Unique Signs for Plural Utterances

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Lawrie Hunter's presentation at X Semiotics Congress, in A Coruna, Spain on September 25, 2009.

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Unique Signs for Plural Utterances

  1. 1. Unique signs for plural utterances: alleviating doubt in the language learner Lawrie Hunter Kochi University of Technology, Japan http://lawriehunter.com [email_address]
  2. 2. Unique signs for plural utterances: alleviating doubt in the language learner Lawrie Hunter Kochi University of Technology, Japan http://lawriehunter.com [email_address]
  3. 3. IDEAL semiotic system creation Ethnographic observation Semiotic analysis of need Signification system design Implementation Evaluation
  4. 4. WHY do Japanese learners of English prefer ISmaps? Ethnographic observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Search for analytical tools to explain success Systemic Functional Linguistics/Visual Design Grammar; Conceptual Integration Theory/Dual Coding Theory Metaphor comprehension studies
  5. 5. Please don't try to read these slides. You can download this file from lawriehunter.com and many more are available at http://www.core.kochi-tech.ac.jp/hunter/ Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Pragmatics of signification
  6. 6. Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Pragmatics of signification WHY do Japanese learners of English prefer ISmaps? Ethnographic observation Some Japanese university level learners of English, dubbed 'false beginners,' have acquired English vocabulary and grammar knowledge in six years of high school study but, resuming their study of English in university, they appear unable to make sense of, or sense with, strings of English lexical units.
  7. 9. Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication mind maps relation maps structure maps Pragmatics of signification WHY do Japanese learners of English prefer ISmaps? Heuristic invasion Viewing the second language scenario as a mapping scenario, the author introduced three low-text mapping systems ( Mind Maps , Cmaps , and the author's ISmaps ) as 'interlanguage' for instructor-learner negotiation of meaning and to explore the effectiveness of low-text mapping as a language task sign system.
  8. 11. Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Pragmatics of signification WHY do Japanese learners of English prefer ISmaps? Serendipity The learners quite uniformly reported that Mind Maps were uninteresting; Cmaps were rejected by many subjects at the outset. After using ISmaps for a brief period of time, these false beginners rather consistently demonstrated willingness to interpret received English utterance, and to engage in the risky business of producing English utterance to convey meaning.
  9. 12. Hunter’s infostructure maps (ISmaps) Description Classification Degree comparison Attribute comparison Sequence Cause-effect Contrast ! < big
  10. 13. My friend Canadian English teacher 57 DESCRIPTION Hunter’s infostructure maps
  11. 14. Hunter’s infostructure maps CLASSIFICATION Cars sedans station wagons coupes
  12. 15. Hunter’s infostructure maps < big old COMPARISON (relative) Tokyo Calcutta
  13. 16. Hunter’s infostructure maps COMPARISON (by attribute) red M’s car K’s car white 3 years old new
  14. 17. Hunter’s infostructure maps SEQUENCE find a bank machine put in your bank card follow the directions
  15. 18. Hunter’s infostructure maps SEQUENCE structure signals Then First and find bank machine put in bank card follow directions
  16. 19. Hunter’s infostructure maps SEQUENCE slice a tomato toast two slices of bread Then First and tear some lettuce
  17. 20. Hunter’s infostructure maps CAUSE-EFFECT heavy rain I...late for school bus cancelled
  18. 21. ISmaps have been in happy use in KUT's English department since 1998.
  19. 22. Information structures based curriculum Critical Thinking Asahi Press 2001 A writing and presentation workbook, 6 units (6 genres) in 30 lessons Say What You Mean KUT Press 2006 A writing and mapping workbook, 5 units (5 genres) in 30 lessons Thinking in English Cengage, 2008 A writing and presentation mapping text/workbook, 5 units (5 genres) in 30 lessons
  20. 23. The domain of ISmaps
  21. 24. Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Pragmatics of signification WHY do Japanese learners of English prefer ISmaps?
  22. 25. &quot;We should conceive of two different pragmatic approaches: a pragmatics of signification (how to represent in a semantic system pragmatic phenomena) and a pragmatics of communication (how to analyze pragmatic phenomena that take place in the course of a communicative process). Such phenomena as textual co-reference, topic, text coherence, reference to a set of knowledge idiolectally posited by a text as referring to a fictional world, conversational implicature, and many other phenomena concern an actual process of communication and cannot be foreseen by any system of signification. Other phenomena, such as presupposition, prediction of ordinary contexts, rules for felicity conditions, and so on, can, as we shall see, be considered by the study of a coded system of signification, to describe which both the semantical and the pragmatical approaches are strictly and inextricably interrelated.&quot; Eco, E. (1990) The limits of interpretation. U. of Indiana Press. p. 212
  23. 26. Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Cultural factors Linguistic factors Psychological factors Pragmatics of signification WHY do Japanese learners of English prefer ISmaps? Search for analytical tools to explain success: pragmatics of communication Taking up Eco's notions of a pragmatics of communication to explore the workings of the ISmap success. Communication related tools which proved useful within this framework are Cultural difference knowledge Linguistic difference knowledge Psychological (language development) knowledge Ethnographic observation
  24. 27. Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Cultural factors Linguistic factors Psychological factors Pragmatics of signification WHY do Japanese learners of English prefer ISmaps? Cultural difference knowledge -reticence (cultural) -perfectionism (meme) -lack of need [sic] -defeatist ethos re English learning
