Browsing by Author "Southwood, Frenette"
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- ItemAfrikaanse taalvariasie : uitdagings vir regverdige meting van jong kinders se taal(Department of General Linguistics, Stellenbosch University, 2020) Southwood, Frenette; Oosthuizen, HelenaSowat 5% van alle kinders toon ʼn taalagterstand (Law, Boyle, Harris, Harkness en Nye 2000) en daar is aanduidings dat hierdie syfer hoër is in Suid-Afrika, veral onder baie jong kinders (Van der Linde, Swanepoel, Sommerville, Glascoe, Vinck en Louw 2016). Geen voldoende instrument bestaan waarmee vasgestel kan word watter jong Afrikaanssprekendes hulp sal benodig om toekomstige taalverwante akademiese probleme te oorkom nie. Hierdie artikel lewer verslag oor uitdagings wat weens Afrikaanse taalvariasie ervaar word tydens die ontwikkeling van ʼn ouervraelys waarmee jong kinders se taal gemeet kan word. Hierdie vraelys beslaan vrae oor vroeg-ontwikkelende kommunikatiewe gebare, eerste woorde en vroeë sinskonstruksies, en ouers word versoek om op die lys aan te dui watter gebare, woorde en konstruksies hul kind verstaan en/of voortbring. Die vraelys kan nie onbeperk verleng word nie, want die voltooiing daarvan moet ʼn realistiese taak bly, ook vir ouers met lae geletterdheidsvlakke (vgl. Alcock, Rimba, Holding, Kitsao-Wekulo, Abubakar en Newton 2015). Besluite oor die insluiting of uitsluiting op die vraelys van woorde uit spesifieke Afrikaanse variëteite is egter gereeld nie voor die hand liggend nie.Bestaande taalmetingsinstrumente diskrimineer wêreldwyd tipies teen kinders wat nie deel van die dominante kultuur en taalgemeenskap vorm nie. Gegee Suid-Afrika se bevlekte geskiedenis wat die erkenning van sprekers van niegestandaardiseerde taalvariëteite betref (vgl. bv. Hendricks 2012; Williams 2016), is die opstel van ʼn geldige ouervraelys ononderhandelbaar. Daar moet dus noukeurig oorweeg word watter woorde op die lys verskyn, want ʼn goeie ouervraelys sal bydra tot kultureel- en talig-regverdige taaltoetsing van jong Afrikaanssprekende kinders. Dit sal help om kinders te identifiseer wat sukkel om hul taal te verwerf en wat ekstra hulp benodig sodat hul taal genoegsaam kan verbeter vóór hul formele skoolloopbaan begin. Sodoende sal hulle ʼn groter kans hê om die kurrikulum te verstaan, skoolsukses te ervaar en’n lang genoeg skoolloopbaan te hê om hul potensiaal te verwesenlik.
- ItemThe challenge of linguistic and cultural diversity : does length of experience affect South African speech-language therapists’ management of children with language impairment(AOSIS Publishing, 2015-02) Southwood, Frenette; Van Dulm, OndeneBackground: South African speech-language therapists (SLTs) currently do not reflect the country’s linguistic and cultural diversity. The question arises as to who might be better equipped currently to provide services to multilingual populations: SLTs with more clinical experience in such contexts, or recently trained SLTs who are themselves linguistically and culturally diverse and whose training programmes deliberately focused on multilingualism and multiculturalism? Aims: To investigate whether length of clinical experience influenced: number of bilingual children treated, languages spoken by these children, languages in which assessment and remediation can be offered, assessment instrument(s) favoured, and languages in which therapy material is required. Method: From questionnaires completed by 243 Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)-registered SLTs who treat children with language problems, two groups were drawn:71 more experienced (ME) respondents (20+ years of experience) and 79 less experienced (LE) respondents (maximum 5 years of experience). Results: The groups did not differ significantly with regard to (1) number of children(monolingual or bilingual) with language difficulties seen, (2) number of respondents seeing child clients who have Afrikaans or an African language as home language, (3) number of respondents who can offer intervention in Afrikaans or English and (4) number of respondents who reported needing therapy material in Afrikaans or English. However, significantly more ME than LE respondents reported seeing first language child speakers of English, whereas significantly more LE than ME respondents could provide services, and required therapymaterial, in African languages. Conclusion: More LE than ME SLTs could offer remediation in an African language, but there were few other significant differences between the two groups. There is still an absence of appropriate assessment and remediation material for Afrikaans and African languages, but the increased number of African language speakers entering the profession may contribute to better service delivery to the diverse South African population.
