The assumption that performance in second language (L2) speech perception and speech production is aligned has received much debate in L2 research. Theoretical models such as the Motor Theory (MT) and Speech Learning Model (SLM) have described the relation between these two processes based on the assumption that speech is perceived with reference to how it is produced and speech production is in turn influenced by how well speech contrast is perceptible to the second-language learner. The present study aims to investigate this relation with regard to Iraqi learners' perception and production of English vowels, focussing on the role of L1 interference and English proficiency level in shaping this relation. The results of the present study showed that accurate perception may not necessarily be a prerequisite for accurate production especially for EFL learners at the elementary level. Perception and production score means were significantly different, revealing an asymmetrical relation between the two processes. The results showed that speech production of L2 learners at the elementary level exceeded their ability in speech perception. However, for the other three proficiency levels, perception and production seemed to develop in synchrony. The level of difficulty encountered in the perception and production tasks could be attributed to L1 interference, since the vowels that were better produced than perceived are all found in the L1 vowel system, while the only vowel that was better perceived is not in the L1 vowel system.
Speech perception, speech production, English vowels, Iraqi EFL learners, second language acquisition, pronunciation
This paper addresses the role of cognitive context in the interpretation of riddles within the framework of Relevance Theory. Relevance Theory, proposed by Sperber and Wilson (1986/1995), implicates assumptions suitable for the interpretation of how cognitive context is created in the act of riddling. It is argued that this theory shows how and why the riddlee resorts to the cognitive context to give appropriate resolution to the riddle. In this regard, the cognitive context proposed by Relevance Theory is more powerful than the co-text or the context of situation in giving appropriate interpretation to the riddle. The riddles under analysis are confined to one type of riddle, the metaphorical riddle, selected from Pepicello and Green's 1984 'The Language of Riddles'. The cognitive context here does not refer to the co-text or the context of situation but to the set of assumptions and beliefs in the mind of the riddlee about the world available to him in the process of riddle interpretation. The context determines the interpretation of an utterance while the lack of contextual information will lead to communication failure or misinterpretation. This relates to the fact that the cognitive context is affected differently by different individuals due to various factors ranging from one's cognitive ability to one's social and cultural experiences. Hence, riddle interpretation, according to Relevance Theory, is an inferential process where cognitive context determines the interpretation of the riddle.
Whether to satisfy one's hunger or just to indulge, gastronomy has always been a crucial part of the tourist experience. Given the importance of food in tourism, tourism promotional materials often promote destinations by highlighting appealing gastronomic experiences. Nevertheless, differences in terms of gastronomic preferences from one culture to another could possibly pose a challenge in cross-cultural tourism promotion and advertising, particularly in the case of translation. Bearing in mind that translated tourism promotional materials have at times been the subject of criticism among translation researchers, this paper attempts to investigate a multilingual Australian tourism website to explore the challenges involved in translating gastronomic experiences from English into Malay. Using the functional approach to translation, the paper analyses the English version of the website (source text) to see how gastronomy is used as a tool of persuasion to persuade Anglo readers and how it is translated into Malay. The Malay translation of the website (target text) is analysed to see whether it is coherent and consistent with the cultural situation in which it functions and whether it is suitable to perform its intended function of persuasion. The analyses revealed that the Malay translation, in general, did not take into consideration the fact that most of the themes and elements used to promote Australian cities gastronomically to the Anglo audience are not appealing to the Malay audience. This has resulted in the Malay translation being functionally inadequate. Based on the findings derived from the source text and target text analyses, potential strategies for the production of functionally adequate translations are proposed.
This paper reports on an action research to initiate a peer support centre at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities for enhancement of English Language presentation skills. The aim of the support centre is to create a platform for limited users of the English Language to receive additional coaching from more competent peers and senior students to carry out simple presentations and discussions in English. A group of 30 low-proficient students participated in this research with the help of 10 senior students as peer support. Peer support is well-known as a cooperative learning strategy that provides peer interaction. It also helps in the development of language. The role of peer support is to boost the mastery of English among low-proficiency students via planned activities. The peer support group received constant coaching and feedback from the team of researchers to sustain their efforts to support the students. This paper ends with the issues and challenges that were faced throughout the study in initiating a peer support centre.
