Dr. Cope

Texas Czech Legacy Project

Texas Czech Legacy Project: http://www.laits.utexas.edu/txczechproject/home

The goal of this Project is to create a central place documenting the language, culture, and history of ethnic Czech Moravians in Texas. The Project’s main initiative is the building of an open-access digital Texas Czech Dialect Archive (TCDA) of audio-recordings gathered from ethnic Czech Moravians in Texas since the 1970s through the 2000s.

The Project’s mission is to create a community resource for Texas Czechs as well as a scholarly resource for anyone fascinated by this population’s language, culture, and history. As a legacy archive, the TCDA will be a central repository for irreplaceable oral histories, spoken in the Texas Czech dialect, reflecting the change in the historically Czech Moravian communities of Texas from the early 1850s to the present.

Dr. Cope

Dr. Lida Cope has published on the Texas Czech Legacy Project

Cope, L. (2016). Texas Czech Legacy Project: Documenting the past and present for the future. The International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 2016(238), 105-125.

This article focuses on the Texas Czech Legacy Project and its main initiative, the building of an open-access digital Texas Czech Dialect Archive. Texas Czech dialect is a product of over a century and a half of contact between Moravian Czech and English spoken in Texas. While its life cycle is rather typical of diasporic dialects, its resilient life span represents decades of self-sufficient existence in a rather enclosed sociolinguistic space organized around farming and small business ventures periodically rejuvenated by religious and fraternity activities without the need for an outside social world. Following a brief sketch of the socio-historical background of ethnic Czechs and Moravians in Texas, I discuss the objectives of the Project and the design of the Texas Czech Dialect Archive, bearing in mind the complexities involved in designing a product that is to serve community members, educators and students of the Czech language and culture, as well as a diverse group of researchers. The Project’s purposes and practical value of its digital archive for these multiple audiences are demonstrated using examples of both typical and idiosyncratic features of this diasporic dialect.

Photo of Dr. Mark Johnson

Vocabulary Knowledge and Vocabulary Use in Second Language Writing

Johnson, Mark .D., Acevedo, A., & Mercado, L. (2016). Vocabulary knowledge and vocabulary use in L2 writing. TESOL Journal, 7(3), 700-715.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/tesj.238/full

Abstract:

Research has consistently shown diversity of vocabulary to be an important indicator of second language (L2) writing development as well as L2 writing performance. These studies underscore the importance of vocabulary to L2 writing. However, they provide little to indicate what kind of vocabulary learners of English may need to know in order to develop writing proficiency. This small-scale pilot study examined the relationships among vocabulary knowledge, vocabulary use, and L2 writing performance. The results suggest that accurate productive knowledge of high-frequency word families was associated with L2 writing performance. However, actual use of high-frequency word families was negatively associated with L2 writing performance. Based on the results, the authors present potential uses of lexical frequency information to help students develop (a) accurate productive knowledge of high-frequency word families and (b) a repertoire of low-frequency word families based on their communicative needs.

Profile Photo of Solveig Bosse

Bosse publishes monograph: Applicative Arguments

Applicative Arguments: A Syntactic and Semantic Investigation of German and English presents formal semantic and syntactic analyses of German and English applicative arguments. These arguments are nominal elements that are not obligatory parts of a sentence. Both German and English have several types of applicative arguments, including so-called benefactive and malefactive constructions. More specifically, the research relies on tests to differentiate the different types of applicative arguments based on this contribution to meaning: Some applicatives contribute only not-at-issue meaning, whereas others contribute only at-issue meaning, and still others contribute both types of meaning. These tests are applied to both German and English to uniquely identify the applicative arguments in each language. Formal analyses of the identified type of applicative arguments are presented that provide an account for each type of applicative identified for each language, explaining the applicatives’ differences and similarities.

Bosse, Solveig. (in print): Applicative Arguments: A syntactic and semantic Investigation of German and English . Peter Lang Academic Publishing.

Photo of Dr. Mark Johnson

Testing a threshold hypothesis: An approximate replication of Johnson, Mercado, & Acevedo

Johnson, Mark .D., & Nicodemus, C. (2016). Testing a threshold hypothesis: An approximate replication of Johnson, Mercado, & Acevedo (2012). Language Teaching, 49(02), 251-274. doi: 10.1017/S0261444815000087

Abstract: In order to better understand the role of working memory in second language (L2) written production, this study contributes to recent research attempting to apply Kellogg’s model of working memory in first language (L1) writing to L2 writing research (Ellis & Yuan 2004; Ong & Zhang 2010; Johnson, Mercado & Acevedo 2012). This paper describes an approximate replication of a study presented by Johnson et al. (2012) in order to determine whether the effects of pre-task planning sub-processes (idea generation, organization, and goal setting) are mediated by a hypothesized threshold of proficiency in the target language. To do this, the current study replicated a quasi-experimental research design to test the effect of specific pre-task planning sub-processes on the written language production of a group of L1 speakers of English. Using measures identical to those in Johnson et al. (2012), the study found no significant, multivariate effect of pre-task planning on the fluency and complexity of the participants’ written language production, suggesting no support for the hypothesized threshold of general proficiency in the target language. The implications of the study’s results are discussed in terms of Kellogg’s model (1996) of working memory in L1 writing and its ability to describe L2 composing processes.

Centennial of Czech studies at the University of Texas at Austin

Congratulations to Dr. Lida Cope on the publication of her co-authored book Centennial of Czech studies at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as two chapters in it!

Cope, L., & Hopkins, M. (Eds.) (2015). Centennial of Czech studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Fort Worth, TX: Wild Horse Media/Eakin Press.

  • Texas Czech Legacy Project: Documenting the dialect and ethnocultural heritage of ethnic Czechs and Moravians in Texas (98-108)
  • Texas Czech, Czech, and education: Current efforts and unexplored possibilities (138-154).
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