The aim of this article is to demonstrate that an integrated methodology can shed a new light on the understanding of notions inherent in contemporary conceptual approaches to linguistic analysis. One of the key ideas around which the cognitive paradigm is built is conventionality. It is assumed, however, that various strands of the cognitive enterprise view conventionality in dissimilar ways. Consequently, by extrapolating diverse interpretations of the notion, we are going to argue that certain conceptual approaches are more cognitive than others. As a result, it will be argued that a conceptual metaphor methodology, an apparently dominant approach to the semantics of emotion terms, is too coarse-grained to account for the richness of cognitive processes observable in real data. Providing a corpus-assisted verification of selected instantiations of the attributive construction, we are going to argue that a conceptual metaphor approach cannot be successfully applied within a usage-based model.
This paper takes into consideration the language found in London, Wellcome Library, MS 5262, a one-volume codex from the early fifteenth century which holds a medical recipe collection. The manuscript, written in Middle English (and with a few fragments in Latin), represents a fine exemplar of a remedybook, a type of writing that has been traditionally considered to be popular. The main aim is to study the dialect of the text contained in folios 3v-61v in order to localise it geographically. The methodology followed for the purpose is grounded on the model supplied by the Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English (LALME) (McIntosh et al. 1986), which consists of several stages including the completion of a survey questionnaire, the creation of the linguistic profile of the text and the application of the ‘fit’-technique (McIntosh et al. 1986, vol. 1: 10-12; Benskin 1991). Extralinguistic features of the manuscript may also be taken into consideration. This comprehensive analysis will help us to circumscribe the dialectal provenance and/or local origin of the text accurately.
Renata Szczepaniak and Arleta Adamska-Sałaciak
Telling it Straight: A Comparison of Selected English and Polish Idioms From the Semantic Field of Speaking
This paper attempts to illustrate one way of achieving greater precision in presenting idiomatic equivalents by implementing the functionally-oriented methodological instrument devised by Dobrovol'skij and Piirainen (2005). A small-scale analysis along the three parameters of semantics, syntax and pragmatics is carried out with a view to identifying and explaining all cross-linguistic contrasts and similarities between selected English and Polish near-equivalent idioms from the semantic field of speaking. The empirical data of this study includes corpus evidence, apart from the available monolingual, bilingual and phraseological dictionaries. The resultant descriptions of the idiomatic expressions attest the validity of a functional approach to contrastive idiom analysis, which, unlike judgments based on the superficial properties of idioms (i.e. their lexical components, structure), reveals that differences in images will not always prevent idioms with similar actual meaning from being regarded as equivalents. On the other hand, closeness of underlying imagery does not guarantee identity with respect to all parameters of comparison (especially pragmatics).
References Droździał-Szelest, Krystyna 1977 Language learning strategies in the process of acquiring a foreign language. Poznań: Motivex. Halliwell, Susan 1998 Teaching English in the primary classroom. Harlow: Longman. Komorowska, Hanna 1999 Metodyka nauczania języków obcych [The methodology of foreign language teaching]. Warszawa: WSiP. O'Malley, J. Michael - Anna Uhl Chamot 1990 Learning strategies in Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge
D. Harry Parkin
An important source of localisable Middle English dialectological data has recently become widely accessible, thanks to the published transcription of the 1377, 1379 and 1381 poll tax re-turns by Carolyn C. Fenwick (1998, 2001, 2005). As the only collection of onomastic data from the late fourteenth century with national coverage, the name forms in the records can be analysed to further our understanding of Middle English dialect distribution and change. As with many historical records, the poll tax returns are not without damage and so do not cover the country in its entirety, but provided their investigation is carried out with suitable methodological caution, they are of considerable dialectological value. Using the poll tax data, the distributions of two dialect features particular to the West Midlands (specifically rounding of /a/ to /o/ before nasals and /u/ in unstressed positions) are presented and compared with the patterns given for the same features in Kristensson’s (1987) dialect survey of data from 1290-1350. By identifying apparent discrepancies in dialect distribution from these datasets, which represent periods of no more than 100 years apart, it seems that the spread of certain Middle English dialect features may have changed considerably over a short space of time. Other possible reasons for these distribution differences are also suggested, highlighting the difficulties in comparing dialect data from differ-ent sets of records. Through this paper a case for further dialectological study, using the poll tax returns, is made, to add to the literature on Middle English dialect distribution and to improve our knowledge of ME dialect phonologies at the end of the fourteenth century.
John Wilkins’s Mercury or the Secret and Swift Messenger: Showing How a Man May with Privacy and Speed Communicate His Thoughts to a Friend at Any Distance was first published in 1641. As a book on cryptography presenting a variety of secret means of communication at a distance it seems to have appeared at just the right time, when the biblical curse of the confusion of tongues was doubled by the curse of political confusion on the brink of the English civil war. However, the book seems to be more than just a detailed account of methods of secret writing; its topic gives the author a chance to present his views on language which he would later develop in his life’s work An Essay towards Real Character and a Philosophical Language published in 1668. The Essay had received much greater critical attention than the early pamphlet, which is usually referred to as merely a prelude to an account of his universal language project. Indeed, in the little book on cryptography, Wilkins already demonstrated his awareness of the conventional character of language and its role within the system of human interactions, as well as advertised a project of philosophical language that would enhance communication between all nations and remedy the curse of Babel. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that the value of the pamphlet lies also in the insight that it gives into the seventeenth-century debates on the nature of language and into arguments which were often provided, in equal measure, by theology, Hermetic lore, mythology, literature and early modern science. Wilkins’s meticulous recording of the contradictory views and propositions on language produces a sense of methodological inconsistency that leads to ambiguities and paradoxes. However, in the medley of concepts and the collection of linguistic “curiosities” that Mercury presents, a careful reader will discern the growing mistrust of language as a means of representing reality and as a foundation of knowledge, which was one of the symptoms of the general crisis of representation leading to an epistemological shift that started in the seventeenth century.
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