Annual College-wide Conference for Students in Languages, Linguistics, and Literatures

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    2020 Proceedings: Selected papers from the twenty-fourth college-wide conference for students in languages, linguistics & literature
    (National Foreign Language Resource Center, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 2021) Lee, Victoria ; Tangiyev, Denis Melik ; Truong, Chau
    Selected papers from the annual college-wide conference for students in languages, linguistics & literature at the College of Languages, Linguistics & Literature, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
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    2019 Proceedings: Selected papers from the twenty-third college-wide conference for students in languages, linguistics & literature
    (National Foreign Language Resource Center, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 2020) Handley, Noella ; Yoshioka, Jim
    Selected papers from the annual college-wide conference for students in languages, linguistics & literature at the College of Languages, Linguistics & Literature, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
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    2020 LLL Featured Talk: "Successful reconstruction of verb gaps"
    ( 2020-05-18) Hwang, Haerim
    Sentences with Gapping (e.g., Bill ordered coffee, and Jane __ sandwiches) seem incomplete because a verbal element is missing from them. However, they still possess a complete structure and are successfully interpreted by language users. Regarding the real-time processing of Gapping sentences, questions that remain open include how and when their structure and meaning are assigned in real time, both for mature native language (L1) speakers and for second language learners (L2ers). The current study addresses these questions by investigating whether adult L2ers of English can (come to) posit verb gaps and retrieve verb information at the gap site. Forty-two adult L1-Korean L2ers of English and 53 L1-English controls took part. They completed a self-paced reading task that exploited the fact that Gapping sentences can be rendered plausible or implausible by changing the verb (e.g., Bill {ordered/*drank} coffee and Jane sandwiches). Included as a baseline were the VP-ellipsis counterparts (e.g., Bill {ordered/drank} coffee and Jane did too) since these do not exhibit plausibility effects. Participants also completed a proficiency task. The results show that higher-proficiency L2ers, like the L1-English controls, displayed plausibility effects for Gapping but not for VP-ellipsis, thus indicating that they can reconstruct verb information at the gap site during online processing. This finding demonstrates that adult L2ers can come to process English Gapping sentences in a target-like manner.
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    2020 LLL Conference Featured Talk: "A Grammar of Western Subanon"
    ( 2020-05-18) Bulalang, Sharon Joy
    This dissertation is a grammatical description of Subanon (also known as Western Subanon or Siocon Subanon, ISO 639-3 sub), a highly endangered Austronesian language with about 125,000 speakers living on Zamboanga Peninsula in the Philippines. This dissertation is the first ever comprehensive description of the language and the first to be accompanied by a documentary corpus. Topics addressed include: sound system, word classes, morpho-syntactic properties of verbal clauses, clause combination, serial verb construction, interrogative and imperative structures, ellipsis, scope, verbless clauses, discourse markers, numerals reduplications, metaphors, idioms, euphemisms, onomatopoeias, and anger words. Research for this dissertation is based on first-hand field work conducted in the region of Malayal, supplemented by my own native speaker knowledge of the language. All data collected for this research—including recordings, transcriptions and annotation files—are accessible via the Kaipuleohone Digital Ethnographic Archive at the University of Hawai’i. In addition to its contribution to the scientific understanding of human language, the dissertation and accompanying corpus of recordings provide a means of preserving the language for the next generation of speakers and facilitate the development of curriculum and instructional materials to teach the language in the Subanon communities in Zamboanga. It is my hope that this grammar will not only be useful for linguists and the Subanon people, but also for other people who have an interest in saving endangered languages in the world.
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    2020 LLL Conference Featured Talk: "The power of prediction in language processing and learning"
    ( 2020-05-18) Grüter, Theres
    Trying to anticipate, or predict, what will happen next is part of everyday human behavior, including language use. When a prediction turns out to be wrong, we are presented with an opportunity to learn and make better predictions next time. This constitutes learning through prediction error, a powerful mechanism of implicit (and explicit) learning. In this talk, I will begin by demonstrating that the timing of everyday communication between adult native speakers cannot be explained without appeal to prediction during real-time language comprehension and production. I will then discuss recent, and partially conflicting, evidence from research that has investigated the extent to which language users other than adult native speakers, such as second language (L2) users, engage in predictive processing. I will present findings from a visual-world eye-tracking study with native and L2 users of Mandarin Chinese, which suggest that both groups used information encoded by prenominal classifiers (measure words) predictively in real-time comprehension, but while native users drew primarily on formal grammatical cues, L2 users placed more weight on semantic information (Grüter, Lau, & Ling, 2020). In the second part of the talk, I will present findings from a structural priming experiment with Korean-speaking learners of English (Grüter, Zhu, & Jackson, in preparation). Structural priming refers to our tendency to use linguistic structures that we recently encountered in the input. For example, hearing an interlocutor say She gave her friend a cupcake (=double-object construction) will increase the chances that you will then also use a double-object (rather than a prepositional dative) construction to describe a different giving-event. The goal of our study was to test whether Korean learners of English, who are known to underuse double-object constructions in English, would increase their use of this construction when consistently seeing such sentences written by a (virtual) partner. We hypothesized that this increase would be greatest when participants are forced to first guess, or predict, what their partner would say, thus presenting them with opportunities to experience prediction error and adjust their expectations. Our findings support this hypothesis, suggesting that learning through prediction error, even at an explicit level, has the potential to contribute to L2 learning.