Search Results

1 - 10 of 92 items :

  • Linguistics and Semiotics x
Clear All
The Vowel System of Podhale Goralian

Abstract

This paper is a report on the phonological research done in the past two years investigating Podhale Goralian. The data are drawn from our informants in Dzianisz.

The paper establishes the system of surface contrasts in Goralian and identifies instances of complementary distribution. It is claimed that the renowned Podhale Archaism is no longer represented by the vowel [i]. Rather, the vowel has retracted to the central vowel [ɨ]. The original [ɨ], on the other hand, has lowered and fronted and is now best regarded as tense [e]. These transitions of vowels pose challenges for a phonological analysis. A sample of such analysis (Final Tensing) is shown in the framework of Optimality Theory.

Open access
Route 66 and No End: Further Fortunes of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 66

Abstract

At the SHINE-conference in Murcia in 1999 I claimed that sonnet 66 has been largely disregarded by Anglo-American critics whereas, in continental Europe, it has been frequently used as a medium of protest in crucial political situations. In the light of more recent findings I will revise this claim and draw attention to English poets and novelists from the Romantic period to Modernism reworking or working with the sonnet with a political thrust

Open access
Honouring The Wound: War and Performance in the Lives of Hannah Snell, Deborah Sampson and Pauline Cushman

Abstract

This essay investigates three women’s cross-dressed service in the military. Hannah Snell (1723-92) served as a British marine and fought the French in India. Deborah Sampson Gannet (1760-1827) fought the British in the American Wars of Independence and Pauline Cushman (1833-1893) claimed to have disguised herself for the Union during the American Civil War. These three are, by no means, the only women to claim action and remuneration as male combatants (Jelinek 53-62),1 when the legal extent of women’s engagement was as unpaid camp followers. However, all three gave accounts of their military exploits to the public through biographies and solo performances on stage.

Open access
“This is a […] Story;”” the Refusal of a Master Text in Noah Hawley’s Fargo

Abstract

Each episode of Noah Hawley’s first two seasons of Fargo begins with the same claim: “this is a true story.” The claim might invite the formation of what Thomas Leitch (2007) calls a “privileged master text,” except that Hawley undermines the creation of such a text in at least two ways. On the one hand, Hawley uses his truth claim as a way to direct his audience into the film he is adapting – Joel and Ethan Coen’s (1996) film by the same name. Hawley ensures throughout his first season that those who know or who come-to-know the Coens’ work will recognize his story as an extension of the Coens’s world. Hawley references the Coens’ world so much that his audience is never entirely outside the Coens’ universe, and certainly not in any world a story based on a true event might pretend to occupy. At the same time, Hawley allows different speakers to make the opening truth claim by the end of his second season, which further prevents his truth assertion from locating viewers in any actual world. Hawley’s second move reveals that true stories are always subjective stories, which means they are always constructed stories. In this way, a true story is no more definitive than any other story. All stories are, in keeping with Jorge Luis Borges’ attitude toward definitive texts, only a draft or a version of a story. Every telling invites another, alternative retelling. A true story is, therefore, above all a story.

Open access
Classifier Constructions as Procedural Referring Expressions in American Sign Language

Abstract

The present paper comments on signs of American Sign Language in the perspective of relevance theory. The main claim is that classifiers encode procedural instructions to help the addressee pick out the intended referent for the procedural referring expressions made with classifier constructions. The author explains how three classes of classifiers differently manipulate concepts to instruct the addressee to create ad hoc concepts though the use of inference, narrowing, and broadening. It is also claimed that classifier constructions do not encode a conceptual meaning, but a procedural instruction. The discussion includes illustrations of how the speaker’s using classifier constructions instead of lexical signs may increase the number of cognitive effects on the part of the addressee.

