Sentence Processing and Psychological Reality

Posting by Ade Tuty Anggriany | 5:07 PM

1. Meaning, Sound, and Syntax Relations in Chomsky’s Grammar
In relating sound and meaning, Chomsky does not begin with the meaning of the sentence nor the sound pattern of the sentence; he begins with the syntax of the sentence. In fact, he starts with the letter S, which, although one might be tempted to interpret it as meaning ‘sentence’. The structures that represent the sound or Phonetic Form (PF) and the meaning or Logical Form (LF) of a sentence are first generated from the syntax, which is activated by the vacuous S. syntax functions independently (‘autonomously’) of meaning and sound. The meaning and sound pattern of a sentence is defined by the function of syntax. In this conception, only syntax is ‘generative’.

2. Why Chomsky’s Grammar is not a Performance Model
For speaker production the true process would involve the ideas of what a person wants to express, and it must end with speech sounds.

In Chomsky’s terminology, this process would begin with something like Logical Form (LF) and end with the Phonetic Form (PF). While, for speaker understanding the true process would involve a reverse ordering. In Chomsky’s terminology, the process would begin with the PF and end with the LF. Chomsky’s grammar could not be used directly as either a model of production or of understanding. Chomsky is aware of this and has long cautioned readers not to interpret his grammar as a kind of performance process. Even though it is neither a model of production nor of understanding, Chomsky has made it an essential part of the performance process. He asserts that his grammar will be used in both the processes of sentence production and understanding. In this regard, the speaker must develop some sort of use rules, heuristics, or strategies so that the grammar can be used for such performance processes.

3. Types of Performance Models
There are two possible basic performance conceptions; the first conception is Resource Grammar Approach, it is also as a ‘componential’ model. Here, the grammar is used as a sort of resource in order that a speaker may engage in the process of producing or understanding sentences. The second conception is Process Grammar Approach. Here, a grammar (or grammars) is itself a process in the production or understanding of sentences.
a. Chomsky’s resource grammar performance model
There are two performance processes to be explained, two sets of use rules are required: one set for production, the other for understanding. Essentially, production performance involves meaning or ideas as input, and speech as output, while understanding involves speech as input and meaning as output. When given input, one of the sets of use rules will interact with the grammar to provide an output.
b. A process grammar performance model
There are type of grammars that are part of the process itself - for example, the semantic-based grammars (Functional Grammar, mainly derived from Generative Semantics Grammar) and psychological process grammars (Cognitive Grammar). The semantic-based grammars could serve directly as models of sentence production since they take the meaning of the sentence as input and provide the sound pattern of the sentence as output. However, to suppose that a speaker would actually go step by step through such a grammar to produce a sentence is doubtful.
c. No workable performance model yet with Chomsky’s grammar
There are two distinct possibilities why Chomsky’s grammar is no workable performance model. Either psycholinguists are not smart enough to create a workable model, or, there is something wrong with Chomsky’s conception of grammar such that a performance model cannot be devised.

4. Some Features of Sentence Production and Understanding
a. Explaining the speed of conversations
Speed is made possible by a speaker or hearer having knowledge and strategies that often enable one to jump directly from meaning to sound and vice versa without the mediation of syntax in the process of understanding and producing sentence. For example, in production, because the production of a sentence involves the output of words in a linier order. In this respect, familiar phrases and sentence are especially useful.
b. Some features of sentence production
The aim of the production process is to provide a set of sounds for the thought that the speaker wishes to convey. There are some features of sentence production:
• Thought Process: this universal process use knowledge and a stock of concepts to create thoughts. It is stimulated by various mental and environmental influences.
• Purpose + proposition: this is the essential thought which a person wishes to communicate to someone. The purpose of a thought involves such intentions as questioning, asserting, denying, and warning with respect to a proposition. The proposition consists of two basic types of concepts: arguments and predicates.
• Pragmatics and Semantic Structure: politeness, persuasions, and other pragmatic factors will influence what the final meaning of sentence will be.
• Basic Strategies: this component identifies certain properties of the Semantic Structure and assigns searches to be done of the Stored Items and Transformational rules.
• Phonetic Structure and Acoustic signal: the phonetic Structure is a psychological level which represents the pronunciation of the sentence. It consists of the discrete speech sounds and prosodic features (pitch, stress, etc.).
c. Some features of sentence understanding
Fodor, Bever, and Garret have postulated that a string of incoming words are first identified in terms of their grammatical class (noun, verb, etc) so that for English a syntactic strategy like

NP + V + NP → Subject + Verb + Direct Object

can apply. This means that the first NP is identified as the Subject, while the NP that follows the V is identified as the Direct Object. Such as in the sentence ‘The cat chased the mouse.’
Basic strategies are better specified in terms of semantic aspects. Thus rather than the strategy of NP + V + NP → Subject, etc, the strategy would be a semantic strategy, something like

Living thing + Action + Thing → Agent + Action + Action’s object

Here, with the identification of the individual concepts of ‘living Thing’, ‘Action’ and ‘Thing’, the semantic roles of ‘Agent’ and ‘Action’s Object’ are assigned with respect to ‘Action’. Thus, given a sentence like ‘Mary pushed Sally’, the first word of ‘Mary’ (assuming for convenience a single word-by-word analysis) will be immediately identified in the Stored Items as the name of a person, person being an item that includes the meaning of living thing.

