Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 87 items for :

  • Contrastive Linguistics x
  • Linguistics and Semiotics x
Clear All
Open access

Lani Freeborn and John Rogers

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.

Open access

Mara Frascarelli and Marco Casentini

Abstract

Based on original data collected through an online experiment, evidence is provided in this paper that the interpretation of null subjects in a radical pro-drop language like Chinese relies on the topic criterion proposed for consistent and partial pro-drop languages (Frascarelli 2007 and Frascarelli 2018), thereby supporting the theory that the null subject parameter implies an information-structural strategy for interpretation. Nevertheless, radical Chinese shows specificities that must be integrated in this theory for a comprehensive account. In particular, even though silent topic can start chains (consistent with the topic criterion), data show a significant preference for overt and local topics as antecedents. This locality requirement thus integrates phonological visibility in a general syntactic condition (minimal overt link condition), proposing an interesting parallel with the properties shown by partial pro-drop languages (Frascarelli and Jimenez-Fernandez in press). The present investigation also contributes to outline the structural differences existing between adverbial clauses in Chinese, supporting a distinction between central and peripheral adverbial clauses (Haegeman 2012). Specifically, while temporal and conditional clauses show the properties of nonrestrictive relative clauses, this is not the case for concessive clauses, which merged as subordinate clauses in either the C-domain or the high split-TP area. Differences between temporal and conditional clauses are attributed to the presence of an overt operator in the latter, and the pre-matrix position of adverbial clauses is explained in the light of their discourse role as frame-setters (Krifka 2007).

Open access

Chengru Dong and Dawei Jin

Abstract

One controversy in the study of the Chinese shenme ‘what’-based rhetorical question (shenme-RQ for short) is how it takes on a negative interpretation. This paper attempts to apply enthymeme or rhetorical syllogism to the deduction of negative meaning of the shenme-RQ. Triggered by the shenme-RQ, or one of its words or phrases, the hearer extracts the explicit premise, fills in the premise that is implicit either in the context or in her or his encyclopedic knowledge, and deduces the conclusion, the negative meaning of the shenme-RQ. According to what premises are left out, the paper also explores the deduction patterns of the negative meaning of shenme-RQs and proposes a procedure for obtaining the negative interpretation. That said, the negative meaning of the shenme-RQ will be entrenched in the mind of its users and conventionalized in the Mandarin Chinese community via repeated use.

Open access

Nikita Probst, Tatiana Shkapenko, Arina Tkachenko and Alexey Chernyakov

Abstract

The article explores pragmasemantic aspects of the speech act of threat (SAT) in everyday conflict discourse, using examples from Russian colloquial speech. The authors analyze the impact of direct and indirect threats on the addressee from the point of view of the theory of speech acts, biopsychology, and physiology, which makes it possible to understand the nature of SATs and identify the key communicative and semantic factors of this type of speech acts.

Open access

Oksana Halych

Abstract

The article focuses on the study of lexical means expressing the category of the Mystic in English Gothic narration of the 18th century. The mystic in early Gothic prose is viewed as a genre characteristic based on the atmosphere of escalating fear in the face of the unknown and connected with the motif of mystery, belief in the supernatural and irrationalism as a specific way of world perception. The research proceeds from the conceptual category as a universal notional constant to its linguistic interpretation in a systemic presentation within a synchronic approach.

Open access

Zhaole Yang

Abstract

This paper examines the use of Mandarin ‘also’ in contexts which dōu can be used as well, e.g., in no matter and even contexts. I argue that there is a correlation between the possibility of using and the presence of a scalar reading as well as a reference to an extremity on the scale in question. The data we present show that is invariably associated with scalar readings: is always used in scalar contexts, and contexts that are not obviously scalar become so when is used. I also argue that a scalar interpretation of wh-elements in no matter contexts can be derived with the aid of negation or modals, thus accounting for the felicitousness of in such contexts. The paper ends with a short note on lián, hypothesizing that its function is to introduce the extreme of the scale. I also argue that the licensing condition of the additive/basic , i.e., the presence of alternatives in the background, also plays a role in the scalar use of .

Open access

Marina Zheltukhina and Irina Zyubina

Abstract

The article focuses on individual speech behavior of Russian-speaking prosecutors in implicit pragmalinguistics in the 19th-20th centuries. Speech signals of corresponding implicit strategies (“Participation/Nonparticipation of members of communication in a speech event”, “Sure/Unsure speech behavior of an author”, “The sender’s formation of addressee’s attitude to a speech event by evaluation”) actualizing the senders’ speech behavior in Russian are established. We count the frequency of the planes’ actualisation, form and interpret the senders’ speech portraits, diagnose individual features of speech behavior of prosecutors of Russian-speaking linguocultures.

Open access

Anna Prihodko and Oleksandra Prykhodchenko

Abstract

The Gothic worldview is understood as a manifestation of the environment’s reflection in peoples’ thoughts, which shows the perception of real and unreal / supernatural worlds in their symbiosis and determines the human’s role in it. LIFE and DEATH are universal concepts of culture and most fully they can be shown in the form of frame, the main structural elements of which are ACTANTS, PREDICATES, QUANTIFIERS, PLACE, and TIME.

Open access

Maria Danilchuk

Abstract

The paper represents the results of a linguistic experiment aimed at establishing if the sounding of different fantasy brand names can cause the same associations in collective consciousness. The experiment drew upon crowdsourcing. The data received can be useful for marketing phonosemantics in relation to the methods used for the creation of new brand names.

Open access

Victor Junnan Pan

Abstract

Erlewine (2017) suggests that certain sentence-final particles (SFPs) in Mandarin Chinese such as “sentential le” and eryi are located lower than the C-domain, using a number of arguments relating to the scopal interaction of these SFPs, subjects, and other verb phrase (vP) level elements. The present paper proposes an alternative view of the phenomena considered by Erlewine (2017) and maintains the claim that sentential le and eryi are C-domain elements. First, I argue that shi ‘be’, in the negative form – bu shi ‘not be’ – should be analyzed as an independent verb, which takes a clausal complement headed by le or eryi. The apparent narrow scope of le and eryi is due to the biclausal analysis of the entire sentence. Second, the sentence-initial determiner phrase (DP) cannot be analyzed as the real subject of the verb shi ‘be’ but must be analyzed as the matrix topic of the entire sentence and, therefore, is higher than the complementizer phrase (CP) headed by le or eryi. This explains why sometimes le or eryi does not have scope over the subject. Third, the wh-subject cannot get an indefinite reading in a sentence with a final particle le because the ∃-closure triggered by le applies at the I′-level by excluding the subject systematically (Huang 1982). The ∃-quantifier, which is introduced in a position lower than the surface subject position, cannot bind the wh-subject as a variable. The position where ∃ is generated remains independent of whether the ∃-closure is triggered by low particles, such as le, or by high particles, such as the yes–no question particle ma. Therefore, the low peripheral particles le and eryi are still within the CP domain and thus higher than vP.