Decoupling Agree operation

Bhatt, R., & Walkow, M. (n.d.). Locating agreement in grammar: an argument from agreement in conjunctions. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, 1–63. doi:10.1007/s11049-013-9203-y
Bhatt & Walkow provide evidence from the Hindi-Urdu language where the conjoined DP (&P) in a subject position is resolved by agreement and features are valued; but left with an absence of agreement with conjoined objects.  The evidence would indicate that this is due to Agree essentially being Continue reading
Link

The term “Microsoftening”

Does this mean a small softening?  Of course, the soft in Microsoft comes from “software”.  But it occurred to me that software is rarely used anymore.  Nowadays, “apps” has taken over.  Thus, I am wondering if from a morphological standpoint if the people born now will retain the meaning of “soft” in Microsoft as being from software.  Click on link to see the term “microsoftening” being used.

High life chimp communication

This picture is a collage of drawings showing cartoon chimps communicating with each other. One drawing states, “Chimps have things to say to each other, just like humans do. Its not surprising they are our closet relative. But chimps don’t use words, they hoot and grunt and make faces and gestures instead.” It would be interesting to critique this argument based on the design features of human language: Arbitrariness, Productivity, Discreteness, Duality, Displacement, Cultural Transmission, Interchangeability.

For example, words are signs and chimps use signs so that is not sufficient to make the distinction being made here. However, productively of the language (a.k.a Creativity) is certainly a main property this article is alluding to.

From:
In the air this month. (2013, August). High Life: magazine for British Airways, page 13.

Blackboard rubric to record absences

I have been using the rubric in Blackboard to record absences.  There are advantages to keeping this data in Blackboard.  I have heard another option is to record each day as a separate grading column and there are some advantages to that.  However, due to the simplicity of presentation to the student, only having to deal with one column during the semester and only having to reference one column for calculated columns, I am going to stick to this method this semester.

There is some setup involved but it can be made easier by following this trial and error advice: Continue reading

Using four sided dice for tenses

ESL activity using four sided dice

Four sided dice being used to add variety to an ESL activity.

Recently, I have had great success incorporating four sided dice into the lesson. Because a few of the students do not like sentence drills, role plays or game tasks (oddly!), I have had to find a way to get them talking to each other without me involved.  Then don’t like activity sheets but they like rolling dice.  While normal game dice (six-sided) are great for board type activities and pennies are great for two-sided needs, I had been needing something with just the right number for some basic tenses.  This is great for randomizing their drills

Continue reading