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Mikołaj Deckert

Abstract

This paper models conventionalisation of language structure as constitutive of processing fluency. I postulate that the difference in conventionalisation of linguistic forms used for communication significantly influences our reasoning about linguistically-expressed problems. Two studies are reported that tested this hypothesis with the use of variably conventionalised - fluent and disfluent - formulations of problem-solving tasks. Th e findings indicate that even in tasks requiring analytic reasoning, the degree to which the linguistic forms employed to communicate are conventionalised is correlated with the subjects’ performance success rate. On a more general level, this paper seeks to empirically address the nature of links between linguistic form and meaning construction.

Open access

Mikołaj Deckert

Abstract

This editorial outlines the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of the current special issue, signalling some of the practical implications of the problems investigated. As the title of the collection highlights the convergence of “translation” and “cognition”, emphasis is here first placed on what “cognitive” can be taken to stand for in translationcentred research. I then discuss the other identifying idea of the issue - that of asymmetry - i.e. the observation that conceptual-semantic content is variably partitioned as it gets coded in different languages. Special attention is paid to cross-linguistic conventionalisation misalignment which requires sensitisation to translation scenarios where the symmetry of the source and target structures is only illusory.

Open access

Mikołaj Deckert and Piotr Pęzik

Abstract

The paper investigates the possible conceptual bases of differences between seemingly synonymous and easily definable temporal expressions. Looking at the usage patterns of nominal temporal phrases in reference corpora of English and Polish we attempt to relate these subtleties to the different granularity of the cognitive scales on which construals of time quantities in general are based. More specifically, we focus on a subset of nominal temporal expressions which adhere to the “number + time unit” pattern, matching what Haspelmath (1997: 26) describes as “culture-bound artificial time units”. Using the British National Corpus (BNC) and the National Corpus of Polish (NCP), we first analyse both the variation and the regularity found in naturally-occurring samples of Polish and English. Finally, we compare the patterns of use emerging from the two corpora and arrive at cross-linguistic generalisations about the conceptualisation of time quantities.