Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 293 items for :

  • Philosophy of Language x
Clear All
Open access

Samer Omar Jarbou

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate the determinants for choosing nominal anaphoric demonstratives in Classical Arabic (CA) by examining their usage in a corpus of CA texts. The study makes use of Ariel’s (1990; 2001) concept of ‘unity’ as a theoretical framework from which to study the relationship between an anaphoric demonstrative, its antecedent and their shared referent. This study builds on Jarbou and Migdady’s (2012) findings that ‘anaphoric distance’ (Ariel, 1990; 2001) has not been found to be a primary determinant of cognitive accessibility concerning the use of anaphoric demonstratives in CA. The results of this study show that the choice of proximal/distal anaphoric demonstratives in CA depends primarily on the ‘time frame’ of the referent. Anaphoric demonstratives are temporally anchored in the present time of interaction; if a referent existed within a past time frame or is expected to exist within a future time frame (in relation to the interlocutors’ present time), that referent has low accessibility because of non-sharedness of time frame; if a referent existed or is experienced within a present time frame, it has high accessibility due to sharedness of time frame. Temporal distance replaces physical distance as a determinant of accessibility. In the corpus, proximal anaphoric demonstratives have been used in contexts of high accessibility while distal anaphors have been used in those of low accessibility. Findings of this study contribute to the dynamic view of demonstratives that textual/physical distance is not the primary or sole determinant of accessibility concerning demonstratives.

Open access

Renata Povolná

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to provide a cross-cultural analysis of selected linguistic realizations of persuasion in the language of technical communication represented by the genre of technical manuals (TM) and to identify the differences and similarities between the ways persuasion is expressed in this type of specialized discourse in English and Czech. More specifically, the paper attempts to discover which linguistic realizations of directives are applied to persuade the readers of the correctness of the instructions and the necessity of reading and following them. The results demonstrate that the main lexico-grammatical devices are quite similar in all the data. There are only minor frequency differences between English and Czech manuals, which are naturally reflected in their parallel Czech and English translations. The findings indicate that the quality of written instructions, including the degree of persuasiveness, is of great importance since it can influence prospective users of particular technical devices when making a choice about what to buy.

Open access

Ludmila Veselovská

Abstract

This paper addresses the classification of morphemes in a generative framework. Referring to existing theoretical models of generative morphosyntax (e.g. Distributed Morphology), it demonstrates that a traditional long-standing taxonomic distinction reflects formal, i.e. structural (and derivational) distinctions. Using the well-known examples of the English multi-functional nominalizer -ing and some parallel data in Czech, the study reinterprets morphological taxonomy in terms of three levels, namely the (i) lexical, (ii) syntactic and (iii) post-syntactic insertion of grammatical formatives. It shows that the level of insertion in a syntactic derivation results in predictable (and attested) diagnostics for the multi-morpheme exponents.

Open access

Hagit Shefer

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is twofold; first, it aims to explore the variety of interpretations of the partially schematic Hebrew construction kexol as in kexol she’ratsiti (‘as much as I wanted’) within the framework of construction grammar; second, it aims to account for this variety through a demonstration of the interrelation between the grammaticalization of the construction and the process of (inter)subjectification or speech-act orientation. The analysis will show that this interrelation has resulted in considerable internal variation in meaning and function in the present day. Corpus findings reveal that initially kexol functioned as a compound consisting of a preposition and a universal quantifier to denote a relation of similarity and comparison. As a result of speaker orientation, the construction has come to exhibit a higher degree of grammaticality in its function as a scalar modifier. Additional schematic and procedural meanings which developed later seem to be the result of hearer-orientation and discourse-orientation tendencies all subsumed under the cover term speech-act orientation

Open access

Sufyan Abuarrah

Abstract

Some traditional accounts view literal meaning (LM) as the central component in the process of meaning interpretation. This paper supports this view while adding that LM is the first but not the only piece of evidence available to the hearer of the speaker’s meaning. After critically evaluating examples from previous studies and my own examples, the study concludes that discourse comprehension is a sequential and graded process. To understand the significance of LM as evidence in the process of meaning understanding, the study has to reconsider the notion of evidence according to Relevance Theory (RT) and define the vigorously debated term of LM. The results from this study suggest that literal meaning is initial and context is subsequential; while both co-determine the speaker’s meaning in implicature, the latter enriches the speaker’s meaning into a higher order speech act in explicature.

