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Languages, Volume 1, Issue 2 (December 2016)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Listening for Imagery by Native Speakers and L2 Learners
Languages 2016, 1(2), 10; doi:10.3390/languages1020010
Received: 24 June 2016 / Revised: 12 August 2016 / Accepted: 24 August 2016 / Published: 16 September 2016
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Abstract
Slobin’s thinking-for-speaking (TFS) hypothesis suggests that speakers are habitually attuned to aspects of an event that are readily codable in the language while they are formulating speech. This TFS process varies considerably cross-linguistically and can be observed in all forms of production and
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Slobin’s thinking-for-speaking (TFS) hypothesis suggests that speakers are habitually attuned to aspects of an event that are readily codable in the language while they are formulating speech. This TFS process varies considerably cross-linguistically and can be observed in all forms of production and reception including listening for understanding or mental imagery. This study explored whether second language learners (L2) engage in mental simulation of deictic paths while processing motion language online. Forty Chinese native speakers (NSs) and eighty English-speaking learners of L2 Chinese participated in an online judgment task. They listened to motion sentences containing deictic paths while simultaneously watching a motion display of a toward- or away-direction. Since simultaneous presentation of the sentence and the display of the same directionality require the same neural structures to process competing inputs, interference effects are expected and the reaction time to respond should take longer. Results of repeated measures ANOVA show interference effects for the NSs, but not for the L2 learners of both heritage and foreign language backgrounds, suggesting that while the NSs were sensitive to the deictic cues and automatically performed mental simulations of the deictic paths, the L2 learners’ listening for imagery did not pattern with the NSs. The results added to our understanding of L2 learners’ development of TFS in the new modality of listening for imagery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Potential for Flora–Fauna Wordlists to Contribute to Biodiversity Research: Myanmar Birds as a Case Study
Languages 2016, 1(2), 12; doi:10.3390/languages1020012
Received: 10 October 2016 / Revised: 6 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
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Abstract
Traditional ecological knowledge recorded as part of a language documentation program can include valuable information on the presence or absence of plant and animal species in a given locality. Such data have the potential to inform biodiversity surveys at a local or landscape
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Traditional ecological knowledge recorded as part of a language documentation program can include valuable information on the presence or absence of plant and animal species in a given locality. Such data have the potential to inform biodiversity surveys at a local or landscape scale. In this study, bird names were recorded in six languages spoken around the town of Aungban in Shan State, Myanmar. A checklist of local birds was first compiled using online sources, and pictures and recordings of the calls of over 250 species were presented to native speakers to elicit bird names. A statistically significant correlation was found between the number of languages in which a bird was named, and the frequency with which it was sighted by ornithologists in a recently published study at a nearby location. Native speakers provided historical information on birds that were once present near their villages, and it was also possible to obtain indications of small-scale differences in the ranges of some birds. While there were some noteworthy mismatches between the number of sightings of some birds and the number of names recorded in the target languages, the findings indicate that overall, a language-documentation-based survey of bird species occurrence can provide valuable biodiversity information in a quick and cost-effective manner. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Stem Formation in French Verbs: Structure, Rules, and Allomorphy
Languages 2016, 1(2), 13; doi:10.3390/languages1020013
Received: 11 July 2016 / Revised: 28 October 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
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Abstract
Stem processing is an essential phase in word recognition. Most modern Romance languages, such as Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish, have three theme vowels that define verbal classes and stem formation. However, French verbal classes are not traditionally described in terms of
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Stem processing is an essential phase in word recognition. Most modern Romance languages, such as Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish, have three theme vowels that define verbal classes and stem formation. However, French verbal classes are not traditionally described in terms of theme vowels. In this work, stem formation from theme vowel and allomorphic processes was investigated in French verbs. Our aim was to define the verbal stem formation structure processed during mental lexicon access in French. We conducted a cross-modal experiment and a masked priming experiment on different French stem formation processes from the first and third classes. We compared morphology-related priming effects to full priming obtained through identity priming, as well as to no priming obtained through a control condition. Stems from the first and third classes with a theme vowel presented full priming, whereas stems from the third class with allomorphy presented partial priming in both experiments. Our results suggest root-based stem formation for French. Verbs are recognized through word decomposition into stem and inflectional suffixes, and stem processing is based on root, theme vowel, and allomorphic processes. These results support a single-mechanism model with full decomposition and pre-lexical access defined by morphological rules. Full article

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Open AccessAddendum Addendum: Lakshmanan, U.; Balam, O.; Bhatia, T.K. Introducing the Special Issue: Mixed Verbs and Linguistic Creativity in Bi/Multilingual Communities. Languages 2016, 1, 9
Languages 2016, 1(2), 11; doi:10.3390/languages1020011
Received: 13 October 2016 / Revised: 13 October 2016 / Accepted: 13 October 2016 / Published: 26 October 2016
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Abstract In [1] (p. 2), we highlight that Deuchar and Stammers [2] postulate that their data does not support Poplack and Meechan's assumption that the distinction between code-switching and borrowing is categorical [3].[...] Full article

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