Open-Access-Bücher zur Anglistik

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Production, perception, and comprehension of subphonemic detail: Word-Final /s/ in English

Dominic Schmitz | &

The com­plex­i­ties of speech pro­duc­tion, per­cep­tion, and com­pre­hen­sion are enor­mous. The­o­ret­i­cal approach­es of these com­plex­i­ties most recent­ly face the chal­lenge of account­ing for find­ings on sub­phone­mic dif­fer­ences. The aim of the present dis­ser­ta­tion is to estab­lish a robust foun­da­tion of find­ings on such sub­phone­mic dif­fer­ences.

One rather pop­u­lar case for dif­fer­ences in sub­phone­mic detail is word-final /s/ and /z/ in Eng­lish (hence­forth S) as it con­sti­tutes a num­ber of mor­pho­log­i­cal func­tions. Using word-final S, three gen­er­al issues are inves­ti­gat­ed. First, are there sub­phone­mic dura­tional dif­fer­ences between dif­fer­ent types of word-final S? If there are such dif­fer­ences, how can they be account­ed for? Sec­ond, can such sub­phone­mic dura­tional dif­fer­ences be per­ceived? Third, do such sub­phone­mic dura­tional dif­fer­ences influ­ence the com­pre­hen­sion of S?

These ques­tions are inves­ti­gat­ed by five high­ly con­trolled stud­ies: a pro­duc­tion task, an imple­men­ta­tion of Lin­ear Dis­crim­i­na­tive Learn­ing, a same-dif­fer­ent task, and two num­ber-deci­sion tasks. Using not only real words but also pseu­do­words as tar­get items, poten­tial­ly con­found­ing effects of lex­i­cal stor­age are con­trolled for.

Con­cern­ing the first issue, the results show that there are indeed dura­tional dif­fer­ences between dif­fer­ent types of word-final S. Non-mor­phemic S is longest in dura­tion, clitic S is short­est in dura­tion, and plur­al S dura­tion is in-between non-mor­phemic S and clitic S dura­tions. It appears that the dura­tional dif­fer­ences are con­nect­ed to a word’s seman­tic acti­va­tion diver­si­ty and its phono­log­i­cal cer­tain­ty. Regard­ing the sec­ond issue, sub­phone­mic dura­tional dif­fer­ences in word-final S can be per­ceived, with high­er lev­els of per­cep­ti­bil­i­ty for dif­fer­ences of 35 ms and high­er. In regard to the third issue, sub­phone­mic dura­tional dif­fer­ences are found not to influ­ence the speed of com­pre­hen­sion, but show a sig­nif­i­cant effect on the process of com­pre­hen­sion. The over­all results give raise to a revi­sion of var­i­ous extant mod­els of speech pro­duc­tion, per­cep­tion, and com­pre­hen­sion.

Framing the Nation, Claiming the Hemisphere: Transnational Imagination in Early American Travel Writing (1770–1830)

Markus Hei­de |

Trav­el reports have shaped the emer­gence of ear­ly U.S. cul­ture and its “geo­graph­i­cal imag­i­na­tion” (David Har­vey). Fram­ing the Nation, Claim­ing the Hemi­sphere exam­ines the trans-nation­al imag­i­na­tion in trav­el reports by Amer­i­can authors writ­ten between 1770 and 1830. Its range is from John and William Bartram’s pre-rev­o­lu­tion­ary trav­el­ogues and Jonathan Carver’s explorato­ry report on his jour­ney in the Great Lakes region (1778), to Olau­dah Equiano’s The Inter­est­ing Nar­ra­tive (1789), to ear­ly nine­teenth-cen­tu­ry reports, such as Anne New­port Royall’s Sketch­es of His­to­ry, Life, and Man­ners, in the Unit­ed States (1826) and William Duane’s A Vis­it to Colom­bia (1826). The chap­ters of the mono­graph con­cen­trate on writ­ing about jour­neys to the North Amer­i­can ‘inte­ri­or‘, the Caribbean, Latin Amer­i­ca, and Africa. The pri­ma­ry sources were writ­ten between the begin­ning of the strug­gle against British rule, fol­low­ing the end of the French and Indi­an War, and the begin­ning of Andrew Jackson’s pres­i­den­cy. The decades between 1770 and 1830 were times of shift­ing colo­nial bound­aries, nation-build­ing, and emer­gent dis­cours­es of col­lec­tive iden­ti­fi­ca­tion in North Amer­i­ca. The study reads trav­el writ­ing in the con­text of the iden­ti­ty-gen­er­at­ing dis­cours­es of nation-build­ing, impe­ri­al­ism, anti-colo­nial­ism, and cos­mopoli­tanism.