- ItemChild language assessment and intervention in multilingual and multicultural South Africa : findings of a national survey(Stellenbosch University, Department of General Linguistics, 2013) Van Dulm, Ondene; Southwood, FrenetteResearch world-wide suggests that service delivery by speech-language therapists (SLTs) to bilingual children is problematic and largely unsatisfactory. In multicultural South Africa, the majority of SLTs speak either only English or only Afrikaans and English. The current state of service delivery to bilingual children, including those with first languages other than English or Afrikaans, is not known. This study was undertaken to ascertain how SLTs in South Africa adapt their assessment and intervention practices to cope with the multilingual and multicultural nature of the local child population. A questionnaire was completed by 243 practising SLTs who had children on their caseloads. 71% of respondents reported treating children with English as first language, 51% Afrikaans, and 53% an indigenous African language. Less than 2% reported not treating bilingual children. Almost all respondents could assess clients in English, three-quarters in Afrikaans, and 15% in an African language. A quarter could treat clients in one language only; 11% could do so in more than two languages. Only 7% reported that 90-100% of their bilingual clients receive intervention in their first language. 70% of respondents needed intervention material in English, 57% in Afrikaans, and 33% in an African language. 78% considered the underlying linguistic base when selecting a language assessment instrument; only 6% considered its linguistic and cultural appropriateness for use locally. The use of translations of English-medium instruments when assessing Afrikaans-speaking children was widely reported, as was dissatisfaction with standardised English- and Afrikaans-medium instruments. The findings supply essential information on the state of service delivery to bilingual children: After almost two decades of official multilingualism in South Africa, SLTs’ practices remain a poor reflection of the multilingual and multicultural realities of the population. Steps toward improving the situation would include training more multilingual SLTs, specifically speakers of African languages, and expanding research leading to linguistically and culturally appropriate assessment and intervention material.
- ItemA comparison of the responses to three comprehension and three production tasks assessing the morpho-syntactic abilities of Afrikaans-speaking preschoolers(Stellenbosch University, 2005) Southwood, FrenetteThe lack of standardised assessment instruments for assessing the morpho-syntactic abilities of Afrikaans-speaking children often leads to the use of informal assessment tools and/or spontaneous language samples. The question that this paper addresses is how best to assess these morpho-syntactic abilities when using nonstandardised assessment instruments of this kind. The general aim of the present study was to answer this question. Eight typically developing, monolingual children (one boy and one girl of 3, 4, 5, and 6 years) from monolingual Afrikaans-speaking homes participated. Tasks were administered to assess comprehension and production of grammatical features related to number, person, case, and tense, as well as questions forms, binding relations and passive constructions. The comprehension tasks entailed picture selection, judging the (in)correctness of utterances produced by the researcher, and question answering, whereas the production tasks consisted of sentence completion, question asking and a language sample. A specific aim of the study was to determine which method(s) rendered the highest number of (i) correct responses and (ii) usable responses (i.e., responses strictly related to the aspect under assessment) by these typically developing participants. The results indicate that picture selection elicited the highest number of both correct and usable responses in the comprehension tasks. The production task that provided the highest number of both correct and usable responses was language sample elicitation. This suggests that these tasks should receive precedence when assessing the morpho-syntactic abilities of Afrikaans-speaking preschool children.
