Where is Applied Linguistics headed? Cambridge Journal editors weigh in

In advance of the upcoming AAAL Annual Meeting in Chicago, we asked editors of Cambridge applied linguistics journals for their thoughts on the state of the field.
Where is applied linguistics headed? Are there new approaches, methods or priorities that you think will have real impact on research and related practice in coming years?

Martha Crago, editor of Applied Psycholinguistics: “In the next year’s two major developments, one technological and one social, will have a striking impact on applied linguistics: 1)The disruptive technology of machine learning (artificial intelligence) is based on the early work on neural networks in neuropsychology as well as on reinforcement learning that was once considered a learning mechanism for language acquisition. These new technological developments are likely to circle back . . . → Read More: Where is Applied Linguistics headed? Cambridge Journal editors weigh in

‘World Englishes or English as a Lingua Franca: Where does English in China stand?

Blog post based on an article in English Today 

The spread and development of the English language has triggered debates about issues related to language ideology, identity, and ELT. China is an important context where the popularity of English use and English learning has generated various debates. In this paper, I discuss the use of the English language in China from the perspective of Global Englishes (GE) and I explore the debate about whether it should be positioned from the paradigm of World Englishes (WE) or English as a lingua franca (ELF).

Essentially, the WE paradigm investigates different varieties of English in order to understand the various features of the language (including phonology, morphology, and syntax) as it is used in many post-colonial . . . → Read More: ‘World Englishes or English as a Lingua Franca: Where does English in China stand?

Learning Construction Grammars Computationally

Blog post by Jonathan Dunn, Ph.D.

Construction Grammar, or CxG, takes a usage-based approach to describing grammar. In practice, this term usage-based means two different things:

First, it means that idiomatic constructions belong in the grammar. For example, the ditransitive construction “John sent Mary a letter” has item-specific cases like “John gave Mary a hand” and “John gave Mary a hard time.” These idiomatic versions of the ditransitive have distinct meanings. While other grammatical paradigms consider these different meanings to be outside the scope of grammar, CxG argues that idiomatic constructions are actually an important part of grammar.

Second, CxG is usage-based because it argues that we learn grammar by observing actual idiomatic usage: language is more nurture than nature. The role of innate . . . → Read More: Learning Construction Grammars Computationally

Rihanna Works Her Multivocal Pop Persona: Morpho-syntactic and Accent Variation in Rihanna’s Singing Style

Based on an article in English Today

Pop music surpasses national and linguistic boundaries. It creates a marketplace of various linguistic resources that artists use in their music performances to create their pop personas. Performers are mobile, transnational linguistic agents. They do not only physically travel worldwide and spread their multivocality, but their products are distributed and consumed internationally via a multitude of media channels. They transport mobile standard and non-standard varieties into new spaces and make them accessible to a broad audience.

Rihanna is a globally successful artist with Caribbean roots who combines different musical styles (R’n’B, hip-hop, reggae, pop) and the performance codes associated with these genres (African American English, Jamaican Creole, Standard American English). Her single “Work” stirred up attention: . . . → Read More: Rihanna Works Her Multivocal Pop Persona: Morpho-syntactic and Accent Variation in Rihanna’s Singing Style

Extracting Meaning from Sound — Computer Scientists and Hearing Scientists Come Together Right Now

Machines that listen to us, hear us, and act on what they hear are becoming common in our homes.. So far, however, they are only interested in what we say, not how we say it, where we say it, or what other sounds they hear. Richard Lyon describes where we go from here.

 

Based on positive experiences of marrying auditory front ends to machine-learning back ends, and watching others do the same, I am optimistic that we will see an explosion of sound-understanding applications in coming years. At the same time, however, I see too many half-baked attempts that ignore important properties of sound and hearing, and that expect the machine learning to make up for poor front ends. This is one . . . → Read More: Extracting Meaning from Sound — Computer Scientists and Hearing Scientists Come Together Right Now

New: Registered Reports for Journal of Child Language – coming summer 2018

Journal of Child Language is pleased to announce the introduction of Registered Reports. The cornerstone of the Registered Reports format is that a significant part of the manuscript is reviewed prior to data collection. Initial submissions will include a description of the key research question and background literature, hypotheses, experimental procedures and detailed analyses plan. Papers will be accepted on the basis of potential theoretical impact, and the highest quality manuscripts will be given an “in principle acceptance” commitment to publication after data collection. Authors will also be required to submit data and analyses scripts to public repositories such as OSF (although exceptions may be possible where ethical reasons prevent sharing of some parts of the data).

We hope that this new . . . → Read More: New: Registered Reports for Journal of Child Language – coming summer 2018

Journal of Child Language Special Issue Call for Papers

Call for Papers: The influence of input quality and communicative interaction on language development

Guest Editors: Elma Blom and Melanie Soderstrom

While studies on the influence of the input on language development have often focused on the quantity of input, there is a growing recognition of the importance of qualitative aspects of the input and the characteristics of communicative interaction. Papers for the special issue would include studies of any qualitative input and interaction-based aspects of language development in diverse populations of children and youth.

 

Relevant topics and questions that papers could address are the following:

● Input quality, communicative interaction and language development: What is the role of qualitative characteristics of the input (e.g. child-directed speech, joint attention, responsiveness, turn-taking, reading vs. screentime, computer-mediated . . . → Read More: Journal of Child Language Special Issue Call for Papers

Announcing a brand-new Applied Linguistics Essay Prize

Applied Linguistic Essay Prize

Language Teaching announces the award of an essay prize which honours one of the founding editors of this journal.

Christopher John Brumfit (1940-2006) was Professor of Education, Head of the Research and Graduate School of Education, and Director of the Centre for Language in Education at the University of Southampton, UK. He was a former Chair of the BAAL and Vice-President of AILA.

In his obituaries of Professor Brumfit in The Guardian newspaper and in Applied Linguistics, Professor Henry Widdowson wrote that ‘[Chris] was both a defender and a critic of traditional values. Education imposed conventional constraints, but these had also to provide for the individual freedom of unconventional self-expression’ adding that ‘Rather than accept current ideas or conventional assumptions, he would submit them . . . → Read More: Announcing a brand-new Applied Linguistics Essay Prize

Applied Psycholinguistics Call For Editor Proposals

Professor Martha Crago is completing her tenure in December 2018 from her position as Editor of Applied Psycholinguistics (AP). Cambridge University Press is now inviting applications for the position of Editor. A team of Co-Editors will also be considered. Final appointment decisions will be made by the Syndicate of Cambridge University Press.

The deadline for applications is January 15, 2018.

AP is a refereed journal of international scope publishing original research papers on the psychological and linguistic processes involved in language. Each volume contains six issues with articles examining language processing, language development, language use and language disorders in adults and children with a particular emphasis on cross-language and second language/bilingual studies. The journal gathers together the best work from a variety of . . . → Read More: Applied Psycholinguistics Call For Editor Proposals

What is offside in German or Icelandic? Football English in European languages

Football

Based on an article in Nordic Journal of Linguistics, written by Gunnar Bergh and Sölve Ohlander.

“Football and English are the only truly global languages.” This statement, attributed to the legendary English footballer Sir Bobby Charlton, of 1966 World Cup fame and still to be seen at Old Trafford during Manchester United’s home games, neatly hints at the dual point of departure for this article. The present status of English as the most global language of all is not in doubt, nor is that of football (soccer) as the most widespread sport – or, rather, pop cultural phenomenon – on the planet, with a media presence bordering on obsession. Consequently, football language, i.e. the language used in communication about the game (on and off the pitch, . . . → Read More: What is offside in German or Icelandic? Football English in European languages