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Rhetorical questions or rhetorical uses of questions?

Abstract

This paper aims to explore whether some rhetorical questions contain certain linguistic elements or forms which would differentiate them from answer-eliciting and action-eliciting questions, and thereby hint at their rhetorical nature even outside the context. Namely, despite the fact that the same questions can be rhetorical in one context, and answer-eliciting in another, some of them are more likely to be associated with rhetorical or non-rhetorical use. The analysis is based on extensive data (over 1200 examples of rhetorical questions taken from 30 plays by two British and two American writers), and the results are expected to give an insight into whether we can talk about rhetorical questions or just a rhetorical use of questions.

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in ExELL
Translating emotion-related metaphors: A cognitive approach

Abstract

The paper explores the existence of cognitive linguistics principles in translation of emotion-related metaphorical expressions. Cognitive linguists (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980; Lakoff, 1987) define metaphor as a mechanism used for understanding one conceptual domain, target domain, in terms of another conceptual domain, source domain, through sets of correspondences between these two domains. They also claim that metaphor is omnipresent in ordinary discourse. Cognitive linguists, however, also realized that certain metaphors can be recognized and identified in different languages and cultures whereas some are language- and culture-specific. This paper focuses on similarities and variations in metaphors which have recently become popular within the discipline of Translation Studies. Transferring and translating metaphors from one language to another can represent a challenge for translators due to a multi-faceted process of translation including both linguistic and non-linguistic elements. A number of methods and procedures have been developed to overcome potential difficulties in translating metaphorical expressions, with the most frequent ones being substitution, paraphrase, or deletion. The analysis shows the transformation of metaphorical expressions from one language into another and the procedures involving underlying conceptual metaphors, native speaker competence, and the influence of the source language.

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in ExELL
Using counterfactuals to display facts – the case of satirical humor

Abstract

Satire has not been given the humorologists’ attention to an extent that would do justice to the amount of humor satire actually holds. Therefore, the intention of this paper is to shed light on satire as humorous discourse, with an emphasis on counterfactuals. Interestingly enough, counterfactuals oppose the actual state of affairs; rhetorically however, they show potential to reveal the truth. Political satire is an area of conflict between truth and falsehood which is exactly why this type of satire is discussed in this paper. Tools from Cognitive Linguistics – framing and blending – are utilized to show to what extent counterfactuals are actually false and how they essentially contribute to satire. Examples of political satire are selected from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.

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in ExELL
The assessment of Bosnian EFL learners’ knowledge by two different measures: test and writing assignment

Abstract

English is taught as a foreign language in elementary and high schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH). However, since the number of English classes per week is very limited they should be utilized in the best possible way to produce proficient users of English. Nowadays, when language proficiency is viewed as one’s ability to speak and write in the target language and not about it, the need for the proficiency evaluation in schools arises. The present study attempts to shed a spot of light on this issue, investigating two very common ways of assessing students’ knowledge in schools, namely tests and writing assignments. Hence, through the interviews with English teachers and the analysis of students’ tests and writing assignments, the current paper explores the ways in which these two measures are realized, the tasks they consist of, the type of linguistic knowledge they are used to evaluate, their levels of difficulty, and the type of corrective feedback teachers provide on both of them. The results suggest that teachers on both measure rather students’ explicit than their implicit knowledge, focusing much more on accuracy than fluency development.

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in ExELL
Metaphor-based calques in Croatian mass media

Abstract

Readers of Croatian daily newspapers and news websites are very frequently faced with Croatian phrases which have been modelled on English templates by literal, word-for-word translation, a phenomenon known as calque. This research shows that even highly proficient Croatian speakers of English as a second language (L2) are sometimes not able to fully understand the calques used in Croatian mass media unless they are familiar with the meaning of their source template in English. The research is done by way of an experiment built in PsychoPy (Pierce, 2007). The implications of this research could be of special interest to persons involved in designing media texts, professional and student translators, as well as to mass media consumers.

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in ExELL
What is a compound? The main criteria for compoundhood

Abstract

This study aims to identify the main cross-linguistic criteria for compoundhood discussed in the relevant literature, with a special focus on English, ranking them from the most reliable to the least. These criteria - orthographic, phonological, syntactic and semantic in nature - have been proposed to make a distinction between compounds and phrases. The analysis reveals that the most reliable cross-linguistic criteria to distinguish between phrases and compounds are adjacency and referentiality. With regard to the former criterion, no intervening elements can be inserted between the head and the non-head of compounds, whilst such insertion is allowed in phrases. With regard to the latter criterion, the non-head of a phrase is always referential, whereas the non-head of a compound is normally non-referential. Other criteria have been found to be partially applicable, e.g. free pluralisation of the non-head, compositionality, stress, possibilities for modification and coordination, ellipsis, orthography and the replacement of the second element by a pro-form. The study also proposes a definition for compounds that may be the most widely applicable. Finally, the study concludes with ranking the main criteria for compoundhood discussed in the study.

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in ExELL
What is advertising without blending? Advertisements in women’s magazines

Abstract

Conceptual integration theory, proposed by Fauconnier and Turner in 1993, has been successfully used in the study of a wide range of phenomena of human thought and action, from counterfactuals to metaphors, proving blending to be present in the simplest kinds of human thinking. In that sense, conceptual integration theory has emerged as a powerful theory that can account for a wide variety of linguistic and non-linguistic phenomena. Therefore, it is not surprising that conceptual integration theory has found its application in the study of advertising. Advertising requires both conscious and subconscious mental interpretation of the hidden messages. The primary objective of this paper is to show that conceptual integration theory is equipped with the mechanisms that can explain the construction of the meaning of text-image advertisements. Specifically, analyzing several text-image advertisements in women’s magazines, this paper attempts to explore to what extent hidden cognitive mechanisms involved in the interpretation of advertising can be explained using the postulates of conceptual integration theory.

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in ExELL
Exploration of the relationship between word-association and learners’ lexical development with a focus on American L1 and Croatian L2 speakers

Abstract

Vocabulary acquisition is a dynamic process and there is a constant change in the way words are stored in the mental lexicon. Word association tests are used in linguistic research to observe to which extent mental mapping can be understood. This paper presents the results of a word association game consisting of seven words administered to second language speakers, and native speakers for comparative purposes. The results indicate the possibility of a link between experiences and associations, which leads to the recommendation for teachers to create activities and new experiences that demand the learner’s personal involvement in expanding their vocabulary.

Open access
in ExELL