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  • 1.
    Berglund, Jonny
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Engelska institutionen.
    A Construction Grammar Approach to the Phrase2009Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 poäng / 15 hpOppgave
    Abstract [en]

    This essay adopts a construction grammar approach to the linguistic pattern why don’t you. It argues that the pattern can have two different senses: an interrogative sense and a suggestive sense. Further it argues that the suggestive sense is a construction similar to the definition of a construction described by construction grammar theory.

    In other words, the linguistic pattern why don’t you can have a specific underlying semantics that cannot be reached by an examination of its formal pattern.

  • 2.
    Bergman, Sofia
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för spanska, portugisiska och latinamerikastudier.
    La distinción entre préstamo y cambio de código en un discurso electrónico2009Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 poäng / 15 hpOppgave
    Abstract [es]

    En el presente estudio se pretende investigar la posibilidad de distinguir los préstamos de los elementos de cambio de código en un discurso electrónico entre jovenes bilingües de sueco-español, a través de un modelo de frecuencia elaborado por Myers-Scotton. También la posible co-existencia de las palabras analizadas en ambas lenguas será averiguada. El material bajo estudio consiste en conversaciones entre bilingües jóvenes de sueco/español en el foro facebook. En dichas conversaciones la alternancia entre las dos lenguas es muy frecuente, con el uso de cambio de código y préstamos. La hipotesis consiste en la convicción de que sí será posible encontrar préstamos a través de la aplicación del modelo, dado que el discurso electrónico probablemente no se distinguirá tanto de un discurso oral o escrito. Además, creemos que los préstamos encontrados con alta probabilidad serán co-existentes con las palabras en la lengua original. El análisis muestra que existe una cantidad de préstamos en el discurso investigado, y además que son co-existentes en todos los casos estudiados menos uno. El estudio también da indicios de que el modelo no es completamente fiable; el límite mínimo de frecuencia debería ser aumentado.

  • 3.
    Elf, Tora Isabella
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för spanska, portugisiska och latinamerikastudier.
    Análisis de infra y sobretraducción entre sueco y español: Un análisis lingüístico contrastivo basado en las novelas La casa de los espíritus de Isabel Allende y Simon och ekarna de Marianne Fredriksson y sus traducciones respectivas al español y al sueco2009Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 poäng / 15 hpOppgave
    Abstract [es]

    Resumen

    El tema del presente estudio se ubica dentro de la traductología y trata en particular los fenómenos de sobretraducción (ST) y infratraducción (IT), términos que significan una adición de información (ST) y una reducción de la información original en forma de una generalización del texto fuente (IT). Estos dos fenómenos pueden surgir por falta de isomorfismo entre los idiomas implicados en el proceso de traducción, cuando la idiosincrasia divergente de dos idiomas obliga al traductor a usar diferentes estrategias para poder expresar con la mayor equivalencia posible el mensaje del TF, en el texto meta (TM). El español, al igual que los idiomas románicas en general, se caracteriza por estructuras léxicas, dicho en terminos muy generales, menos complejas que los idiomas germánicos como el sueco y esta diferencia es uno de los aspectos que complica el trabajo del traductor. Siempre, al traducir un texto a cualquier idioma, ocurre un cambio y una pérdida inevitable del significado original, en uno o varios de los niveles sintáctico, semántico y pragmático de estructura, porque no existe isomorfismo absoluto entre dos idiomas. Por lo tanto una generalización es lo esperado de cada traducción. El objetivo de este estudio bidireccional es averiguar si dichas estructuras diferentes de los dos sistemas lingüísticos afectan la tendencia a ST o IT en las respectivas traducciones y hemos llevado a cabo el análisis mediante un corpus que consiste en las 30 primeras páginas de las dos obras La casa de los espíritus de Isabel Allende (1982) y Simon och ekarna de Marianne Fredriksson (1985), y sus respectivas traducciones. El resultado muestra, de acuerdo con la hipótesis, una tendencia a una mayor cantidad de ST en la traducción del español al sueco, y, de IT en la traducción del sueco al español.

