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Linguistics.

Modern Russian Proverbs. Lilia Caserta, Ferris State University

This research offers a language analysis and examination of modern Russian proverbs, based on the corpus of 6,000 examples. The purpose of this reseach is a linguistic analysis of modern Russian proverbs and their status in modern Russian language and culture. A proverb, according to W. Mieder, is "a linguistic summarization of human experiences and observations, a short sentence which contains wisdom, truth, and traditional view in metaphorical, fixed, and memorized form and which is handed down from generation to generation" (Mieder, 1985). Many traditional proverbs currently used in Russia have their origin in ancient times, the Bible, and the Middle Ages, creating a common collection of national proverbial wisdom. New proverbs are created in Russia in the similar pattern as traditional proverbs: they preserve the national wisdom, but express it in a new form. Modern proverbs originated in popular culture, journalism, and social media. The unique nature of modern proverbs is the fact that they contain modern day realities: politics, economy, and culture of the 21st century. Russian modern proverbs with their reflection of the world and of present society have considerable influence on sociopolitical discourse of the global community and international communication.

Fulbright ETA Personal Statements and Statements of Grant Purpose: A Rhetorical Move-Step Analysis. Matt Kessler, Michigan State University

The current study explores the rhetorical strategies employed by successful grant recipients of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) grant in the grant writers' Personal Statements (PS) and Statements of Grant Purpose (SGP). With nearly one thousand grantees sent abroad each year through the program and a grant acceptance rate of approximately 20%, these ETA grants are highly competitive and sought after by both applicants and their undergraduate institutions as well. However, the composition of the PSs and SGPs pose particular difficulties for student writers due to the semi-occluded and private nature of the PS genre (Samraj and Monk, 2008; Swales, 1996). In order to help draw learners' attentions to the rhetoric that goes into constructing successful grant statements, the present study analyzes the Fulbright ETA PSs and SGPs using Bhatia's (1993) analyses of promotional genres and a Swalesian move-step (Swales, 1990, 2004) analysis to explore the rhetorical strategies employed by successful ETA grant recipients in their statements. Findings suggest that successful writers often utilize a series of four obligatory moves in their PSs and three moves in SGPs including a host of recurring steps. Pedagogical implications of the analysis will be discussed in relation to future prospective grant applicants.

Examining Foreign Language Learning Motivations and Attitudes. Derek Drake and Paige Brady, Ferris State University

This paper investigates attitudes and motivations at a regional state university for learning foreign languages. This paper examines initial findings from a pilot study--with a focus on linguistic and cultural determinants--for taking and being involved in language studies courses and programs. With declining language enrollments at universities across the country, this study foregrounds student motivations for becoming involved in and remaining in such programs.

Qualitative and quantitative findings are discussed, with a primary focus on sociocultural and sociolinguistic aspects of:

(1) common linguistic features that are either motivators for further pursuing languages, or perceived as detrimental to student progress,

(2) holistic motivations for students learning new languages and cultures, and

(3) student involvement with languages from specific majors or programs.

The paper gives insights into how similar institutions can better retain languages students to complete language program sequences that best complement their educational goals.

Changes in the Northern Cities Shifted Vowel System: Evidence From Jewish Women in Metro Detroit. Eric Acton, Daniele Benson, Rachael Crain, Kelsey DeGuise, Beau-Kevin Morgan, Alia Shvetsova, and Veronica Grondona, Eastern Michigan University

This presentation investigates data from Jewish speakers in the Detroit area, where we have found evidence of changes to the Northern Cities Shift (NCS). A study conducted in Lansing (Wagner et al. 2016) found similar results. These changes may be due to stigmatization of some NCS vowels, as well as a shift toward supra-regional norms in the northern cities.

We conducted sociolinguistic interviews with ten Jewish women born and raised in Metro Detroit, who were divided into two age groups. Measurements of formant values were taken using the FAVE suite (Rosenfelder et al., 2011) and Praat (Boersma and Weenink, 2017).