- ItemThe comprehension and production of plural forms of nouns by 6-year-old Afrikaans-speaking children with and without specific language impairment(Stellenbosch University, 2006) Southwood, FrenetteIn Afrikaans, plurality is indicated phonetically in several ways. The large number of pluralisation rules and the many exceptions to these rules cause acquirers of Afrikaans to make some use of rote learning. The question arises as to how, if at all, the knowledge of pluralisation of Afrikaans-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI) differs from that of typically developing children: if even typically developing Afrikaans-speaking children have to learn the correct phonetic realisation of the plural forms of nouns (to a certain extent) and if this learning is not yet completed by 6 years of age (Southwood, 2006), can knowledge of pluralisation then be used to differentiate between Afrikaans-speaking children with and without SLI (seeing that SLI is characterised by a deficit in grammatical morphology)? This paper attempts to answer this question by examining the comprehension and production of plural forms by 10 6-year-olds with SLI and 10 without. It was found that some selected measures of comprehension and production of pluralisation are sufficiently sensitive to differentiate between the two groups. It was also found that neither of two prominent accounts of SLI, namely the Feature Deficit Hypothesis (Gopnik, 1994a) and the Surface Hypothesis (Leonard, 1989 and others), offers an adequate explanation for the problems with pluralisation experienced by Afrikaans-speaking children.
- ItemThe comprehension and production of quantifiers in isiXhosa-speaking Grade 1 learners(AOSIS Publishing, 2016) Nel, Joanine; Southwood, FrenetteBackground: Quantifiers form part of the discourse-internal linguistic devices that children need to access and produce narratives and other classroom discourse. Little is known about the development - especially the prodiction - of quantifiers in child language, specifically in speakers of an African language. Objectives: The study aimed to ascertain how well Grade 1 isiXhosa first language (L1) learners perform at the beginning and at the end of Grade 1 on quantifier comprehension and production tasks. Method: Two low socioeconomic groups of L1 isiXhosa learners with either isiXhosa or English as language of learning and teaching (LOLT) were tested in February and November of their Grade 1 year with tasks targeting several quantifiers. Results: The isiXhosa LOLT group comprehended no/none, any and all fully either in February or then in November of Grade 1, and they produced all assessed quantifiers in February of Grade 1. For the English LOLT group, neither the comprehension nor the production of quantifiers was mastered by the end of Grade 1, although there was a significant increase in both their comprehension and production scores. Conclusion: The English LOLT group made significant progress in comprehension and production of quantifiers, but still performed worse than peers who had their L1 as LOLT. Generally, children with no or very little prior knowledge of the LOLT need either, (1) more deliberate exposure to quantifier-rich language or, (2) longer exposure to general classroom language before quantifiers can be expected to be mastered sufficiently to allow access to quantifier-related curriculum content.
- ItemDoes socioeconomic level have an effect on school-age language skills in a developed country?(Stellenbosch University, Department of General Linguistics, 2016) Van Dulm, Ondene; Southwood, FrenetteSocioeconomic status (SES) has been reported in several contexts as a predictor of child language skills. This study questions whether this holds true for New Zealand, a developed country in which government provides funding for additional academic support to low-SES schoolchildren. The language of 67 typically-developing, English-speaking 5- to 7-year-olds (40 high SES, 27 low SES) was assessed using two normed instruments (the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (Australian) (Dunn and Dunn 2007) and the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (Australian) (Semel, Wiig and Secord 2006)) and one unnormed instrument (the Receptive and Expressive Activities for Language Therapy; Southwood and Van Dulm 2012). Although the low-SES group had significantly lower scores than the high-SES group on the two normed instruments, all participants’ scores were within the expected age norms on these instruments. The low-SES group had significantly lower scores on the Receptive and Expressive Activities for Language Therapy for comprehension of articles, binding relations, passive constructions and wh questions, and for production of passives and conjunctions. The language of young New Zealand schoolchildren thus appears similarly vulnerable to SES effects as those of children elsewhere. The question arises as to what can be done to allow these children to develop the language skills that will allow them to function optimally in the school context.
