Julia Fine (Linguistics, UCSB), Erika Prado (Psychology, UCSB)

Event Date: 

Friday, January 26, 2018 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm

Event Location: 

  • Education 1205

Speakers: Julia Fine (Linguistics, UCSB), Erika Prado (Psychology, UCSB)

Hey:, Ho%: The role of prosody in human-horse interaction
Julia Fine (Linguistics, UCSB)
In opposition to the anthropocentrism that has traditionally characterized linguistics, recent research attests to an increasing interest in how humans interact with and around animals. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted at the UC Santa Barbara Horse Boarders’ Association, this study examines riders’ use of prosody in video-recorded longeing and leading interactions. The results show consistency across the riders’ use of prosodic cues, particularly iconic cues such as the use of prosodic lengthening in requests to slow down and fast, high-frequency cues in requests to speed up. This consistency suggests that the conventions of human-horse prosody may extend beyond the UCSB Horse Boarders' Association and may perhaps form part of a distinct register shared by a larger community of American equestrians trained in the English discipline. Furthermore, the use of prosodic cues highlights how iconicity and conventionalization are intertwined in the context of human-horse communication, emphasizing the importance of both iconic and symbolic meaning in successful interspecies collaboration. 
Communicative Strategies of Nonverbal Bilingual Youth with Autism
Erika Prado (UCSB, Psychology)
Despite the fact that one-third of the population of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are nonverbal, little research has been conducted on this special population, especially those individuals who know more than two languages. This ethnographic case study investigates the communicative strategies and bilingual skills of a young nonverbal bilingual with ASD. In this study, I examine a set of communication tools such as home sign, facial expression, hand gestures, and a computer tablet that the focal participant uses, enabling him to express his needs, wants, thoughts, emotions, and desires. I asked family members to video-record their day-to-day interactions with the focal participant for three consecutive weeks. By studying the focal participant’s communication and bilingual skills in a natural setting, I aim to shed light on the great efforts being made by him to communicate with his family as efficiently as possible with the resources he has available. I consider ways in which his already existing communication tools can be enhanced and strengthened such as encouraging the use of home sign and the design of a new tablet application.