  25. 28. Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Cultural factors Linguistic factors Psychological factors Pragmatics of signification WHY do Japanese learners of English prefer ISmaps? Linguistic difference knowledge In Japanese, written signs carry meaning, but in many cases do not speak, or do not speak unambiguously. As well, Japanese is a left-branching language, and thus clause semantic completeness is not the primary processing unit in initial segmentation (whereas it is the primary unit in English). This results in a mindset where written utterance need not speak, is not expected to speak, yet where rich meaning does arise.
  26. 29. Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Cultural factors Linguistic factors Psychological factors Pragmatics of signification WHY do Japanese learners of English prefer ISmaps? Linguistic difference knowledge Japanese is not a S-V-O syntax. Japanese characters are logographs. Japanese has delayed reveal of significand.
  27. 30. Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Cultural factors Linguistic factors Psychological factors Pragmatics of signification WHY do Japanese learners of English prefer ISmaps? Linguistic difference knowledge When one's second language is syntactically and orthographically distant from one's first language, the interpretation of second language L2 utterance, particularly complex and structured utterance, is impeded by the 'foreignness' of grammar and syntax. e.g. English: A skyscraper is several times higher than an ordinary apartment building.   Japanese: Skyscraper no hou ga ordinary no apartment yori high desu.  
  28. 31. Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Cultural factors Linguistic factors Psychological factors Pragmatics of signification WHY do Japanese learners of English prefer ISmaps? Psychological (language development) knowledge Japanese is a left-branching language, and thus clause semantic completeness is not the primary processing unit in initial segmentation (whereas it is the primary unit in English). This results in a mindset where written utterance need not speak, is not expected to speak, yet where rich meaning does arise. Mazuka, R. (1998) The development of language strategies: a cross-linguistic study between Japanese and English. Erlbaum.
  29. 32. Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Visual design grammar Conceptual blending Metaphor comprehension Pragmatics of signification WHY do Japanese learners of English prefer ISmaps? Search for analytical tools to explain success: pragmatics of signification Taking up Eco's notions of a pragmatics of signification to explore the workings of the ISmap success. Theoretical tools which proved useful within this framework are Conceptual Integration Theory / Dual Coding Theory Visual Design Grammar / Systemic Functional Linguistics; Metaphor comprehension studies
  30. 33. Visual Design Grammar says layout in mixed media in English signifies relationships in two ways: left to right images/texts are GIVEN , Mediator and NEW , while top to bottom images/texts are IDEAL , Mediator and REAL. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (1996) Reading images: The grammar of visual design. Routledge. Japanese media/graphic arts don't do things that way. Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Visual design grammar Conceptual blending Metaphor comprehension Pragmatics of signification
  31. 34. <ul><li>Systemic Functional Linguistics says that rhetoric hinges on GIVEN, </li></ul><ul><li>what the listener/reader </li></ul><ul><li>already knows, and </li></ul><ul><li>NEW , </li></ul><ul><li>what the speaker/writer </li></ul><ul><li>is going to 'break.' </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Halliday, M.A.K. (1985) An introduction to functional grammar . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>London: Edward Arnold. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Japanese rhetoric </li></ul><ul><li>doesn't do things that way. </li></ul>Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Visual design grammar Conceptual blending Metaphor comprehension Pragmatics of signification
  32. 35. Conceptual Integration Theory says that metaphor is the combining of disparate FRAMES , i.e., Conceptual Blending , through which we realize great economy/synergy of thought. Conceptual Blending is culture-dependent, however, so all great minds do not think alike. Fauconnier, G. and Turner, M. (2002) The way we think: Conceptual blending and the mind’s hidden complexities. Basic Books. Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Visual design grammar Conceptual blending Metaphor comprehension Pragmatics of signification
  33. 36. Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Visual design grammar Conceptual blending Metaphor comprehension Pragmatics of signification
  34. 37. Metaphor comprehension Japanese is a between-the-lines language: priming effects are derived from syntactic factors. Processing of metaphor when primed with base (inverted form of metaphor) is faster than when primed with target. Kurosawa, M., & Kawahara,T. (1999). Alignment or Abstraction? Metaphor comprehension in Japanese. Proceedings, Second International Conference on Cognitive Science . http://www.jcss.gr.jp/iccs99OLP/p3-19/p3-19.htm Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Visual design grammar Conceptual blending Metaphor comprehension Pragmatics of signification
  35. 38. Metaphor comprehension Japanese is a between-the-lines language: priming effects are derived from syntactic factors. Processing of metaphor when primed with base (inverted form of metaphor) is faster than when primed with target. Kurosawa, M., & Kawahara,T. (1999). Alignment or Abstraction? Metaphor comprehension in Japanese. Proceedings, Second International Conference on Cognitive Science . http://www.jcss.gr.jp/iccs99OLP/p3-19/p3-19.htm Ethnographic Observation Heuristic invasion Serendipity Pragmatics of communication Visual design grammar Conceptual blending Metaphor comprehension Pragmatics of signification <= contradicts Gentner and Wolff's findings about the primacy of abstraction factors in metaphor comprehension in English , a specificity-oriented language. Gentner,D., & Wolff,P. (1997). Alignment in the processing of metaphor. Journal of Memory and Language , 37 , 331--355.
  36. 40. Thank you for your kind attention, and thank you in advance for your feedback and suggestions. Lawrie Hunter [email_address] downloads from http://lawriehunter.com

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