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Prefixation Ability Index (PAI) as a powerful typological tool of historical linguistics

Abstract

At present there are many odd hypotheses about the genetic affiliation of certain languages. Most such hypotheses are invented without any serious examination of the structural differences between the languages being compared. The PAI method was inspired by ideas of A. P. Volodin, who noticed that there were two types of languages, one type has prefixation and the other does not. Actually, there is no sharp divide between the two types, it is more precise to use a coefficient (i.e. PAI) rather than simply ask “does a language allow prefixation?” The PAI theory supposed there was correlation between values of PAI of genetically related languages. Tests of PAI on the material of well assembled stocks prove that such correlations exist. Being applied to Ainu and to languages that are possibly supposed to be related to it. The PAI shows that Ainu that is not related to either Altaic or Nivkh, while a search for relatives of Ainu to the south shows potential. Also PAI can be useful in the case of other unsettled questions of language affiliation in North America, New Guinea, Southeast Asia, Africa and other places.

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Specialist Languages in Translation: The Case of Selected Expressions of Property Law

prawny: Wybrane zagadnienia . Warszawa: LexisNexis. Matulewska, Aleksandra. 2008. Jakość przekładu prawniczego a cechy języka prawa. Język, Komunikacja, Informacja 3. 53-63. Morra, Lucia & Rossi, Piercarlo & Bazzanella, Carla. 2006. Metaphor in language: Clarity or obscurity? In Wagner, Anne & Cacciaguidi-Fahy, Sophie (eds.), Legal language and the search for clarity: Practice and tools , 141-174. Bern: Peter Lang. Motos, Raquel Martinez. 2013. The role of interdisciplinarity in lexicography and lexicology. In Balteiro, Isabel (ed.), New

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Duration and speed of speech events: A selection of methods

temporally annotated data. In Sudhoff, Stefan et al. 2006. Methods in Empirical Prosody Research, 281-209. Berlin: W alter de G ruyter. Gibbon, Dafydd. 2013. TGA : a web tool for T ime G roup A nalysis. In Proceedings of Tools and Resources for the Analysis of Speech Prosody (TRASP). A ix-en-Provence. Gibbon, Dafydd & Fernandes, Flaviane Romani. 2005. A nnotation-mining for rhythm model comparison in Brazilian P ortuguese. Proceedings of Interspeech 2005, 3289-3292. Gibbon, Dafydd & H irst, Daniel & Campbell, N ick (eds

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A communicative community of agents

Abstract

Dorota Lipowska. A Communicative Community of Agents. Lingua Posnaniensis, vol. L IV (1)/2012. The Poznań Society for the Advancement of the Arts and Sciences. PL ISSN 0079-4740, ISBN 978-83-7654-103-7, pp. 77-87.

Computer modelling is becoming an increasingly important tool for researching the problem of origin and evolution of language. Afundamental technique is that of multi-agent modelling, which simulates a system of dynamically interacting individuals called agents, equipped with strictly defined properties and rules governing their behaviour or evolution. In such a population (a communicative community), as a result only of local interactions between agents, a process of self-organization occurs and some kind of global property emerges, such as linguistic coherence. Presented here are two models of the naming game type, in which agents exchange names of objects, gradually establishing a common vocabulary. In the evolutionary version there was observed a very strong link between biological and linguistic processes, being a clear manifestation of Baldwin’s effect - genetic assimilation of the ability to learn (a language, for example). In the multi-object version the development of homonymy and synonymy was studied, as well as the effect of noise on a developing language.

