Symposium on Language, the Sustainable Development Goals, and Vulnerable Populations

The Study Group on Language and the United Nations, an independent group of scholars and practitioners working on matters related to the international use of language, convened a symposium on Language, the Sustainable Development Goals, and Vulnerable Populations at the Church Center for the United Nations, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, on 11 and 12 May 2017. Its goal was to examine the implications of language for the treatment of vulnerable populations and their centrality in the development, implementation, and successful completion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs were established by the United Nations General Assembly as the basis for the UN’s development agenda for the period 2015-2030.

The symposium was attended by some 110 academics, diplomats, NGO representatives and UN officials, and was sponsored by a number of organizations, including the Center for Applied Linguistics, the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems and its journal Language Problems and Language Planning, and the Universal Esperanto Association (an organization in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council and associated with the UN Department of Public Information). Financial support was provided by the Center for Applied Linguistics and the Esperantic Studies Foundation.

João authored the Symposium’s Final Report (publication pending)

João’s Roles: Rapporteur, Administrative Assistant

Portuguese Essentials (1st Ed.) – Fluent City

Portuguese Essentials and Level 1 Portuguese were designed to incorporate interactive, fun, communicative, and practical activities not normally found in any other foreign language books. By following these books, students will not only start speaking Portuguese, but will also learn valuable cultural and linguistic skills in preparation for their next trip to a Portuguese-speaking country, meeting future in-laws, understanding what Portuguese-speaking friends, coworkers, or clients are saying, or preparing to reach their own personal linguistic goals.
João’s Roles: Co-Author, Voice Actor

Xochmitl, V. P., Coelho, P., Marinotti, J. P., & Severino, D. (2016). Portuguese Essentials, (1st ed.). New York: Fluent City.

Xochmitl, V. P., Coelho, P., Marinotti, J. P., & Severino, D. (2016). Level 1 Portuguese, Common Ground for Uncommon Experiences (1st ed.). New York: Fluent City.

Mitochondrial Genomes of Anopheles ( Kerteszia ) (Diptera: Culicidae) From the Atlantic Forest, Brazil

Mitochondrial genome sequences are widely used as molecular markers for phylogenetic studies of mosquito species complexes, such as the Anopheles albitarsis complex. Except for a few studies that employed a limited number of nuclear or mitochondrial loci to address the genetic structure and species status of Anopheles cruziiAnopheles bellator, and Anopheles homunculus, little is known about genetic markers that can be employed in studies focusing on Kerteszia species. The complete mitochondrial genomes of seven specimens of An. bellatorAn. cruziiAn. homunculus, and Anopheles laneanus were sequenced using long-range polymerase chain reaction and Illumina sequencing. The mitochondrial genomes varied from 15,446 to 15,738 bp in length and contained 37 genes (13 protein-encoding genes, 2 rRNA genes [12S rRNA and 16S rRNA] and 22 tRNA genes), and the AT-rich control region, as all do other Anopheles mitochondrial genomes sequenced to date. Specimens from four populations of An. cruzii showed differences in codon composition. (link to article)
João’s Role: Co-Author

Oliveira, T.M.P. et al. (2016) “Mitochondrial Genomes of Anopheles (Kerteszia) (Diptera: Culicidae) From the Atlantic Forest, Brazil.” Journal of Medical Entomology.

Symposium on Language and the Sustainable Development Goals

The Study Group on Language and the United Nations, an independent group of scholars and practitioners on matters related to the international use of language, convened a symposium on Language and the Sustainable Development Goals at the Church Center for the United Nations, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, on 21 and 22 April 2016. Its goal was to examine the importance of issues of language in the formulation, implementation, and successful completion of the Sustainable Development Goals. The symposium was sponsored by a number of organizations, including the Center for Applied Linguistics, the Center for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems and its journal Language Problems and Language Planning, and the Universal Esperanto Association (an organization in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council and associated with the UN Department of Public Information). Financial support was provided by the Esperantic Studies Foundation.

João edited the Symposium’s Final Report (PDF) (or buy on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles).

