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Intercultural competence of university teachers: a challenge of internationalization

Abstract

The aim of the authors is to respond to the growing demands on the intercultural competence of university teachers due to intensified internationalization pressures on higher education, especially due to the growing number of students and teachers’ international exchanges. They report on an intercultural course design responding to this need, presenting a case study from Slovakia. First, they define the need of intercultural competence of university teachers, especially those teaching in English-medium study programmes. Then they share a) findings from a needs analysis preceding the design of a new curriculum for an intercultural competence course (ICC) at Matej Bel University (MBU) with three aims (development of linguistic, cultural and pedagogic competences); and b) results from action research during piloting the ICC course. A comparison of 2011 and 2018 surveys pointed to the growing dominance of the English language, including an increasing command of English by MBU teachers. The ICC curriculum, tailored to the pre-identified teachers’ needs, proved to be a feasible way of facilitating their intercultural competence. Its implementation revealed persistent prejudices and difficulties associated with overcoming them. It also confirmed a significant deficit in preparing university teachers for their role as intercultural mediators in English-medium courses.

Open access
Metaphorical Nomination in IT Terminology in Lithuanian and English Languages

Abstract

Metaphorical nomination is peculiar in every language, it is related to reality and world view perception, it also reveals the traits of nation mentality. However, there are universal models of metaphorical nomination. In both languages, special concepts can be nominated according to similar areas, e.g. human body, its physiological and mental peculiarities, mode of life, fauna, flora, objects of natural world, etc.

The aim of this article is to analyse tendencies of metaphorical nominations in IT terminology in English and Lithuanian languages, reveal universalities and peculiarities of metaphorical nomination models. Research data of Lithuanian metaphorical terms and their English equivalents show that semantic loan-words constitute the major part of Lithuanian metaphorical terms. Consequently, their metaphorical meanings are borrowed but a substantial part of them are fairly motivated in the Lithuanian language and only a small part of them have a doubtful motivation. Having analysed various ways of metaphorical transference it is possible to claim that figurative nomination of concepts is the most universal with reference to flora names and items of mode of life. It is noted that there is a tendency to nominate concepts meaning particular objects in both English and Lithuanian languages whereas analogies of abstract things are less abundant.

Open access
PhD graduates at Czech Universities: the Account of their Study, Postdoc Options and Job Ambitions

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to describe the PhD study and after graduation situation of graduates of Czech universities who completed their programme between 2010 - 2017. The first phase of the investigation was a quantitative study of a representative sample of Czech PhD graduates that aimed at revealing details of their study and after-graduation opportunities and careers. The second phase of the investigation was a qualitative study of a small sample aimed at understanding the reasons of young people to pursue a PhD programme at a university, to reveal academic, social and personal factors that influenced their decision to complete the PhD study and start an employment at a university.

Open access
The Use of Hedging in Research Articles on Applied Linguistics

Abstract

This paper is devoted to the analysis of the use of hedging in a corpus of articles from applied linguistics, and in this sense, it is complementary to the previous research of academic persuasion in research articles (Hinkel, 1997; Hyland, 1996, 2004). This study examined the types and frequency of hedges employed by the authors of academic research articles (RAs) in the field of applied linguistics. A corpus consists of 20 research articles, randomly selected from the Open Access Journals on Educational linguistics (5 RAs), Psycholinguistics (5 RAs), Sociolinguistics (5 RAs) and Pragmatics (5 RAs) The data were manually coded according to Hyland’s taxonomy of hedges and hedging devices (Hyland, 1996) and then formatted to calculate the frequency and type of hedges in RAs on Applied Linguistics. Results of the study indicate that reader-oriented hedges constitute the main pragmatic type of hedges in RAs in the field of applied linguistics, recognizing the need for reader’s ratification of the author’s claims and politeness conventions of academic discourse per se. Combination of qualitative and quantitative methods applied to computer readable data proved that hedges in RAs on Applied Linguistics are topic dependent, showing differences in typology, frequency and distribution even within one discipline.

Open access
American Indian Languages in the Eyes of 17th-Century French and British Missionaries

Abstract

This paper examines 17th-century descriptions of Algonquian and Iroquoian languages by French and British missionaries as well as their subsequent reinterpretations. Focusing on such representative studies as Paul Le Jeune’s (1592–1664) sketch of Montagnais, John Eliot’s (1604–1690) grammar of Massachusett, and the accounts of Huron by Jean de Brébeuf (1593–1649) and Gabriel Sagard-Théodat (c.1600–1650), I discuss their analysis of the sound systems, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. In addition, I examine the reception of early missionary accounts in European scholarship, focusing on the role they played in the shaping of the notion of ‘primitive’ languages and their speakers in the 18th and 19th centuries. I also discuss the impressionistic nature of evaluations of phonetic, lexical, and grammatical properties in terms of complexity and richness. Based on examples of the early accounts of the lexicon and structure of Algonquian and Iroquoian languages, I show that even though these accounts were preliminary in their character, they frequently provided detailed and insightful representations of unfamiliar languages. The reception and subsequent transmission of the linguistic examples they illustrated was however influenced by the changing theoretical and ideological context, resulting in interpretations that were often contradictory to those intended in the original descriptions.