English Language, presentation skills, peer support centre, peer support group, limited users of English, interaction
This study explored the challenges faced by instructors in integrating pragmatics instruction in their language classes. The participants of the study comprised 20 EFL Iranian instructors. Semi-structured interviews were used as the instrument for data collection and the data were analysed qualitatively using thematic analysis. Some pertinent and important challenges emerged from the data. Learners' lack of cultural literacy, lack of instructional media facilities, instructors' low implicit and explicit pragmatics knowledge and insufficient time in implementing the language syllabus were some. Other factors included the high volume of textbooks and lack of materials or input in teacher's guidebooks, which contributes to lack or ignorance of interlanguage pragmatics instruction among instructors. The implication of the findings is that it is necessary to include pragmatics information in instructor's guides, thereby enabling the teaching and dissemination of explicit information in relation to pragmatics issues in the language classroom. Instructors should be given sufficient input in guides and relevant materials to facilitate the teaching of this significant construct so that learners can acquire intercultural communicative competence and due emphasis can be given to pragmatics in teacher training courses.
Language and images used in advertisements, other than the dissemination of information, are more likely to reveal the cultural identity embedded in the advertisements. It is believed that the Chinese Language emphasises rhythmic use while the English Language is more likely to be more simple and direct. An added factor is the presence of Chinese culture, which tends towards collectivism and the allusion of the concept of auspiciousness, as opposed to the Western emphasis on individualism. As a result, advertising language in Chinese advertisements tends towards retaining the language's oriental traditional values, while the anglised version of the same advertisement often highlights personal accomplishments. This study examined two sets (a total of four advertisements) of the same advertisements published in both Chinese and English Language newspapers, magazines or 'business information' booklets in Malaysia; where the same pictures and backgrounds are retained. The findings indicate that the Chinese version tends to convey extra information and that these advertisements tend to embed more values that are traditional and cultural in comparison to their English counterparts.
Advertising discourse, cultural identity, cultural representation, language and culture, social representation, image symbolism
Politeness is influenced by cultural perspectives across cultures. Studies of politeness strategies in intercultural communication have often highlighted cultural speech acts in conversation discourse in various situations. This study investigates cultural politeness between Thai students and an expatriate lecturer and its features of Thai and Western speech acts in an online forum, a learning platform which has recently been introduced in Thai EFL university context. Due to variation in the cultural politeness of interlocutors, Thai students' politeness strategies are possibly misinterpreted in another culture, or they may fail to communicate illocutionary force in intercultural communication. The participants were 146 Thai EFL undergraduate students and an American lecturer, who was teaching an English and American cultural background course. The online entries were theoretically analysed and the findings were supported with data from focus-group interviews. The results show that the student participants were most likely to use Positive politeness, followed by Bald-On-Record politeness, Negative politeness and Off-Record politeness strategy when posting online entries to the lecturer. For features of Thai-Western politeness and speech acts, the respect phenomenon affected the language use of politeness strategies in posing intercultural difficulties. The analysis contributes to the overview of Thai and Western features of cultural politeness in a Thai online EFL setting.
Austroasiatic languages in Malaysia are considered as moribund languages because these languages are experiencing extinction. With regard to this issue, this writing focusses on one of the moribund languages in Peninsular Malaysia, namely the Kensiu Language, which currently is in an alarming state of disuse. The fact that the language is heading towards extinction led to this study as an effort to prevent this unique language from dying off. This language is spoken by the Kensiu people of Baling, Kedah. For the purpose of this paper, the researchers placed emphasis on the discussion of the noun phrase (NP) of the Kensiu Language. The analysis of the noun phrase of the Kensiu Language in this working paper comprises two aspects, namely, the descriptive and syntactic aspects. For the former aspect, the analysis describes the noun phrase of the Kensiu Language and all sequences that form a noun phrase. Based on the descriptive analysis, the researchers outline arguments on the X' syntactic structure of Kensiu's noun phrase using the X-bar theory. The analysis reveal that in the NP of the Kensiu Language, the complements and adjuncts are always on the right-hand side of the NP.