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Mobile-assisted learning and higher-education ESP: English for physiotherapy

Abstract

The popularity of Mobile-assisted language learning has increased significantly in recent years, and language teachers are still exploring different ways of introducing new technology into the language classroom. Up to the moment, this has mainly been achieved through the use of mobile language-learning applications (Grimshaw et al. 2017). We wanted to push the use of applications in the classroom of English for Specific Purposes further by introducing a human anatomy application in the context of English for physiotherapy in higher education. We believe that the use of an application for a specific area provides the opportunity to enrich the learning experience and take language-learning outcomes to a different level as students are granted a unique occasion of applying knowledge acquired in a specialist area in the language classroom. An intervention proposal was designed for the subject English for physiotherapy (University of Málaga, Spain) bringing together mobile-assisted language learning with a task-based approach to suit constructivist learning processes and accommodate different learning styles and rhythms. We followed five guiding principles on mobile-assisted language learning (Stockwell & Hubbard 2013) to design three tasks for autonomous and collaborative learning using the application 3D4 Medical Essential Anatomy. A preliminary survey was carried out using Lime Survey to measure under-graduate physiotherapy students’ attitudes towards the use of a human anatomy application to learn English and to predict possible challenges (language, technology, cost or storage capacity). The results support our belief as the obtained data indicates that students perceived the use of a human anatomy application as an interdisciplinary tool for both educational and professional purposes and were willing to purchase an application to learn English for physiotherapy.

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One, Mad Hornpipe: Dance as a Tool of Subversion in Brian Friel's Molly Sweeney

One, Mad Hornpipe: Dance as a Tool of Subversion in Brian Friel's Molly Sweeney

The plot of Brian Friel's Molly Sweeney oscillates around the theme of perception, blindness and eye-sight recovery. Although visually impaired, the eponymous character is a self-reliant and independent person who is very active, both professionally and socially. What serves as the source of tragedy in the play is the male desire to compensate for Molly's physical disability perceived as a sign of deficiency and oddity that needs to be normalized. Prompted by her husband, Molly decides to undergo a surgery which gives her a chance to regain sight and, thus, become a part of the world of the visually abled. Yet, subsequent to the operation, Molly cannot adapt herself to the new reality and develops a medical condition called blindsight, which leads to her final alienation and confusion.

Focusing predominantly on the main character of the play, this paper examines the ways in which Molly Sweeney experiences the surrounding world and seeks satisfaction and self-fulfilment through physical activities, such as swimming or dancing, which she vividly describes in her monologues. It explores the double nature of Molly who, despite her self-sufficiency, capacity for rebellion and a sense of autonomy, seems prone to male manipulation exercised at first by her father, later by her husband Frank and doctor Rice. Her expression of independence becomes particularly conspicuous in the scene of a party organized the night before her surgery when she performs a wild and frantic hornpipe, which serves as a form of momentary upheaval and a visualization of the outburst of extreme emotions. Although the dance is not presented onstage, it has a crucial function in the play, for it serves as its powerful climax, after which Molly experiences gradual deterioration.

Interpreted in the context of the history of Irish dance, the mad hornpipe appears replete with meanings and allusions. Traditionally associated with human sexuality and the female element, dance was often treated by the Irish clergy with a great deal of distrust as a source of evil and moral corruption. Consequently, like in the case of the frenzied reel in another famous Frielian play, Dancing at Lughnasa, the limitless and unrestricted performance in the climactic scene of Molly Sweeney may be seen as a tool of subversion and female opposition to the Irish patriarchal order. It is a unique moment in which the protagonist seizes male power and gains full, though very temporary, control over her life.

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A. Dolgopolsky's Nostratic Dictionary and Afro-Asiatic (Semito-Hamitic)

A. Dolgopolsky's Nostratic Dictionary and Afro-Asiatic (Semito-Hamitic)

The monumental comparative dictionary by Aharon Dolgopolsky (Prof. emer. of the University of Haifa), long awaited by many specialists interested in the long-range comparison of language families, is here at last, available online since spring 2008.1 What we have here is a life's work completing more than fifty years' research. The first online publication will soon be followed by a second revised edition. The present reviewer had the privilege in Haifa in December 2008 to be able to assist the author in reviewing the etymological entries with initial * m-.