5. The Psychological Unreality of Chomsky’s Grammar
a. The psychological contradiction in Chomsky’s theorizing
The content of the rules of grammar are thus determined by the directional relationship which Chomsky postulated with respect to the levels of his grammar. But, he declares that it would be ‘absurd’ to propose that in producing a sentence a speaker would start from the initial letter S, construct a D-structure line by line, then insert lexical items and apply transformations to form a S-structure, etc. Thus, Chomsky asserts, the process of generating a linguistic derivation is not a process that a speaker would ever employ in producing a sentence. The same would be true for the understanding of sentences – a performance process that must begin with sound and not the letter S and a variety of syntactic principles.
Now, since the direction order in Chomsky’s grammar is psychologically unreal, and since the content of his grammatical principles and parameters are determined by this directional order, we can only conclude that Chomsky’s principle and parameters are as the psychologically unreal as the psychologically unreal order on which they were based. (see more Steinberg, 1976 and 1982, pp. 77-80)

6. The Anti-Mentalist Skeletons in Chomsky’s Closet
How is it that Chomsky’s theorizing has resulted in this internal psychological contradiction? The facts show that Chomsky was not always a Mentalist and that the psychological theorizing for his grammar came some years later.
We find that Chomsky supporting Bloomfield, a pro-Behaviorist linguist, in his attack on Mentalist, ideas and meanings (ideas and meanings are attacked because such abstract entities lead to a theory of mind). Chomsky, in his work 1955, devoted over a hundred pages to attacking the relevance of semantics to grammar. Even so, semantics was given only a secondary role. Syntax continued to be given the primary autonomous role in the grammar. Because Chomsky continued to give syntax a primary role, mentalistic claims about his grammar, that Chomsky fell into psychological self-contradiction. Not even his brilliant competence-performance solution was enough to save the theory, although it did serve to detract critics from focusing psychological attention on the grammar.

Children vs Adults in Second-Language Acquisition

Posting by Ade Tuty Anggriany | 5:00 PM

1. A Common Belief
Most people believe that children are better than adults when attempting to learn a second language. Factors involved in second-language acquisition can be divided into two kinds, the psychological and the social. Intellectual processing which is involved in the determination of grammatical structures and rules, memory which is essential for learning to occur, and motor skills which involve the use of articulators of speech, are the psychological factors that should be considered. While the type of situations, settings and interactions which affect our ability to learn a second language, in particular the natural and classroom situations, are the social factors that should be considered.

2. Psychological Factors Affecting Second-Language Learning
a. Intellectual processing

There are two ways to learn the structure and rules of a second language: someone can explain them to you or you can figure them out for yourself. The first way may be termed ’explication’, the second ‘induction’.
Explication is the process whereby the rules and the structures of a second language are explained to the learner in his or her native language. No second language can be learned entirely by such means. Explication may even be a faster means of learning than induction, since induction requires that a learner be repeatedly exposed to words, phrases and sentences along with relevant situation that give some induction as to their meaning.
Learning by self discovery is the essence of the process of induction. The child who is exposed to second language speech and remembers what he or she has heard will be able to analyze and discover the generalization or rule that underlies the speech. Negation and the plural are learned by induction and become part of a young native speaker’s language knowledge quite early long before the child enters school.
b. Memory
Memory is crucial to learning. It is conceivable that a person with severe memory impairment could ever learn his or her native language, much less a second language. The learning of the simplest word requires memory. Memory is similarly crucial for the learning of grammatical structures and rules. It is only through memory that a child can accumulate the vast amount of speech and relevant situational data which serve as a basis for analyzing structures and formulating rules, processes which constitutes induction.
The kind of simple memorization where words, phrases and sentences are remembered just as they are is called ‘rote’ memorization by psycholinguist. While children at age 5 or 6 still display a phenomenal ability at rote memorization, it seems that older children do not, with some decline beginning around 8 years of age and with more of a decline from about 12 years of age. It seems that children’s age can be divided into two categories under 7 years and 7 to 12 years. By 50, for example there appears to be decrease of about 20 per cent in the number of the brain cells in the cortex; by 75 years of age that loss will have reached approximately 40 per cent. In the normally aging brain, long term memories seem relatively unaffected; with one’s knowledge of the world, built up over decades, remaining intact. On the other hand the ability to deal successfully with material such as list of new names and words is affected.
c. Motor skills
Good pronunciation, which is related to the ability to control the organs of speech, is clearly essential part of learning a foreign language. Jaws, lips, tongue; vocal chords are controlled by muscles, all of which are under the general control the brain. The particular motor skill of speech pronunciation is best developed at a younger age. Somewhere around the age of 10 and 12 years the ability to acquire new motor skills begins to decline. Children learning a second language typically learn to speak it with a pronunciation that is indistinguishable from that of native speaker. Children under the age of 7 years are rated ‘high’ on all psychological factors except ‘explicative’ processing, while, adults are rated ‘high’ on ‘inductive’ and ‘explicative’ processing but ‘low’ on ‘memory’ and ‘motor skills’.

