FROM AFRICA TO PATAGONIA: VOICES OF DISPLACEMENT
Team Members: Nicholas Henriksen (RLL, Linguistics), PI; Andries Coetzee (Linguistics, ASC); Lorenzo García-Amaya (RLL); Ryan Szpiech (RLL); Paulina Alberto (History, RLL); Katharine Jenckes (RLL); Victoria Langland (LACS, History, RLL); Brady West (ISR, JPSM)
This is an interdisciplinary project made up of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty from various departments at the University. We are investigating a unique linguistic and cultural contact situation between Spanish and Afrikaans in Patagonia, Argentina, combining ethnographic, linguistic, and historical methods in order to explore the voices and ideologies of a displaced Afrikaans community that has resided in Patagonia for the past 110+ years.
By studying an archive of oral narratives, both for their linguistic structures and ideological content, the team is working to determine the nature and extent of linguistic hybridity between Afrikaans and Spanish in individual speakers. To preserve cultural history and language, the team is also in the process of creating a multilingual archive (in English, Spanish, and Afrikaans) that will provide access to open-source applications containing video and sound clips, transcripts, and the history of the community. To visit the project website, click here.
Photographs © Richard Finn Gregory / GOOD WORK
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USING CORPUS DATA TO UNDERSTAND THE ARCHITECTURE OF SECOND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
Team Members: Nicholas Henriksen (RLL, Linguistics), PI; Nick Ellis (Psychology, Linguistics, ELI); Lorenzo García-Amaya (RLL); Cristina Moreiras-Menor (RLL)
In linguistic research there is growing interest to study patterns of language use with large data sets, such as corpus data from extensive fieldwork projects. In this project we examine the finer details of second language oral production, using three corpora of oral narratives produced by Spanish second language learners (L1=English) who studied in Spain on three different immersion programs. Each participant produced 20 minutes of speech in Spanish at three time points. We will transcribe all data and perform syntactic/morphological coding of all utterances to track linguistic development over time. At least two software programs will be used: CLAN to track lexical development; & AntConc, an analysis toolkit for concordancing and text analysis. The broader goal is to connect the findings of the corpus-based analysis with measures of second language oral fluency, and to provide practical information for teachers of study abroad programs.
USING EYE-TRACKING TO UNDERSTAND LANGUAGE USE AND LANGUAGE PROCESSING IN BILINGUAL COMMUNITIES
Team Members: Lorenzo García-Amaya (RLL), PI; Julie Boland (Psychology, Linguistics); Andries Coetzee (Linguistics, ASC)
In linguistic research there is a growing interest in the cognitive basis of language use, language competence, and language change. This project brings together a phonetician, a cognitive psychologist, and an expert in second language acquisition. We will use psycholinguistic methods (e.g., eye-tracking) to understand how linguistic phenomena are processed in bilingual speech communities and for speakers acquiring a new language (compared to monolingual speakers). Our foci are syntactic processing, fluency-related phenomena (speech rate, hesitations, filled pauses, etc.), sound change, and the interaction of these. The results of our experiments will help explain how listeners draw inferences about their interlocutors and the role that a listener’s native language (or dialect) plays in developing such inferences. Of greater importance, this research is meant to enhance interdisciplinary awareness of the relation between produced and perceived speech, and how this relation obtains in individual monolingual, second language and bilingual speakers.