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Cross-Cultural Variation in the Use of Hedges and Boosters in Academic Discourse

Abstract

Hedges and boosters are important metadiscoursal devices contributing to the construal of persuasion in academic discourse as they enable academic writers to distinguish facts from opinions, evaluate the views of others and convey a different degree of commitment to their assertions (cf. Hyland 1998a, Hyland 2004, 2005). This study explores cross-cultural variation in the use of lexical hedges and boosters in the academic discourse of non-native writers. The study is carried out on a specialized corpus of linguistics research articles published in the international journal Applied Linguistics and the national Czech English-medium journal Discourse and Interaction. The main purpose of the cross-cultural investigation is to analyze variation in the rate, distribution and choice of hedges and boosters across the rhetorical structure of research articles in order to shed light on ways in which Anglophone and Czech writers express different degrees of commitment in their assertions when striving to persuade their target readership to accept their views and claims.

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Ethnicity and Social Critique in Tony Hilleman’s Crime Fiction

Abstract

American mystery writer Tony Hillerman (1925-2008) achieved wide readership both within the United States and abroad, and, significantly, within the US both among white Americans and Native Americans. This article discusses Hillerman’s detective fiction firstly within the tradition of the genre and then focuses on particular themes and literary means the writer employs in order to disseminate knowledge about the Southwestern nations (tribes) among his readers using the framework of mystery (crime) fiction. Hillerman’s two literary detectives Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Sergeant Jim Chee, both of the Navajo Tribal Police, are analyzed and contrasted with female characters. Finally, the article analyzes the ways in which Hillerman makes the detectives’ intimate knowledge of the traditions, beliefs and rituals of the southwestern tribes and of the rough beauty of the landscape central to the novels’ plots, and how he presents cultural information.

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Functions of Expressions of Futurality in Professional Economic Texts

Abstract

The aim of this corpus-based study is to identify the functions that selected expressions of futurality can express in professional economic texts. The classification of functions is established on the corpus of seven economic books. Excerpted instances of futural constructions are analysed with respect to textual and interpersonal functions as defined by Halliday. Futurality is interpreted broadly to include all lexical and grammatical means referring to the future. This approach makes it also possible to analyse futurality as a means of text coherence. Hence the core grammatical means are interpreted along with co-occurring lexical means under the two categories of functions to provide a comprehensive model of text coherence with regard to futurality. Frequency analysis shows that core futural expressions are not distributed equally throughout the corpus. While some expressions (e.g., will and the present simple tense) dominate, others prove to be rather insignificant (e.g., be on the point/verge of, the present progressive tense). In addition, both lexical and grammatical constructions regularly co-occur in clusters, contributing to the coherence of the economic texts.

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A Journey Beyond Reality: Poetic Prose and Lush Imagery in Tanith Lee’s Night’s Master

Abstract

Tanith Lee was a “highly decorated writer” (Chappell 1) whose work ranged from science-fiction, through fantasy and children’s literature to contemporary and detective novels. Although she published more than ninety novels and three hundred short stories, her audience has diminished through the years, affecting also the academic interest in her works. The aims of this article are to provide a literary analysis of one of her most famous novels, Night’s Master, and answer the question of why readers describe her prose as “lush” and “poetic”; and also interpret the recurring symbolism and themes of beauty, sexuality and metamorphosis in the work. This article also highlights the similarities between the novel and fairy tales in regard of numeric symbolism and morals.

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Louise Erdrich’s Place in American Literature: Narrative Innovation in Love Medicine

Abstract

As a novelist, Louise Erdrich is unique in receiving both popular and critical acclaim. Strangely, her popular appeal has discouraged study of her novels as experimental narrative texts. This is unfortunate, since innovations in Erdrich’s novels rival much “experimental” contemporary American fiction. This study outlines a convention of a three-level hierarchy of characters in novels and compares this convention with two experimental American novels: Infinite Jest (1996) by David Foster Wallace and Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) by Thomas Pynchon. The study then addresses Erdrich’s first novel, Love Medicine (1984), to show that it is unique in not having a main character. Although the other two experimental novels try to do without a main character, neither of them succeed at getting beyond this convention. Love Medicine innovates in at least one major narrative convention in a way that other experimental novels cannot do. This is one way in which Louise Erdrich and Love Medicine compare favorably to some of the most respected experimental contemporary American novels. Erdrich’s novels should take their place alongside other experimental American novels, being studied in similar ways, regardless of whether they are also read by a broad public audience.

