Tag Archives: Southampton

Top 10 position for Linguistics in 2018 Complete University Guide

Linguistics at Southampton has been ranked in the top ten (of 38 institutions) in the 2018 Complete University Guide. The breakdown of scores shows a successful balance between very high research quality with excellent student satisfaction.

For further information about the ranking, visit the Complete University Guide website.

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Next CLLEAR seminar: “Heritage Language Reversal: The Production of Articles and Voice Onset Time (VOT) by Japanese Returnees”


The next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Friday 5th May 2017 from 4:00-5:30pm in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “Heritage Language Reversal: The Production of Articles and Voice Onset Time (VOT) by Japanese Returnees” and will be delivered by Dr Neal Snape, Gunma Prefectural Women’s University and Chuo University in Japan. All welcome for the seminar and discussion!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
Previous L2 studies by Shirahata (1995) and Tomiyama (2000) examined L1 Japanese L2 English child returnees suppliance of articles and a range of grammatical morphemes. Shirahata focused on age-related L2 acquisition while Tomiyama was concerned with L2 attrition. Both studies found omission in obligatory contexts, though little evidence of L2 attrition. We adopt a neutral position for our study as both acquisition and attrition are likely to be taking place in heritage language reversal cases. This study examines datasets from two L1 Japanese L2 English speakers. The sibling child returnees were born in Japan and lived 8 years in the U.S. before returning to Japan. The younger child (KS) was exposed to L2 English from 3 years of age and the older child (CS) was first exposed from 12 years of age. Background questionnaires revealed that they have high levels of proficiency in English, based on the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) scores. ‘The Frog Story’ (Mayer, 1979) was administered and the returnees’ narrations were recorded and transcribed. The two participants were compared on their article suppliance to address the following two research questions:
RQ1: Does reduced input limit success in acquisition or lead to attrition over time?
RQ2: Are there any differences between the returnees given the difference in age of acquisition?

Voice Onset Time
This longitudinal study examines whether the decline in exposure to L2 input experienced by YS produces changes in voice onset time (VOT). YS met with researchers six times over the span of six years. Each meeting required YS to complete ‘The Frog Story’ and a picture description task (Goad & White, 2008) to elicit spoken production. Each time YS was recorded using a video camera and an iPod. The recordings of each session were subsequently analyzed in Praat for production of words beginning with voiceless consonants /p/, /t/ and /k/. Once located in the recordings, words were cut out of the original full-length recordings so that a more detailed analysis of VOT could be conducted. The results of the analyses for all recordings (across six years) shows that YS’s L1 Japanese VOT values and L2 English VOT values are different in length and that there is no evidence of change or attrition in her VOT values for /p/, /t/ and /k/ in L2 English.

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Next TNS seminar: “A researcher’s tale: Revisiting research through the eyes of a camera and a diverse public”


The next Centre for Transnational Studies (TNS) seminar will take place on Wednesday 3rd May 2017 from 5:00-6:30pm, in Building 65, Room 1177, and is entitled “A researcher’s tale: Revisiting research through the eyes of a camera and a diverse public”. The seminar will be presented by Ulrike Hanna Meinhof. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:

My paper is based on my current experiences with an AHRC Follow-on-project: Madagascar in the world: the impact of music on global concerns. The project proposed to put the results of my previously AHRC-funded project TNMundi (2006-2010) into the popular and widely accessible form of a full-length music documentary, directed by Cesar Paes, an award-winning film director of the Parisian independent film company Laterit.

The film was completed in the autumn of 2016 and has so far been screened at various international film festivals and special screenings in the UK, Italy, and on La Reunion.

Each screening was accompanied by a questionnaire in the respective languages gauging audience reactions. Apart from wanting feed-back about the kind of audience the film attracted at each of these diverse sites in terms of age, gender, and origin and on how they responded to the artistic and musical quality of the film, there were some closed and some open questions on the themes and social concerns raised by the film and by the musicians in its centre.

My own previous narrative interviews and transnational field work with these Malagasy musicians had highlighted their transnational mobility, their attempt to challenge ethnic divisions by their music and to engage people worldwide in environmental and social causes. In my paper I will give a few examples of these and subsequently show a few key extracts of the film where the director in my view tried to raise these issues by the very indirect and subtle means of the film.

A brief assessment of some of the results of the questionnaires will lead to a discussion about some of the issues raised by replacing or complementing an academic top-down analysis in favour of a much more intuitive artistic format.

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Modern Languages and Linguistics welcomes potential future students for visit day

Get Ready for Languages

Today Modern Languages and Linguistics is welcoming 17 languages students and their guests for a visit day at Avenue Campus. Participants will have opportunities to meet Modern Languages staff and students, and find out more about Modern Languages study at Southampton.

Our visitors may be interested to take a look at Get Ready for Languages, an online resource which aims to guide you to useful information about life as a Modern Languages student at Southampton. You can read about staff in the Modern Languages department, discover what sorts of things Modern Languages students past and present are getting up to, and explore some of the modules you might decide to do. All this and more!

Why not also follow us here on the Languages at Southampton blog, and on Twitter @ModernLangs, to keep updated on Modern Languages news and events. We welcome all our visitors and hope you enjoy your time here!

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Registration now open for EuroCALL 2017 conference!


Registration is now open for the 25th EuroCALL conference taking place at the University of Southampton from 23rd to 26th August 2017.