In con­trast to schol­ar­ship that engages a notion of Amer­i­can­ness based pri­mar­i­ly on ‘domes­tic’ out­looks and expe­ri­ences such as west­ward expan­sion (the fron­tier), the study high­lights the func­tion of cat­e­gories such as the out­side world, neigh­bor­ing nations, and colo­nial empires in the emer­gence of U.S. nation­al lit­er­ary imag­i­na­tion. How does a shift in focus from a dis­cur­sive ‘domes­ti­ca­tion’ of North Amer­i­can space to an inter­est in the Oth­er­ing of what lies beyond nation­al bor­ders affect the under­stand­ing of the emer­gent nation­al self? These are the kind of ques­tions that begin by see­ing the transna­tion­al as a fun­da­men­tal ele­ment of nation­al emer­gence.

The mono­graph ulti­mate­ly works to demon­strate how trav­el writ­ing – with very few excep­tions – sup­ports and affirms process­es of nation-build­ing. Thus, the nation­al nar­ra­tive evolves from rep­re­sen­ta­tions of con­tact sce­nar­ios in North Amer­i­ca, in the transat­lantic world, and around the globe. With­out ignor­ing the roles of nation­al mythol­o­gy, the analy­sis con­cen­trates on the con­tin­u­al co-exis­tence of flu­id notions of both ‘home’ and ‘abroad’ in times of shift­ing geo­graph­i­cal bor­ders. From such a per­spec­tive, trav­el writ­ing not only con­tributes to shap­ing the nation­al imag­i­na­tion and its con­cep­tions of supe­ri­or­i­ty but is also com­plic­it in ter­ri­to­r­i­al expan­sion­ism and its sub­ju­ga­tion of con­quered peo­ples and their respec­tive cul­tur­al his­to­ries.

The present study empha­sizes the sig­nif­i­cance of accounts of non-vol­un­tary move­ment that embrace cap­tiv­i­ty nar­ra­tives, slave nar­ra­tives, sailor nar­ra­tives, and reports by indi­vid­u­als who had access to nei­ther pub­lish­ing nor pub­lic cul­ture. Accounts by such authors have often been pub­lished posthu­mous­ly, pro­mot­ed by print­ers, pro­fes­sion­al authors, or schol­ars. The cen­tral focus of analy­sis, how­ev­er, exam­ines how Amer­i­can self-fash­ion­ing and self-posi­tion­ing in the world appear in the trav­el writ­ing of the peri­od. The trans-nation­al imag­i­na­tion engages in a sym­bol­ic con­struc­tion both of the col­lec­tive nation­al ‘Self’ and of the out­side world as the nation’s ‘Oth­er.’

Trav­el writ­ing func­tions as a tool in the nation-build­ing process of the Unit­ed States: a tool that reflects the mind­set of the time, a tool that imag­ines a nation­al com­mu­ni­ty, and a tool that shapes the mind­set of a peo­ple. The study main­tains that trav­el writ­ing, as a lit­er­ary for­mat, nego­ti­ates the tri­an­gu­lar rela­tion­ship between Amer­i­can post-rev­o­lu­tion­ary nation-build­ing, con­tin­ued Euro­pean colo­nial expan­sion in the Amer­i­c­as, and the ongo­ing exis­tence of indige­nous nations. Under­ly­ing each of the read­ings is a com­mon the­sis that trav­el writ­ing defines and nego­ti­ates bor­ders, lim­its, and ter­ri­to­r­i­al expan­sion, and that it does so with­in the para­me­ters of nation-build­ing.

Moving English Language Teaching Forward

Magne Dypedahl (ed.) |

The title of this Festschrift, Mov­ing Eng­lish Lan­guage Teach­ing For­ward, is a trib­ute to Ragn­hild E. Lund’s life­long devo­tion to Eng­lish lan­guage ped­a­gogy and teach­ing. She is – in the words of Juli­et Munden – “a Dame of Eng­lish didac­tics”. Ragn­hild would be the first one to share such praise with col­leagues. All the authors of this book have in some way or oth­er moved Eng­lish lan­guage ped­a­gogy for­ward togeth­er with Ragn­hild, for exam­ple as co-writ­ers, fel­low doc­tor­al com­mit­tee mem­bers, col­leagues at the Uni­ver­si­ty of South-East­ern Nor­way, or just good col­leagues shar­ing the same com­mit­ment to Eng­lish lan­guage ped­a­gogy.

As a researcher, Ragn­hild is best known for her work in the field of inter­cul­tur­al com­pe­tence, which made her one of the orig­i­nal mem­bers of the inter­na­tion­al Cult­net group. The ini­tia­tive for this group was tak­en by Michael Byram, arguably the most influ­en­tial the­o­rist of inter­cul­tur­al com­pe­tence devel­op­ment in the world. In this anthol­o­gy, he writes about the first meet­ing of the Cult­net group in 1997 and charts some of the changes that have hap­pened in “the cul­tur­al dimen­sion” of lan­guage teach­ing since then.

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