Overall, our findings are consistent with the Lansing study. We found lowering and backing in the DRESS and pre-oral TRAP vowels and backing in the LOT vowel, counter to the trends of the last half-century. In addition, we have found that the pre-oral TRAP vowel is becoming monophthongal in our younger speakers. In investigating the effect of our Jewish speakers' social networks, we did not find a significant impact on vowel quality, except in the GOOSE vowel. We do, however, see qualitative results that suggest a distinctive linguistic style in our younger Jewish participants.

The Influence of Parents' Language Use in Speech Act. Fu-Tsai Hsieh, Ming Chuan University and Saginaw Valley State University

This paper aims to investigate the influence of parents' language use on children in speech acts. Three of the five categories of speech acts are examined in this paper: expressive, directive, and commissive.

Three groups of subjects participated in this study: 5 children, aged from 7 to 9; 5 teenagers, aged from 16 to 18; and 10 parents (of the 5 children and the 5 teenagers), aged from 31 to 51. Spontaneous production data were collected from the participants by interview. There are 15 questions, 5 tokens from each of the three categories of speech act.

The results revealed that there are influences of parents' language use of speech act on their children. Nevertheless, for directive, children and teenagers used direct and indirect requests equally, while children's parents preferred direct requests and teenagers' parents preferred indirect ones. For commissive, teenagers used direct and indirect refusal equally, while their parents preferred indirect ones. It is interesting to find out that the children's parents tend to use more direct language than the teenagers' parents. It may be attributed to that parents tend to change their language use with the age of their children.

X or Y: Alternative Question Formats in English Everyday Interaction. Veronika Drake, Saginaw Valley State University

This interactional linguistics (IL) study reports on the use of 71 alternative question (AQs) sequences in English conversations (i.e., "Is this a house or an apartment?"). Previous IL work on yes/no-questions (Raymond, 2003) shows that delayed placement of a yes/no token in responses to a polar questions indexes some resistance to the question. Fox and Thompson (2010), on wh-questions, show that while phrasal answers simply answer the question, clausal answers indicate that the question is somehow problematic. AQs, while regularly used in spoken interaction, have not received much attention. Based on descriptive grammars, they provide two choices to be picked or confirmed by the recipient. My work shows that this is not always the case. In some instances, AQs are treated as yes/no-questions; in other instances, they are met with a response that offers a third alternative as an answer, as in "it is a home" as a response to the AQ provided above. My study adds to our understanding of how talk is organized through sequences of actions (questions and their responses). Analyzing interactional functions and formats of alternative questions adds to our understanding of how grammar is fundamentally a language-in-use phenomenon, talked into being jointly by co-participants in conversations.

Stereotypical Accent and Pronunciation Development of French /[??]/. Viviane Ruellot, Western Michigan University

Stereotypes are usually considered negatively in second language (L2) learning programs, as they present a fragmented and reductive perspective of a people's language and culture. However, as a growing body of research has demonstrated, stereotypical foreign accents can benefit the development of L2 pronunciation, partly because of their exaggerated features and learners' long familiarity with them (e.g., Pepe Le Pew and his stereotypical French accent). Research has mostly investigated learners' awareness and pronunciation development of voiceless plosive consonants /p/, /t/, and /k/ with aspiration (e.g., in L2 English) or without it (e.g., in L2 Spanish). This presentation focuses on pronunciation development of /[??]/ in L2 French. Seven intermediate American learners of L2 French first read a French text with their best, authentic French accent and a text in English with a stereotypical French accent before and after practice with a model speaking French or one speaking English with a stereotypical French accent. Results indicate that learners improved their pronunciation of/[??]/, with a notable advantage for those imitating a stereotypical French accent during practice. Result implications and pedagogical applications will be discussed.

