stupid as a Coin: Meaning and rhyming similes in Vietnamese

Thuy Nga NGUYEN, The University of Queensland, Australia

Ghil‘ad ZUCKERMANN, University of Adelaide, Australia & Shanghai International Studies University, China

Volume 6 issue 4 - October 2012 - pp. 97-118.


Similes emphasise affinities between different objects, and they occur in many cultures. Vietnamese similes can be classified into two types: Meaning Similes and Rhyming Similes. This paper analyses and compares their structure and their semantic and phonetic requirements. It also draws innovative parallels between Vietnamese rhyming similes and Cockney Rhyming Slang, Multisourced Neologization of the Phonetic Matching type, and English, Italian and Israeli euphemisms.

KEYWORDS: Meaning Similes; Rhyming Similes; Vietnamese; Multisourced Neologization; Euphemism; Phonetic Matching


Rethinking face and politeness

Mohammad Ali SALMANI NODOUSHAN, Iran Encyclopedia Compiling Foundation, Iran

Volume 6 issue 4 - October 2012 - pp. 119-140.


This paper addresses the concepts of face and (im)politeness from both first-order and second-order perspectives, and attempts at rethinking face, (im)politeness, and Face-Threatening Acts (FTAs). It suggests that each and every speech act is issued as a result of the interplay between self’s intention and his motivation, with intention being the ignition, and motivation the fuel. Listing a number of features of speech acts, the paper further argues that FTAs must be redefined, and suggests the existence of Face-Attacking Acts (FAAs) as well as Face-Guarding Acts (FGAs)—but uses FAAs as a cover term for both. The paper also suggests a model for the description of FAAs/FGAs, and argues that they fall into four classes: (1) self-destructive hypothetical FAAs, (2) self-/other-guarding hypothetical FGAs, (3) other-destructive objective FAAs, and (4) self-/other-guarding objective FGAs. It then goes on to rethink the concept of (im)politeness, and suggests a model for politeness theory which entails a redefinition of politeness and impoliteness. It provides colorful examples and tangible evidence to relate (im)politeness to both context and collective pragmatic competence, and claims that action can be dominant or recess to speech just like dominant versus recess genes in biology.

KEYWORDS: Politeness; Impoliteness; Intentionality; Face Wants; Face-Threatening Acts (FTAs); Face-Attacking Acts (FAAs)


Using the Rasch model to validate a multiple choice English achievement test

Judith RUNNELS, Hiroshima Bunkyo Women’s University, Japan

Volume 6 issue 4 - October 2012 - pp. 141-153.


Rasch analyses have been linked by numerous scholars to the six facets of Messick’s (1989) concept of construct validity and are commonly used to evaluate pedagogical assessment. Compared to deterministic statistics from classical test theory, the Rasch model’s prescriptive methods have been argued to provide stronger validity evidence. Rasch-based methods estimate probabilities of item endorsements according to person ability and item difficulty parameters, highlighting items that produce some degree of unexpected response patterning. In the current article, a multiple-choice achievement test taken by English as a Foreign Language students at a private university in Japan was analyzed. The results show very little misfit to the Rasch model and that the level of the test was appropriately targeted to the abilities of the test-taking population, covering a range of statistically distinct difficulties. Fit statistics, an item-person map, item strata, Rasch measures, point-measure correlations and their relation to Messickian validity are discussed.

KEYWORDS: Rasch model; Fit Statistics; Person-Item Map; Assessment Evaluation; Validity


Book Review: Di Sciullo, A. M., & Boeckx, C. (eds.). (2011). The Biolinguistic Enterprise: New Perspectives on the Evolution and Nature of the Human Language Faculty. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [ISBN 978–0–19–955327–3 (Hard Back); 978–0–19–955328–0 (Paper Back)]

Peter KOSTA, University of Potsdam, Germany

Diego Gabriel KRIVOCHEN, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina

Volume 6 issue 4 - October 2012 - pp. 154-182.