Open access
Animal transformation as a deserved punishment in archnarratives

Abstract

The present study is devoted to the transformation of protagonists into animals in ancient narratives (myths, magical stories, legends, etc.) from various cultures and continents (Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Australia). The aim of this research is to determine in what situations and subject-motive combinations the main protagonist transforms into an animal as a part or consequence of his/her fair/well-deserved punishment. We will also attempt to conceptually grasp the archetypal meaning of the existential transformation into an animal, which is directly related to human thinking and (sacral and profane) way of life.

Open access
Dutch Caribbean Poetics in a Historical Perspective

Abstract

This article provides an overview of two hundred years of Dutch Caribbean poetics: from Eurocentrism to originality, from imitation towards creation.

In the 19th century colonial poets of the ABC islands followed European examples, in the beginning of the 20th century they searched for local themes and forms, and from the last decades of the 20th and in the beginning of the 21st centuries they combined the local and the global arriving at a creative amalgam of the glocal.

Open access
Junípero Serra’s Canonization or Eurocentric Heteronomy

Abstract

The article assesses the recent canonization of Junípero Serra, Spanish Franciscan missionary and founder of the California mission system. I begin by introducing the priest and outlining the genesis of his assignment. I then discuss the model of missions’ operation and problematize their results. The rise of Serra’s legend is situated within the historical context of California’s “fantasy heritage”. I later outline the chief arguments and metaphors mobilized by the Church in support of the new saint. In the central part of the essay, I address and critically examine the ramifications of a document Serra authored and which the Church took as the priest’s passport to sainthood. I argue that the document inaugurated the epistemic and social divides in California and, marking the Indian as homo sacer (Agamben), paved the way to the Indigenous genocide in the mission and American eras. Following this, I offer a semiological (after Barthes and Lakoff) interpretation of the canonization as a modern myth, argue that metaphors invoked in support of the priest inverted the historical role played by Serra and, finally, ponder the moral ramifications of this canonization.

Open access
Let It Go: Multicultural Society in Los by Tom Naegels

Abstract

Although scholars in the Netherlands have already attempted to integrate literary theories on migration with the specific Dutch context, none such attempts have so far been made for Flemish literature. The current paper therefore scrutinises the novel Los by Tom Naegels, an (autobiographical) account of the riots in Borgerhout (Antwerp) after the murder on Islam teacher Mohamed Achrak in 2002. As the author also covered these events as a journalist, the analysis investigates the manner in which this topical matter is intertwined with the more personal story about the struggle conducted by Naegels’s grandfather for euthanasia. The paper leans on Jérôme Meizoz’s posture theory, which differentiates the author figure from the biographical person and the narrator. In addition, the novel is situated within the contemporary literary return towards realism and Flemish literature’s negotiation of Flemish identity. By focussing on these three elements – the theme of migration, realism and Flemish identity – the paper attempts to contribute to the development of a literary theory on migration in Flanders.

Open access
Let Them Be Heard: Bringing Native American Experience Closer in Teaching

Abstract

Teaching about Native Americans, especially as a non-Native person, involves a number of complications. The experience and histories of Indigenous peoples have often been presented from the point of view of the Euroamerican hegemonic power and complicated by a long pattern of colonization, including education. As a result, Native peoples themselves as well as outsiders have been mostly exposed to the dominant culture’s perspectives of Native Americans, often being stereotyped and reductive. The aim of the present paper is to examine the theoretical frameworks advanced by American Indian scholars and educators who demonstrate the methods which expose colonization and show the fundamental Native concepts needed to be involved in the pedagogies concerning Indigenous people. The primary consideration is to be guided by Native peoples' own concepts in trying to avoid perpetuating the colonizing pattern. Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy (a Lumbee scholar and educator) advanced the Tribal Critical Race Theory, which offers a comprehensive framework which can provide useful guidelines for teaching about Native Americans. The paper also offers suggestions for implementing this framework in the classroom such as using contemporary Native American autobiographical writing, involving the concept of performance or digital resources like those developed by Craig Howe, an Oglala Sioux, and the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies. Exposing students to Native people through Indigenous people's own stories and resources may be helpful in presenting them as real people. Such an approach may help students to be able to hear and access Native peoples’ own voices sharing their lives, which can contribute to bringing their experience closer to students.

Open access