Barbara Bokus and Tomasz Garstka
Toward a Shared Metaphoric Meaning in Children's Discourse: The Role of Argumentation
The text deals with the phenomenon of understanding and interpreting metaphoric expressions in children. Of the many metaphoric figures, one type was selected: the ‘so-called’ psychological-physical metaphors that illuminate a psychological experience by appealing to an event in the physical domain. The data consist of children's discussions in pairs, in which they make a joint interpretation of metaphors including a dual-function adjective, e.g., a hard person, a sweet person, an empty person. A hundred and forty-four dialogues between peer dyads were recorded from three age groups (48 dialogues from each group): 6;6-7;6, 8;6-9;6, and 10;6-11;6. The children's task was to prepare an interpretation of metaphorical expressions for two television quiz shows, one for peers and one for young preschoolers. The research design was balanced for age, gender, and order of metaphoric interpretation in the two experimental variants. Following Quignard's model (2005), we analyzed children's argumentation as a particular case of dialogical problem solving, whereby children had to understand the metaphoric meaning and convey it to the potential addressee. The results show an interesting dynamic in the argumentative orientation of the pro and the contra type, depending on the age of interlocutors. The frequency of metaphoric interpretations in opposition to those presented by the partner decreases with the children's age, but the frequency of compound proposals with the use of the partner's contribution increases. For the younger addressee, children most frequently interpret metaphors as descriptions of magical situations.
This paper is an outline of Grace Wales Shugar’s research approach and some of her main theses in the field of language acquisition and children’s discourse. Her idea of dual agentivity of adult-child interaction shows how to best support children’s communicative skills: It is only when children can show what they know in their own way, and when that child knowledge is received and used in a discourse process, that we can expect a child’s inner motivation to acquire knowledge from others to be maintained and to become a driving force of the child’s further development (Shugar, 1995, p. 233).
Barbara Bokus and Piotr Kałowski
Processing of figurative (nonliteral) language is the focus of this special issue of Psychology of Language and Communication. The main theme is irony, which has been called “the ethos of our times” (Wampole, 2012). The texts presented here consider irony from many different angles, thus expanding the psycholinguistic perspective to include problems of key importance for understanding the phenomenon. All of these texts open up new questions on irony comprehension and production. The next special issue (to be published in 2017) will discuss research on a different type of nonliteral language: metaphors.
Barbara Bokus and Piotr Kałowski
Following up on the previous special issue of Psychology of Language and Communication, devoted to irony, the current one concerns metaphors - another major form of non-literal language. The authors of the presented papers examine metaphor use and understanding in a wide variety of contexts, both in adult and child, as well as normal and abnormal populations. The result is a comprehensive survey of the current state of research, which opens further avenues of potentially fruitful inquiry.
Barbara Kapp, Siegfried Pöchtrager and Christoph Permoser
Fermentierte Milchprodukte wie Joghurt werden in ganz Europa, aber auch im eurasischen Raum, hergestellt und verzehrt. Je nach klimatischen Bedingungen unterscheiden sich die Mikroflora und dementsprechend auch das fertige Endprodukt. Neben Milchsäurebakterien können auch Hefen und Schimmelpilze zur Fermentation der Milch herangezogen werden. Am österreichischen Markt sind derzeit vor allem das Griechische Joghurt und High-Protein-Produkte wie das isländische Produkt Skyr gefragt. Da der Milchkonsum in Österreich jedoch stagniert, stellen Produktinnovationen für heimische Molkereien wichtige Umsatztreiber dar. Mithilfe dieser Studie soll geklärt werden, welche fermentierten Milchprodukte mit ausgefallener Herstellungsweise laut Experteneinschätzung das Potenzial für eine erfolgreiche Markteinführung in Österreich besitzen. Als Forschungsmethode dienten qualitative Expertenbefragungen. Um ein breites Spektrum abzudecken, wurden Vertreter aus der Forschung, dem Handel und der Produktion befragt.
Agata Tarwacka-Odolczyk, Piotr Tomaszewski, Agnieszka Szymańska and Barbara Bokus
This paper discusses the communicative competence of deaf children. It illustrates the process in which such children build narrative texts in interaction with a deaf teacher, and presents the diversity of this process due to the shared vs. non-shared perception of a picture - the source of the topic. Detailed analyses focus on the formal and semantic aspect of the stories, including the length of the text in sign language, the content selected, information categories, and types of answers to the teacher’s questions. This text is our contribution in memory of Professor Grace Wales Shugar, whose idea of dual agentivity of child-adult interaction inspired the research presented here.
Barbara Bokus, Marlena Bartczak, Agnieszka Szymańska, Renata Chronowska and Agnieszka Ważyńska
We propose a new method to measure distances between different I-positions in internal dialogue. Subjects facing and then making a major life decision via internal dialogue can indicate the places of different voices in the dialogical self’s structure. The subjects’ task is to assign a place to themselves (narrator I) and their imaginary interlocutors at a round table. The Dialogical Self's Round Table (DSRT) task, a modified form of the Semantic Distance Task (SDT; Bartczak & Bokus, 2013, 2017), was designed so that the distances between the different I-positions could be coded numerically. Presenting the method of the DSRT, we will answer the question of which voices are activated the most often in internal dialogues, and which voices can be heard the most often from different locations at the round table. We will also analyze where the subjects place the voices they consider to be the most important.
Caroline Poyntner, Max Prem, Oliver Mann, Barbara Blasi and Katja Sterflinger
Microorganisms are potent contributors to maintaining a safe environment as they are able to degrade organic toxicants. For environmental applications, mostly bacteria are used while fungal strains have received less attention. However, they are able to degrade highly persistent organic contaminants and survive extreme conditions, and may thus be promising organisms. To find new fungal candidates for these applications, twelve soil samples from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminated sites in Austria were used to isolate fungal strains. A microplate screening method using PAH contaminated soil as inoculant was set up to isolate fungal strains being able to live in presence of toluene, hexadecane, or polychlorinated biphenyl 126. Not many microbial strains are known that degrade these three contaminants, while the PAH contamination acted as selective pressure for the soil microbiota. After obtaining pure cultures, the fungal strains were further screened for their ability to live in the presence of one of the three contaminant substrates. The potential for technical application of the 11 best performing strains, identified using ITS and 18S rDNA, is discussed. The presented microtiter plate screening method is a cost efficient and quick approach to identify fungal strains for pollutant degradation and results in candidates with a high relevance for bioremediation techniques.