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Lukáš Hadwiger Zámečník and Jaroslav Krbec

Abstract

A description of living systems is still a topic of discussion among a number of disciplines. By an evaluation of the approaches, we get to an axis differentiating those that are indisputable in sense of dealing with verifiable and measurable phenomena. We thus also get to approaches that integrate particular extensions when dealing with the possibilities to describe living systems and processes. It is a task for biosemiotics to find connections of these approaches and thus ways to enrich each other or simply describe phenomena to the widest extent possible. One of the authors whose work is permeated by this idea is Howard Pattee. Inspired by his work, we discuss the options of description when talking about living systems and semiotic apparatuses. We do so by a formulation of two viewpoints that differ in questions of contextual dependency, interpretation and necessity of the existence of an autonomous agent as indispensable elements for the description of life phenomena.

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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.

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Claudio J Rodríguez H

Abstract

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.

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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.

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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.

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Hana Owsianková, Dan Faltýnek and Ondřej Kučera

Abstract

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 [3]) 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 bagof-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.

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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

Serge Tchougounnikov

Abstract

German–Austrian psychology is a direct source of the European formalism movement both in the German context (Germany, Austria) as well as in Russia. This interest of the formalists in the corporeal component of linguistic and literary production has resulted in a particular research stream, which could be defined as a ‘linguo-somatic orientation’. In particular, this is the case of Alois Riegl’s [1] perceptive ‘tactile–optical’ method; Adolf von Hildebrand’s [2] architectonic conception; Konrad Fiedler’s [3] ‘sensorial aesthetics’; W. Wölfflin’s [4] ‘basic concepts’ of the art history, W. Worringer’s [5] psychological arts typology as well as Oskar Walzel’s sound-corporeal poetics elaborated during 1920 [6]. Within Russian formalism, psychological notions (such as ‘representation’, ‘sensation’, ‘apperception’, ‘series’, ‘clear and dark zones of consciousness’, ‘verbal gestures’ and ‘sound gestures’) are fundamental in nearly all the formalist conceptions (Viktor Šklovskij, Evgenij Polivanov, Lev Jakubinskij, Osip Brik, Boris Eixenbaum and Jurij Tynianov). This psychological background constitutes a rather heterogeneous constellation composed of psychological aesthetics and psychological linguistics of the second half of the 19th century. Independently of its intrinsic theoretical values, the formalist way of thinking about language and literature is based on the implicit dominance of psychology, which takes its sense only with respect to the German cognitive tradition, appropriated by the Geisteswissenschaften of this time. In this respect, European formalism participates in the large movement of psychologisation of the humanities. To this extent, the case of Russian formalism is really representative: it invites the rethinking of the genealogy of European structuralism in general. This accumulation of conceptual tools borrowed from the German psychological tradition also reveals a cognitive charge of the formalist theories. The latter constitute a conceptual link between the properly psychological past of the European Geisteswissenschaften and the ‘cognitive’ future of the actual research programmes. Beyond the borrowing of conceptual tools from the psychological trend, the formal method has found in psychology its inspiration for producing new models of analysis. This intrinsically cognitivist dimension of the formalist programme explains its late success during the 1950s–1960s, the period often and abusively called the period of the cognitivist revolution. In reality, it deals with the re-emergence of the research programme of the cognitivist sciences, rather exhaustively formulated by the German psychological tradition..

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

Diego Gabriel Krivochen

Abstract

In this paper, we will motivate the application of specific rules of inference from the propositional calculus to natural language sentences. Specifically, we will analyse De Morgan’s laws, which pertain to the interaction of two central topics in syntactic research: negation and coordination. We will argue that the applicability of De Morgan’s laws to natural language structures can be derived from independently motivated operations of grammar and principles restricting the application of these operations. This has direct empirical consequences for the hypothesised relations between natural language and logic.