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Michaela Zemková

Abstract

Although language is something deeply embedded in our nature, the question of its origin is of the same order as the misty question of the origin of life. I point out that the core of the problem can be rooted in the dichotomy between language and speech, similar to the dichotomy of genotype and phenotype in biology. Following the ontogeny–phylogeny framework, I propose that studies of language ontogeny, especially its early stages, can bring a new understanding to language, same as the study of communication in non-human primates..

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Tiago da Costa e Silva

Abstract

The aim of this article is to offer a reading of the poetic experience through the scope of the semiotics and pragmatism of Chares S. Peirce. Such a reading through semiotics and pragmatism unveils deeper levels of the process of interpretation involving abduction, an inference through which new meanings implied in the semantic tensions arise. Methodologically, the article begins with Roman Jakobson’s realisation that only a broader semiotical context, which breaches the boundaries of the dyadic components of significant and signified scope of structuralism, enables the access to deeper levels of poetic events. The article’s author then discusses the limitations of the dyadic relations of structuralism and, as a broader processual framework to assess poeticity, sets out to discuss the poetic experience from the perspective of pragmatism and its all-encompassing logic of abduction...

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Susan F. Schmerling

Abstract

This paper introduces rhetorical meaning to semantic theory; we use the term by analogy to tropes like metonymy in classical rhetoric, which yields ‘the American president’ from the White House—that is, it substitutes one referential meaning for another. Here we focus on two rhetorical meanings: intensification and attenuation. Intensification is expressed in English and many other languages by total reduplication (an old old man); attenuation is exemplified by Spanish ‘synthetic’ diminutive forms (hombrecito ‘little man’; cf. hombre ‘man’) and English and French ‘analytic’ formations (My Little Chickadee (film); petit caporal ‘Little Corporal’ (Napoléon Bonaparte)). Formally, a rhetorical meaning is a relation with one referential meaning as its domain and, as its codomain, a set of related referential meanings, the particular set specified by the rhetorical meaning at hand. The selection from among elements of the codomain, which can even seem contradictory out of context, is in fact highly context-dependent and indicates a critical role for pragmatics in an overall account of this meaning type.

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Vilém Uhlíř

Abstract

Following the conclusions of the previous paper (Uhlir, this issue), this paper adopts a theory that is based on the notion that the essence of language is uniquely human, with no homologue elsewhere in nature, and advances the possibility that human language is discontinuous not only within communication systems but also within representational systems. Linguistic data from disparate sources in Homo sapiens are contrasted with evidence from animals. After briefly discussing the dialectics between the mosaic approach to language and the holistic approach to an integrated left hemisphere, the paper culminates in a proposal of a general zoosemiotic theory of “Representational Systems” and a special anthroposemiotic theory of “Meta-representational Systems”.

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Vilém Uhlíř

Abstract

This paper offers a brief critical review of some of the so-called “Talking Animals” projects. The findings from the projects are compared with linguistic data from Homo sapiens and with newer evidence gleaned from experiments on animal syntactic skills. The question concerning what had the so-called “Talking Animals” really done is broken down into two categories – words and (recursive) syntax. The (relative) failure of the animal projects in both categories points mainly to the fact that the core feature of language – hierarchical recursive syntax – is missing in the pseudo-linguistic feats of the animals.

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Vladimír Naxera and Petr Krčál

Abstract

This paper is a contribution to the academic debate on populism and Islamophobia in contemporary Europe. Its goal is to analyze Czech President Miloš Zeman’s strategy in using the term “security” in his first term of office. Methodologically speaking, the text is established as a computer-assisted qualitative data analysis (CAQDAS) of a data set created from all of Zeman’s speeches, interviews, statements, and so on, which were processed using MAXQDA11+. This paper shows that the dominant treatment of the phenomenon of security expressed by the President is primarily linked to the creation of the vision of Islam and immigration as the absolute largest threat to contemporary Europe. Another important finding lies in the fact that Zeman instrumentally utilizes rhetoric such as “not Russia, but Islam”, which stems from Zeman’s relationship to Putin’s authoritarian regime. Zeman’s conceptualization of Islam and migration follows the typical principles of contemporary right-wing populism in Europe.