  • 4.
    Geisbauer, Dana
    Stockholms universitet. Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för baltiska språk, finska och tyska.
    Deutsche Modenamen: Ihre Herkunft und Bedeutung2009Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpOppgave
  • 5.
    Ghebre, Adi
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för lingvistik, Avdelningen för allmän språkvetenskap.
    Negation in Tigrinya: An Afro-Semitic language2009Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 poäng / 15 hpOppgave
    Abstract [en]

    Tigrinya is one of the Afro Semitic languages, traditionally classified as North Ethiopic, and spoken in Eritrean and Northern Ethiopia. In this work Tigrinya negation particles were investigated and analyzed. with the main aim to emphasise distribution of negation particles in different word classes in the language. It is designed to provide some analysis of how the North Afro Semitic languages are related, with some descriptions about how they have different distribution of negation forms. Some linguistic ideas in using Tigrinya negation by comparing it with its sister languages are also given.

  • 6.
    Hultgren, Annie
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Engelska institutionen.
    Using Coh-Metrix to Compare Cohesion Measures between the United States Senators John McCain and Barack Obama2009Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 poäng / 15 hpOppgave
    Abstract [en]

    This investigation explores and analyzes speeches by John McCain and Barack Obama, who were the candidates of the United States Presidential election 2008. Ten speeches by each speaker are in a non-biased way selected from the year 2007 from their official websites when they were senators of Arizona and Illinois respectively. The analyses of the speeches concern cohesive measures and are not about what they say in their political occupation. This approach was selected to see if there are any comparisons and/or contrasts in terms of cohesion between the speakers or within their own set of speeches. The website Coh-Metrix has been used and out of it nine measures have been selected and analyzed in detail. This study looks at the average words per sentence, the average syllables per word, the Flesch Reading Ease score, the average concreteness for content words, the average minimum concreteness for content words, the mean number of higher level constituents, the type-token ratio, the syntactic structure similarity, and the average number of negations. The two speakers had overall very similar results except for a few standard deviations as in for example the average concreteness and average minimum concreteness for content words results. However, eight out of the nine measurement numbers were non-significant according to a t-test for non-matched observations and/or a chi-square goodness-of-fit test. One measurement, the average number of negation expressions per 1000 words, was nonetheless highly significant according to a t-test and chi-square test, as Obama used about twice as many negations in comparison to McCain. This study shows that the speakers’ twenty speeches are similar in terms of structure and cohesion except for the fact that Obama uses more negation expressions compared to McCain. These results do not, however, necessarily say anything else about the speakers and/or speeches.

    Keywords: cohesion, cohesion markers, cohesion measures/measurements, Coh-Metrix, speeches, texts

  • 7.
    Matz, Henriette
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för lingvistik, Avdelningen för allmän språkvetenskap. Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för lingvistik.
    De som (som) vi använder: En korpusstudie av optionellt ’som’ i svenska objektsrelativsatser2009Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 poäng / 15 hpOppgave
    Abstract [sv]

    Denna uppsats behandlar förekomsten av den optionella subjunktionen som i svenska objektsrelativsatser. Sökningar gjordes i en svenskspråkig korpus för att hitta objektsrelativsatser med och utan som. Resultaten undersöktes mot bakgrund av två hypoteser gällande processningseffektivitet och tillgänglighet hos referenter. I båda fallen styrktes dessa hypoteser. Som tycks vara mer frekvent i relativsatser där många ord skiljer matrissatsens korrelat från relativsatsens finita verb vilket stödjer principen Maximize On-line Processing som formulerats av Hawkins och som grundar sig i teorier kring processningseffektivitet. Som tycktes också vara mer frekvent i relativsatser där det inbäddade subjektet var i hög grad tillgängligt, i fråga om pronominell och animat status hos referenten.