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Magical Realism in Neil Gaiman’s Coraline

Abstract

Magical realism, as a narrative mode or genre in adults’ literature, has been in vogue since its revivifying with the publication of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967). However, the depiction of the genre in children’s and juvenile literature is a new trend; the presence of its elements have been traced and proved feasibly applicable in the interpretation of recent children’s fiction such as David Almond’s Skelling (1998). In this regard, the main concern of the present article is to sift the characteristic features of magical realism within Neil Gaiman’s Coraline (2002) through the application of Wendy B. Faris’s theoretical framework of the genre therewith Tzvetan Todorov’s definition of the fantastic in order to introduce the novel as an exemplar of magical realism in the domain of children’s literature.

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Other Spaces of the Empire: A Colonial Hotel in J.G. Farrell’s Troubles

Abstract

Focusing on the hotel imagery and, more precisely, the hotel Majestic featured in J.G. Farrell’s 1970 novel Troubles, this article provides a spatial contextualization of the historical downfall of the British Empire. In an attempt to establish the concept of the “colonial hotel”, this particular type of hotel is theorized as a fictional means of questioning the sustainability of the imperial project of colonialism. The theoretical framework for considerations of the Majestic in Troubles as a representative of the “colonial hotel” concept is based on Foucault’s heterotopology, as well as on the concepts of liminality and dislocation taken from postcolonial studies. Reading Troubles as an allegory of the Troubles in Ireland and, more broadly, a symptom of the disintegration of the British Empire, the article shows that the hotel, modelled after the historical concept of the Anglo-Irish big house, provides a proper setting where the deconstruction of the binary oppositions of colonial discourse can be played out. While the Majestic represents a mirror-image of the imperial centre, or rather a dislocated centre, its destruction is brought about by its tendency towards constancy and perpetuation of the illusion of grandeur. Similarly, the British Empire refuses to acknowledge the socio-political and historical changes of the early twentieth century and denies the existence of interstitial spaces between its firmly defined structures, whereby it inevitably meets its end.

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“The True Forme of Love”: Transforming the Petrarchan Tradition in the Poetry of Lady Mary Wroth (1587–1631)

Abstract

The following article deals with the transformation of the Petrachan idea of love in the work of Lady Mary Wroth (1587-1631), the first woman poet to write a secular sonnet sequence in English literature, Pamphilia to Amphilanthus. The author of the article discusses the literary and historical context of the work, the position of female poets in early modern England and then focuses on the main differences in Wroth’s treatment of the topic of heterosexual love: the reversal of gender roles, i.e., the woman being the “active” speaker of the sonnets; the de-objectifying of the lover and the perspective of love understood not as a possessive power struggle, but as an experience of togetherness, based on the gradual interpenetration of two equal partners.

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Two Pole-Vaulters of Their Times: The Poetry of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, and Irving Layton

Abstract

This article compares the poetic output of the Anglo-Canadian writer Irving Layton with that of the famous Restoration rake and court poet John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Layton himself provided the connection in his wholehearted vindication of the seventeenth century as a time of “intellectual ferment”, “criticism and impatience for change”. Layton’s debt to Nietzsche and Rochester’s to his contemporary philosopher Hobbes, respectively, provide the thread through which a striking similarity of values and thematic concerns, of the quality of the amatory experience described; of their criticism of mankind, its institutions and even of themselves, on the one hand, and, on the other, of shared poetic formulas, sources of inspiration (classical, Elizabethan, satiric) and idiom string together in creative work that displays quite striking affinities, the product of similar vital stances.

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