Auatroasiatics, Kensiu, X-bar, moribund, Peninsular Malaysia, Baling
Throughout the more than 50 years of Pablo Neruda's poetic career, natural places were a fundamental component of his poetry. Neruda was a major 20th century Latin American and Nobel Prize winning poet who was famous as a political poet. This paper examines the concept of 'place' in Neruda's selected poems to reveal his experiences and emotions connected to specific places. 'Place' is an essential component of ecopoetry. In this paper, we utilise the conceptual framework of ecopoetry, which is a sub-theory of ecocriticism. Ecopoetry is a genre of poetry that explores how human beings are connected to their habitat or home, how 'home' is defined and built, and how a sense of 'place' is invoked. In this paper, we scrutinise the relationship between man and place (nature) with an emphasis on ecological awareness. Therefore, the paper will illustrate how the environment is closely associated with the concept of place. Based on the evidence presented, we propose that Neruda was very much an ecopoet and a 'place maker'. Through his poetry, he establishes his poetic goal to achieve 'topophilia' or love of places by illustrating that the knowledge of spiritual belonging is the result of the knowledge of one's physical roots.
Pablo Neruda, ecopoetry, eco-criticism, place, place maker, identity, belonging, topophilia
This paper examines the estranged father-son relationship in the 2014 American drama film The Judge and explores how the protagonist, Judge Palmer, and his son, Hank, negotiate between their remorse at failing to form filial attachment and their continued defiance towards reconciliation. Both characters appear to mirror one another's emotional disconnection as each isolates himself in a cocoon of invisibility and lack of interaction. This mirroring gesture is a motif that recurs throughout the film, making evident the internal and external conflicts of the narrative. The finding of the study indicates that The Judge's fear and shame i.e. his inner conflict, is rooted in the numbing of his emotions towards his second son. The finding also indicates that only by accepting the aspect of fear and shame does the protagonist learn to admit both his past failure and his current estrangement from his son. This recognition of his fear and shame, as the investigation illustrates, leads to a recognition of his vulnerability. The construct of vulnerability used in this discussion can be defined as the empowering awareness of one's fragility in the face of conflict. Judge Palmer's acknowledgement of his fear and shame allowed him to understand and recognise the conflict he faced with his son, Hank. The implication of this reading is that when each man embraces his fear and shame through a sense of awareness of his past failures, the filial conflict between them begins to be resolved and the estrangement between the father and son appears to mend.
Fear, shame, vulnerability, numbing, mirroring, The Judge
Adrienne Kennedy, in her oeuvre, has addressed the intersecting complications of gender and race. Most of her plays have examined and explored the ways in which these categories are constructed in American society. Through her focus on the experience of African American female characters, Kennedy's theatrical work has illuminated the ways in which African American women are doubly oppressed. From this perspective, Sarah of the Funnyhouse of a Negro presents one of the most significant issues discussed by contemporary African American literature, which is the intersectionality of oppression. Funnyhouse was written in 1964, and the theory of intersectionality was established in 1989. Therefore, investigating the play through the lens of intersectionality reflects that Funnyhouse had advanced the time in which it had been written. The present paper aims to illustrate alienation through the lens of intersectionality to examine oppression and suffering experienced by Sarah. To accomplish this aim, the paper will focus on three dimensions presented in the play: race, gender issues and hybridity. Approaching these intersectional dimensions in the play helps to provide a full image of the alienation that Sarah was facing and suffering from the perspective of intersectionality.
Alienation, intersectionality, black feminism, oppression, Funnyhouse
Lady Macbeth's Daughter by Lisa Klein is a young adult novel that re-visions the storyline of William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Klein's text introduces the female voice and perspectives on the power struggle of men wanting to become King of Scotland. She also increases the supernatural elements in her novel, linking nature and the supernatural to the feminine element of life and being. This paper closely analyses and compares two different corpora, the original text and the re-visioned text, in analysing Lady Macbeth and her daughter, Albia's, desire for revenge from the female perspective by looking at their agency and their longing for masculinity. Through comparative analysis of both the novel and the play, the researcher finds that Lady Macbeth views a crime such as murder as a reflection of manhood. Therefore, she desires to have this masculine characteristic although she lacks agency in completing the task. Albia does not appear to need this sense of masculinity as she has a strongly rooted sense of her inner strength as a woman, thus she has a stronger sense of agency. She is also able to tap into the feminine supernatural due to her clairvoyant ability. This research will conceptualise female agency as an element that will be utilised in other literary texts with female characters who feel the need for a masculine proxy in order to fulfil their desire for revenge.
