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Nonlinguistic Factors that Affect the Degree of Foreign Accent in Second Language Mandarin

Abstract

Previous research findings have established that a number of nonlinguistic factors can influence the strength of perceived foreign accent in second language (L2) speech. However, the majority of past studies have predominantly considered foreign accent of Indo-European languages, notably English. Therefore, it remains unknown whether the same factors influence foreign accent in other languages, such as Mandarin. This article reports findings from a study on nonlinguistic factors affecting the degree of foreign accent in Mandarin as an L2. Seventy L2 learners of Mandarin Chinese recorded speech samples and completed language background questionnaires. Speech samples were rated by 15 native Mandarin speakers for the degree of foreign accent on a 9-point Likert scale. Stepwise multiple regression analysis resulted in a 3-predictor model of pronunciation accuracy: self-rating of foreign accent, Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì (HSK) proficiency level, and motivational reasons. Results suggest that (1) foreign accent in L2 Mandarin may not be affected by the same factors as in previous L2 accent studies and (2) the concepts of accentedness and comprehensibility may be more intricately linked in lexical tone languages such as Mandarin, in comparison to nontonal languages. These findings have wider implications for the field of L2 acquisition, which is dominated by studies of L2 English.

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Proto-Slavic Phraseology: Myth or Reality?

Abstract

The reconstruction of the Proto-Slavic vocabulary was and remains one of the priority tasks of comparative-historical Slavic studies. Different approaches to the solution of this problem are demonstrated by the monumental (although not completed) etymological dictionaries of the Proto-Slavic language, the hypothetical existence of which is recognized by most Slavists and Indo-Europeanists. Its reconstruction is performed almost exclusively on lexical material, and attempts to reconstruct the pre-Slavic phraseology are single. The method of such a reconstruction, based on a detailed account of the dialect material, was proposed in 1973 by N. I. Tolstoy. Studies in this direction make it possible to identify a zone of relative generality of Slavic phraseology, which, however, comes into contact with the Baltic and German-speaking zones. Inside such a Slavic massif, sub-zones of East Slavic-Polish phraseological interaction (often associated with the Baltic), West Slavic-Croatian-Slovenian (strongly influenced by German phraseology) and Bulgarian-Macedonian-Serbian (revealing traces of Turkic language influence) are revealed. In this general areal picture, there are many more concrete interactions, for example, a particular language specifics of the phraseology.

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A quest for unification with the divine: Crashaw’s Teresa Poems “A Hymn to the Name and Honour of the Admirable Saint Teresa” and “The Flaming Heart”

Abstract

As a metaphysical poet, Richard Crashaw (1613-1649) is recognized for his stylistic experimentation and deep religious faith. In the course of his short life, he became a fellow at Cambridge, was later introduced to Queen Henrietta Marie, Charles I’s wife, in France after his exile during the Interregnum, converted to Catholicism from Anglicanism and was highly influenced by Baroque poetry and the martyrdom of St. Teresa of Avila in his style and themes. He is a poet with a “most holy, humble and genuine soul” and in the last six years of his life, which coincided with a period of great crisis in both personal and professional spheres, he worked intensively on the religious phase of his literary career (Shepherd 1914, p. 1). He reflected his devotion to St. Teresa and to God in his religious poems. Within this context, this study analyses Crashaw’s two Teresian poems, “A Hymn to the Name and Honour of the Admirable Saint Teresa” and “The Flaming Heart” featuring the themes of the quest for divine love and unification with the divine along with Crashaw’s divergence from other metaphysical poets, his affection for the European style(s), and his religious views concerning both his country and other countries in Europe.

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Recenzie A Správy
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Rumänische Realität surrealistisch verkörpert: Joachim Wittstocks Erzählung Hades, (m)eine postmoderne Lesart

Abstract

Our analysis of Joachim Wittstock’s narrative entitled Hades and published thirteen years after the fall of the communist regime in Romania aims at pointing out the intimate connection between socio-political reality and personal experience reflected by the creative process of turning reality into fiction by writing. We consider the chosen narrative both as a political and literary statement, reflecting much of the way of life in Romania during the late 1980s. The narrative may be considered as some kind of withheld fiction and a pertinent comment of the author as to the role of fiction in a totalitarian regime.

