Posted by & filed under Job Postings.

The Department of Communication invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position in the area of interpersonal and/or intergroup communication. The search is at the level of Assistant Professor, with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2016. Candidates should be ABD (with a degree expected by June 2016) or have a Ph.D. preferably in communication, have a strong social science background, and a record of publishing innovative scientific research. Applicants with research and teaching expertise in traditional or new areas of interpersonal/intergroup communication are encouraged to apply.

Applicants should submit a cover letter highlighting qualifications, a curriculum vitae, evidence of teaching effectiveness, three letters of recommendation, and three publications to the appropriate sections of the job search website: Questions should be directed to the Search Committee Chair, Dr. Howie Giles, at or at 805-893-2055. This position will remain open until filled. For primary consideration all application materials, including reference letters, must be received by October 30, 2015.

The Department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service. The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Posted by & filed under Member Publications.

The (randomly selected) focus publication for August 2015 is:

McKenzie, R.M. (2015). The sociolinguistics of variety identification and categorisation: Free classification of varieties of spoken English amongst non-linguist listeners. Language Awareness, 24(2), 150-168. Doi: 10.1080/09658416.2014.998232 

Abstract: In addition to the examination of non-linguists’ evaluations of different speech varieties, in recent years, sociolinguists and sociophoneticians have afforded greater attention towards the ways in which naïve listeners’ perceive, process and encode spoken language variation, including the identification of language varieties as regionally or socially localised forms. The present study attempts to extend understanding of non-linguists’ perceptions of linguistic diversity through the investigation of how accurately and consistently UK-born students, resident in the north-east of England, can identify the speaker place of origin of six forms of L1 and L2 English. The results demonstrate that whilst the process of encoding indexical properties to and categorisations of speech stimulus as belonging to a specific language variety is complex, there is a clear tendency amongst informants to initially identify the speech as either native or non-native, most especially through the perception of specific segmental and non-segmental phonological features, before attempting more fine-grained classifications. The findings also point to the recognition of speaker place of origin at different levels of awareness, above and below the level of individual consciousness.

Posted by & filed under Member Publications.

Our focus publication for July 2015 is:

Harwood, J., & Vincze, L. (2015). Ethnolinguistic identity, vitality, and gratifications for television use in a bilingual media environment. Journal of Social Issues, 71, 73-89.

ABSTRACT: This article tests a model predicting minority language television consumption. We examine how four media gratifications (diversion, ethnolinguistic identity, surveillance, parasocial companionship) mediate the relationship between ethnolinguistic identification and choice of ingroup language television viewing. The study is performed among (minority) Hungarian speakers in Transylvania, Romania. Self-report questionnaire data from 401 Hungarian-speaking high school students in Csíkszereda/Miercurea Ciuc (a majority Hungarian locale) and Brassó/Brașov (a minority Hungarian locale) allowed us to compare high and low local vitality conditions. Analysis indicates that diversion (entertainment) and ethnolinguistic identity gratifications for watching ingroup language television are the strongest mediators of the influence of identification on ingroup language television use. We examined four moderators of these indirect effects (objective vitality, subjective vitality, intergroup contact, and intragroup contact). The moderators revealed a number of rather complex effects which are discussed with regard to the local intergroup context and broader issues of media and intergroup relations.

Posted by & filed under Member Publications.

Our focus publication for this month (randomly selected) by an IALSP member is:

Burgers, C., Beukeboom, C.J., Sparks, L., & Diepeveen, V. (2015). How (not) to inform patients about drug use: Use and effects of negations in Dutch patient information leaflets. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 24(2), 137-143. doi: 10.1002/pds.3679.

Under EU regulations, patient information leaflets (PILs) are required to be clear and understandable. Negations (e.g., not, no) are a linguistic aspect that may impact PIL comprehension, yet go unmentioned in these regulations. We conducted two studies to determine (1) how negations are used in Dutch PILs (study 1) and (2) the effects of negations on readers (study 2).

Study 1 was a content analysis of 30 PILs of different brands of pollinosis drugs, half of which were freely available in drugstores and half only by physician prescription. We mapped negation use in PIL sections on ‘proper usage’ and ‘potential side effects’. Study 2 was an experiment in which participants (N = 80, Mage = 33.19 years, SDage = 13.66; 76.3% female) were presented with one of two PIL texts on proper drug usage. Texts were identical except for the use of negations. After reading, participants answered questions about comprehension, PIL appreciation and medical adherence intentions.

Study 1 demonstrates that negations are often used in PILs as 21.0% of clauses contain at least one negation. This number is higher in sections related to potential side effects than proper usage. Study 2 demonstrates that negations decrease both actual and subjective comprehension. Negations also decrease PIL appreciation and medical adherence intentions. The reduction in medical adherence intentions is driven by the decrease of subjective and not actual comprehension.

In general, participants prefer PILs that contain clear and comprehensible language. To increase comprehensibility, PIL designers should refrain from using negations as much as possible.