3. Social Situations Affecting Second-Language Learning
a. The natural situation
A natural situation for second-language learning is one where the second language is experienced in a situation that is similar to that in which the native language is learned. Speaking as one gets older there is a decline in the kind of social interactions which promotes language learning. For adults, social interaction mainly occurs through the medium of language. Few native speakers’ adults are willing to devote time to interacting with someone who does not speak the language. The adult foreigner will have little opportunity to engage in meaningful language exchange except for picking up bits of language that are experienced in the workplace or in shopping. The older the child, the greater the role that language p[lays in social interaction and the more the person will experience difficult in being accepted.
b. The classroom situation
The classroom for second language learning is planned, or some might say, an artificially constructed, situation. In the natural situation, language is but one aspect of life, an aspect which accompanies other life events. In the classroom language it becomes the prime aspect of life around which all else revolves. There are characteristic of the planned classroom which distinguishes it from the natural situation. They are include social adjustment to group process, the need to attend class in order to learn, the need for long periods of concentration and having to do home study. Young children will do quite poor in comparison to older children and adults.

4. Who is better?
a. The natural situation
In the natural situation, younger children will do best. Natural situation is more favorable to children because adults undergo a marked decline in the quality and the quantity of the social interaction conductive to good language learning. In a natural situation, the social activities of children especially young children expose them to massive amounts of good, natural language. It will be easier for children to learn syntax than it will be for adults. Because adults undergo decline in memory and without remembered data there nothing to analyze.
Younger children will have an advantage of over adults in learning the grammar of second language. Older children can be expected to learn faster than adults because of a better memory. Children posse the flexibility in motor skills which adults do not have, children will do much better in acquiring native pronunciation in a second language. It can be conclude that in all respects of language learning, for the natural situation children will do better than adults with younger children doing better than older children.

b. The classroom situation
In the classroom situation adults will do better than young children because they know how to be students. They have sufficient maturity to meet the rigours of a formal learning environment, where concentration, attention and even the ability to sit still for a long time, all play a role in learning. The best age to learn a second language in a classroom situation is probably that age where the individual retains much of the memory and motor skills of the very young. But where the individual has begun to reason and understand like an adult. That age would probably be somewhere around 12 years.

5. Critical Age
It is safe to affirm the view that there is no critical age in terms of acquiring the syntax of a second language. One psycholinguist, Thomas Scovel claimed that no adult can ever be successful in that regard. The critical period for accent less speech simply means that adults will never learn to pass themselves off as native speakers phonologically.

Language Change

Posting by Ade Tuty Anggriany | 11:04 PM

Traditional View
The traditional view of language change is the only changes that are important in a language are those that can be demonstrated to have structural consequences. Consequently, over a period of time a distinction between two sounds may be lost in a language, as occurred historically in most varieties of English in the vowels of meet and meat or horse and hoarse. A distinction may be gained where there was none before, as in a house with an [s] but to house with a [z], or finally in thin and thing, the [n] and [ŋ]. In each of these cases a single phonological unit became two: there was a structural split. So we can find instances of phonemic coalescence, situations in which a contrast existed at one time but later was lost, and instances of phonemic split, situations in which there was no contrast at one time but a contrast developed. Variation is either controlled by circumstances, e.g. allophonic (as when the p in pin is aspirated but the p in spin is not), or it is free, i.e. random. Internal change in a language is observed through its consequences.

A second kind of change in a language is external in nature. This is change brought about through borrowing. Of these two kinds of change, internal and external, linguists view the former as being far more important even though it is the latter that is inclined to come to public attention, as when efforts are made to ‘purify’ languages.
The traditional view of language change also favors a ‘family tree’ account of change and of the relationships among languages. Linguists tend to reconstruct the histories of related languages or varieties in such a way that sharp differentiations are made between those languages or varieties, so that at one point in time one thing (that is a language itself, or a variety, or even a specific linguistic item) splits into two or more, or it lost.

