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Andra Kalnača

Open access

Andra Kalnača

Open access

Andra Kalnača

Open access

Minako Nakayasu

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.

Open access

Jacek Olesiejko

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.

Open access

Salvador Valera

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