For some time, the role of culture in language education within schools, universities and professional communication has received increasing attention. This article identifies two aporias in the discourse of intercultural communication (IC): first, that it contains an unstated movement towards a universal consciousness; second, that its claims to truth are grounded in an implicit appeal to a transcendental moral signified. These features constitute IC discourse as ‘totality’, or as ‘metaphysics of presence’. The article draws on the work of Levinas (1969/2007, (...) 1998/2009); and Derrida (1976, 1978, 1981, 1993) to propose more considered ethical grounds for intercultural praxis. Contra a Hegelian impetus towards universal consciousness, we posit an irreducible distance and separation between the self and other. In so doing, not only are we able to supersede the field's implicit appeal to the transcendental as a source of truth but also to counter perceptibly ‘exorbitant’ claims and actions of the intercultural other. In this vein, the article proposes a discourse ethics of responsibility by which it still becomes possible for a critical intercultural praxis to make value judgements and to take potentially transformative action vis-à-vis cultural acts that challenge the limits of intercultural tolerance and hospitality. (shrink)
Sentences containing relative clauses are well known to be difficult to comprehend, and they have long been an arena in which to investigate the role of working memory in language comprehension. However, recent work has suggested that relative clause processing is better described by ambiguity resolution processes than by limits on extrinsic working memory. We investigated these alternative views with a Simple Recurrent Network (SRN) model of relative clause processing in Mandarin Chinese, which has a unique pattern of word order (...) across main and relative clauses and which has yielded mixed results in human comprehension studies. To assess the model’s ability to generalize from similar sentence structures, and to observe effects of ambiguity through the sentence, we trained the model on several different sentence types, based on a detailed corpus analysis of Mandarin relative clauses and simple sentences, coded to include patterns of noun animacy in the various structures. The model was evaluated on16 different relative clause subtypes. Its performance corresponded well to human reading times, including effects previously attributed to working memory overflow. The model’s performance across a wide variety of sentence types suggested that the seemingly inconsistent results in some prior empirical studies stemmed from failures to consider the full range of sentence types in empirical studies. Crucially, sentence difficulty for the model was not simply a reflection of sentence frequency in the training set; the model generalized from similar sentences and showed high error rates at points of ambiguity. The results suggest that SRNs are a powerful tool to examine the complicated constraint-satisfaction process of sentence comprehension, and that understanding comprehension of specific structures must include consideration of experiences with other similar structures in the language. (shrink)
Qualitative inquiry is increasingly used to foster change in health policy and practice. Research ethics committees often misunderstand qualitative inquiry, assuming its design can be judged by criteria of quantitative science. Traditional health research uses scientific realist standards as a means-to-an-end, answering the question “So what?” to support the advancement of practice and policy. In contrast, qualitative inquiry often draws on constructivist paradigms, generating knowledge either as an end-in-itself or as a means to foster change. When reviewers (...) inappropriately judge qualitative inquiry, it restricts the ways health phenomena can be understood. Qualitative inquiry is necessary because it enables an understanding not possible within scientific explanation. When such research illuminates, it can also shed light onto the “So what?” In order to ensure an appraisal of qualitative inquiry congruent with its paradigmatic premises, we suggest the “Illumination Test,” met when findings foster rich understanding of phenomena, resulting in a reflective “aha!”. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to look beyond the patient as the source of difficulty and to examine the context of care encounters for factors that contributed to the construction of difficulty in the nurse-patient encounter. The study explains the origins of difficulty in the nurse-patient encounter. This explanation broadens the thinking limits previously imposed by locating difficulty within the individual. Key elements of this explanation are: knowing the patient minimizes the likelihood of difficulty in the encounter; and families, (...) availability of supplies and equipment, who is working, and care space changes are contextual factors that contribute to the construction of difficulty in the nurse-patient encounter. Awareness of these findings has implications for the strategies nurses employ in difficult encounters. (shrink)
We agree with Caplan & Waters that there are problems with the single-resource theory of sentence comprehension. However, we challenge their dual-resource alternative on theoretical and empirical grounds and point to a more coherent solution that abandons the notion of working memory resources.