- ItemDie effek van direkte instruksie oor voegwoordgebruik op die sintaktiese kompleksiteit van narratiewe(Stellenbosch University, Department of General Linguistics, 2003) Steinberg, Anna-Retha; Klop, Daleen; Southwood, FrenetteBlootstelling aan narratiewe vanaf 'n jong ouderdom bevorder geletterdheid en akademiese prestasie (Rollins, McCabe, en Bliss 2000:223). Die vermoë om 'n narratief te produseer behels die gebruik van gevorderde taal- en kognitiewe vaardighede (Wagner, Nettelbladt, Sahlén, en Nilholm 2000:90). Baie akademiese vakke vereis die oorvertel van gebeure, byvoorbeeld in toetse, formele skryfstukke, en mondelinge (Milosky 1987:330). Kinders se vermoë om 'n narratief te verstaan, oor te vertel, en te produseer gee nie net 'n aanduiding van hul algemene taalvermoë nie, maar dien ook as voorbereiding vir die formele taal wat tydens latere skooljare benodig word (Alant, Tesner, en Taljaardt 1992:188). Verder kan die gebruik van komplekse sintaksis in narratiewe belangrike inligting verskaf oor leerders se skoolgeletterdheidsaktiwiteite (Gutierrez-Clellen en Hofstetter 1994:646; Rollins et al. 2000:223). Sintaktiese kompleksiteit is baie nóú geïntegreer met akademiese taal (Gummersall en Strong 1999:152). Handboeke, naslaanwerke, vraestelle, en wiskundige en wetenskaplike literatuur vereis 'n begrip van en vaardigheid met komplekse taalstrukture. Vir die optimale begrip van byvoorbeeld 'n wiskundige woordprobleem, moet voegwoorde en uitgebreide sinne verstaan en geïnterpreteer kan word. Die mate waarin sintakties komplekse uitinge verstaan word, sal dus 'n invloed hê op die begrip van wetenskaplike of akademiese taal. Onderwyser- en handboektaal word albei toenemend kompleks namate kinders deur hul skoolloopbaan vorder (Gummersall en Strong 1999:152). Die begrip van sintakties komplekse sinne is dus belangrik vir sukses in die klaskamer.
- ItemFirst and second language child speakers of Afrikaans’s knowledge of figurative language(Stellenbosch University, 2008) Van der Merwe, Kristin; Southwood, FrenetteThis article reports on a study that compared the knowledge of figurative language in first (L1) and second language (L2) speakers of Afrikaans, aged 8 to 10. To assess comprehension of figurative language, 25 idioms were initially presented without context; only if the child gave an incorrect interpretation was the idiom placed in context. There was no statistically significant difference between the comprehension of idioms by the two language groups and they gave comparable numbers of literal interpretations. Providing context was beneficial to both groups. In the simile completion task, the child had to give the last word of a simile read to him by the researcher. This proved easier for both groups than the idiom task, but still no significant differences were found between the two groups. The results imply that the extent to which a child is aware of the existence of figurative language (i.e., that what is said is not always what is meant) possibly has a greater influence on his/her figurative language skills than does the amount of exposure to figurative language used by others. This implies that an awareness of figurative language as well as the specific meaning of idioms and similes needs to be taught explicitly, regardless of whether the child is an L1 or L2 learner.
- ItemInvestigating the impact of SMS speak on the written work of English first language and English second language high school learners(Stellenbosch University, 2009) Winzker, Kristy; Southwood, Frenette; Huddlestone, KateThis study examined the impact of SMS speak on the written work of English first language (L1) and English second language (L2) grade 8s and 11s. The aim was to establish whether these learners make use of features of SMS speak in their English written work. The participants, 88 learners from an English-Afrikaans dual medium school, completed questionnaires from which the frequency and volume of their SMS use were determined, as well as the features of SMS speak they reportedly use while SMSing. In addition, samples of their English essays were examined for the following features of SMS speak: (deliberate) spelling errors; lack of punctuation; over-punctuation; omission of function words; and use of abbreviation, acronyms, emoticons and rebus writing. The questionnaires indicated that these learners are avid users of the SMS. All participants reported using features of SMS speak in their SMSes, and more than 40% reported using SMS speak in their written school work. Despite this, features of SMS speak infrequently occurred in the written work of the learners, which could indicate that the learners are able to assess when it is and is not appropriate to use a certain variety of language. That said, a number of SMS speak features were indeed present in the samples, which indicates that SMS speak had some impact on the written work of these learners. Not all of the nonstandard features of their written English could, however, necessarily be attributed to the influence of SMS speak; specifically some of the spelling and punctuation errors could have occurred in the written English of high school learners from before the advent of cell phones.
