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The role of the precedent phenomenon in creating a language game in the headlines of political media discourse

Abstract

The precedent phenomenon is estimated as a productive source for creating the language game in the headlines of political media discourse. Headlines based on a language game draw the attention of the reader more quickly. There are often used precedent phenomena, understood as culturally loaded signs, known to a major part of the representatives of the same national community. That is a precedent phenomenon that may serve multiple purposes. We have focused on its effect applied in the headings. The coincidence of the background knowledge of the author and the reader contributes to the hidden influence on the images of politicians formed in the mind of the reader.

Open access
A semiotic exploration of catastrophes in game worlds

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to overview the presence of catastrophes in game worlds and, in particular, to investigate what they can tell us about real catastrophes. To this end, we present a semiotic typol-ogy of catastrophes, confronting them with epistrophes and apostrophes and further articulating them relative and absolute cessation events. Then we highlight the long-standing relationship between playfulness and disasters in literature, cinema and video games underlining how the suppos-edly opposite characteristics of the two are, in fact, a very productive cultural trope. To conclude, we look into some examples of catastrophes in game worlds, both relative (such as the “corrupted blood incident” in World of Warcraft) and absolute (the end of the worlds in StarWars Galaxies and Matrix Online).

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Sign System Studies and Modern Socio-Anthropomorphism

Abstract

The article examines the individual and social, practical, and theoretical presumptions (“idols” and “beliefs”) that constitute the conscious and unconscious re-construction of the social reality and reality of different conventional sign systems that represent and are represented by society. It is shown that in everyday life and in theoretical studies, we quite often analyze sign systems as if they were autonomous and empirically “given” realities. The work explains how this “natural belief” originated and developed. It is argued that conventional sign systems cannot be reduced to the reality of material “sign vehicles” because in society, sign systems are both subjective and objective, internal and external, and process and object.

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Some notes on split ergativity in Hittite

Abstract

The Hittite grammar is characterized by a morphosyntactic split that affects the behaviour of the inflectional classes of Noun phrases (DPs). While a singular neuter transitive subject is marked by /-anza/suffix, commons DPs end with an /-š/mark. In addition, intransitive neuter subjects and neuter objects pattern in the same way, marked by /-ø/, while in commons the object role is marked by an /-n/ ending, which distinguishes it from the subjects. The aim of this paper is to investigate over a possible definition of split ergativity in the Hittite grammar.

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Describing Life: Towards the Conception of Howard Pattee

Abstract

A description of living systems is still a topic of discussion among a number of disciplines. By an evaluation of the approaches, we get to an axis differentiating those that are indisputable in sense of dealing with verifiable and measurable phenomena. We thus also get to approaches that integrate particular extensions when dealing with the possibilities to describe living systems and processes. It is a task for biosemiotics to find connections of these approaches and thus ways to enrich each other or simply describe phenomena to the widest extent possible. One of the authors whose work is permeated by this idea is Howard Pattee. Inspired by his work, we discuss the options of description when talking about living systems and semiotic apparatuses. We do so by a formulation of two viewpoints that differ in questions of contextual dependency, interpretation and necessity of the existence of an autonomous agent as indispensable elements for the description of life phenomena.

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AusBrown: A new diachronic corpus of Australian English

Abstract

This paper presents a newly-compiled diachronic corpus of Australian English (AusBrown). With four sampling time points (1931, 1961, 1991 and 2006), Aus-Brown is designed to match the current suite of British and American ‘Brown-family’ corpora in both sampling year and design. We provide details of the composition and compilation of AusBrown, and explore the broader context of its ‘Brown-family background’ and of complementary Australian corpora. We also overview research based on the Australian corpora presented, including several AusBrown-based papers.

Open access
Corpora and lexis
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Early Modern Multiloquent Authors (EMMA): Designing a large-scale corpus of individuals’ languages

Abstract

The present article provides a detailed description of the corpus of Early Modern Multiloquent Authors (EMMA), as well as two small case studies that illustrate its benefits. As a large-scale specialized corpus, EMMA tries to strike the right balance between big data and sociolinguistic coverage. It comprises the writings of 50 carefully selected authors across five generations, mostly taken from the 17th-century London society. EMMA enables the study of language as both a social and cognitive phenomenon and allows us to explore the interaction between the individual and aggregate levels.

The first part of the article is a detailed description of EMMA’s first release as well as the sociolinguistic and methodological principles that underlie its design and compilation. We cover the conceptual decisions and practical implementations at various stages of the compilation process: from text-markup, encoding and data preprocessing to metadata enrichment and verification.

In the second part, we present two small case studies to illustrate how rich contextualization can guide the interpretation of quantitative corpus-linguistic findings. The first case study compares the past tense formation of strong verbs in writers without access to higher education to that of writers with an extensive training in Latin. The second case study relates s/th-variation in the language of a single writer, Margaret Cavendish, to major shifts in her personal life.

Open access
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.

Open access