The theme of EUROCALL 2017 is ‘CALL in a Climate of Change: Adapting to Turbulent Global Conditions.’ This theme encompasses the notion of how Computer-assisted Language Learning (CALL) responds to changing global circumstances (in economic, political or environmental spheres), which impact on education. The theme cuts across areas including teacher training, competitive education models, open education, blended learning models, collaboration, creative and innovative pedagogy, student engagement, student’s needs and sustainability. The EUROCALL 2017 conference will discuss and discover insights into how the theories and practices of CALL are driving, responding to and facilitating change in the world around us.

Join us to share your real-world experiences of CALL research and teaching and join our vibrant community of practitioners! To register, please follow the instructions on the EuroCALL 2017 website.

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Modern Languages and Linguistics to host workshop on eye tracking in linguistics

eye tracking

Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Southampton is hosting an all-day workshop on Tuesday 28th March 2017 from 10:30 – 17:00 in Room 2129, Building 65, Avenue Campus, focusing on the use eye tracking in linguistics with particular emphasis on its use in sociolinguistics. The workshop will be run by Dr Duncan Robertson from the University of York and is open to University of Southampton staff and students, linguists and non-linguists.

This hands-on workshop aims to provide an introduction to eye tracking for sociolinguistic perception studies. This will include:
– an introductory presentation on Visual World eye tracking experiments;
– a tutorial detailing how to build an eye tracking experiment in Open Sesame (Python-based experiment building software);
– a tutorial on analysing eye tracking data using the ‘eyetrackingR’ package for R

All software used is open source and available for download on the following links:

The workshop is free but spaces may be limited. If you would like to attend the workshop, please register using this form.

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Next TNS seminar: “Family stories: the relationship between narrator and listener”


The next Centre for Transnational Studies (TNS) seminar will take place on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 from 5:00-6:30pm, in Building 65, Room 1177, and is entitled “Family stories: the relationship between narrator and listener”. The seminar will be presented by Jenny Cuffe and Henrietta Nleya. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:

‘I believe that there is no more real or more realistic way of exploring communication in general than by focussing on the simultaneously practical and theoretical problems that emerge from the particular interaction between the investigator and the person being questioned.’ P. Bourdieu ‘The Weight of the World: Social Suffering in Contemporary Society’ (1999, p.607)

The sociologist Pierre Bourdieu reminds us that, although the research relationship is different from other exchanges in everyday life because its objective is pure knowledge, it remains nevertheless a social relationship.

I have invited Henrietta Nleya, a key participant in my doctoral research on the impact of Zimbabwe’s migrant families, to have a conversation with me about our ‘particular interaction’ and the relationship we built.

The nature of transnational family research means that I relied on Henrietta not only to tell me her own life story, but also to introduce me to relatives living in Zimbabwe and South Africa. This presented us both with practical and ethical challenges for, although together in Southampton we had time to establish a shared history and ties of trust, I arrived at the homes of her parents and siblings as a prying stranger. And although I guaranteed anonymity in my thesis, I was conscious that family members would have no difficulty recognising each other – with the potential for hurt feelings and even resentment.

This conversation will be the start of an open discussion on relationship-building in the research process, in which you are invited to present questions and problems that have arisen in your own research.

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Italian film showing today: La pazza gioia / Like Crazy (Paolo Virzì, 2016)

Italian flag

The Italian film, La pazza gioia / Like Crazy (Paolo Virzì, 2016) (111 minutes, English subtitles) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6.30pm on Monday 20th March 2017. Review, introduction and discussion by Leonardo Provvedi. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube. This is the last film of the season, so the discussion will take place over nibbles and drinks. You can bring some finger food or something to drink, but it is not a must because there is always plenty to go round. Read more…

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Modern Languages and Linguistics seminar – “Jasmine Letters: a tram journey through the linguistic landscapes of post-colonial Tunis”

Modern Languages and Linguistics is hosting a seminar on Wednesday 15th March from 16:00-17:00 in Room 1097, Building 65, Avenue Campus, entitled “Jasmine Letters: a tram journey through the linguistic landscapes of post-colonial Tunis.” The seminar will be presented by Dr Bharain Mac an Bhreithiún from Middlesex University. All welcome for the seminar and discussion!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
Join Bharain Mac an Bhreithiún (Middlesex University London) on a dérive through the atmospheric streets of Tunis. Together we will negotiate our way through the forest of signs that make up the linguistic landscape of the city. The façades of both the colonial ville nouvelle and the Kasbah are resplendent with public lettering and typography in French, Arabic and other languages, a linguistic landscape that reveals much about the multilayered processes of identity construction and the politics of language in post-colonial Tunisia. As we travel by tram, light railway and wander the backstreets on foot, we will have the chance to think about aspects of the city’s history, Tunis’s contribution to post-colonial thought and the troubling questions that arise when a European takes it upon himself to interpret the visual culture of a North African cityscape.

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Next TNS seminar: ‘Sold Out? US Foreign Policy, Iraq, the Kurds, and the Cold War’


The next Centre for Transnational Studies (TNS) seminar (co-hosted by the Centre for Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies (CIPCS)) will take place on Tuesday 14th March 2017 at 5pm, in Room 1163, Building 65, Avenue Campus. At the seminar, Dr Bryan Gibson from John Hopkins University will discuss his new book ‘Sold Out? US Foreign Policy, Iraq, the Kurds, and the Cold War’. All welcome!

For further information, please see the event page on the University of Southampton Humanities website.

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