  • 8.
    Möller, Mirjam
    Stockholms universitet. Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för lingvistik. Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för lingvistik, Avdelningen för allmän språkvetenskap.
    Vowel Harmony in Bale: A study of ATR harmony in a Surmic language of Ethiopia2009Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 poäng / 15 hpOppgave
    Abstract [en]

    ATR, advanced tongue root, is a phonological feature among vowels. As vowels assimilate to share the same value of that feature, they display ATR harmony. This is a common phenomenon among many African languages. ATR harmony is examined in this paper as manifested across morpheme boundaries wihin nouns in a Surmic language of Ethiopia called Bale. The data presented was collected at a workshop on ATR harmony held by SIL International in Mizan Teferi, Ethiopia, 2009. The vowel system in Bale displays a nine vowel inventory with a feature dominance of [+ATR] vowels which spread their feature both leftward and rightward to recessive [–ATR] vowels. The [+ATR] dominance is also present as a floating feature without any phonological material. The vowel /a/ is analysed as a neutral vowel, co-occuring with both [+ATR] and [–ATR] vowels within roots.

  • 9.
    Scot, Sky
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Engelska institutionen.
    An Investigation Concerning the Base-Generation of Four Old English Conjunct and Disjunct Adverbials within the Structure of Old English Clauses2009Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 poäng / 15 hpOppgave
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is concerned with an investigation of four Old English adverbials with respect to where they are base-generated within the substructure of clauses which serve as examples of Old English prose. There are three structures in which base-generation of clausal constituents is deemed to occur: the CP, the IP, and the VP. Function and derivational movement are the governing factors which regulate the possibility of base-generation occurring within a particular structure. The movements undergone by clausal constituents, from their places of origin within the ‘underlying structures’ to their syntactic realization in the ‘surface structures’ of Old English clauses, are founded upon the model outlined in Johannesson (2009a) which is based on the tenets of Government and Binding theory. As there are no native speakers of Old English, the functions of these adverbials within their clausal environments are determined by their Modern English interpretations. Due to time and space constraints, four Old English adverbials were analysed within the context of one-hundred and twenty clauses which were extracted from The Dictionary of Old English Corpus (2004). Cases deemed to be ambiguous are addressed and classified separately; only one such case was encountered in the course of this study.

    The results should exhibit proof that base-generation of the four Old English conjunct and disjunct adverbials investigated occurs within one of the aforementioned structures. Note that any conclusions drawn are based upon Modern English translations and that the results pertain to the genre of Old English prose.

  • 10.
    Solensten, Sofia
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Engelska institutionen.
    Study-abroad in an L3 environment: A study of the development or oral proficiency in speech rate and pronunciation of dental fricatives2009Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 poäng / 22,5 hpOppgave
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to find out whether students participating in a study-abroad program for one and two terms improve their oral proficiency in speech rate and pronunciation of voiced and unvoiced dental fricatives. The participants consist of French, German and Spanish speaking students housed in an L3 environment and interacting with primarily L2 and bilingual speakers. This study was conducted by transcribing and analysing several pre-recorded interviews.

                          The results did not show any noteworthy progress in either speech rate or pronunciation, other than for the students who had the weakest oral proficiency at arrival. Nevertheless, all of the results are interesting because they indicate that oral proficiency must have many other influencing aspects. Hence, this survey suggests some reasons that partly may explain the results such as the level of previous knowledge, motivation, impact of lingua franca communities and different personality traits i.e. extroversion and introversion. Thus, the insight into how different features can affect acquiring an L2 may lead to improvements of today’s language learning environments.

  • 11.
    Ståhl, Mikael
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för lingvistik. Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för lingvistik, Avdelningen för allmän språkvetenskap.
    Folke vs Henry: En jämförelse av förståelse mellan syntetisk och mänsklig uppläsning av sammanhängande texter2009Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 poäng / 15 hpOppgave
    Abstract [sv]

    I en studie som kan vara den första i Sverige i sitt slag har vuxna testpersoner med och utan synnedsättning fått lyssna till texter som lästs upp med antingen unit selection-syntesen Folke eller en mänsklig röst. Genom förståelsefrågor till varje text har det undersökts om en syntetisk uppläsning av sammanhängande text ger en sämre förståelse än en mänsklig uppläsning. Genom testet har också faktorer som ansträngning samt korrelation med längd, svårighetsgrad och vana av syntetiskt tal undersökts. Testet visar att för relativt enkla texter som inte är längre än ca 700 ord eller inte har en uppläsningstid på mer än ca fem minuter så ger en syntetisk uppläsning inte någon påvisbar försämring i förståelse. Resultat och analys visar dock att det vid längre texter än så kan finnas en skillnad i förståelse mellan de två uppläsningssätten samt att det kan finnas en korrelation med textens längd och svårighetsgrad. Testpersonernas subjektiva uppfattning och det kvantitativa resultatet visar också delvis att syntetiska uppläsningar är mer ansträngande än mänskliga. Dock behöver ytterligare studier genomföras för att bekräfta en försämrad förståelse och större ansträngning.