Some changes in Progress
Various linguists have observed and reported on what they consider to be changes in progress. Phonetician, Gimson (1962, pp. 83-5) has observed that in Received Pronunciation (RP) the first part of the diphthong in a word like home is tending to become increasingly centralized and the whole diphthong itself monophthongized. This tendency is seen mostly in the pronunciation of the younger members of fairly exclusive upper-class and professional social group, but it can also be observed to be spreading into less exclusive varieties of RP, e.g. the more general variety favored by the BBC (see also Rosewarne, 1994, for the development now referred to as ‘Estuary English’). Bailey (1973, p. 19) has pointed out that in the western United States the distinction between the vowels in such pairs of words as naughty and notty, caught and cot, and Down and Don is disappearing.
In each of the examples just cited the factor of age seems to be important: younger speakers can be observed to use the language differently from older speakers.
One study which was able to make use of roughly comparable sets of data from two periods of time is Labov’s study (1963) of certain sound changes in progress on Martha’s Vineyard. The explanation that Labov offers is that the change is merely an exaggeration of an existing tendency to centralize the first part of the diphthong. At the time of the survey for the Linguistic Atlas, it appeared that this centralizing tendency was being eliminated. It was virtually extinct in (aw) and in only moderate use in (ay). What has happened apparently is that, instead of eliminating the tendency, residents have exaggerated it to show their solidarity and their difference from the summer population.
Labov (1981, p. 185) points out that, when found, such behavior is a characteristic of the second-highest status group in a society. It is found in that group when its members adopt a formal style, and it is also found when they self-report their linguistic usage, and respond to subjective reaction tests that require them to evaluate their own and others’ linguistic usages.
What is important is that it is the women of a particular social class who seem to be in the vanguard of change so far as r is concerned in New York City. In this case, the change seems to be motivated by a desire to be like those who have higher social prestige. Trudgill found that the distribution of the variants of the (ng) variable showed that there were very marked differences between the usage of working-class males and working-class females: males favored the [n] variant (i.e., pronunciations such as singin’ rather than singing) much more than did females. He found similar results with other variables, with woman showing much stronger preferences for standard forms than men. He suggests that women may be more status-conscious because they are less secure and have less well developed social networks than men. Another important factor in this differential usage is that working-class speech has connotations of ‘masculinity’ and women often want to dissociate themselves from it for that reason, preferring types of speech which are regarded as more refined. Trudgill devoted a considerable part of his research effort to investigating working-class speech and what he calls the ‘hidden values associated with non-standard speech [which may be] particularly important in explaining the sex differentiation of linguistic variables’ (p. 183).
A further analysis showed that both middle-class and working-class speakers produced very much the same levels of under-and over-reporting, so the phenomenon appears to be sex-linked rather than social-class-linked. Trudgill emphasizes that, though it may be correct that in certain communities middle aged-class women and the young are in the forefront of change toward the standard norm, ‘in Norwich, at least, there appears to be considerable number of young WC [working-class] men marching resolutely in the other direction’ (p. 194).
Cheshire’s (1978) finding in Reading, England, that lower-class boys use more nonstandard syntax than lower-class girls further supports the thesis that change may be motivated by a desire for solidarity.
A Spanish community Holmquist (1985) described how women show preferences for a standard variety of a language rather than a nonstandard one and for marital partners who speak that standard variety. Woman may be more active participants than men in some changes, but the situation may be reversed in others. Although the young are usually in the vanguard of most changes, in some it is the not-so-young who lead.

The Process of Change
Bright (1960) examined the Brahmin and non-Brahmin caste dialects. His examination revealed that the Brahmin dialect seems to have undergone unconscious change, that is, changes in phonology and morphology. He suggested that the upper-class appear to originate sound change at the phonetic level and that, in their chase to initiate such phonetic changes, the lower classes bring about change at the phonemic level, that is, changes which eventually have structural consequences for the language. This is indeed what happens when the social distribution of the variants is caste-based rather than class-based.
Labov (1981) has pointed out how difficult it is to get the right kinds of data on which to base claims about linguistic change in progress and how easy it is to make either false claims or incorrect predictions, giving several instances of the latter from Switzerland, Paris, and Philadelphia (pp. 177-8). He stresses the importance of having good data on which to base claims. Since individual linguistic usage tends also to vary in fixed ways according to the age of the individual, such age-grading must also be taken into account because this process is an independent one. That is, the relationship between diachronic (historical) matters and synchronic (descriptive) one is a two-way relationship. That is what Labov calls a ‘dynamic dimension’ to synchronic structure, so that the past helps to explain the present and the present helps to explain the past.
Labov (1972b, pp. 178-80) proposes a rather detailed outline of what he considers to be the best the basic mechanism of sound change. The mechanism has thirteen stages, and Labov points out that the first eight deal with what he calls change from below, that is, change from below conscious awareness, whereas the last five deal with change from above, that is brought about consciously. (p. 204)
All the model is useful in that it tries to deal with certain complex issues in an elegant way: the issues of both conscious and sub-conscious induced linguistic change; the place that social class plays in such changes; and such concepts as ‘indicators,’ ‘markers,’ ‘stereotype,’ and ‘hypercorrection.’
Change from above is conscious change. This change is to involve a movement toward standard linguistic norms. It is actually not initiated within the highest social group in society. This group is a kind of reference group to groups lower down in the social scale. Change from below is unconscious and away from existing norms. Many observers believe that in our society such as ours women are in the vanguard of the first kind of change and men in the vanguard of the second, because members of the two sexes have different motives. In this view women are motivated to conform to, and cooperate with, those who are socially more powerful whereas men are more inclined to seek solidarity with peers.
Labov viewed (1994, p. 23) that ‘cities have always been at the center of linguistic innovation. Labov adds that his conclusions are valid only for the speech of non-blacks in Philadelphia. Blacks do not use this vowel system at all, preferring instead one usually referred to as the Black English System. He suggests that the future direction of change in the vowel system in Philadelphia will depend very much on social changes that are occurring in the city.
Bailey and Maynor (1989) have also proposed that Black English and Standard English are diverging in the Brazon Valley in Texas with only Black speakers using constructions like ‘he always be tryin’ to catch up’ and resisting the adoption of post-vocalic r in words like farm.
Butters (1989) argue that there is no evidence to support the divergence claim. He points out that the though there may be divergent features there are also convergent ones. Wolfram (1990) also discusses the idea that these varieties of English, are diverging and concludes that the evidence is ‘flimsy’ (p. 131) James and Lesley Milroy (1992) are two others linguists who are interested in how change begins. They says that, ‘groups linked internally mainly by relatively weak ties are susceptible to innovation and add that ‘innovation between groups are generally transmitted by means of weak rather than strong network ties. They point out that change begins therefore in the middle of social class hierarchy’ is entirely consistent with Labov’s finding that innovating groups are located centrally in the class structure, characterized by him as upper-working or lower-middle class.
Eckert’s findings (1988, 1989, and 1991) what she calls ‘jocks’ and ‘burnouts’. Life style also seems to be a factor of change. Jocks are either middle-class students or students with middle-class aspirations, and Burnouts are either working-class students or students who wish to identify themselves as such. Jocks tend to be college-bound and white-collar-oriented; burnouts will leave school for the blue-collar workplace. Jocks willingly participate in the activities of the schools; burnouts find activities outside school more attractive. Burnouts were much more active than Jocks in participating in the kinds of vowel shifting that are occurring in the northern cities of the United States.
What is particularly interesting about such shifts is that they are slow, unconscious, and systematic, i.e. they have a ’direction’. Much Lobov’s work is concerned with trying to understand these kinds of systematic changes and how individuals participate in them.
Whenever the change begins and whatever its causes, it is not an instantaneous event for the language as a whole. It has to establish itself. A number of linguists have proposed a theory of change called lexical diffusion. According to this theory, a sound change spreads gradually through the words in which the change applies. For example, a change in vowel quality is not instantaneous, affecting at some specific point in time all words in which that vowel occurs, as if you went to bed one night with vowel quality A in those words and got up next morning with vowel quality B. Instead, only some words that have the vowel will be affected initially, then others, then still others, and so on until the change is complete.
The wave of theory of change and the theory of lexical diffusion are very much alike. Each attempts to explain how a linguistic change spreads through a language: the wave theory makes claims about how people are affected by change whereas lexical diffusion makes claims concerning how a particular change actually occurs.


