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Thoughts on the table: Gesture as a tool for thinking in blind and visually impaired children

Abstract

The theory of embodiment (Lakoff and Johnson 2003; Gibbs et al. 2004) explains the origin of meaning by postulating that thought is influenced by sensorimotor experience (Robbins and Aydede 2009). However, the relation between the body, mind and environment is not unidirectional. Not only do we derive information from the world, but we are also able to use it as an extension of the mind through epistemic actions, strategies that minimize the cognitive load by offloading it onto the environment (Kirsh and Maglio 1994). This paper investigates the potential of gesture as epistemic action. 12 blind and severely visually impaired children and young adults, as well as a control group of 7 young adults were interviewed for the purpose of the study. Participants were asked to explain a set of abstract and concrete concepts while their speech and gestures were recorded. If gesture indeed plays a role in reducing the mental load by externalizing thought, more gestures should be produced for concepts that are more difficult to describe (in this case: abstract, intangible concepts). Qualitative data analysis, as well as simple statistical analyses of gesture type, number and gesture per word rates show that abstract concepts do not generate more gestures, but do prompt blind and visually impaired speakers to use simulation gestures. These gestures constitute reenactments of situations associated with a given concept by the respondent. They are also thought to confirm the embodied cognition hypothesis (Hostetter and Alibali 2008). A number of examples demonstrates that abstract concepts in blind children are strongly grounded in their experience of real-world situations. Findings suggest that gesture is not merely a tool for communication, but a way of extending the capabilities of the mind.

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Concepts in multimodal discourse analysis with examples from video conferencing

Abstract

This article presents theoretical concepts and methodological tools from multimodal (inter)action analysis that allow the reader to gain new insight into the study of discourse and interaction. The data for this article comes from a video ethnographic study (with emphasis on the video data) of 17 New Zealand families (inter)acting with family members via skype or facetime across the globe. In all, 84 social actors participated in the study, ranging in age from infant to 84 years old. The analysis part of the project, with data collected between December 2014 and December 2015, is ongoing. The data presented here was collected in December 2014 and has gone through various stages of analysis, ranging from general, intermediate to micro analysis.

Using the various methodological tools and emphasising the notion of mediation, the article demonstrates how a New Zealand participant first pays focused attention to his engagement in the research project. He then performs a semantic/pragmatic means, indicating a shift in his focused attention. Here, it is demonstrated that a new focus builds up incrementally: As the participant begins to focus on the skype (inter)action with his sister and nieces, modal density increases and he establishes an emotive closeness. At this point, the technology that mediates the interaction is only a mundane aspect, taken for granted by the participants.

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A dynamical-systems approach to the evolution of morphonotactic and lexical consonant clusters in English and Polish

. 2000 “Internal and external forces in language change” Language Variation and Change 12 231 250 Zydorowicz, P., P. Orzechowska, M. Jankowski, K. Dziubalska-Kołaczyk, P. Wierzchoń and D. Pietrala. Forthcoming. Phonotactics and morphonotactics of Polish and English. Theory, decription, tools and applications . Zydorowicz P. Orzechowska P. Jankowski M. Dziubalska-Kołaczyk K. Wierzchoń P. Pietrala D. Forthcoming Phonotactics and morphonotactics of Polish and English. Theory, decription, tools and applications

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Crossroads Corpus creation: Design and case study

. “Cross language phonetic influences on the speech of French-English bilinguals”. Journal of Phonetics 36. 649-663. Gaved, T. and S. Salffner. 2014. “Working with ELAN and FLEx together: an ELANFLEx-ELAN teaching set”. <http://www.mpi.nl/tools/elan/tp/how-to/ELAN-FLEx-ELAN_2015-11-06.zip> Gibbon, D., R. Moore and R. Winski (eds.). 1997. Handbook of standards and resources for spoken language systems. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton. Goodchild, S. 2016. “‘Which language(s) are you for?’ ‘ I am for all the languages.’ Reflections

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Challenges of annotation and analysis in computer-assisted language comparison: A case study on Burmish languages

sequence similarity networks to identify partial cognates in multilingual wordlists”. In: Proceedings of the Association of Computational Linguistics 2016. (Volume 2: Short Papers.) Association of Computational Linguistics. 599-605. List, J.-M., S. Greenhill and R. Gray. 2017. “The potential of automatic word comparison for historical linguistics”. PLOS ONE 12(1). 1-18. List, J.-M. 2017. “A web-based interactive tool for creating, inspecting, editing, and publishing etymological datasets”. In: Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the