The author is the internationally widely known doyen of this domain, which he established still in Moscow in the early 1960s together with the late Vladislav Illič-Svityč (1934-1966). Both of them were working initially and basically in the field of Indo-European comparative linguistics. Illič-Svityč was an expert on Balto-Slavonic accentology, while Dolgopolsky started his careeer as a researcher of Romance philology. But soon, both of them had become familiar with the results of Semito-Hamitic (recently called Afro-Asiatic after Greenberg), Kartvelian, Dravidian, Uralic, and Altaic historical linguistics. This had led them to a conviction, that has arisen independently in them, on the relationship of the six so-called Nostratic language families enumerated above (including Indo-European). Both scholars had naturally realized that Afro-Asiatic has the least elaborated and reliable phonological and lexical reconstruction2, whereas the proto-languages of the other five families had been uncomparably more clearly and coherently described or, at least (in the case of Altaic), approached. Not accidentally had both Moscovite scholars got to reconstructing two most problematic branches of Afro-Asiatic: Illič-Svityč chose Chadic3 and Dolgopolsky focused on Cushito-Omotic, where his fruitful research had yielded a number of fundamental publications4 until the end of his career in Moscow (1976)5, where he left behind an informal school of comparative linguistics with talanted promising pupils like Sergej Starostin (Old Chinese, Altaic, North Caucasian), Evgenij Helimskij (Uralic), and Olga Stolbova (Chadic). Dolgopolsky's pioneering Comparative-Historical Phonology of Cushitic Languages (Сравнительно-исторический словарь кушитских языков) from 1973 has been very frequently quoted even in Western works in spite of its being published in Russian. After 1976 in Haifa, Dolgopolsky has continued - beside Nostratic studies in general - first of all his comparative Afro-Asiatic research and publication activity devoted primarily to clarifying the regular consonant correspondences among the Afro-Asiatic branches6, which signifies where the priority task still lies in Nostratic. All these results have long raised Dolgopolsky - beside the late Igor' D'jakonov (1915-1999) of Leningrad (St. Petersbug) - to the rank of the highest authority in comparative-historical Afro-Asiatic linguistics of recent times. This is why I devoted in 2008 a Semito-Hamitic (Afro-Asiatic) Festschrift in his honour.7

Prof. Dolgopolsky's profound knowlegde of the lexical stocks involved and of the etymological problems in all language families examined by him can only be admired. My present paper cannot be a review stricto sensu of this gigantic accumulation and analysis of many thousands of pieces of linguistic data, let alone the allotted very minimal space. What I regard as most effective under the circumstances is to investigate at least through a few sample entries chosen at random how this magnificent etymological dictionary uses lexical data of the most obscure and scientifically neglected language family, namely Afro-Asiatic. Elsewhere, it might have been probably substantially easier and smoother to extract etymological information from the domains of other language families by far better equipped with reliable etymological lexicons, most of which can be safely regarded as standard tools. If we look at how autonomously Dolgopolsky handles e.g. Indo-European etymologies, we can deduce that he is much farther off than just quoting the relevant etymological sources even in these well-equipped domains.

Unfortunately, the objective circumstances are many times less favorable in the case of Proto-Afro-Asiatic, presumably the oldest one of all the known language families8, the parental language of Akkadian, Hebrew, Arabic, Egyptian etc., where we until now simply lack a comprehensive and high-quality comparative lexicon and a reliable lexical reconstruction.9 This is why partial results here are at the moment much more important than the very uncertain comparative dictionaries. Ever since I have known Dolgopolsky's Russian and English articles on Nostratic in general, I have eagerly observed how these - as a "side-effect" - contribute to our scanty knowledge about Afro-Asiatic lexical correspondences. To my mind, the language family of all Nostratic families where the quantitative progress in the inner comparative study of the lexicon has gained most from Illič-Svityč's and Dolgopolsky's Nostratic work is just the still obscure domain of Afro-Asiatic etymology, and vice versa: I have no doubt that modern Afro-Asiatic comparative research has received the strongest impulse from Nostratic linguistics in Moscow, suffice it to refer - beside Illič-Svityč and Dolgopolsky - to Stolbova, Militarev, and Blažek (who also belongs to the Moscow school), the most productive authors of comparative Afro-Asiatic in the recent decades.

