Claudio J Rodríguez H
Metaphors constitute a relevant method for both building and making sense of theories. Semiotics is not exempt from their influence, and an important range of semiotic theories depends on metaphors to be meaningful. In this paper, we wish to examine the place of theory-constitutive metaphors considering the interaction view and the extent to which some areas of semiotics, particularly, the semiotics of culture and biosemiotics, are enriched by having metaphors dominate the way we think about them. The intention of the paper is not to document the different metaphors that have built semiotic theory, but rather to observe through a number of examples that semiotic research contains theory-building metaphors and that these are productive means of developing semiotic thinking further, with the caveat that theory change can be unexpected based on how we build metaphors for our theories.
Hana Owsianková, Dan Faltýnek and Ondřej Kučera
In this study, we aim to introduce the analytical method bag-of-words, which is mainly used as a tool for the analysis (document classification, authorship attribution and so on; e.g. [1, 2]) of natural languages. Quantitative linguistic methods similar to bag-of-words (e.g. Damerau–Levenshtein distance in the paper by Serva and Petroni ) have been used for the mapping of language evolution within the field of glottochronology. We attempt to apply this method in the field of biological taxonomy – on the Brassicaceae (Cruciferae) family. The subjects of our interest are well-known cultivated crops, which at first sight are morphologically very different and culturally perceived as objects of different interests (e.g. oil from oilseed rape, turnip as animal feed and cabbage as a side dish). Despite the phenotypic divergence of these crops, they are very closely related, which is not morphologically obvious at first sight. For this reason, we think that Brassicaceae crops are appropriate illustrative examples for introducing the method. For the analysis, we use genetic markers (internal transcribed spacer [ITS] and maturase K [matK]). Until now, the bag-of-words model has not been used for biological taxonomisation purposes; therefore, the results of the bag-of-words analysis are compared with the existing very well-developed Brassica taxonomy. Our goal is to present a method that is suitable for language development reconstruction as well as possibly being usable for biological taxonomy purposes.
This paper examines Harold Pinter’s late play Mountain Language as a depiction of political oppression specifically rooted in linguistic oppression. The play presents a “mountain people” who have been forbidden to use their “mountain language” by a coercive state authority. The play contrasts the brutality of the officers and guards with the humanity (represented through two still-life ‘tableau’ scenes) of the victims, the “mountain people.” The paper notes, however, that there is an unsettling linguistic twist to the play, in that the “mountain language” and the “language of the capital” are both English in performance. The paper suggests that this is partly motivated by Pinter’s expressed desire to make the play disturbingly recognizable to western audiences, thus removing the spectator’s or reader’s ability to judge such oppressions as being exotic, irrelevant, or encountered only in distant unstable countries. The paper argues that Pinter’s focus upon linguistic prohibition, linguistic discrimination, and linguistic denigration is rendered unexpectedly universal through the reliance of the text upon English as the medium for both the prohibited language and the language of authority.
Guillem Belmar, Cindy van Boven and Sara Pinho
This study focuses on the motivation of adults learning a minority language, based on a tripartite model: integrative and instrumental (Gardner & Lambert, 1959; 1972) and personal (see Benson, 1991) motivation. Adults learning a minority language are potential new speakers, a group that has been described as central to language revitalisation (see Pujolar & O’Rourke, 2018). Since the motivation to learn these languages does not seem to be linked to economic success or wider job opportunities, researchers have taken interest in knowing what drives people to learn a minority language (e.g., O’Rourke & DePalma, 2016). In this study, (potential) new speaker motivations were investigated by means of ten open-ended interviews with adult learners of West Frisian—a minority language spoken in the Netherlands—in two different settings: Afûk Frisian courses (a more traditional learning setting) and Bernlef Frisian courses (a student association that offers informal courses for their members). The results show a predominance of integrative and personal motivation (also found in O’Rourke & DePalma, 2016), but not exclusively (as suggested by Jaffe, 2015) since the language appears to be tightly linked to the province and it is deemed beneficial—to a certain extent—for socioeconomic success in the province.