  • 12.
    Sundmalm, Sara Maria
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Engelska institutionen.
    The Syntactic Origin of Old English Sentence Adverbials2009Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 poäng / 15 hpOppgave
    Abstract [en]

     

    Languages rely on grammatical rules, by which even such variable constituents as adverbials are affected. However, due to the many different positions in Old English sentences taken up by adverbials, it is easy to wrongfully assume that there is an absence of grammatical rules regarding adverbials in Old English. Hence, it may be possible to detect patterns of behaviour among Old English adverbs if their different position and movement within various clauses is studied systematically. This paper has been focused on examining two conjunct adverbs, and two disjunct adverbs, functioning as sentence adverbials in prose, in order to contribute information of where they are base-generated within the syntactic structure of Old English clauses, and thus hopefully contribute to a better understanding of the grammatical system of Old English. 120 sentences of prose containing sentence adverbials have been examined according to the Government and Binding Theory, as introduced in Stæfcræft: An Introduction to Old English Syntax, in order to establish where the different textual constituents of Old English are base-generated.

  • 13.
    Säflund, Maud
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Engelska institutionen.
    Vocabulary Knowledge and Reading Comprehension: Differences and Similarities Between L1 and L2 Subjects2009Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 poäng / 15 hpOppgave
    Abstract [en]

    This essay will deal with the questions of what impact knowledge of vocabulary has on L1 readers’ and L2 readers’ reading comprehension respectively. As Koda points out "Research consistently demonstrates that vocabulary knowledge correlates more highly with reading comprehension than other factors including morphosyntactic knowledge" (Koda 2004:49) Philip Shaw and Alan McMillion at Stockholm University are doing a research project called ‘Advanced Reading Project’with in all 140 students at university level. There was a gap-filling test on vocabulary and multiple choice questions for synonyms and antonyms. They have also set up a number of other tests to check reading comprehension etc. The aim of this work is to analyze the vocabulary tests’ data provided by Shaw and McMillion. This is done by entering the data into Excel files and sorting the answers and attempts made for each subject, and by comparing the numbers of correct answers and non- attempts to different questions, patterns could be detected that can show differences or similarities between the subjects. Through this analysis and further research we may find the answers to the questions: Which vocabulary items are easy or difficult for all British and Swedish subjects? And what differences and similarities can be found in the answers given by Swedes and British respectively? Are there any patterns which might suggest reasons for the findings? The vocabulary results will further be compared with the results from the reading comprehension tests. The research reported in this essay will test the thesis expressed by Koda 2004: "Successful comprehension is heavily dependent on knowledge of individual word meaning. The widely recognized relationship between vocabulary and reading comprehension attests to the crucial role word knowledge plays in text understanding among both L1 and L2 readers---". (Koda 2004: 48) Could there be other explanations for good reading comprehension other than vocabulary knowledge?

  • 14.
    Vafaeian, Ghazaleh
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för lingvistik, Avdelningen för allmän språkvetenskap.
    The Finite Independency: A study of the relevance of the notion of finiteness in Hdi.2009Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 poäng / 15 hpOppgave
    Abstract [en]

    This paper argues that there is a finiteness distinction in Hdi and that the notion is of value for a description of the language. The definition of finiteness suitable for the language has been suggested to be the one given by Anderson (2007) combined with Bisang (2007). The finite clauses are argued to be the pragmatically independent ones while the non-finite clauses are argued to be the pragmatically dependent. However, no morphological reductions were found in the non-finite clauses relative to the finite ones. What is more, negation in Hdi shows a nontypical behaviour regarding finiteness properties as there are aspectual distinctions made for dependent clauses that are not made for independent. Verbless clauses and imperatives may be viewed as finite and non-finite depending on their capacity to licence independent predication or, alternatively, they may be viewed as not displaying finiteness properties at all. The latter is argued to be preferred in order to avoid a redundant definition of finiteness.