- ItemIs noticing an answer to the problem of unacquirable structures in the second language?(Stellenbosch University, Department of General Linguistics, 2002) Southwood, FrenetteThe aim of this article is to evaluate one proposed solution to the problem that some aspects of a second language (L2) seem unacquirable. In order to understand the solution, it is necessary to explicate the problem. This will be done by providing a brief description of Fodor's (1983) modular view of the human mind, followed by an account of the views of two researchers on second language acquisition (SLA), namely that of Krashen (whose view is compatible with the modular view of the human mind) and that of White (whose view is not). These two researchers agree on many aspects of SLA, but disagree about whether learnt knowledge of language can become acquired knowledge. It is here that an interesting question arises, namely the question of whether certain aspects of an L2 can be learnt, but not acquired. One proposed answer to this problem, namely that of noticing, will be evaluated. Reasons why noticing is, at present, more of a problem than an answer will be provided, and a case will be made for the Noticing Hypothesis being testable in theory but not in practice.
- ItemThe language scripts of pre-school children and of the language intervention volunteer : mismatched discourses?(Stellenbosch University, Department of General Linguistics, 2016) Southwood, Frenette; D'Oliveira, EdenChildren with low socioeconomic status (SES) often enter school with poor language skills (Raizada, Richards, Meltzoff and Kuhl 2008), and fall further behind their middle-class peers with every passing grade (cf. Cunningham and Stanovich 1997). This frequently results in academic failure and premature school exit (Astone and McLanahan 1991; Catts, Fey, Tomblin and Zhang 2002), which perpetuates the cycle of limited life chances. Early intervention is often recommended for these children in an attempt to render them less vulnerable to such academic failure. This study considers the practice of such early language intervention. It reflects on the lessons learnt from a language stimulation programme implemented by a dedicated volunteer in a childcare centre in an isolated farming valley in the Stellenbosch area. Some children attending this centre received deliberate language stimulation in a small-group setting on a weekly basis for 18 weeks spread over 6 months. Formal pre- and post-intervention language test scores indicated limited gains for this group, with no statistically significant differences (i) between the group’s pre- and post-stimulation scores or (ii) between those children who received the language stimulation and those who did not. Although other, difficult-to-measure gains could be observed (such as increased confidence in interaction with the volunteer, better class participation, and increased positive risk-taking), the stimulation programme failed to yield statistically significant improvement in language skills. The question arises as to why this is the case: Would the children have shown significant improvement over a longer period of time? Is the formal language test inappropriate for use with these children? Or should the practice of a middle-class volunteer entering these children’s low-SES world be reconsidered? The paper considers the apparent failure of early language intervention to achieve its goal, namely to give linguistically under-prepared children a fair chance at participating in classroom discourse.
