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Four basic argument forms

Abstract

This paper provides a theoretical rationale for distinguishing four basic argument forms. On the basis of a survey of classical and contemporary definitions of argument, a set of assumptions is formulated regarding the linguistic and pragmatic aspects of arguments. It is demonstrated how these assumptions yield four different argument forms: (1) first-order predicate arguments, (2) first-order subject arguments, (3) second-order subject arguments, and (4) second-order predicate arguments. These argument forms are then further described and illustrated by means of concrete examples, and it is explained how they are visually represented in the Periodic Table of Arguments.

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From Arkngthand to Wretched Squalor: Fictional place-names in The Elder Scrolls universe

Abstract

In this article we would like to examine an area of onomastics that has not received much scholarly attention. We aim to provide an adequate linguistic analysis of the place-names found in The Elder Scrolls (ES) video game series. For our analysis, we rely chiefly on the methods of linguistic statistics, which have not yet gained widespread use in onomastic research. Our goal is to give a boost to linguistic and onomastic research into video games and to develop related aspects of its research methodology. Two main methods of place-name formation can be observed in our results: one is when the fictional names are coined on the basis of the lexical elements of already existing non-fictional languages (we call these mimetic names), and the other is when the game developers create so-called speaking names. In our article we demonstrate that the toponyms of the ES universe in part conform to the conventions of non-fictional place-name formation (e.g. they can be sorted into the two main categories of habitative names and topographical names), and in part they contradict such conventions, because around 14 percent of the names we analyzed are purposefully coined as semantically obscure toponyms, which does not happen in the case of non-fictional names.

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Language and argument: a review of the field

Abstract

This paper has a dual purpose: it both seeks to introduce the other works in this issue by illustrating how they are related to the field of argumentation as a whole, and to make clear the tremendous range of research currently being carried out by argumentation theorists which is concerned with the interaction and inter-reliance of language and argument. After a brief introduction to the development of the field of argumentation, as many as eight language-based approaches to the study of argument are identified, taking as their perspective: rhetoric, argument structure, argument as act, discourse analysis, corpus methods, emotive argument, and narrative argument. The conclusion makes it clear that these branches of study are all themselves interconnected and that it is the fusion of methodologies and theory from linguistics and the philosophical study of argument which lends this area of research its dynamism.

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Marriage, liberty and constitution: a corpus-assisted study of value-laden words in legal argumentation

Abstract

This paper investigates the interplay between judicial argumentation and evaluative or emotive language identified in two US Supreme Court landmark cases on the right of same-sex couples to marry. The analysis of both majority and dissenting opinions leads to two main observations. First, marriage and liberty are indeed emotive words and they represent two major sites of contention between the concurring and dissenting judges. Second, there are important differences within the argumentative strategies employed by the judges. While (re)defining the concepts remains the major argumentative goal for both types of opinion, the majority opinions tacitly integrate the redefined concept of marriage into their argumentation. It is the dissenting opinions that explicitly raise the issue of (re)definition in order to defend and retain the original sense of marriage.

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Shakespeare and his contemporaries: Designing a genre classification scheme for Early English Books Online 1560–1640

Abstract

The language of Early Modern texts can potentially reveal a lot about Shakespeare’s language. In this paper I describe the creation of a genre classification scheme for a segment of Early English Books Online – Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP), covering the period 1560–1640. This categorisation permits meaningful comparison of the language of Shakespeare with that of his contemporaries and makes an integral contribution to The Encyclopaedia of Shakespeare’s Language project at Lancaster University. I outline the rationale behind the scheme, describe preliminary automatic genre classification work and present the prototype approach adopted for this categorisation. I also provide specific examples of classification in practice and discuss internal and external factors which influenced genre selection. I finish by suggesting how a range of scholars might benefit from this research.

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Academic and Literary Communication: Addressability, Statuses, and Functioning

Abstract

The article addresses the issue of creation and functioning of each link in the communication chain addresser/sender-message-addressee/recipient in three communicative statuses: external, internal, and potential. Personal and transpersonal communication is analyzed. Semantic and functional features of academic vs literary communication are considered.

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Accommodation of L2 Speech in a Repetition Task: Exploring Paralinguistic Imitation

Abstract

Phonetic convergence is the process by which a speaker adapts his/her speech to sound more similar to his/her interlocutor. While most studies analysing this process have been conducted amongst speakers sharing the same language or variety, this experiment focuses on imitation between non-native and native speakers in a repetition task. The data is a fragment from the ANGLISH corpus designed by Anne Tortel (Tortel, 2008). 40 French speakers (10 male intermediate, 10 male advanced, 10 female intermediate and 10 female advanced learners) were asked to repeat a set of 20 sentences produced by British native speakers. Segmental (vowel quality), suprasegmental (vowel duration) and voice quality were analysed. Level of proficiency, gender and model talker were taken as independent variables. Level appeared not to be a relevant parameter due to a high amount of inter-individual variability amongst groups. Somewhat contradictory results were observed for vowel duration and F1-F2 distance for male learners converged more than female learners. Our hypothesis that low vowels display a higher degree of imitation, and especially within the F1 dimension (Babel, 2012), was partially validated. Convergence in vowel duration in order to sound more native-like was also observed (Zając, 2013). Regarding the analysis of voice quality, and more particularly of creaky voice, observations suggest that some advanced female learners creaked more than the native speakers and more in the reading task, which indicate, both linguistic idiosyncrasy and accommodation towards the native speakers. Low vowels seem also to be more likely to be produced with a creaky voice, especially at the end of prosodic constituents.

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The acquisition of Hungarian recursive PPs

Abstract

In this study an experiment is presented on how Hungarian children interpret two word orders of recursive PPs (subject-PP-verb and PP-subject-verb order). According to the research of Roeper (2011) and Hollebrandse and Roeper (2014), children tend to give conjunctive interpretation to multiple embedded sentences at the beginning of language acquisition. This interpretation later turns into an adult-like, recursive interpretation. Our aim is to discover (i) whether Hungarian children start with conjunction as well, and whether (ii) the apparently more salient functional head lévő appearing in Hungarian recursive PPs can help them to acquire the correct, recursive interpretation early. We also want to find out whether (iii) the word orders in recursive PPs have an influence on the acquisition of children. In this paper two experiments are presented conducted with 6 and 8-year-olds and adults, in which the participants were asked to choose between two pictures. One of the pictures depicted recursive and the other one depicted conjunctive interpretation of the given sentence. In the first experiment subject-PP-verb order was tested, but in the second one sentences were tested with PP-subject-verb order. We will claim that lévő, which is (arguably) a more salient Hungarian functional element than -i, does not help children to acquire the embedded reading of recursive sentences, because both of them are overt functional heads. However, the two types of word orders affect the acquisition of recursive PPs. PP-subject-verb order is easier to compute because the order of the elements in the sentences and the order of the elements in the pictures matches.

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