Wed 08 April 2009

I’m not taking any linguistics classes this quarter, so I won’t be posting to this blog regularly for the time being. I may come back occasionally, if I come across a random thought. I will back here again, once I start my next class. That will be in the fall quarter, if not the summer.

Class Completed

Mon 30 March 2009

A crazy busy week at work coincided with my last week of class, but I managed to get out of both in pretty good shape. Specifically, I got an”A” in this class…I think. There’s no “final” grade posted on the class website, but there’s a 93% and a 94% mixed in, so assuming one of those is my grade, I’ve got an A. Now, since I’ve decided not to take a class this coming quarter, I’m going to ask Professor Operstein for some recommended readings to keep me involved in the subject until I get back into it. She send me a listing of paid internships available for the summer, but unfortunately there is no way I can drop my obligations at work for those. (Besides, they’re in Maryland.) A few people have posted on here about some of the topics, so maybe I can continue some of those conversations even while not taking class.

Why Doesn’t it Work?

Sat 21 March 2009

My professor posted an interesting topic on our class discussion board in week eight, Language Acquisition:

Dear Students, You all chose to comment on your experience as second language learners, and you all seem to agree that classroom instruction does not work. Do you have any suggestions on how to teach a second language more efficiently? How would you like to have been taught yourselves? Natalie

Hawaiian Pidgin

Sat 21 March 2009

My essay on Hawaiian Pidgin for week nine, Language and the Brain:

Hawaiian Pidgin, which is technically a creole, is spoken on the Hawaiian islands by much of the local populace. It was born of the necessity to communicate by the many peoples who came to the island in order to work the plantations. The languages from which it arose (aside from English) consist of Portuguese, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and even some Spanish. Pidgin has a distinctive rhythm when you hear it spoken. This is apparently due to it being “syllable timed,” meaning each syllable takes up approximately the same amount of time. This is in opposition to Standard American English, which is “stress-timed.” Its grammar borrows a lot from Portuguese and Chinese, in the use of articles (“Would you like a knife?” becomes “You like one knife?”) and in negation (“You cannot do that!” becomes “You no can do that!”) Culturally, it has historically had a negative connotation, a sign that the speaker is uneducated. More recently, it is used as a sign of belonging by native speakers. As someone who looks local, I have been mistaken for one several times while visiting. However, this only lasts as long as I keep my mouth shut, because as soon as I say anything, they can immediately tell that I’m not. Thus, locals are able to distinguish between tourists and people who are from there - a valuable skill in a tourist locale.

No Signing Up Next Quarter

Sun 15 March 2009

At this point, it looks like I will not be signing up for another class next quarter. It’s not a final judgement on whether or not I will be going for the degree, but at this point I want to allow myself some time to work on my programming projects instead. I may use some of this time to study up some more on the different subfields within the liguistics major to see which interests me enough motivate me some more. However, I want to make sure that I don’t user all of my extra free time just screwing around. I’ll have to lay out some concrete programming goals.

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