Posting by Ade Tuty Anggriany | 2:33 AM

In multilingual communities, speakers switch among languages or varieties as monolinguals switch among styles. Language choice is not arbitrary and not all speech communities are organized in the same way. Through the selection of one language over another or one variety of the same language over another speakers display what may be called ‘acts of identity’, choosing the groups with whom they wish to identity.

The first step in understanding what choices are available to speakers is to gain some idea of what languages and varieties are available to them in a particular social context. Context here is the varieties made available either officially or not within boundaries of a nation-state.
There are two ways that most studies of societal bilingualism use to determine the linguistic composition in a nation-state, large-scale survey and census statistic. A census statistic operates under limitations of time and money, and thus of many facets such as extent of interference between languages, switching, etc. cannot be investigated in any detail. On the other hand, large-scale survey can yield data on bilingualism for a population of much greater size than any individual linguist or team could hope to survey in a lifetime.
As a result, there are two kinds of bilingualism, de facto bilingualism and de jure bilingualism. There are often fewer bilingual individuals in de jure bilingual states than in those where de facto bilingualism occurs. In case of de jure bilingualism, knowledge about the demographic concentration of particular ethnic minorities is necessary for the implementation of language legislation.
A domain is an abstraction which refers to a sphere of activity representing a combination of specific times, settings and role relationships. For example, in Puerto Rican community in New York City, Spanish or English was used consistently in five domains: family, friendship, religion, employment, and education. The way in which these variables were manipulated determined the extent to which the domain configuration was likely to be perceived as congruent or incongruent.
In each domain there may be pressures of various kinds e.g. economic, administrative, cultural, political, religious, etc. which influence the bilingual towards use of one language rather than the other. Therefore, it is not possible to predict with absolute certainty which language an individual will use in a particular situation.
A situation where language or variety in a multilingual community serves a specialized function and is used for particular purposes is called as Diglossia. In Diglossia, there are H and L variety of language used by the people. The H and l varieties differ not only in grammar, phonology and vocabulary, but also with respect to a number of social characteristics, namely function, prestige, literary heritage, acquisition, standardization, and stability.
Diglossic societies are marked not only by this compartmentalization of varieties, but also by restriction of access, which can be illustrated in the importance attached by community members to using the right variety in the appropriate context.
Then, the relationship between individual bilingualism and societal Diglossia is not a necessary or causal one. Either phenomenon can occur without the other one. Diglossia both with and without bilingualism may be a relatively stable, long-term arrangement, depending on the circumstances.
There are many bilingual situations which do not last for more than three generations. In cases such as bilingualism without diglossia, the two languages compete for use in the same domains. Speakers are unable to establish the compartmentalization necessary for survival of the L variety. In such instances a shift to another language may be unavoidable. There is a story of language diversity in Australia. The Aboriginal languages have been in decline since their speakers came into contact with Europeans in the eighteenth century. Some linguists predict that if nothing is done, almost all Aboriginal languages will be dead by the year 2000.
Many smaller languages are dying out due to the spread of a few world languages, such as English, French, Chinese, Russian, and Arabic. Choices made by individuals on an everyday basis have an effect on the long-term situation of the languages concerned. Language shift generally involves bilingualism (often with diglossia) as a stage on the way to eventual monolingualism in a new language. Typically a community which was once monolingual becomes bilingual as a result of contact with another group and becomes transitionally bilingual in the new language until their own language is given up altogether.
There is an illustration of this which is found in an investigation of the use of German and Hungarian in the Austrian village of Oberwart. Villagers who were formerly Hungarian monolinguals, have over the past few hundred years become increasingly bilingual, and now the community is in the process of a shift to German. Once the process of shift has begun in certain domains and the functions of the languages are reallocated, the prediction is that it will continue until the whole community has shifted to German.
In some cases shift occurs as a result of forced or voluntary immigration to a place where it is not possible to maintain one’s native language. The ultimate loss of a language is termed language death. Many factors are responsible for language shift and death, e.g. religious and educational background, settlement patterns, ties with the homeland, extent of exogamous marriage, attitudes of majority and minority language groups, government policies concerning language and education, etc. the inability of minorities to maintain the home as an intact domain for the use of their language has often been decisive for language shift.
