Search found 49 matches

by thethinker
Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:13 pm
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: In your experience, how difficult is it to construct a test?
Replies: 8
Views: 1599

Depends what the reason for the test is. If it's just a motivational tool to get students to study and give them something to aim for, then it's not too hard. But if you want it to be valid and to offer some kind of meaningful measure of your students' language ability, it's extremely difficult.
by thethinker
Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:59 pm
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: person responsible
Replies: 7
Views: 5925

Maybe the second sentences in each pair are best explained as examples of ellipsis? So: I'd like to see person (who is) responsible (for ...) and I'd like to see the person (who is) concerned (with this matter). But it seems that the phrase after 'concerned' is always left out - in other cases we wo...
by thethinker
Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:54 am
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: voiced/unvoiced - the real story?
Replies: 41
Views: 6530

It's a fair point Woodcutter, but I think your proposed test isn't fair. As soon as you talk about alien planets and so on, you're basically suggesting a foreign language with different rules. In tests like these you have to say or pretend that these words are still English words. I was looking at t...
by thethinker
Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:20 pm
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: voiced/unvoiced - the real story?
Replies: 41
Views: 6530

You might also be interested in this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonotactics
by thethinker
Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:11 pm
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: voiced/unvoiced - the real story?
Replies: 41
Views: 6530

I think it depends on who the 'people' are that you are talking about, when you say that we must rely on what 'people' recognise, and that 'people' do not hear a /p/ sound in 'speech'. If you're talking about native speakers, how can you demonstrate that they hear a /b/ sound in 'speech'? If you are...
by thethinker
Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:24 am
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: voiced/unvoiced - the real story?
Replies: 41
Views: 6530

As we have discussed, take away the S in speech and people hear a B sound. This sound is thus an allophone of B, not of P, and should be written accordingly. But leave the /s/ sound there and people (and I'm talking about native speakers) hear a /p/ sound! The unaspirated /p/ is definitely not an a...
by thethinker
Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:23 pm
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: voiced/unvoiced - the real story?
Replies: 41
Views: 6530

I'm also not in favour of spelling reform, only of greater accuracy in phonetic spelling But what do you mean by 'phonetic spelling'? Phonetic transcriptions? Phonemic transcriptions? If you're talking about the sort that you find in dictionaries, they're phonemic transcriptions (even if sometimes ...
by thethinker
Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:04 pm
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: Who did you see in Las Vegas?
Replies: 3
Views: 3124

I think the point is that in 1, certain people might say that we should use 'whom' instead of 'who', hence it could be a 'mistake' from a prescriptive point of view. 2 is quite a tricky one, and there are different theories as to why it is incorrect. I think the Chomskyian idea is that a relative cl...
by thethinker
Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:44 pm
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: voiced/unvoiced - the real story?
Replies: 41
Views: 6530

No, the words 'skill', 'speech' and 'stick' are spelt perfectly logically (or at least the first two letters of each are). Try actually saying 'sbeech' or 'sgill' - it's not easy. So while stop sounds after /s/ might take on the characteristics of their voiced equivalents, from a phonological point ...
by thethinker
Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:30 pm
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: voiced/unvoiced - the real story?
Replies: 41
Views: 6530

Yes, I wasn't really suggesting that the fact that the delay rather than the aspiration has any teaching implications - it's just that it's quite interesting. But I don't completely agree with what you say about inserting a 'buzzing' before 'gummed' - there have also been experiments that showed the...
by thethinker
Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:06 pm
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: voiced/unvoiced - the real story?
Replies: 41
Views: 6530

In fact it's not even aspiration that allows us to distinguish between what are termed voiced and unvoiced stop sounds in English, it's the delay between the release stage and the voicing stage. There are three stages with a stop sound in English - there's the closure stage, when the air builds up, ...
by thethinker
Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:02 pm
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: Can you copyright a syllabus?
Replies: 26
Views: 4031

An important thing to remember is that the marketing departments of ELT publishers spend huge amounts of time on money on creating a brand (best example, Headway - there are all kinds of spin off materials written by countless different authors as part of the course, the main coursebooks get revised...
by thethinker
Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:05 pm
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: at the end vs in the end
Replies: 10
Views: 6912

I've always taught this as follows: at the end = focus on time period, e.g. - At the end of the film there was a big fight, ... in the end = focus on result, conclusions etc. - ... but in the end everyone was happy. Obviously there are other uses like 'at the end of the street' etc., but it seems to...
by thethinker
Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:22 pm
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: relative clauses with indefinite articles
Replies: 14
Views: 1878

No you're not being patronising at all. And your example is extremely useful Stephen. What was confusing me is that with the defining clause and the indefinite article is that the clause doesn't tell us which shop is being mentioned, whereas when we have a definite article it does (i.e. a small shop...
by thethinker
Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:49 pm
Forum: Applied Linguistics
Topic: relative clauses with indefinite articles
Replies: 14
Views: 1878

What's bothering me isn't so much the slight differences in meaning, if there are any, between the two. It's more that to me both seem possible and are much closer in meaning than you would get if there was a definite article in the main clause, e.g.: The employee, who looks after the accounts, is n...