Determining Phonological Patterns in Normally-Developing Arabic-Speaking 3- and 5-Year-Olds of Saudi Arabian Descent. Farah Afra, Wayne State University

This paper determines the types of language-specific and non-language specific phonological processes used by Saudi-Arabian children between the ages of 3 and 5, to meet the dire need for phonological development data in the Arab World. This study included a total of 12 Saudi-Arabian children belonging to two age groups; the first consisted of 3 boys and 3 girls whose ages ranged between 3.0 and 3.4 years and the second consisted of 3 boys and 3 girls whose age ranged between 4.8 and 5.1 years. Consonants were elicited using a picture-naming test developed for the purpose, which consisted of 47 target words. Answers were recorded and then transcribed. Both target words and the alternative target words provided by children were considered for sound production accuracy. Consonants produced by Arabic-speaking Saudi-Arabian children were examined. There is an apparent ambient language influence on the route of development, as 3-year old Saudi Arabian children acquired [s], [j], [z], [l], and [[d.sub.3]], before their English-speaking counterparts (Hoff, E. (2014)), due to the fact that these sounds have a higher frequency and functional load in Arabic. Furthermore, Saudi-Arabian children did not resort to gliding as much as their English-speaking counterparts, because the phoneme /l/ is one of the early emerging sounds in Arabic, due to its high frequency and functional load.

The Dynamics of the Alternation of the Subject Pronouns Usted/Tu /Vos in Cali, Colombia. Lucero Flores-Paez, Ferris State University

Most varieties of modern Spanish have two-second person singular pronouns (tu / usted) that distinguish formality in the relationship between the speaker and the addressee. Additionally, some varieties of Latin American Spanish, i.e., Argentina, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Colombia, and Chile among others, present three forms: tu, usted, and vos. The case of Colombian Spanish is particularly interesting because it contains 5 pronouns: tu, usted, vos, vuste, and sumerce, whose combinations of up to three forms may differ from region to region. Furthermore, it is possible that speakers use more than one pronoun to address the same interlocutor in the same discourse, and this is called mixed-use. Thus, the purpose of this presentation is to describe the sociolinguistic variables that determine the use of vos, tu, usted, and the mixed-use in a specific city, Cali, Colombia.

Connecting Morphology and Ideology: Linguistic Changes Prompted by Extralinguistic Factors. Natalia Knoblock, Saginaw Valley State University

The presentation highlights semantic, syntactic, and functional features of two novel slurs that have recently entered the Russian and Ukrainian languages. The words ukrop (dill) and vata (cotton wool) underwent a semantic shift and acquired new negative meanings which can now be used to refer to the opposing groups in hostile communication.

Grounded in the Critical Discourse Analysis framework which views discourse as an embodiment of social practices (e.g., Fairclough, 1995; van Dijk, 2009) as well as modern research into linguistic creativity (Harris, 1980; Carter, 2004), the presentation describes the semantic aspects of the words ukrop and vata that helped them achieve popularity as new slurs. It demonstrates the semantic conflict between the traditional grammatical features of ukrop and vata (both are uncountable, mass, inanimate nouns) and the needs of their novel reference. It provides examples of the emergence of unconventional uses of ukrop as a countable noun when referring to groups of people, illustrates non-standard subject-verb agreement in utterances containing vata, and describes cases when ukrop in its new sense functions as an animate noun. This information leads to a discussion of intrinsic connections between the linguistic changes these words are undergoing and extralinguistic context of their use.

Investigating the Language of the Courtroom: Using Critical Discourse Analysis to Understand Polarization and the Framing of Symbolic Power Resources in the Sentencing Memorandums of the Stanford Rape Case. Sara Potter, Michigan Technological University

The 2015 sexual assault case of Emily Doe v. Brock Turner provides a provocative setting for a Critical Discourse Analysis of the language of courtroom documents. As with previous work by Erhlich (2001), I examine how the linguistic choices of courtroom discourse shift blame, accountability, and power through a macro-style analysis of both the prosecution and defense sentencing documents. Through a linguistic comparison of these documents' use of polarization and their framing of symbolic power resources, I will attempt to show that the very nature and structure of these documents was informed by the institutionalized practices of this discourse field that often requires sexual assault to fit prevailing rape myths (Benedict, 2011). For example, the defense negates the believability of the victim highlighting the circumstances of the crime citing, "No one other than Mr. Turner can state with any certainty whether the victim was unconscious or not when the digital penetration occurred." The reshaping of facts and reconstructions of the victim and assailants' behavior are strategic efforts to create differing notions of the same crime that directly influence the severity of the punishment. We will explore what it was about these documents that made the punishment not fit the crime(s).
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Publication:Michigan Academician
Date:Sep 22, 2018
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