In a community whose language is under threat, it is difficult for children to acquire the language fully. Language undergoing shift often display characteristic types of changes, such as simplification of complex grammatical structures. These changes are often the result of decreased use of the language in certain contexts, which may lead to a loss of stylistic options. The degree of linguistic assimilation may serve as an index of social assimilation of a group. It depends on many factors, such as receptiveness of the group to the other culture and language, possibility of acceptance by the dominant group, degree of similarity between the two groups, etc.
Although the existence of bilingualism, diglossia, and code-switching have often been cited as factors leading to language death, in some cases code-switching and diglossia are positive forces in maintaining bilingualism. In many communities switching between languages serves important functions.
Here are some utterances which are switched by other languages:
1. kio ke six, seven hours te school de vic spend karde ne, they are speaking English all the time (Panjabi/English bilingual in Britain): ‘Because they spend six or seven hours a day at school, they are speaking English all the time’
2. Will you rubim off? Ol man will come (Tok Pisin/English bilingual child in Papua New Guinea): ‘Will you rub [that off the blackboard]? The men will come’
3. Sano että tulla tänne että I’m very sick (Finnish/English bilingual): ‘Tell them to come here that I’m very sick’
4. Kodomotachi liked it (Japanese/English bilingual): ‘The children liked it’
5. Have agua, please (Spanish/English bilingual child): ‘Have water, please’
6. Won o arrest a single person (Yoruba/English bilingual): ‘They did not arrest a single person’
7. This morning I hantar my baby tu dekat babysitter tu lah (Malay/English bilingual): ‘This morning I took my baby to the babysitter’
In these cases we can see that a switch of languages can be occurred whether in the initial, in the middle, or in the last of the sentence. Instances where a switch or mixing of languages occurs within the boundaries of a clause or sentence have been termed intra-sentential switches. While where the switching occurs at clause boundaries is called inter-sentential switches. Interlocutor suggests that the ideal bilingual switches from one language to another according to appropriate changes in the speech situation, but not in an unchanged speech situation. It has often been said that bilingualism is a step along the road to linguistic extinction.
There is an approach has investigated speakers’ reasons for switching on the assumption that the motivation for switching is basically stylistic and that switching is to be treated as a discourse phenomenon which cannot be satisfactorily handled in terms of the internal structure of sentences. Various grammatical principles have been proposed for switching, such the one called the equivalence constraint, which predicts that code switches will tend to occur at points where the juxtaposition of elements from the two languages does not violate a syntactic rule of either language. This means that a language switch ought to take place only at boundaries common to both languages and switching should not occur between any two sentence elements unless they are normally ordered in the same way.
Many linguists have stressed the point that switching is a communicative option available to a bilingual member of a speech community on much the same basis as switching between styles or dialects is an option for the monolingual speaker. A speaker may switch for a variety of reasons, for example to redefine the interaction as appropriate to a different social arena, or to avoid, through continual code-switching, defining the interaction in terms of any social arena. The latter function of avoidance is an important one because it recognizes that code-switching often serves as a strategy of neutrality or as a means to explore which code is most appropriate and acceptable in a particular situation.

Become a Better Speaker

Posting by Ade Tuty Anggriany | 4:03 PM

Nowadays, Indonesia is in Globalization Era and has become a development country. The development of technology grows rapidly. The people can come in and out of our country freely, they come from different countries. Therefore, we are expected to be able to communicate and get socialization with them well. Actually, all of us can speak English. Moreover, we are as English Department Students, but not all of us have a bravery to communicate with the foreigners who come to Indonesia. It is caused most of us still lack of vocabularies, afraid of making mistakes when we are talking, and so on. Without communication, we will not be able to develop, otherwise we will face difficulties to communicate, and as the result we will be eliminated.

Of course, all of us don’t want to be eliminated in our own country and let the foreigners become the authority. If it is occurred, we will be the audiences of them and can’t do anything. So that, we must be brave to compete with them by making a good relationship. But if you still afraid, you don’t need to worry about that because I will give you some tips to anticipate it.

Step 1

Practice aloud. The only way to become a better speaker is to practice speaking. At first, you'll likely feel uncomfortable speaking in front of an audience. However, you can improve your speaking ability by reading aloud, or reciting a monologue to yourself or friend. Enunciate your words and speak clearly.

Step 2

Slow down. Speaking too rapidly can result in muddle speech and poor word choice. Think before you speak. People who speak too fast often rush their thoughts.

Step 3

Take a public speaking class. Several job positions entail oral presentations. Employees who lack speaking ability might consider enrolling in a public speaking course. These classes are an excellent tool, and they train students on how to speak with confidence and conviction.