Open access

Igor Tolochin and Anna Tkalich

Abstract

The paper proposes a study of a sample of 1,000 contexts for crimson, both the adjective and noun, in COCA with the aim of pointing out the insufficient and inaccurate dictionary definitions of crimson. The paper reveals the ambivalent nature of the meaning of crimson and offers a model of the senses of the crimson-adjective, demonstrating also the relative frequencies of the homonymous nouns within each of the senses. The key point of the paper consists in revealing the complex semantic structure of this adjective and its homonymous noun involving a broad range of synesthetic responses to positive and negative experiences of crimson as a visual aspect of a situation represented by various contexts. The analysis also demonstrates a correlation between the different senses of crimson, both noun and adjective, and the specific genres of text.

Open access

Milan Smutný

Abstract

This paper deals with terminology as a characteristic feature of the language used in science and technology. The lexical units in question serve the communication needs and demands of particular discourse communities, i.e., experts in different branches of science and specializations. Terminology precisely describes reality, carries specific information on the phenomena and relationships between them and helps to avoid shifts in meaning during the process of communication. In comparison with other spheres of life where shifts in meaning are common, in science and technology, changes in the information transferred are unacceptable and may lead to serious consequences. This paper focuses on various aspects and approaches to this part of the lexical system. Examples from the English language for Electrical Engineering and Communication Technologies provide an insight into different criteria for classifying units as terms, lexical patterns and semantic relationships between the individual constituents. Other features, qualities and functions of terminology, such as the stabilizing reality, interconnection between explicitness and implicitness or description of progress reflecting a unique attitude to reality are also discussed.

Open access

Lahoucine Aammari

Abstract

Arthur Leared’s Morocco and the Moors (1876) and Budgett Meakin’s Life in Morocco and Glimpses Beyond (1905) are two less-examined imperial travel texts on precolonial Morocco. These two travelogues are British (Irish and English, respectively) – a fact that casts on them from the beginning the special taste of this genre which is a British specialty par excellence. Coming from the same political and cultural backdrops, Leared and Meakin peregrinated into Morocco in a precolonial time when it was still perceived as the “Lands of the Moors”. These two travellers responded to moments of interactions with the Moors as a culturally, socially and religiously different other. Both these Victorian travellers were aware of the fact of empire as their travelogues function as fodder to energize the discursive grandiloquence of empire. They stress an ethnocentric view in depicting Moroccans and their culture, and they communicate their observations through an interpretative framework, or in Foucauldian terminology, through the “discourses” provided by their culture. This paper undertakes the examination of these two travellers’ perception of otherness; the approach is to question and bring to the fore the rhetorical and discursive strategies as well as modes of representation Leared and Meakin deploy in their encounters with the Moors in Pre-Protectorate Morocco.

Open access

Simona Klimková

Abstract

The implications of the colonialist discourse, which suggested that the colonized is a person “whose historical, physical, and metaphysical geography begins with European memory” (Thiong’o, 2009), urged postcolonial writers to correct these views by addressing the issues from their own perspectives. The themes of history and communal/national past thus play a prominent role in postcolonial literature as they are inevitably interwoven with the concept of communal identity. In Petals of Blood (1977), the Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o explores the implications of social change as brought about by the political and economic development during the post-independence period. This paper seeks to examine the crucial relation between personal and communal/national history and relate it to the writer’s views of principal legacies of colonialism. As Thiong’o states: “My interest in the past is because of the present and there is no way to discuss the future or present separate from the past” (Thiong’o, 1975). Clearly, the grasping of the past and one’s identification with it seems fundamental in discussing national development. As Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s narratives are always situated in the realm of political and historical context, blending fiction with fact, this paper also aims to elaborate on the implications of his vision.

Open access

Tomáš Jajtner

Abstract

This paper interprets the “green” poetry of Andrew Marvell (1621-1678). It discusses the main features of the Renaissance pastoral, especially the standard elements of the genre and its ethical aspects. Methodologically, it combines ecocritical reading with the philosophical concepts of harmony, based on Pythagorean harmonic lore. It shows the paradoxes of Marvell’s treatment of the pastoral, especially the dramatic contrast between the meditative and comforting aspect of the pastoral genre and the impossibility of reconciling the harmonious ethos of the natural world with the plagues of human love and its finality.