  • 15.
    Wallermo, Yvonne
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Engelska institutionen.
    Reading Success and Vocabulary Knowledge among advanced professionals with English as their second language (L2): A comparative study of Russian and Swedish medical professionals in Sweden2009Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 80 poäng / 120 hpOppgave
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND

    It is vital you have advanced knowledge in English as a second language (L2) if you work and/or research as a medical specialist at the Swedish academic university hospitals in Sweden. Otherwise it will be impossible to communicate within your area of interest, either orally or in writing, or even by means of reading, not only internationally but also between co-workers. All communication between academic professionals from different countries as well as textbooks, articles, instructions, lectures and exchange of information are in English.

    Interviews and tests for this essay were made with advanced medical researchers and specialists at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden.

    PURPOSE

    The aim of this research is to find out how closely estimated vocabulary size is related to successful reading.

    There has not been much research on advanced academic intellectuals when it comes to advanced reading comprehension. Some studies on children and younger adults have shown that reading proficiency is based on the size of their vocabulary, the bigger vocabulary they have the higher their reading proficiency, while other studies have shown that the more they read the more they understand and automatically their vocabulary increases. Are these the only reasons for their reading proficiency, or are there other aspects involved? Do their vocabulary sizes affect their understanding when they read? Or what other reasons help reading and comprehending the text?

    In comparing readers’ understanding of different domain-specific texts, it can be hypothesized that there are differences in comprehension between general and more specialized texts. It can also be thought that it is easier for Swedes to read and comprehend English as the same alphabet is used in English and Swedish, than for Russians, who are used to a different language structure with other typographical factors.

    RESEARCH ON READING

    Factors that Can Affect Reading Success

    - The Linguistic Threshold Hypothesis

    - Background knowledge

    - Prior knowledge

    - Interest and attitude

    General Questions

    1. How important is a L2 reader’s vocabulary size to his/her understanding of a text? Could other factors be more important?

    2. Is it possible for professionals with poor linguistic proficiency in English to read and understand domain specific texts due to their expert knowledge?

    3. Is professionals’ receptive proficiency similar within their domain specific areas and in general areas?

    4. Is there an effect of having lived in an English-speaking country on reading comprehension or vocabulary size?

    Hypothesis

    1. The L1 typology would make a difference.

    2. The Swedes would have a better vocabulary and a better general comprehension of general English, and thereby a better understanding of the domain-specific texts as well.

    METHOD

    Professionals often have English as their L2. They are assumed to read English texts as efficiently as they read texts in their L1. In this essay the focus was set on their reading ability and their vocabulary knowledge. Vocabulary was assessed as academic or infrequent, and reading was assessed by means of tests of word recognition, single sentence comprehension, evaluation of logical arguments based on two sentence recognitions, and reading domain-specific, medical articles as well as general articles.

    Data was collected from medical researchers and specialists during this empirical research. The specialists were presumed to read English journal articles on a daily basis in their area of expertise, medicine, and use English as their working language. Seven Russians and seven Swedes were interviewed between February and April 2007. They had chosen the date, time and place for their interviews.

    The testing took about 90 minutes and was divided into

    MATERIAL

    Each subject was asked to fill out a questionnaire about his/her educational and social background. This data could not be used in this essay, but would be interesting to use for research about the impact of social background on the proficiency of English as a L2.

    Then they were asked to continue with paper diagnostic tests, the Proficiency Test, testing their syntax skills and vocabulary size. The Proficiency Test is a part of DIALANG, a self-assessment test developed by the Project of the European Commission for use on the Internet, and it was used along with a test of academic vocabulary, and a test of infrequent vocabulary, divided into synonyms and antonyms.

    The computerized test, the SuperLab test, was divided into two sections. For the first section, Reading Proficiency, articles within the medical domain as well as various general domains were read and then retold orally. The retold stories were taped and the language used when retelling the story, L1 or L2, was decided by the subject, so they would feel comfortable when speaking. These interviews were transcribed and analyzed. The second part of the computerized sub skills, Reading Comprehension, consisted of word recognition and reading comprehension of one and more sentences.

