It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
The Cambridge Handbook of Communication Disorders examines the full range of developmental and acquired communication disorders and provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive guide to the epidemiology, aetiology and clinical features of these disorders.
This study examines the mutual intelligibility between all 225 pairs of 15
Chinese dialects, in two main branches, i.e., six Mandarin dialects and
nine non-Mandarin (Southern) dialects. The dialects (often distinct
languages by western standards) differ in the richness of their lexical
tone inventories, ranging between four (in most Mandarin dialects) to as
many as nine (in Guangzhou/Cantonese). Judgment (how well do listeners
think they understand the speaker?) and functional (how well do speakers
actually understand the speaker?) intelligibility tests were used. A
methodological question was whether (fast and efficient) judgment testing
may serve as a viable substitute for (laborious) functional intelligibility
testing. Dialect fragments were also monotonized in order to estimate the
importance of pitch variation for intelligibility in tone languages. Also,
a large number of objective linguistic distance measures were collected,
either copied from the literature or computed by the author on existing
language resources. A systematic attempt is made to determine how well the
judgment and functional intelligibility scores can be predicted from each
other and from (combinations of) objective linguistics distance measures.
Mutual intelligibility testing affords a single dimension along which the
degree of difference between language varieties can be expressed. The
hypothesis is tested that the agglomeration trees generated from mutual
intelligibility scores correlate strongly with linguistic taxonomies
expressing family relationships among languages and dialects.
This study should be of interest to linguists, more specifically
dialectologists, dialectometrists and phoneticians.