- ItemLiteracy development of English language learners: The outcomes of an intervention programme in grade R(AOSIS OpenJournals, 2010-12) Olivier, Anna-Mari; Anthonissen, Christine; Southwood, FrenetteThis study aims to contribute to the knowledge base on the status and development of emergent literacy skills of learners receiving formal education in their second or additional language. The focus is on young English language learners (ELLs), i.e. learners whose home language is not English but who have English as their language of teaching and learning. This article reports on a study that investigated ELLs’ emergent literacy skills prior to entering grade 1 and then evaluated the effectiveness of an evidence-based stimulation programme on early literacy skills in the South African context. Using a quasi-experimental design, ELLs’ emergent literacy skills were assessed with an adapted version of 8 of the subtests of the Emergent Literacy Assessment battery (Willenberg, 2004) and were compared to those of English first language (L1) and of ELL control groups, both before and after the 8-week purpose-designed programme. While learners showed significant improvement on 6 of the 8 subtests, the programme did not significantly improve ELLs’ skills in comparison to those of the control groups. Possible independent variables contributing to the dearth of intervention effect include socio-economic status, learners’ L1, and teacher- and classroom-specific characteristics, all of which were considered in this study. Clinical implications for speech-language therapists with regard to assessment, intervention, service delivery and outcome measures are highlighted.
- ItemMethodological issues in the calculation of mean length of utterance (MLU)(AOSIS, 2009) Oosthuizen, Helena; Southwood, FrenetteMean length of utterance (MLU) is widely used as a diagnostic, monitoring and group matching measure. This study investigated methodological issues regarding the calculation of MLU. The aim was to establish whether different calculation procedures render different MLUs, and whether there is a high correlation between MLU measured in words (MLU-w) and in morphemes (MLU-m). Language samples from 15 Afrikaans-speaking 6-year-olds with and 15 without specific language impairment were analyzed. MLU was calculated eight times for each participant, varying sample size (50 or 100 utterances), unit counted (words or morphemes) and calculation method (traditional or alternate). Significant differences in resultant MLUs were due to the calculation method used, rather than sample size or unit counted. A high positive correlation (>0.96) between MLU-w and MLU-m was found. The results imply that researchers and clinicians should clearly state their MLU calculation procedures, otherwise reliable comparisons between MLU scores from different sources cannot be made. The results furthermore imply that, in order to generalize research results and make diagnostic decisions based on MLU, consistent procedures should be used, not only with regard to language sampling, but also to MLU calculation.
- ItemMothers' judgement of the representativeness of their sons' language samples in relation to volume of language produced(Department of General Linguistics, Stellenbosch University, 2005) Southwood, Frenette; Russell, Ann F.The analysis of language elicited during naturally occurring situations forms the cornerstone of a child language assessment protocol and is used for the planning and monitoring of intervention (Dunn, Flax, Sliwinski, and Aram 1996; Evans and Miller 1999). A 1997 survey revealed that 85% of speech-language therapists in the United States of America use language samples during language assessment with children (Kemp and Klee 1997). One reason for the frequent use of language samples is the limitations of standardised language tests (cf., amongst others, Hawkins and Spencer 1985). Another reason is the lack of assessment tools, especially culturally fair ones, for clients from nonmainstream groups (Peña, Quinn, and Iglesias 1992; Toronto and Merrill 1983). Consider the situation of Afrikaans, for example: According to the 2001 census results (Statistics South Africa 2003), this language is spoken as mother-tongue by 13% of the South African population (i.e., by 6 million people). Considering that Afrikaans is not widely spoken outside of the country, it could thus be viewed as a nonmainstream language compared to, for instance, English, the language which has the world's third largest number of mother-tongue speakers, viz. 322 million (Grimes 1996).
- ItemMotion events in Afrikaans : their expression by adult speakers and by children with and without language impairment(Department of General Linguistics, Stellenbosch University, 2010) Oosthuizen, Helena; Hohle, Barbara; Southwood, FrenetteMotion events occur frequently in everyday life as people and objects constantly change their relative location to one another. Although children's descriptions of motion events resemble those of adults in their own language group from very early on (Choi and Bowermann 1991), there is increasing evidence for subtle differences as well. Young children speaking different languages seem to have some difficulty in expressing two types of spatial information in the same conceptual frame (e.g. Ochsenbauer and Hickmann 2010). In English and other satellite-framed languages such as German and Afrikaans, this task involves using a complex particle verb construction in which a directional particle (e.g. out) combines with a prepositional phrase carrying further information about the source or goal of movement (e.g. some bees came out of the tree) (Berman and Slobin 1994:161). Little is known about the development of this type of structure in satellite-framed languages such as Afrikaans. This paper examined whether (i) there are developmental differences between adults and 6-year-old Afrikaans-speaking children in the production of preposition+verb particle structures, and whether (ii) children with language impairment produce these structures in a different way than typically developing children. Target elements were preposition+verb particle structures with the particles af 'down', in 'in', uit 'out' and op 'up'. The performance of ten adults was compared to that of 30 typically developing and three language-impaired 6-year-olds. Half of the participants in the adult and typically developing groups were speakers of Mainstream Afrikaans (MA), and half were speakers of Cape Afrikaans (CA), a non-mainstream dialect. Distinct developmental differences that could not be attributed to dialectal variation, were found between 6-year-olds and adults. Children with language impairment showed less variation in their responses than their typically developing peers. Possible explanations for the findings are discussed.
