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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.

Open access

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 bag-of-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.

Open access

Andrew Goodspeed

Summary

This paper examines Harold Pinter’s late play Mountain Language as a depiction of political oppression specifically rooted in linguistic oppression. The play presents a “mountain people” who have been forbidden to use their “mountain language” by a coercive state authority. The play contrasts the brutality of the officers and guards with the humanity (represented through two still-life ‘tableau’ scenes) of the victims, the “mountain people.” The paper notes, however, that there is an unsettling linguistic twist to the play, in that the “mountain language” and the “language of the capital” are both English in performance. The paper suggests that this is partly motivated by Pinter’s expressed desire to make the play disturbingly recognizable to western audiences, thus removing the spectator’s or reader’s ability to judge such oppressions as being exotic, irrelevant, or encountered only in distant unstable countries. The paper argues that Pinter’s focus upon linguistic prohibition, linguistic discrimination, and linguistic denigration is rendered unexpectedly universal through the reliance of the text upon English as the medium for both the prohibited language and the language of authority.

Open access

Guillem Belmar, Cindy van Boven and Sara Pinho

Summary

This study focuses on the motivation of adults learning a minority language, based on a tripartite model: integrative and instrumental (Gardner & Lambert, 1959; 1972) and personal (see Benson, 1991) motivation. Adults learning a minority language are potential new speakers, a group that has been described as central to language revitalisation (see Pujolar & O’Rourke, 2018). Since the motivation to learn these languages does not seem to be linked to economic success or wider job opportunities, researchers have taken interest in knowing what drives people to learn a minority language (e.g., O’Rourke & DePalma, 2016). In this study, (potential) new speaker motivations were investigated by means of ten open-ended interviews with adult learners of West Frisian—a minority language spoken in the Netherlands—in two different settings: Afûk Frisian courses (a more traditional learning setting) and Bernlef Frisian courses (a student association that offers informal courses for their members). The results show a predominance of integrative and personal motivation (also found in O’Rourke & DePalma, 2016), but not exclusively (as suggested by Jaffe, 2015) since the language appears to be tightly linked to the province and it is deemed beneficial—to a certain extent—for socioeconomic success in the province.

Open access

Jerzy Rubach and Tomasz Łuszczek

Abstract

This paper is a report on the phonological research done in the past two years investigating Podhale Goralian. The data are drawn from our informants in Dzianisz.

The paper establishes the system of surface contrasts in Goralian and identifies instances of complementary distribution. It is claimed that the renowned Podhale Archaism is no longer represented by the vowel [i]. Rather, the vowel has retracted to the central vowel [ɨ]. The original [ɨ], on the other hand, has lowered and fronted and is now best regarded as tense [e]. These transitions of vowels pose challenges for a phonological analysis. A sample of such analysis (Final Tensing) is shown in the framework of Optimality Theory.

Open access

Daiva Verikaitė-Gaigalienė and Loreta Andziulienė

Summary

CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), as an approach to bilingual education in which both content and a foreign language are taught together, started to be employed in secondary schools of Lithuania more than a decade ago; however, there still exists a diversity of opinions towards its benefits and flaws. The studies on CLIL in the European countries have shown that the success of CLIL very much depends on the existing policy documents on the national level regulating CLIL implementation and providing guidance to schools and teachers. It also depends on the amount of research conducted on CLIL in a particular country. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to analyse the current state of affairs of CLIL in Lithuania in terms of the existing policy documents, implemented projects and conducted research that would serve as a theoretical background highlighting the necessity for further analytical investigation. The results of the analysis have shown that no coherent national policies in terms of teaching CLIL have been developed or legal government regulations have been issued in Lithuania until today. The present study has revealed that systematic approach towards investigation of CLIL in Lithuania has not yet been adopted which resulted in the lack of comprehensive analyses on an overall situation of CLIL in Lithuania as well as on factors ensuring efficiency of CLIL implementation in particular. The findings of the study point towards the need for such analyses in the future.

Open access

Pamela Faber and Melania Cabezas-García

Abstract

Understanding specialized discourse requires the identification and activation of knowledge structures underlying the text. The expansion and enhancement of knowledge is thus an important part of the specialized translation process (Faber 2015). This paper explores how the analysis of terminological meaning can be addressed from the perspective of Frame-Based Terminology (FBT) (Faber 2012, 2015), a cognitive approach to domain-specific language, which directly links specialized knowledge representation to cognitive linguistics and cognitive semantics. In this study, context expansion was explored in a three-stage procedure: from single terms to multi-word terms, from multi-word terms to phrases, and from phrases to frames. Our results showed that this approach provides valuable insights into the identification of the knowledge structures underlying specialized texts.

Open access

Paula Orzechowska, Janina Mołczanow and Michał Jankowski

Abstract

This paper investigates the interplay between the metrical structure and phonotactic complexity in English, a language with lexical stress and an elaborate inventory of consonant clusters. The analysis of a dictionary- and corpus-based list of polysyllabic words leads to two major observations. First, there is a tendency for onsetful syllables to attract stress, and for onsetless syllables to repel it. Second, the stressed syllable embraces a greater array of consonant clusters than unstressed syllables. Moreover, the farther form the main stress, the less likely the unstressed syllable is to contain a complex onset. This finding indicates that the ability of a position to license complex onsets is related to its distance from the prosodic head.

Open access

Poster, Poster on the Wall, Do you Really Mean It All?

Decoding Visual Metaphor ‘Global Warming’ in Public Awareness Campaigns

Marina Platonova

Abstract

The tendency to create messages using the elements belonging to different semiotic systems shifts our perception of a communicative act, contributing to the establishment of multimodal and intersemiotic communication practice.

A visual metaphor is seen as one of the instances of a multimodal and intersemiotic message, which generates a text that is revealed gradually, uncovering numerous layers of meaning encoded within a metaphor and within visual, linguistic, and spatial settings it is placed in.

The paper sets out to explore the notion of a visual metaphor and focuses on the application of the visual metaphor ‘global warming’ on posters created for the needs of public awareness campaigns, investigating simultaneous manifestation of iconic and metaphorical mappings in the given visual metaphor.

Open access

Izabela Grabarczyk

Abstract

In any migratory context individuals are faced with several challenges as a result of having to live in a different geographical location, function in a different cultural setting and use a different language. The migrants’ use of language plays a crucial role in mediation of their identity, especially in the domain of pronunciation (Kobialka 2016). When non-native users of language adapt their speech to resemble that of the host community, it may suggest their strong identification with the target community (Hammer and Dewaele 2015). This papers focuses on the pronunciation patterns among Polish adult migrants living in the west of Ireland. The aim of the study is to investigate the link between positive attitudes of the migrant community towards Ireland, Irish culture and community, their acculturation strategies and language identity, and the tendency to use one of the most characteristic features of Irish English – slit-t. The theoretical framework includes acculturation theory (Berry 2005), social identity theory (Tajfel and turner 1987) and language identity (Block 2007). The qualitative and quantitative analysis of data indicates a certain correlation between the use of Irish English slit-t and the participants’ strategies of acculturation, identity and attitudes to the host community.