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Semantics and pragmatics of the lexeme posledný [the last] in discursive contexts

Abstract

The study attempts to interpret meanings of the Slovak lexeme posledný [the last]. The study is based on the fact that the lexeme has two kinds of semantic valence; that of a sequence element and that of a sequence. In the language picture of the world, this lexeme anticipates ideas of a wide range of collocates and syncretism of several types of sequence. Analyses are based on the invariant meaning of the lexeme “the last” (‘such an X that is not followed by any other’) and on corpus data. The data are used in order to determine how types of collocates in the constructions with ‘last’ do reflect modifications of the invariant meaning, how they are being specified referentially, and how they develop semantic and pragmatic inferences, by means of which they facilitate realization of specific semantic occurrences. Since the lexeme has an anthropological basis, it is expected that various portions and efficiency of the subjective factor will be found. The aim of the study is to present the paradigm of the meanings of the lexeme posledný which are both context-bound and characterized by oscillation between description and qualification. Being a part of noun phrases, these meanings reflect linguistics of constructions as well as syntactic and communicative functions of the lexeme. The aim of the study is also either to confirm or disprove the equal position of the lexemes posledný and ostatný.

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The trauma of condemnation and the embellishment of an illegitimate child as a source of regeneration in Lizzie Leigh and Ruth

Abstract

This paper focuses on Mrs Gaskell’s treatment of the erring girl in Lizzie Leigh (1850) and Ruth (1853) and the new elements that she introduces which brand the treatment as different. Contrary to her Victorian contemporaries, Mrs Gaskell stresses the role of religion, the use of biblical quotations on the treatment of the sinner, and the role of motherhood. The paper also shows how Mrs Gaskell makes the illegitimate child an incentive towards repentance and hope of reclamation. Through her motherly love and devotion to her child, a mother rises and grows in character and faith. Moreover, the paper demonstrates Mrs Gaskell’s condemnation of the falsity of the traditional taxonomy of “illegitimate” or “fallen”, and her assertion that social value lies in the inherent properties within the individual. It also highlights how she makes forgiveness for the sinner a duty which society has to fulfil, and maintains that if the charitable and the kind are forced “to lie” because of the existing social and moral attitudes, then it is imperative that they should be changed so that “lies” are unnecessary. It concludes by investigating the stormy reception and the controversy it created among readers.

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… Und führe uns nicht in Versuchung, sondern erlöse uns von dem Bösen … Gedanken zu Eginald Schlattners Text Ja nicht ja. Walther Gottfried Seidner zum 80.

Abstract

The story “Ja nicht ja” was written specifically for the volume “Der siebenbürgische Voltaire. Walther Gottfried Seidner zum 80. Geburtstag” by the famous novelist Eginald Schlattner. It brings the communist regime and the Department of State Security into the focus of the reader. During a meeting in the early 1990s attended by evangelical Lutheran priests of Augustan Confession a young priest admitted that he was a collaborator of the State Security, and thus managed to take over the burden of being an informant on the shoulders of others. Father Walther Gottfried Seidner, who was also threatened, managed to avoid State Security at any price, and understanding the situation of the young priest takes his defense.

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Vereinnahmung von Geschichte und Literatur durch rumänische Kulturpolitik. Die Kronstädter Publikation Karpatenrundschau (1968-1970)

Abstract

The present study takes two tendencies into account that have shaped the cultural contact between the Romanian culture and the culture of the German minority in Romania. On the one hand, the re-writing of history respectively of the historical discourse according to cultural policy of the Romanian communist state is envisaged, on the other hand, the selection of articles on Romanian culture and literature published in the weekly Karpatenrundschau are analysed in order to trace tendencies cultural transfer.

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Vornamenwahl in einem deutsch-rumänischen Umfeld zwischen regionalen Gepflogenheiten und europäischen Trends

Abstract

An essential factor for the naming practice lies in the language(s) spoken by that certain family. In the nowadays very common multilingual families in Transylvania, the so called ‚mixed marriages’, the linguistic contact also becomes manifest in the field of onomatology. Out of the vast subject matter, four aspects will be approached: the decline of the tradition of naming a child after a parent; naming practices following ethnic reasons in order to denote a certain identity; naming preferences for international names in mixed families; the increasing diversification and inter-culturality of name-giving due to globalization and the impact of social media. Concrete examples – based on bap tis mal registers of the local Lutheran Church – illustrate the monitored trends.

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