TWU Thesis Collection

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Aspects of Switch Reference in Marubo, a Panoan Language of Western Amazonia
Title:
Contributor:
C. Sean Smith (author), Sean D. Allison (thesis supervisor), Steve M. Nicolle (second reader), Pilar M. Valenzuela (third reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
This thesis is a description of the switch reference system in Marubo (ISO 693-3 [mzr]), an underdescribed Panoan language of western Amazonia. Marubo has a fascinating switch reference system which carries a high functional load in the grammar. This complex system, comprised of nine markers, tracks referents across clauses, often displaying sensitivity to an argument’s grammatical role; temporal and logical relations are also encoded as extended functions of the markers. Of particular typological interest is the cross-referencing of O arguments with other S, A, or O arguments. Switch reference markers may occur in clause chains where they target either adjacent or non-adjacent clauses. In certain cases, the standard order of clauses may be reversed, often producing a reading which elaborates on the preceding information. In addition, non-coreferential clauses may be interposed in clause chains for brief alternations of topic. Lastly, areas which deserve more study are presented, such as the flexible use of switch reference to mark discontinuities related to time, weather and events. All data and analysis come from four years of immersion-based fieldwork by the author, with abundant examples from a variety of Marubo discourse genres.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2021
Comparative tense and aspect in the Mara Bantu languages : towards a linguistic history
Title:
Contributor:
John B. Walker (author), Jamin Pelkey (thesis supervisor), Sean Allison (second reader), Oliver Stegen (third reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
Through the elicitation of 91 Swahili sentences and the collection of one oral text, this research compares the TAM systems of several Mara Bantu languages (Tanzania/Kenya) with the aim of finding any shared "individual-­identifying" innovations (Nichols 1996) that can either affirm Mara as a coherent genetic linguistic sub-group (Schoenbrun 1990) or point toward a different historical scenario. A secondary goal is to provide a preliminary linguistic description of the TAM systems of five Mara languages: Ikizu (JE402, [ikz]), Ikoma (JE45, [ntk]), Kabwa (JE405, [cwa]), Simbiti (JE431, [ssc]), and Zanaki (JE44, [zak]). The research concludes that there is sufficient "individual-identifying" evidence from TAM systems to validate both a North Mara and a South Mara sub­group (Schoenbrun 1990). There is not, on the other hand, a sufficient base of shared "individual-­identifying" innovations to propose a unique proto-Mara TAM system uniting North Mara and South Mara at a post-proto-Great Lakes phase of development.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2013
Constructions and result: English phrasal verbs as analysed in construction grammar
Title:
Contributor:
Anna Olson (author), Emma Pavey (thesis supervisor), Sean Allison (second reader), David Weber (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
This thesis explores the difference between separable and non-separable transitive English phrasal verbs, focusing on finding a reason for the non-separable verbs’ lack of compatibility with the word order alternation which is present with the separable phrasal verbs. The analysis is formed from a synthesis of ideas based on the work of Bolinger (1971) and Gorlach (2004). A simplified version of Cognitive Construction Grammar is used to analyse and categorize the phrasal verb constructions. The results indicate that separable and non-separable transitive English phrasal verbs are similar but different constructions with specific syntactic reasons for the incompatibility of the word order alternation with the non-separable verbs.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2013
The Determiner in Makary Kotoko Narrative Discourse: Attention Guidance and Salience
Title:
Contributor:
Hannah C Olney (author), Steve Nicolle (thesis supervisor), Sean Allison (second reader), Joseph Lovestrand (third reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
The Makary Kotoko [Chadic] determiner is not a grammatically obligatory marker. Although constrained by the identifiability of the referent, speakers are not required to use the determiner in any particular instance. In narrative texts, the distribution of the determiner can be understood through the principles of attention guidance and salience. The primary pattern of distribution is “salience tracking”, where referents receive determiner marking any time they are directly involved in the narrative. Exceptions to this pattern still contribute to the narrator’s overall goal of attention guidance. In addition, two of the nine texts analyzed displayed a different distribution pattern, “salience flagging”, where the determiner occurred less frequently but still for the purpose of attention guidance. Finally, I propose that the difference between these two patterns may be a result of the process of determiner grammaticalization.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2021