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Pre-closure laryngeal properties as cues to the fortis–lenis plosive contrast in British varieties of English

sound patterns in vocal tract constraints”. In: Mac-Neilage, P.F. (ed.), The production of speech . New York: Springer-Verlag. 189–216. Pisoni, D.B. 1973. “Auditory and phonetic memory codes in the discrimination of consonants and vowels”. Perception & Psychophysics 13. 253–216. Psychology Software Tools, Inc. [E-Prime 2.0]. (2016). Retrieved from < http://www.pstnet.com >. Redi, L. and S. Shattuck-Hufnagel. 2001. “Variation in the realization of glottalization in normal speakers”. Journal of Phonetics 29. 407–429. Reynolds, B. 1994. “The

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Towards an integrated corpus stylistics

Abstract

Over recent years, the use of corpora in stylistic analysis has grown in popularity. However, questions still remain over the remit of corpus stylistics, its distinction from corpus linguistics generally and its capacity to explain complex stylistic effects. This article argues in favour of an integrated corpus stylistics; that is, an approach to corpus stylistics that integrates it with other stylistic methods and analytical frameworks. I suggest that this approach is needed for two main reasons: (i) it is analytically necessary in order to fully explain stylistic effects in texts, and (ii) integrating corpus methods with other stylistic tools is what will distinguish corpus stylistics from corpus linguistics. My argument is supported by reference to examples from Mark Haddon’s no vel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and the HBO TV series Deadwood. Both these examples rely for their explanation on a combination of corpus stylistic analytical techniques and other stylistic methods of analysis.

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Fractal metaphor LIFE IS A STORY in biographical narrative

Abstract

The paper applies an interdisciplinary perspective to a fictional text showing that fractals as mathematical models are a powerful tool for conceptualizing life experience in biographical narratives. The multilevel construction of Chatterton by Peter Ackroyd is explored on the basis of fractal metaphor theory. This research focuses on the LIFE IS A STORY conceptual fractal metaphor which is built up on analogical mappings, mental space connections, and blends. The fractal model of metaphor in biographical narrative, which is assigned to the formula LIFE IS A STORY f (1) + f (2) + f (3) + … + f (n), contains the mental space of the intentional source domain story, which provides a way to structure the understanding of the limiting target domain of the concept life. Fractal metaphors aim at making the conceptual metaphor flexible and dynamic, renewing its ability of self-development and self-perfection, transforming itself into one of the means of changeable conceptualization of reality.

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The ‘indisciplinarity’ of stylistics

Abstract

This paper aims at showing why the stylistician can be construed as a prolific “impostor” in a most positive sense: pledged to no specific linguistic prophet, she can opt for different theoretical linguistic tools (in the sphere of pragmatics, critical discourse analysis, cognitive grammar, etc.) depending on her object of study and what her research question is. The liberty claimed by the stylistician explains why stylistics is the “undisciplined” child of linguistics, shirking any clear definition of its boundaries. It will be argued that stylistics can only exist as a cross-disciplinary field given its conception of language as fundamentally contextualized. If it was a discipline determined by clear-cut pre-established boundaries, stylistics would be far more “disciplined” but would run the risk of serving only itself. The broad goal of this paper is thus to evince that the “indisciplinarity” of stylistics constitutes its very defining essence. With this aim in mind, it will demonstrate what stylistics owes to other disciplines, what it shares with similar language-based disciplines and what it can offer to other fields or practices of knowledge.

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Newsworthiness, attribution and lexicogrammatical strategies in two types of news articles in English and Spanish

newspaper opinion discourse: A corpus-based study. In: I. Elorza, O. Carbonell i Cortés, R. Albarrán, B. García Riaza and M. Pérez-Veneros, eds. Empiricism and analytical tools for 21st Century applied linguistics. Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca, pp. 243-253. REAH, D., 2002. The language of newspapers. Abingdon: Routledge. SCOTT, M., 2004. WordSmith tools. Oxford: Oxford University Press. SCOTT, M. and TRIBBLE, C., 2006. Textual patterns. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. SINCLAIR, J., 2004

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