Step 4

Expand your vocabulary. A limited vocabulary can impact the way a person expresses themselves. In turn, this can affect oral communication. Attempt to learn a new word every few days, and incorporate this word into your everyday speech. Be natural and use the word in the proper context.

Step 5

Relax. Due to nervousness, some people cannot communicate well with others. Shyness and anxiety can affect your speech. Learn how to relax. Breathing exercises can help. Once your mind and body calms down, your speech will be clear and understandable.

Step 6

Give yourself a break. It takes time to develop good speaking ability. Be patient and continue to practice. You'll encounter a few setbacks. Nevertheless, your oral communication skills will continue to improve little-by-little.

In short, to be able to compete with other countries, we should master English well, so that we can communicate and follow the development in our country. Remember, it’s not easy to state our ideas in front of many people without learning the steps that I told you.

Kind Of Test And Testing

Posting by Ade Tuty Anggriany | 3:59 PM

We use tests to obtain information. The information that we hope to obtain will of course vary from situation to situation. It is possible, nevertheless, to categorize tests according to a small number of kinds of information being sought. This categorization will prove useful both in deciding whether an existing test suitable for a particular purpose and in writing appropriate new tests where these are necessary. There are four kinds of tests:

1. Proficiency Tests

Proficiency tests are designed to measure people’s ability in a language regardless of any training they may have had in that language. The content of a proficiency test is based on a specification of what candidates have to be able to do in the language in order to be considered proficient. Proficient means having sufficient command of the language for a particular purpose. There are other proficiency tests which do not have an occupation or course of study in mind. For instance, Cambridge examinations and the Oxford EFL examinations, the function of these tests is to show whether candidates have reached a certain standard with respect to certain specified abilities. Though there is no particular purpose in mind for the language, these general proficiency tests should have detailed specifications saying just what it is that successful candidates will have demonstrated that they can do. All users of a test can then judge whether the test is suitable for them, and can interpret test results.

2. Achievement Tests

Achievement tests are directly related to language courses, their purpose being to establish how successful individual students, groups of students, or the courses themselves have been in achieving objectives. There are two kinds of achievement tests: final achievement test and progress achievement test.

Final achievement tests are those administered at the end of a course of study. They may be written and administered by ministries of education, official examining boards, or by members of teaching institutions. The content of these tests must be related to the courses with which they are concerned, and should be based directly on a detailed course syllabus or on the books and other materials used. This has been referred to as the ‘syllabus-content approach’. The disadvantage of this approach is that if the syllabus is badly designed, or the books and other materials are badly chosen, then the results of a test can be very misleading. The alternative approach is to base the test content directly on the objectives of the course. The advantages of this approach are it compels course designers to be explicit about objectives; it makes it possible for performance on the test to show just how far students have achieved those objectives; it will provide more accurate information about individual and group achievement, and it is likely to promote a more beneficial backwash effect on teaching.

Progress achievement tests are intended to measure the progress that students are making. Since progress is towards the achievement of course objectives, these tests too should relate to objectives. One way of measuring progress would be repeatedly to administer final achievement tests, the increasing scores indicating the progress made.

3. Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic tests are used to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses. They are intended primarily to ascertain what further teaching is necessary. By this, teachers can be fairly confident of their ability to create tests that will tell them that a student is particularly weak in a certain subject.

4. Placement Tests

Placement tests are intended to provide information which will help to place students at the stage of the teaching program most appropriate to their abilities. Typically they are used to assign students to classes at different levels. The placement tests which are most successful are those constructed for particular situations. They depend on the identification of the key features at different levels of teaching in the institution.

In addition, there are four test constructions: direct versus indirect testing; discrete point versus integrative testing; norm-referenced versus criterion-referenced testing; and objective versus subjective testing.

1. Direct Versus Indirect Testing

Testing is said to be direct when it requires the candidate to perform precisely the skill which we wish to measure. For example, if we want to know how well candidates can write compositions, we get them to write compositions. Direct testing is easier to carry out when it is intended to measure the productive skills. Direct testing has a number of attractions: provided that we are clear about just what abilities we want to assess; at least in the case of productive skills, the assessment and interpretation of students’ performance is also quite straightforward; since practice for the test involves practice of the skills that we wish to foster, there is likely to be a helpful backwash effect.

Indirect testing attempts to measure the abilities which underlie the skills in which we are interested. The main appeal of indirect testing is that it seems to offer the possibility of testing a representative sample of a finite number of abilities which underlie a potentially indefinitely large number of manifestations of them. The main problem with indirect tests is that the relationship between performance on them and performance of the skills in which we are usually more interested tends to be rather weak in strength and uncertain in nature.

2. Discrete Point Versus Integrative Testing

Discrete point testing refers to the testing of one element at a time, item by item. This might involve, for example, a series of items each testing a particular grammatical structure. Integrative testing requires the candidate to combine many language elements in the completion of a task. This might involve writing a composition, making notes while listening to a lecture, taking a dictation, or completing a cloze passage. Discrete point tests will almost always be indirect, while integrative tests will tend to be direct. However, some integrative methods, such as the cloze procedure, are indirect.