    ANALYSIS AND RESULTS

    The Proficiency Test

    The Proficiency test tested vocabulary knowledge. Overall most of the subjects thought Part 2 Synonyms and Part 3 Antonyms were the most difficult parts of the whole test. Although they knew other languages, it was not possible to use that knowledge in this part of the test. One Swede thought the Part 3 Antonyms was the most difficult. Some words were recognised from earlier, from looking them up in dictionaries several times and then forgetting them again. Sometimes no alternative seemed to be correct. Another Swede commented that it was not obvious which alternative was the correct answer. Sometimes the synonym or antonym could be explained in his own words, but not with any of the alternatives. A third Swede commented that in reading a regular text you do not have to know every single word to get coherence.

    The SuperLab Test

    The computerized reading test, the SuperLab test, was to show reading comprehension of texts, sentences and word recognition. Since sentence comprehension did not correlate well with vocabulary size here, these results suggest that the size of the vocabulary above a certain level does not have an immediate impact on the logical judgement or comprehension of sentences At the same time it has to be remembered that the subjects are advanced academic professionals, and might not only use their vocabulary knowledge and size in a L2 when it comes to making conclusions and decisions.

    Reading Comprehension - Analysis

    The Reading Comprehension part of the test consisted of six different texts: three general texts and three medical texts. For each text there were a number of propositions that had to be correctly recalled to get points. The first text was on paper and the last five read and timed on the computer. It has to be kept in mind that the text read on paper, Text 1, presented the subjects with an opportunity to read as they usually do. Most of them seemed to read the title, skimmed the text and then read and reread the interesting or missed parts several times, until the message was clear. When the other five texts were read on the computer screen on the other hand, only one sentence was shown at a time, and disappeared when the next sentence was keyed for. This computerized way of reading the text forced the reader to remember what was read after each sentence, without knowing what came next. So, the ordinary way of reading a text was changed.

    Reading Comprehension - Results

    A conclusion of all propositions indicated that the Russians as a group had higher results than the Swedes. When looking at the individual answers a pattern can be shown. The Swedes on an average were a more homogenous group with a smaller span between the top result and the lowest. The Russians were a more heterogeneous group.

    In this essay the focus has been on the reading quality. The results showed that there are other circumstances than simple language and reading proficiency to be aware of. There is a difference in their background knowledge. How much of their ‘recall’ do they actually remember from the text and how much do they know from beforehand?

    For example, the Reading Comprehension Test with the retelling of the five texts read in an unnatural way did not only test how much the subjects understood and recalled, but also how much they remembered. While reading the texts on the computer, one sentence at a time, the subjects had to focus on the meaning of each sentence in the text, memorize it and then read the next sentence. For the three first texts there was no demand for any previous knowledge to be able to read and understand the words and sentences separately. The subjects did not use any dictionaries, which they seldom do in their ordinary, everyday work either.

    The results also show that interest and background knowledge were important factors to be able to understand the whole contents of each text. The meaning of the text was more easily understood the more background knowledge the subjects had.

    DISCUSSION

    Hypothesis 1 - The L1 typology would make a difference.

    The tests did not show that the language background made a difference. The Russians lived in Sweden and spoke Russian among themselves but English with everybody else. They were well-educated academics, not only proficient in English within their own area, medical texts, but also very good at understanding general texts. When it came to reading comprehension the background knowledge seemed to be more important than the vocabulary skills.

    Hypothesis 2 - The Swedes would have a better vocabulary and a better general comprehension of general English, and thereby a better understanding of the domain-specific texts as well.

    It was not indicated at any time during the research for this essay that the Swedes had a better vocabulary and thereby would understand both general and domain-specific texts better. The understanding and comprehension seemed to be more based on attitude and background knowledge of the different texts.

    Tsui and Fullilove (1998) found in their studies that it was extremely difficult to process information which contradicted what they already knew. This particularly showed during this essay, with some of the Russians questioning and discussing the contents of the medical texts, exactly as Steffensen and Joag-Dev (1979) found in their study. The authors stated that readers seemed to dismiss information they found unimportant, add information they thought should be there, and focus on what they found important, all based on their world view and their opinion.

