Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 11 November 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.



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Comparison of Markedness of Lexical Semantic Abilities in
Normal Children and Children with Hearing Impairment

Shyamala. K. C., Ph.D.
Basanti Devi, Ph.D.
Brajesh Priyadarshi, Ph.D.
Vishnu.K.K., M.Sc. (Speech & Hearing)

What Is Markedness?

Any patterns that are present but uncommon in the languages of the world (or in a specific language) are termed as markedness features (Veeman, 1998). The notion of markedness is applied to the semantics of a particular language: using the term unmarked refers to the more general or expected element of a pair of opposites. In its most general sense, this distinction refers to the presence versus the absence of a particular linguistic feature (Crystal, 1980). A marked form is a non-basic or less-natural form. An unmarked form is a basic, default form. For example, lion is the unmarked choice of English - it could refer to a male or female lion. But lioness is marked because it can only refer to females.

Semantics (Greek semantikos, giving signs, significant, symptomatic, from sema, sign) refers to the aspects of meaning that are expressed in a language, code, or other form of representation. Lexical semantics is a subfield of linguistics. It is the study of how and what the words of a language denote (Pustejovsky, 1995). Words may either be taken to denote things in the world, or concepts, depending on the particular approach to lexical semantics.

Markedness Differential Hypothesis (MDH)

After the advent of generative linguistic theory in the 1960s and its subsequent expansion into areas such as second language acquisition (e.g. White 1982), the concept was incorporated into the field with convincing predictive and explanatory powers in the form of Eckman's (1977) Markedness Differential Hypothesis (MDH): "The areas of difficulty that a language learner will have can be predicted on the basis of a systematic comparison of the grammars of the native language, the target language and the markedness relations stated in universal grammar".

Since then, the notion of markedness has been extensively used as a tool to explain L2 acquisition phenomena (Yava? 2006, Yava? and Barlow 2006, Cardoso 2007). More recently, there has been a major shift in linguistics with the emergence of usage-based approaches that support the notion that linguistic representation (i.e., competence, in generative terms) is mediated by the frequency with which certain linguistic structures occur in the language (Gass 1997, Bybee 2001, Demuth 2001).

An Important Concept

Markedness is one of the most widely, and wildly, used terms in linguistics, and its senses range from a very narrow, structure-based notion of relative complexity to an extremely open sense of "unusual" or "unnaturalness."

A recent definition of markedness located somewhere in the middle of the notional continuum is put forward by Givón (1995), who writes that "three main criteria can be used to distinguish the marked from the unmarked category in a binary grammatical contrast: first one being structural complexity (the marked structure tends to be more complex than the corresponding unmarked one), frequency distribution (the marked category tends to be less frequent, thus cognitively more salient, than the corresponding unmarked category), cognitive complexity (the marked category tends to be cognitively more complex-in terms of mental effort, attention demands or processing time-than the unmarked one)" (Givón ,1995). For instance, (Givón, 1991) claims that passive structures are more difficult to process than active structures.

According to Chomsky (1981), the theory of markedness "imposes a preference structure on the parameters of UG (Universal Grammar). In the absence of evidence to the contrary, unmarked options are selected". In other words, "the unmarked case of any parameter represents the initial hypothesis that children make about the language to be acquired" (Kean 1992; Haider 1993). In Chomsky & Halle (1968), the idea was proposed that markedness values are not just present in language - particular mental grammars, but are in some way defined at the level of the innate cognitive code for language (Universal Grammar or UG).

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Implementing Explicit Grammatical Instruction in Thailand Schools | Nature of Sentence Intonation in Kannada, Tulu and Konkani | Language and Gender - Linguistic Analysis of Intermediate English Textbooks in Pakistan | Development of Punjabi-Hindi Aligned Parallel Corpus from Web Using Machine Translation | Paralinguistic and Non-Verbal Props in Second-Language Use: A Study of Icheoku and Masquerade in Nigeria | Economic Perspectives and Life-style Characteristics of the Aged Population in Tamil Nadu, India | Redefining Secularism - An Analysis of John Updike's Terrorist and Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist as Post-9/11 Novels | Reduplication in Bengali Language | Development of Time-Compressed Speech Test for Children between 8 - 12 Years of Age in Telugu | Bridging the Gap - The Potential of Contrastive Rhetoric in Teaching L2 Writing | ELT in Yemen and India - The Need for Remedial Measures | Relationship between Multiple Intelligence Categories and Learning Styles of Students in Pakistan | Internet as an Educational Resource in Vocabulary Instruction | The Effectiveness of Technology in Teaching Study Skills | A Study of the Comparative Elements in the Poetry of Keats and Ghani Khan | Sentence Pattern Method - A New Approach for Teaching Spoken English for Tamil/Indian/EFL Learners | Enhancing Language Skills Using Learn to Speak English Software in Engineering Students of Andhra Pradesh | Problems in Teaching of English Language at the Primary Level in District Kohat, NWFP, Pakistan | An Appraisal of the Practicum - Finding the Gaps between Theory and Practice in Teacher Training Institutions in Pakistan | A Study of B.Ed. Students' Attitude Towards Using Internet in Vellore District, Tamilnadu, India, Masters Dissertation | Politics of Sambalpuri or Kosali as a Dialect of Oriya in Orissa | A Six-Step Approach to Teaching Poetry Incorporating the Four Skills | Lexis of a Suicidal | A Case Review of Tamil Diglossia | Comparison of Markedness of Lexical Semantic Abilities in Normal Children and Children with Hearing Impairment | Social Effects and Other Impediments in Teaching Literature | Aligning the Connotations of Love and Freedom in the Novels of Iris Murdoch | Spiritual Communication and Managerial Effectiveness | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF NOVEMBER, 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT. | HOME PAGE of November 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Shyamala. K. C., Ph.D.
Department of Speech-Language Pathology
All India Institute of Speech and Hearing
Mysore 570 006
Karnataka, India

Basanti Devi, Ph.D.
JSS College of Speech & Hearing
Karnataka, India

Brajesh Priyadarshi, Ph.D.
Department of Speech-Language Pathology
All India Institute of Speech and Hearing
Mysore 570 006
Karnataka, India

Vishnu. K.K., M.Sc. (Speech and Hearing)
Department of Speech-Language Pathology
All India Institute of Speech and Hearing
Mysore 570 006
Karnataka, India

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