Browse

101 - 110 of 199 items :

  • European Languages, other x
  • Topics in Literary Studies x
  • Anglo-American Literature, general x
  • Linguistics and Semiotics x
Clear All

ABSTRACT

Few studies have focused on the anxiety experienced by learners of English as a foreign language in the context of Spanish universities. This study reports on the findings of an investigation into the sources of 216 Spanish university students’ anxiety and incorporates two underexplored aspects in this area, namely, the responsibility students attribute to different agents and the perception students have of their own ability to cope during an anxiety episode. A qualitative/quantitative design was used. Results indicated that the primary source of anxiety related to the speaking skill. Quantitative analyses revealed that learners place the main responsibility for their anxiety on themselves and that women hold themselves responsible for their anxiety to a greater degree than men. The perceived coping ability of men and women was ranked below ‘fair’. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

ABSTRACT

This paper seeks to present the main meanings and the use of the modal verb can in the plays of two Early Modern English playwrights, William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. In particular, the study aims at presenting a comparative analysis and provides descriptive as well as quantitative data. The research is based on the analysis of the corpus consisting of the plays written by Shakespeare and Marlowe between 1593-1599. The choice of the works is not random but includes the plays which bear the strongest resemblance in terms of theme, structure, and most importantly, the language of both authors.

Abstract

Unlike subject-orientation in English ‘-ly’ adverbs, subject-relatedness does not conflate two syntactic functions in one and the same form: subject-related ‘-ly’ adverbs are predicative elements in the clause and do not function as adverbials. Therefore, the morphological make-up of subject-related ‘-ly’ adverbs does not match the syntactic function and the categorial meaning usually associated with the adverbial suffix ‘-ly’. In subject-relatedness, the association of the predicative function with the ‘-ly’ suffix differs from that of the well-known set of ‘-ly’ adjectives where the suffix is the present-day form of Old English ‘-līc’. Subject-relatedness raises the question of how these ‘-ly’ adverbs should be classified and the implications of this classification on their place in the system of word-classes. Specifically, it raises the question of the place of this morphological, syntactic and semantic behaviour with respect to word-class membership. In this respect, the paper explores the interpretation of subject-related ‘-ly’ words in frameworks where adjectives and adverbs are considered one and the same word-class and also where they are considered separate ones. The interpretation of subject-related ‘-ly’ words as belonging to the categorial space between adjective and adverb is relevant especially in respect of the morphosyntactic processes described in the literature for similar cases: although the profile of subject-related ‘-ly’ words appears to meet the conditions of conversion, they do not become lexicalized, as in lexical conversion, and cannot be traced back to a syntactic process, as in syntactic conversion

ABSTRACT

This article uses Charles S. Peirce’s concept of icon and Judith Butler’s idea of genealogy of gender to study levels of fictionality in the Old English poem Beowulf. It shows that Wealhtheow, the principal female character in the epic, operates as a diegetic reader in the poem. Her speeches, in which she addresses her husband King Hrothgar and Beowulf contain implicit references to the Lay of Finn, which has been sung by Hrothgar’s minstrel at the feast celebrating Beowulf’s victory. It is argued here that Wealhtheow represents herself as an icon of peace-weaving, as she casts herself as a figuration of Hildeburh, the female protagonist of the Lay of Finn. Hildeburh is the sister of Hnæf, the leader of the Danes, and is given by her brother to Finn the Frisian in a marriage alliance. In her role as a peace-weaver, the queen is to weave peace between tribes by giving birth to heirs of the crown. After the courtly minster’s performance of the Lay, Wealhtheow warns her husband against establishing political alliances with the foreigner Beowulf at the expense of his intratribal obligation to his cousin Hrothulf, who is to become king after Hrothgar’s death.

ABSTRACT

Persuasion is defined as human communication designed to influence the judgements and actions of others (Simons & Jones 2011). The purpose of this research is to analyse the discourse of persuasion in Shakespeare from the perspective of historical pragmatics (Jucker & Taavitsainen 2010), with particular attention to modals employed as part of the strategies. The modals under investigation are proximal and distal central modals, SHALL/SHOULD, WILL/WOULD, CAN/COULD, MAY/MIGHT, MUST, and the contracted form ’LL. The data for the present study is drawn from The Riverside Shakespeare (Evans 1997) and the concordance by Spevack (1968-1980). The corpus includes both cases where the persuasion attempt is successful and unsuccessful.

After defining persuasion in comparison to speech acts, quantitative analysis reveals how frequently the persuader and the persuadee employ a modal regarding each type of modality and speech act. Further analysis shows in what manner the persuader and the persuadee interact with each other in discourse resorting to the following strategies: modality, proximal and distal meanings of the modal, speech act of each utterance including a modal, and use of the same modal or switching modals in interaction.