3. Norm-referenced Versus Criterion-referenced Testing

Norm-referenced test is a test which is designed to give information about how the student performed on the test. It relates one candidate’s performance to that of other candidates. We are not told directly what the student is capable of doing in the language. Criterion-referenced test is a test which is designed to provide information about what the candidate can actually do in the language directly. The purpose of criterion-referenced tests is to classify people according to whether or not they are able to perform some task or set of tasks satisfactorily. Criterion-referenced tests have two positive virtues: they set standards meaningful in terms of what people can do, which do not change with different groups of candidates; and they motivate students to attain those standards.

4. Objective Versus Subjective Testing

The distinction here is between methods of scoring, and nothing else. If no judgment is required on the part of the scorer, then the scoring is objective. For example is a multiple choice test, with the correct responses unambiguously identified, would be a case in point. If judgment is called for, the scoring is said to be subjective. For example, the scoring of a composition. In general, the less subjective the scoring, the greater agreement there will be between two different scorers.


Posting by Ade Tuty Anggriany | 3:52 PM

Content Validity

A test is said to have content validity if its content constitutes a representative sample of the language skills, structures, etc. with which it is meant to be concerned. The test would have content validity only if it included a proper sample of the relevant structures, and it depends upon the purpose of the test. In order to judge whether or not a test has content validity, we need a specification of the skills or structures, etc. that it is meant to cover. A comparison of test specification and test content is the basis for judgments as to content validity. Ideally these judgments should be made by people who are familiar with language teaching and testing but who are not directly concerned with the production of the test in question. The importance of content validity are the greater a test’s content validity, the more likely it is to be an accurate measure of what it is supposed to measure; and such a test is likely to have a harmful backwash effect. The content of tests should be determined by what is important to test, not what is easy to test.

Criterion-related Validity

There are essentially two kinds of criterion related validity: concurrent validity and predicative validity. The first is Concurrent validity, it is established when the test and the criterion are administered at about the same time. To exemplify this kind of validation in achievement testing, we should consider a situation where course objectives call for an oral component as part of the final achievement test. To establish the concurrent validity of the component, we should choose at random a sample of all the students taking the test. The second kind of criterion-related validity is predicative validity. This concerns the degree to which a test can predict candidates’ future performance.

Construct Validity

A test, part of a test, or a testing technique is said to have construct validity if it can be demonstrated that it measures just the ability which it is supposed to measure. The word ‘construct’ refers to any underlying ability (or trait) which is hypothesized in a theory of language ability. Construct validation is a research activity, the means by which theories are put to the test and are confirmed, modified, or abandoned. It is through construct validation that language testing can be put on a sounder, more scientific footing. But it will not all happen overnight; there is a long way to go. In the meantime, the practical language tester should try to keep abreast of what is known. When in doubt, where it is possible, direct testing of abilities is recommended.

Face Validity

A test is said to have face validity if it looks as if it measures what it is supposed to measure. Face validity is hardly a scientific concept, yet it is very important. A test which does not have face validity may not be accepted by candidates, teachers, education authorities or employers. It may simply not be used; and if it is used, the candidates’ reaction to it may mean that they do not perform on it in a way that truly reflects their ability.

The Use of Validity

In constructing tests, every effort should be made to ensure content validity. Where possible, the tests should be validated empirically against some criterion. Particularly where it is intended to use indirect testing, reference should be made to research literature to confirm that measurement of the relevant underlying constructs has been demonstrated using the testing techniques that are to be used.


Posting by Ade Tuty Anggriany | 12:04 PM

1. Brain Structure and Functions

Fig. 1.1. Parts of Human Brain

Human brain consists of four major parts: modulla oblongata, pons varolli, cerebellum, cerebrum (cerebral cortex). The first three parts are associated with the physical functions, including breathing, heartbeat, transmission and coordination of movement, involuntary reflexes, digestion, emotional arousal, etc. While cerebrum (cerebral cortex) is one of the largest part of human brain, which is associated with the higher brain function such as thought and action.
The cerebrum (cerebral cortex) is divided into two hemispheres: right hemisphere and left hemisphere. These hemispheres are connected by one tissue, is called as corpus callosum. Each of this hemisphere consists of four lobes: frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe.

Fig. 1.2. Lobes of the Cerebrum (cerebral cortex)

Each of these lobe has its own function:
1. Frontal lobe, associated with reasoning, planning, parts of speech, emotions, and problem solving;
2. Parietal lobe, associated with orientation, recognition, and perception of stimuli;
3. Occipital lobe, associated with visual processing;
4. Temporal lobe, associated with perception and recognition of auditory stimuli, memory, and speech.

2. Hemispheric Dominance & Lateralization

In the human brain, there is a cross-over control in which the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body including the right hand, the right arm, the right side of the face, while the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body.
However, those who have suffered a stroke, although they can not move one sides of their body or even both sides of their body, but their sight and hearing organs will not be affected because there is a criss-cross control when it comes to the organs of sight and hearing.
Even though the hemispheres of the brain divide the labors of the body, they do not do so evenly. It can be said that the body can not serve two masters; it means one side must take charge. For instance, for right-handers, who predominate to use their right organs in doing anything, and vice versa for left-handers. It means that one of their hemispheres whether the left or right hemisphere dominates another hemisphere, it is called hemispheric dominance.