    Most of the Russians seemed to be more involved and questioning than the Swedes in this investigation. This study showed that the more background knowledge the subjects had, the more they understood the texts.

    During the testing he Swedes made a point of the difficulties of reading the texts on the computers, which did not agree with their reading strategies. These Swedes seemed to attempt to use more normal strategies when reading the texts on the computer screen than the Russians. The Russians appeared to read more slowly overall. Slow readers usually had difficulties putting things together towards the end of sentences and paragraphs. Probably the Russians used more background information than English reading proficiency and understanding when doing the test.

    Vocabulary Size and Reading Success

    During the work with this essay it was not proven that vocabulary size was directly linked to reading proficiency. The readers tested were advanced academic professionals, and might not only use their vocabulary but also their background knowledge when understanding the content of the texts used. The Russians were not a random selection, because those who participated were more confident with their English knowledge than those that did not participate.

    CONCLUSION

    There were of course some limitations during this study. One was fatigue among the subjects due to their hectic working environment and the long duration of the tests. Another issue was that most of the texts were on the screen, to be read sentence by sentence, and hence unnaturally read.

    Out of the results of these tests the conclusion could be drawn that even if you have a larger vocabulary, it would not necessarily mean you understand more.

    After having worked with the material for this essay and interviewing the scientists, brought up in an academic environment, I came to the conclusion that vocabulary knowledge and reading skills shown during a test did not show everything. Speed and accuracy of reading often correlate, but that was not the case in this study. Low proficiency did not seem to make an impact on the understanding of the text. The background knowledge was very important, but at the same time the attitude and interest of the subjects during the testing also had an enormous impact on their results.

    References

    Steffensen, M.S., Joag-Dev, C. and Anderson, R.C. 1979. A cross-cultural perspective on reading comprehension. Reading Research Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 1 (pp. 10-29).

    Tsui, A.B.M. and Fullilove, J. 1998 Bottom-up or top-down processing as a discriminator of L2 listening performance. Ap

  • 16.
    Waltin, Josefin
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Centrum för tvåspråkighetsforskning.
    När döva och hörande kollegor möts genom tolk: En etnografisk studie om tvåspråkighet på en arbetsplats2009Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 poäng / 30 hpOppgave
    Abstract [sv]

    Döva personer i Sverige och världen lever nästan uteslutande i ett hörande majoritetssamhälle och har således på ett eller annat sätt en fortlöpande kontakt med hörande människor i såväl privat- som arbetsliv. De flesta döva i arbetslivet arbetar som enda eller som en av få döva på en hörande arbetsplats och ofta anlitas tolk för möten mellan hörande och döva kollegor. Föreliggande uppsats är en etnografisk studie av tolksituationen på en arbetsplats där en döv samt ett tjugotal hörande kollegor arbetar tillsammans. Med hjälp av fältanteckningar, intervjuer och videofilmning har en bild av tolksituationen genererats. I resultaten visas tecken på att den döva deltagaren till stor del lider av informationsbrist på olika plan. Därtill verkar det finnas en stor kunskapslucka hos de hörande kollegorna gällande teckenspråk och dövas villkor i ett hörande samhälle. Resultatet visar även tendenser till att den döva deltagaren genom det omgivande majoritetsspråkssamhället själv medverkar till sin egen underordning. I den komplexa tolksituationen verkar tolken fungera som en grindvakt. Tolken kan ha en svår och inte alltid definierad roll att översätta och samordna turer mellan hörande och döva och föra samtalet framåt i en gemensam riktning. Det verkar även som att den döva deltagaren och hennes hörande kollegor har olika uppfattning om tolkens roll. Tolkens arbete verkar härigenom kunna försvåras, något som i sin tur skulle kunna påverka relationen mellan den döva deltagaren och hennes hörande kollegor. Resultaten har diskuterats utifrån ett poststrukturalistiskt perspektiv för att visa på samband mellan mikro- och makronivå med kopplingar till språkideologi, språkpolitik, maktrelationer samt teorin om Deafhood.

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