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Solvejg Nitzke

Abstract

During the second half of the long 19th century „precarious nature" moves to the center of a variety of popular discourses. The increasing visibility of and reflection on the human manipulation and destruction of nature is equally important for an understanding of precarious nature as is the publicly received progress of science and the social transformation caused by industrialization and accompanying processes. All these fields create versions of human-nature- relations and of 'natural' lifestyles and -forms under increasingly precarious conditions. Precarious nature provides a perspective which allows for the recognition of the dual conditioning of nature in literature, popular science and personal as well as travel narratives and the analysis of its part in the production of affective, discursive and material environments. Ecological story-telling is a vital force which produces a specific proto-ecological knowledge in representations of village-home and forest-wilderness. Liminal spaces between nature and culture thus can be recognized as privileged sites of the negotiation of human-nature-relationships.

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Michaela Ott

Abstract

I discuss current shifts in cultural understandings under postcolonial conditions with particular regard to the French-African-Antillean area. Through a short reconstruction of culture constitutive approaches, their continuation and criticism in the Antillean area and furthermore the Afropolitan interpretations by Mbembe,Enwezor and African artists, I come to the conclusion that we need an epistemological shift in the cultural studies discourse itself. Along the lines of the affirmative- critical aesthetic of the mentioned African theorists, curators and artists, I advocate that the cultural studies discourse distances itself from descriptions in terms of cultural contrast, of the same and the other, of white and black and so on. I argue that the discourse should abandon the idea of unified or oppositional cultures and instead emphasize the „composite-cultural", i.e. the entanglements of respective personal or societal forms of articulation and existence as well as profile the types of symbolic interpenetration, the temporally and aesthetically conditioned „dividuation". With examples from the African art context, I attempt to outline certain dividual procedures and to stress the fact that nowadays even western articulations are bound to endure forced cultural participation [Zwangsteilhabe]: Instead of discursive contrasts we are in need of analyses of the respective participation and (self-)dividuation processes.

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Niels Werber

Abstract

The article explores the thus far most popular German dime novel series which continuously has been published weekly since 1961 and reached hundreds of thousands of readers as archive of societal self-reflection and cultural self-positioning of its readers.

The complexity and continuity of the series and its since the beginnings very accessible reception in letters from readers, fanzines, wikis, online forums firstly allow this article fundamental corrections on the principles of mass culture and popular culture research, and secondly enable the investigation of the political of the society which is observed by the series for more than 56 years now, not only by means of the dime novels and its references but likewise on the basis of the intensive controversies about the political of the ever contemporary context and the political of the series Perry Rhodan itself, which can be verified by the readers’ letters column, wikipedia article discussions, posts and comments. Exploring the novel series praxeologically, the paper provides a first insight into the complex pratices of reading and appropriation of Perry Rhodan, disproving the common assumption of the Perry Rhodan-reading public as reactionary, one-dimensional, or fascist.

The main hypothesis is: The series observes the political of the society and it provokes, as can be shown in the debates of the online-forums, observations of the political of the society. The paper shows how both authors and readers put their political self-understanding under scrutiny and in jeopardy in diverse wikis, forums, and platforms whereby the Perry Rhodan research gives an extraordinary and - in view of the popularity of the series and the quantity of testimonies of reception - significant insight in the struggles about coherent self-descriptions of the society and its common grounds.

Open access

Katalin Harangus and Ágnes Sántha

Abstract

One of the most dynamically evolving sectors of our days is eHealth. More and more applications, software, devices, etc. are launched that make healthcare segments accessible not only for professionals but for laics, too. This study examines to what extent the adult Hungarian population of Mureş County is ready to become eHealth participative, i.e. an active agent of its own healthcare attendance, in order to make use of the advantages offered by modern technologies that provide information and help understand our diseases, their prevention, and health maintenance. The probability of eHealth usage is approximated by the frequency of Internet usage. Social determinants of info-communication tool usage are assessed, controlling for covariates. Age has the strongest impact upon the frequency of Internet usage. The younger is the respondent, the more likely he/she is to be a frequent user, and, apart from this, only the educational level determines Internet use, higher education implying more frequent usage.