The study examines and compares the use of preposition-related collocations in the writing of Malaysian learners of English and British native speakers of English. The study seeks to answer two research questions: firstly, it sets out to quantify preposition-related collocation use among the Malaysian learners of English and British native speakers of English by measuring the statistical significance of the relevant collocation use in each group using Mutual Information (MI) and a t-score; and secondly, the study aims to identify types of collocational errors associated with prepositions studied in the current research. The frequency-based approach was adopted in the study to define collocations, with the node-and-collocates analysis employed to identify relevant preposition-related collocations. Two references were used to determine the acceptability or otherwise of the collocations: Google Internet search engine results and the online BNCweb corpus. The data revealed that Malaysian learners of English produce more preposition-related collocations than British native speakers of English do. In terms of collocational errors, a stark contrast in the writing of Malaysian learners of English and that of British native speakers of English is apparent, in which preposition-related collocational errors in the Malaysian learner corpus constitute 1% to 7% for certain prepositions, whereas British native speakers' writing was found to be totally free of collocational errors.
There is a plethora of social networking systems that allow individuals to meet and chat online with each other nowadays. This paper describes a preliminary study that investigates the effects of Social Networking (SN) on a group of Malaysian Secondary school students from an elite school. It explores their attitudes and behaviour towards SN: how it affects their social lives, and to what extent they are aware of the risks involved. A focus group interview was conducted on these students. The students were shown nine scenarios (one at a time) depicting various situations that portrayed the negative consequences of SN such as cyberbullying, texting and online predation. The students were asked to give their opinions regarding each scene as well as opinions regarding social networking in general. The findings revealed that the students generally have a favourable opinion of social networking and are aware of the benefits and the risks involved in using SN sites. On top of that, they are anxious about the negative effects of the SN sites due to their bad experiences but they still use the sites actively and habitually.
Attitudes, behaviours, cyberbullying, online predation, risks, social networking, texting
Malaysian Airlines System (MAS) was stricken by crisis on 8 March, 2014 when flight MH370, which was scheduled to land in Beijing the same day, lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control in Selangor, Malaysia. What happened to the flight remains a mystery till now. The incident necessitated a lot of press conferences as news of the progress of the Search and Rescue mission needed to be delivered. This study investigated how access to the floor during the MH370 press conferences was decided and regulated and how institutional power was portrayed by participants of the press conferences. Thirteen press conference videos were transcribed and analysed using the Conversation Analysis (CA) approach on institutional interaction and power behind discourse, which is part of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). The findings showed that turn-taking was regulated through five mechanisms, namely, pre-allocated turn, turn-allocation techniques, turn-taking cues, overlaps and interruptions. Furthermore, the results also revealed that apart from the role of participants and institutional arrangements, most of the turn-taking mechanisms were used to portray institutional power. The analysis leads to the conclusion that despite the apprehensive situation faced by all involved, turn-taking appeared to have had a central role in shaping institutional interaction and power representation of the MH370 press conferences. Based on the findings, a number of recommendations for authorities involved and suggestions for future research are provided. This study contributes to the area of discourse analysis, specifically, pertaining to press conferences.
In the social environment of Malaysia various languages are used in daily communication. It is common for Malaysians of the same linguistic background or Malaysians of different ethnicities, educational background or social strata to pepper their conversation with linguistic interference, interlingual code-mixing and code-switching. Code switching is a phenomenon that occurs in both formal and informal settings. Since the population of Malaysia is ethnically and linguistically heterogeneous, intercultural marriages among Malaysians occurs regardless of ethnic background and religious orientation. Marriage is viewed differently by couples of interracial marriages. The different perspective on marriage may reflect the linguistic choices of couples when they communicate with their spouses in the home. Studies have found that code-switching in interracial marriages in Malaysia occurs in informal settings in the home domain especially in verbal communication regardless of the family's ethnic background, be it Malay, Chinese or Indian. This research focusses on the types and functions of code-switching in a mixed Malay-Chinese family in the home domain. The types of code-switching were analysed using Poplack's (1980) types of code-switching while the functions of code-switching were further analysed using a conceptual framework developed by the researcher that was adapted from Appel and Muysken's (2005) functional model of code-switching and Hoffman's (1991) functions of code-switching.
Code-switching, code-mixing, multilingual, linguistics interference, Malay-Chinese family, home domain