Open access
Advocacy and enactment: exercitives and acts of arguing

Abstract

Goodwin and Innocenti (2016) have contended that giving reasons may be a form of enactment, where a claim is supported by the very activity of making the claim. In my view, the kind of interaction that these authors are considering should be analysed as a form of advocacy, and therefore as an exercitive speech act. In this paper I will suggest that acts of advocating, qua illocutions, institute a normative framework where the speaker’s obligation to justify cannot be redeemed by a mere “making reasons apparent”. In general, giving reasons is part of the procedure in virtue of which the advocate’s authority to exert influence is recognised by their addressees. This illocutionary effect should be distinguished from other perlocutionary consequences.

Open access
Testing the Limits of Anaphoric Distance in Classical Arabic: a Corpus-Based Study

Abstract

One of the central aims in research on anaphora is to discover the factors that determine the choice of referential expressions in discourse. Ariel (1988; 2001) offers an Accessibility Scale where referential expressions, including demonstratives, are categorized according to the values of anaphoric (i.e. textual) distance that each of these has in relation to its antecedent. The aim of this paper is to test Ariel’s (1988; 1990; 2001) claim that the choice to use proximal or distal anaphors is mainly determined by anaphoric distance. This claim is investigated in relation to singular demonstratives in a corpus of Classical Arabic (CA) prose texts by using word count to measure anaphoric distance. Results indicate that anaphoric distance cannot be taken as a consistent or reliable determinant of how anaphors are used in CA, and so Ariel’s claim is not supported by the results of this study. This also indicates that the universality of anaphoric distance, as a criterion of accessibility, is defied.

Open access
Irish English Habitual Do Be Revisited

Abstract

This article examines the category of present habitual in Irish English, Irish and Scots Gaelic. The latter two are frequently claimed to have had an influence on the development of the tense and aspect systems of their respective contact varieties of English. It is argued that Scots Gaelic, in contrast to Irish Gaelic, has no separately marked habitual present system, and therefore there may have been less pressure to introduce distinct habitual-present aspect into Scottish English, an assessment which is in line with research in contact linguistics.

Open access
What is Said and Indirect Speech Reports

Abstract

In their Insensitive Semantics (2005) Cappelen and Lepore argue for the Controversial Aspect (CA) which is a part of their Speech Act Pluralism and which says that speakers don’t have privileged access to what they say. Gross (2006) criticizes C&L’s argument for CA and urges them to abandon that claim. I argue that on C&L’s broad understanding of the notion of what is said, CA (and whole SAP) is trivial, whereas on a more restricted understanding CA is indeed controversial and plausibly false. Moreover, the broad reading of what is said is incompatible with one of C&L’s tests for context-sensitivity.

Open access
What does it take to be a copula?

Abstract

This paper argues that copular sentences without an overt copular predicate do project a VP with a phonologically null head, hence so-called “verbless” copular sentences are illusory. Data from Standard Arabic, Spanish, Maltese, Russian, Jamaican Creole, Finnish and Hungarian copular sentences are used to support this claim. It is also claimed here that variation between the habitual property vs. ad hoc property interpretations (traditionally called the individual level vs. stage level distinction) of non-verbal predicates found in copular sentences is closely related to the choice of the copula in multiple BE-system languages. Whilst the current accounts explain this variation by introducing an abstract aspectual operator or an incorporated abstract preposition in the functional layer of the copular predicate, the present proposal derives these interpretive differences from the presence or absence of an OPalt alternative state operator, which can bind the temporal variable of non-verbal predicates in two ways.

Negation and temporal adverbials show scope ambiguity in copular sentences. They either take scope over the whole proposition or only over the non-verbal predicate. Such interpretive differences are demonstrated in Russian and Hungarian in Section 4 of this paper, however, they are taken to be valid cross-linguistically. These amibiguities cannot be explained under the “verbless copular sentence” account but fall out naturally from the “zero copula” analysis.

The “alternative state” approach can be extended to dream narratives and other nonveridical contexts, which serve as alternative triggers. The existing analyses have nothing to say about such contexts.

Open access