Dividing to Connect: An Ethnography of Canal Zone Americans
Title:
Contributor:
Marilee R Brewer (author), Jamin R Pelkey (thesis supervisor), Edgar D Trick (second reader), Lori P Gardner (third reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
This thesis is a linguistic ethnography of the Americans who moved from the Panama Canal Zone to the U.S. when the Canal was sold to Panama. Theirs was a society of authoritarian socialism, lived beneath the Zone’s official motto: “The Land Divided, The World United.” Close-knit, but wary of outsiders, they called themselves “Zonians.” Using Thomas More’s Utopia as a gestalt for the utopian experience, this study compares the features of More’s Utopia with the Panama Canal Zone. In particular, it examines the utopian gesture of dividing from the old to connect to the new, arguing that the image-schematic metaphor of dividing in order to connect is constitutive of Zonian culture at multiple semiotic levels, from the physical transformation of the earth, to the social construction of group identity to everyday practices involving intercultural relations.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2018
Language Variation in Western Amman
Title:
Contributor:
Haya E Fadda (author), Hassan Abdel-Jawad (second reader), Dave Jeffery (third reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution), Sean Allison (thesis supervisor)
Abstract:
The present study investigates two forms of language variation in Ammani Arabic: Qaf variation and Arabic-English code-switching. After discussing the formation of the dialect of Amman and identifying the input dialects, I address the following questions related to the first form of language variation- Qaf variation: (a) whether a change from the traditional Jordanian [g] to the urban Palestinian [ʔ] is taking place in the city and is on its way to completion in the speech of both genders; (b) what the uses of [q] are and (c) why there is an increase in its use as a variable. As for the second form of language variation- code-switching, I investigate the functions of code-switching in the speech of millennials in Amman and their frequencies based on gender.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2019
Negation Patterns in the Kwa Language Group
Title:
Contributor:
Lauren E Schneider (author), Sean Allison (thesis supervisor), Steve Nicolle (second reader), Roderic Casali (third reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution), Keith Snider (second reader)
Abstract:
There is extensive literature written on negation but only recently have studies begun to expand outside of the scope of Indo-European languages. Linguists are finding that certain patterns thought to be cross-linguistic are largely unattested outside this most heavily studied language family. The intent of this thesis is to survey the negation strategies in a collection of Kwa (Niger-Congo) languages to contribute to the literature on negation. Commonly cited patterns such as Jespersen’s cycle (Jespersen 1917) are almost entirely unattested in Kwa. There is a consistent pattern of marking negation in Akan, Ewe, and the North Guang languages involving the use of a preverbal nasal morpheme. Interestingly three South Guang languages utilize instead a verbal prefix bÉ-. The Ga-Dangme languages stand out in their use of verbal suffixes rather than prefixes. The Ghana-Togo Mountain subgroup of the Kwa language group also does not rely on preverbal nasal negation marking.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2017
Non-spatial setting in white Hmong
Title:
Contributor:
Nathan M. White (author), Sean Allison (thesis supervisor), Kenneth Gregersen (second reader), Ken Manson (third reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
Dixon (2010a,b, 2012) presents an excellent introduction to a framework for documenting a language's grammar. One portion of this is Non-spatial Setting, i.e., the grammatical marking of time, aspect, and other material. The aim of this thesis is to apply this portion of Dixon's framework to White Hmong (Hmong-Mien, Laos). The thesis first looks at typologically similar languages from the region, considers the nature of grammaticalization, and then discusses the Non-spatial Setting system of White Hmong itself. It is found that White Hmong possesses a system that includes Lexical Time Words, positive and negative Irrealis intertwined with a system of Modality, Degree of Certainty markers, and a group of Phase of Activity-marking verbs. There are five Completion morphemes--three Perfect and two Imperfect--and two Completion-marking strategies. Finally, there is one Speed morpheme that marks slowness. Some implications for Non-spatial Setting in general are also briefly discussed.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2014
Phonology of Mosiye
Title:
Contributor:
Erika Harlow (author), Roderick Casali (thesis supervisor), Keith Snider (second reader), Andreas Joswig (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
This thesis is a description of the phonology of Mositacha, a Lowland East Cushitic language of the Afro-Asiatic family, based on original field research. Mositacha is spoken by 6,000 people who live in the North Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region in Ethiopia. Very little has been written on Mositacha. With the exception of Wondwosen‘s recent grammar (2015), which identifies the consonant and vowel phonemes, notes consonant gemination and vowel length, and briefly comments on tone, there has been no systematic study on the Mositatcha phonology. This thesis offers a more comprehensive study on the phonology of Mositacha. It examines consonant and vowel phonemes, syllable structure, phonotactics, phonological processes and tone. Of particular interest are marginal consonant phonemes which may be attributed to ongoing language shift, phonemic vowel length, consonant sequences and gemination, and a description of pitch patterns in words in isolation.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2016
A phonology of Stau
Title:
Contributor:
A. Chantel Vanderveen (author), Roderic F. Casali (thesis supervisor), Keith Snider (second reader), Jamin Pelkey (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
This thesis is a description of the phonology of Stau, a Rgyalrongic language of the Tibeto-Burman family, based on original field research. Stau is spoken by approximately 23,000 people in the west of Sichuan province, China. It is an almost unstudied language. Apart from a sketch of the phonology and grammar by Huang (1991), which provides a phonetic (rather than phonemic) analysis of Stau sounds, lists attested onsets and rhymes, and discusses tone, there has been virtually no systematic study of the phonology of language. This thesis provides a more extensive study of Stau phonology, covering segmental phonology, acoustic analysis of stops and of vowels, syllable structure, phonotactics, phonological processes, and pitch phenomena. Of particular interest in this phonology are Stau’s large phonemic inventory of forty-two consonants and eight vowels, its large syllable canon, phonotactic constraints among its consonant clusters, and vowel changes in reduplication.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2015
Relevance Theory and Proverbs: Exploring Context through Explicatures and Implicatures
Title:
Contributor:
Nicholas T Toews (author), Steve Nicolle (thesis supervisor), Sean Allison (second reader), Peter Unseth (third reader), Trinity Western University GSTS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
Relevance Theory (Sperber & Wilson 1986/1995) is a theory of communication which states that the human brain is geared towards processing relevant stimuli for little effort. While proponents of Relevance Theory have endeavored to explain various linguistic phenomena such as metaphor, irony, sarcasm, and idioms, there has been little work done on the proverb. The current thesis fills in this gap within Relevance Theory by applying Relevance-Theoretic principles to the interpretation of proverbs in context. This study explains how proverb meaning carries both a base meaning as well as an implicated meaning in context, with the use of Relevance Theory’s explicatures and implicatures. In addition, this thesis makes use of ad hoc concept formation (Wilson & Carston 2007) to account for meaning modulation and contrasts the analysis of proverbs under Relevance Theory with Vega-Moreno’s (2003) analysis of idioms under Relevance Theory.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2019
A semiotic perspective on the positive transfer of L1 structure in second language instruction
Title:
Contributor:
Rachael Caunce (author), William Acton (thesis supervisor), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
Language educators are re-examining the benefits of positive transfer. As the usage of the term language interference is misleading, the benefits of positive transfer have not been fully recognized until recently. When considered from a semiotic perspective with reference to language acquisition, neurolinguistic and applied linguistic theories, language interference can be perceived as a symptom of equivocal signs. It is proposed that student's learner errors may be attributed to a phenomenon called `semiotic confusion', which is a specific state of disorientation caused by a misinterpretation of signs. Consequently, language interference is redefined as a symptom of `semiotic confusion'. A hypothetical model, the Personal Semiotic Cultural Consciousness/ Semiotic Cultural Consciousness (PSCC/SCC), which is composed of two competing states of consciousness that correspond with synthetic and analytic brain functioning provides instructors with insights about the importance of activating their students' internal and external semiotic cultural consciousness through somatosensory signs such as colour.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2013

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