João’s Roles: Rapporteur, Panel Chair, Administrative Assistant

Marinotti, J. (2017). Symposium on Language and the Sustainable Development Goals. Final Report (H. Tonkin, Ed.). New York, NY: Mondial. ISBN:1595693394

Representations of Gay Men in the Dialogue of Will & Grace: A Corpus Driven Analysis and Social Discussion

By analyzing frequencies and collocates of character-divided subcorpora, this quantitative study describes the corpus-linguistic representation of gay men in Will & Grace. Results derived from these linguistic representations were used to provide evidence for or against proposed sociological theories on the subject.

Will & Grace provides, not a single-dimensional, positive, and socially progressive depiction of gay men, but a multifaceted portrayal that includes, whether intentionally or not, linguistic inequalities that depict homosexuality as not fully accepted or even acceptable. By placing these corpus-linguistic findings in conversation with the sociological studies mentioned, it becomes clearer that Will & Grace was hindered by the writers’ social perceptions about the audience it successfully attracted, in spite of being called a gay sitcom.  (Download the Paper)

João’s Role: Author

Integrated proteomic and transcriptomic analysis of the Aedes aegypti eggshell

Background: Mosquito eggshells show remarkable diversity in physical properties and structure consistent with adaptations to the wide variety of environments exploited by these insects. We applied proteomic, transcriptomic, and hybridization in situ techniques to identify gene products and pathways that participate in the assembly of the Aedes aegypti eggshell. Aedes aegypti population density is low during cold and dry seasons and increases immediately after rainfall. The survival of embryos through unfavorable periods is a key factor in the persistence of their populations. The work described here supports integrated vector control approaches that target eggshell formation and result in Ae. aegypti drought-intolerant phenotypes for public health initiatives directed to reduce mosquito-borne diseases.

Conclusions: A total of 130 proteins were identified from the combined mass spectrometric analyses of eggshell preparations. Classification of proteins according to their known and putative functions revealed the complexity of the eggshell structure. Three novel Ae. aegypti vitelline membrane proteins were discovered. Odorant-binding and cysteine-rich proteins that may be structural components of the eggshell were identified. Enzymes with peroxidase, laccase and phenoloxidase activities also were identified, and their likely involvements in cross-linking reactions that stabilize the eggshell structure are discussed. (Link to Article)

João’s Role: Co-Author

Marinotti, O., Ngo, T., Kojin, B. B., Chou, S. P., Nguyen, B., Juhn, J., … & Tu, Z. (2014). Integrated proteomic and transcriptomic analysis of the Aedes aegypti eggshell. BMC developmental biology, 14(1), 1.

Determinants of Adult Narrative Maturity in Brazilian Portuguese Speakers (B.A. Thesis)

Two experiments were carried out map the relationship between adult narrative maturity, age, educational background, and distance from gaze context. As proxies for narrative maturity, this study relied on Epistemic Qualification & Self Correction, Description of Character Emotion, Temporal & Causal Event Segmentation, and Basic Overt Stringing.

Correlations were found between narrative maturity and different adult demographic groups. The correlations found, however, were inconsistent with those previously determined by child development studies.

​Future analysis of variables such as primary narrative tense and the use of active/passive perspectives may provide methods to reconcile the inconsistencies found. (Download the Thesis)

João’s Role: Author

Marinotti, J. (2013). Determinants of Adult Narrative Maturity in Brazilian Portuguese Speakers (Undergraduate Thesis). Columbia University.

Tense and Aspect: Portuguese and Other Romance Languages

Members of the Western Romance Languages share roughly the same verb paradigm descended from Vulgar Latin. They retain the existence of most of the verb tenses found in Latin and share many of the innovations created upon the historical changes through Continental, Italo-Western, and Western Romance. These similarities are clear when comparing the verb paradigms of existent tenses in the languages, but the mere existence of a tense does not prove its usage.

Through a small-scale corpus analysis, it was determined that syntactic and semantic usage of written verb tenses retained a remarkable level of similarity across Portuguese, French, and Spanish.  The spoken usages, however, were significantly different. (Download the paper).

João’s Role: Author

Wakhi Borrowings Register and Written Language

In spite of the rapid pace of lexical borrowings and language change in Wakhi, a language spoken in Wakhan, near the borders of Tajikistan, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, native speakers indicate that an the language has not developed a native Indo-Iranian higher register. (Download the paper).

João’s Role: Author