- ItemThe politics of mother tongue education : the case of Uganda(Stellenbosch University, 2016) Ssentanda, Medadi Erisa; Huddlestone, Kate; Southwood, FrenetteThis paper aims to explain the trend of mother tongue (MT) education in Uganda by examining particularly government’s practices towards MT education. MT education was (re)introduced in Uganda in 2006/2007 due to disappointing literacy acquisition by learners with the hope of improving literacy skills among particularly rural children. Based on data gathered from rural government and private schools in rural areas, this paper questions what exactly it is that government seeks to reclaim, restore and/or rejuvenate in Uganda’s education system via MT education.
- ItemThe presence of a primary male caregiver affects children's language skills(University of Stellenbosch, Department of General Linguistics, 2010) Southwood, FrenetteThis study aimed to determine whether the presence or absence of a primary male caregiver influences a child's language skills. A language test was administered to 342 Afrikaans-speaking 4- to 9-year-olds from various socioeconomic backgrounds. The average percentile ranks for the composite language score as well as for the separate language domains of those participants with primary male caregivers was compared to the percentile ranks of those participants without such caregivers. The group with primary male caregivers fared significantly better, implying that the presence of a primary male caregiver has an influence, direct or indirect, on children's language skills.
- ItemSpeaker meaning attributed to the terms salvation and insindiso in selected mainline and independent church contexts(Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Theology, 2009-12) Kerr, Nick; Southwood, FrenetteThis study was conducted to ascertain what meanings the terms salvation, saved, and their isiZulu equivalents have for some Zulu Christians. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine mother-tongue speakers of isiZulu varying in terms of age, gender, church affiliation and level of theological training. It transpired that both the English and isiZulu terms have undergone selective semantic narrowing: Apart from having their conventional meaning (pertaining to a personal acceptance of the redemptive work of Christ), these terms also imply for some Christians (specifically Evangelical and Pentecostal Zulus) an exclusive, validating spiritual experience precluding any involvement with ancestral practices. Consequently, one is viewed as saved only if one denounces certain apparently evil cultural practices, particularly those pertaining to ancestors. As other isiZuluspeaking Christians disagree with this narrowed meaning, and as mother-tongue speakers of English are generally unaware of it, indiscriminate use of these terms could lead to intercultural miscommunication of a complex nature.
- ItemSpecific language impairment as a syntax-phonology (PF) interface problem : evidence from Afrikaans(Department of General Linguistics, Stellenbosch University, 2012) Corver, Norbert; Southwood, Frenette; Van Hout, RoelandA theoretical account of specific language impairment (SLI) – one which places the locus of the impairment at Spell-Out at the syntax-phonology interface – is proposed and then tested against utterances from Afrikaans-speaking children with SLI. Drawing on Minimalism, our account offers a unified explanation for the seemingly diverse phenomena found in the Afrikaans data: omission of certain lexical material, double articulation of other lexical material and word order deviations. Based on our data, we conclude that the language problem of children with SLI appears to lie neither in the mapping from lexicon to syntax (thus in the selection of a lexical item as a member of the numeration) nor in the computational system, but in the mapping of an adult-like syntactic representation onto a proper sound representation.