The Nostratic Dictionary testifies to Dolgopolsky's significant research results contributing to Afro-Asiatic etymology, which is until now hindered by a number of objective circumstances: (1) even we ourselves in the Moscow school only have a general working hypothesis on the basic consonantal correspondences (esp. in the relationship of Proto-Semitic, Egyptian, and Proto-Berber), which have not yet been satisfactorily elaborated and thoroughly tested in all details (esp. in the least explored Omotic and Chadic daughter languages). (2) Secondly, it has always been - almost irrespectively of the individual authors (albeit in different degrees) - difficult in our etymological research, especially in the case of Semitic and Egyptian, to keep a balance between the philological background of our comparanda and their external parallels. Dolgopolsky has worked carefully in order to minimize these unavoidable negative effects. My comments to the following etymological entries that were selected at random mostly carry additional data, new cognates, which signifies the still unexploited immense treasure and possibilities in our domain. May this discussion gain new friends for Nostratic studies and Afro-Asiatic etymology!

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The Monk by M. G. Lewis: Revolution, Religion and the Female Body

Abstract

This paper reads The Monk by M. G. Lewis in the context of the literary and visual responses to the French Revolution, suggesting that its digestion of the horrors across the Channel is exhibited especially in its depictions of women. Lewis plays with public and domestic representations of femininity, steeped in social expectation and a rich cultural and religious imaginary. The novel’s ambivalence in the representation of femininity draws on the one hand on Catholic symbolism, especially its depictions of the Madonna and the virgin saints, and on the other, on the way the revolutionaries used the body of the queen, Marie Antoinette, to portray the corruption of the royal family. The Monk fictionalizes the ways in which the female body was exposed, both by the Church and by the Revolution, and appropriated to become a highly politicized entity, a tool in ideological argumentation.

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Masculinities, History and Cultural Space: Queer Emancipative Thought in Jamie O’Neill’s at Swim, Two Boys

W orks C ited Beatty, Aidan. Masculinity and Power in Irish Nationalism, 1884–1938 . London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2016. Print. Connell, Raewyn W. Masculinities . Berkeley: U of California P, 2005. Print. Conrad, Kathryn. “Queer Treasons: Homosexuality and Irish National Identity.” Cultural Studies 15.1 (2001): 124–37. Abingdon: Routledge. Web. 11 Jan. 2018. Hall, Donald Eugene. Queer Theories . New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003. Print. Mullen, Patrick R. The Poor Bugger’s Tool . New York: Oxford UP, 2012. Print. O

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In the Flesh and the Gothic Pharmacology of Everyday Life; or Into and Out of the Gothic

Abstract

One of the key questions facing Gothic Studies today is that of its migration into and out of its once familiar generic or symbolic modes of representation. The BBC series In the Flesh addresses these concerns against the background of a neoliberal medical culture in which pharmaceutical treatments have become powerful tools of socio-economic normalization, either through inducing passivity or in heightening productivity, generating chemically adapted biomachines tuned to think and produce. But the pharmakon has always been a risky form of normalization, its poisonous mechanisms threatening to undo its helpful patterns by stealth. This essay discusses the pharmacological and medical contexts of the series in which zombies are subjected to medical management and normalized as “PDS sufferers,” thereby locating In the Flesh in terms of an already gothicized neoliberal pharmacology of everyday life. It also enquires how the proximity of the symbolic pharmacology of the series to neoliberal medical discourses and practices actually challenges traditional representational patterns of the Gothic and whether the Gothic can still have a role as an alternative cure to society’s ills.

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