This research thus clarifies how effectively speakers attempted to persuade others in interactions, shedding light on communication mechanisms in the past.

ABSTRACT

Fourteenth century England experienced social changes which influenced the attitude to crown law and triggered a growing distrust to law and its representatives. The progressing development of the gentry complicated the defining of offences, and diversified the means of punishing them. The Tale of Gamelyn presents a conflict between two brothers, sons of a knight, which went beyond the confinements of the household, transforming itself into a conflict between law and justice. Their feud is a cross-complaint concerning land, which soon turns into a spiral of violence in which one brother uses law to control and punish, and the other uses crime and violence to achieve justice. Using Donald Black’s theory of the sociological geometry of violence (2004) and of crime as social control (1983), this article will analyze the law in the tale as a tool of social control represented by Johan, and justice acquired with the use of self-help by Gamelyn. The article will attempt to prove that the story presents a complex relation between justice and law pinned across the varied spectrum of social classes, which Gamelyn changes a number of times, and will argue that the tale is an affirmation of violence as an underlying force of both law and justice, differing in presentation and realization according to social class.

ABSTRACT

This paper takes issue with the lexicon of Old English and, more specifically, with the existence of closing suffixes in word-formation. Closing suffixes are defined as base suffixes that prevent further suffixation by word-forming suffixes (Aronoff & Furhop 2002: 455). This is tantamount to saying that this is a study in recursivity, or the formation of derivatives from derived bases, as in anti-establish-ment, which requires the attachment of the prefix anti- to the derived input establishment.

The present analysis comprises all major lexical categories, that is, nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs and concentrates on suffixes because they represent the newest and the most productive process in Old English word-formation (Kastovsky 1992, 2006), as well as the set of morphemes that has survived into Present-day English without undergoing radical changes. Given this aim, the data retrieved from the lexical database of Old English Nerthus (www.nerthusproject.com) comprise 6,073 affixed (prefixed and suffixed) derivatives, including 3,008 nouns, 1,961 adjectives, 974 adverbs and 130 verbs. All of them have been analysed in order to isolate recursive formations.

ABSTRACT

The poem of St Erkenwald and his encounter with the body of a pagan judge preserved in a tomb underneath St Paul's Cathedral has never provoked an intense scholarly discussion. During the past two decades, however, the poem has altogether lost the scarce attention it used to receive. This is surprising in regards to its outstanding quality but also because of a number of peculiar characteristics the text has in comparison with other works written during the Middle Ages. Arguing for the importance of the historical details provided by the poem, my article takes a number of these peculiarities into account and suggests a new reading of the poem. In this approach, I do not dismiss the major topics of the earlier scholarly discussions, mostly focused on the poem's theological and stylistic topics or its presumed sources. My article rather presents an additional reading from the perspective of a literary history, thus arguing that the poem of St Erkenwald can be placed within a discourse tradition to which a number of earlier authors contributed, the most famous among them being the Venerable Bede. While the poem addresses a variety of theological and stylistic topics and is of course influenced by its contemporary religious and social developments, it also contributes to one of the fundamental problems of English identity in the Middle Ages: coming to terms with a pagan origin.

ABSTRACT

The study analyzes the Early Old English nominal system from a synchronic perspective, since a diachronic approach is unable to provide an accurate description of the language. The analysis is based on the full text of the Vespasian Psalter interlinear gloss. The nouns were grouped according to their inflectional endings, thus representing the synchronically functioning nominal system of Early Old English, contrary to the traditional, diachronic classification, which uses reconstructed stems to classify nouns. The Vespasian Psalter model is compared and contrasted with the latest ‘classical’ work on Old English, Hogg and Fulk’s A Grammar of Old English. Volume 2: Morphology (2011), which also aims at presenting Old English from a synchronic perspective.

ABSTRACT

This article analyses John Banville’s novel Shroud as the protagonist’s autobiography which both follows and resists the confessional mode. Axel Vander, an ageing famous academic and champion of deconstruction, faces the necessity to confront his real self, although he spent his entire academic life contesting the concept of authentic selfhood. Alluding to the infamous case of Paul de Man, whose deconstructionist theories have been reinterpreted in the light of the revelation of his disgraceful wartime past, Banville’s novel presents a man who veers between the temptation to fall back on his theories in order to uphold a lifelong deception, and the impulse to reveal the truth and achieve belated absolution. The article examines Vander’s narrative as an attempt at a truthful account of his life, combined with the conflicting tendency to resist self-exposure. Despite the protagonist’s ambivalent and selfcontradictory motivations, his account of his life belongs to the category of confessional writing, with its accompanying religious connotations. It is argued that the protagonist’s public denial of authentic selfhood is linked to his private evasion of moral culpability.