Maria José Sá, Carlos Miguel Ferreira and Sandro Serpa
Academic conferences have always been privileged spaces and moments for the dissemination of new scientific knowledge, as well as for social interaction and for the establishment and development of social networks among scientists. However, the virtual dimension of conferences, in which individuals are not physically present in the same place, begins to emerge as an increasingly used possibility, which implies a different framing of these scientific events. This paper seeks to comparatively analyse several models of academic conferences, putting forth their advantages, limitations and potentials. Furthermore, it also seeks to reasonably envision the importance and challenges to be faced in the near future. The analysis allows concluding that virtual conferences tend to take on an increasingly central role in this type of scientific dissemination, but without totally relegating the conference mode with face-to-face interaction. Moreover, there may be conferences that emerge as a hybrid between these two types of conferences, in an attempt to provide their main benefits to the various participants. However, the insufficient literature on this topic calls for the need to develop and deepen studies in this area that allow understanding this academic and social, but also economic phenomenon, in its broader implications.
Daiva Verikaitė-Gaigalienė and Loreta Andziulienė
CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), as an approach to bilingual education in which both content and a foreign language are taught together, started to be employed in secondary schools of Lithuania more than a decade ago; however, there still exists a diversity of opinions towards its benefits and flaws. The studies on CLIL in the European countries have shown that the success of CLIL very much depends on the existing policy documents on the national level regulating CLIL implementation and providing guidance to schools and teachers. It also depends on the amount of research conducted on CLIL in a particular country. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to analyse the current state of affairs of CLIL in Lithuania in terms of the existing policy documents, implemented projects and conducted research that would serve as a theoretical background highlighting the necessity for further analytical investigation. The results of the analysis have shown that no coherent national policies in terms of teaching CLIL have been developed or legal government regulations have been issued in Lithuania until today. The present study has revealed that systematic approach towards investigation of CLIL in Lithuania has not yet been adopted which resulted in the lack of comprehensive analyses on an overall situation of CLIL in Lithuania as well as on factors ensuring efficiency of CLIL implementation in particular. The findings of the study point towards the need for such analyses in the future.
Jan Gresil S. Kahambing and Jabin J. Deguma
The film Bicentennial Man (1999) pictured in a nutshell a robot who/that became human via his personality by plunging into the realities of freedom and death. The aim of this paper is to reflect on the notion of personality in the case of what this paper coins as a ‘robot-incarnate’ with the name Andrew, the first man who lived for two hundred years from his inception as an artificial machine. The method of exposition proceeds from (1) utilizing a philosophical reflection on the film concerning the determinacy of Andrew as a person and (2) then anchoring his case as a subject for the understanding of machine ethics. Regarding the first, the paper focuses on the questions of personality, death, and freedom. Regarding the second, the paper exposes the discussions of machine ethics and the issue of moral agency. Deducing from the already existing literature on the matter, the paper concludes that machine ethics must stand as the principle that serves as law and limitation to any scientific machine advancement showing promising potentials.
Emanuele Monderna and Natalia Voinarovska
Current research is dedicated to the issues of apprising personal and professional motivation of youth in the process of their training in higher educational institutions. Principal components of the motivational field of a personality, beneficial for professional success and productivity, have been examined, including such prominent types of motives as cognitive, social, professional, material and achievement. Individual dispositions have been scrutinized as the integral elements of the motivational scope of a person. Consistent patterns and missions of cognitive motivation within the educational process raised as one of the key questions throughout the research. Analyzing of meaningful and dynamic characteristics of personal motives enabled the authors of this paper to classify personal motives for self-development in the process of education, among which there are self-realization, self-affirmation, self-expression and self-actualization. Central assumption here is the correlation between an individual’s professional and personal activity and transformation of the tasks of professional and personal development. Theoretical framework consists of A.Leontiev’s, A.Maslow’s and C.Sanderson’s approaches to the notion of “motivation” as the inside encouraging reason for individual’s motions and activities.
This paper aims to demonstrate that using a plurilingual and ecological approach to English language teaching can achieve better results in primary school independently of the mother tongue of the student. This article is based on the initial results of our international research carried out in three very different countries (Norway, China and Spain). While the author´s research project involves 328 participants, we will present the results of the first phase of the experiment, including 133 students. In this paper, we propose a plurilingual communicative approach to English teaching as a foreign language, making a distinction between languages for communication and languages for identification. This research examines the current teaching policies in the participating countries, and analyses cross-cultural and cross-linguistic perspectives in English language teaching while promoting the positive use of the mother tongue as a connecting tool in the students’ communication system. The subjects of this study were divided in control and experimental groups, in which they received traditional and plurilingual approach respectively. After the classes they completed a test and were then supplied with a Likert scale questionnaire focused on understanding their attitude and motivation towards mother tongue and English language learning. Based on observation and results obtained, we can conclude that a plurilingual approach that uses L1 as a tool in English teaching improves English learning, as well as develops an ecological understanding of languages.