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Critical reading of online news commentary headlines: Stylistic and pragmatic aspects

2 July 2016]. Available at: https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/j/topling.2015.15.issue-1/topling-2015-0006/topling-2015-0006.pdf Jeffries, L., 2016. Critical stylistics. In: V. Sotirova, ed. The Bloomberg Companion to Stylistics London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 157-176. Johansson, M., 2014. Reading digital news: Participation roles, activities, and positionings. Journal of Pragmatics , vol. 72, pp. 31-45. Jones, J. and Salter, L., 2012. Digital journalism . London: SAGE. Kronrod, A. and Engel, O., 2001. Accessibility theory and

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A comprehensive corpus-based analysis of “X Auxiliary Subject” constructions in written and spoken English

Abstract

This paper describes a corpus-based analysis of subject-auxiliary inversion in both spoken and written English. The focus of the analysis is Chen’s (2013) X Auxiliary Subject construction (XASC), where X codes the fronting of a constituent which triggers the inversion of the auxiliary and the subject, as in “Never has trade union loyalty faced a more baffling test” or “What did he do?” On the basis of a statistical analysis using corpora of written and spoken English, it is argued that the distribution of XAS inversion, in the interrogative mood, is related to the degree of an addressor’s involvement in a text. It will be shown that, in the interrogative mood, the more involvement in a text, the more XAS inversions are to be expected. It is also argued that XAS inversions in interrogative clauses can be seen to serve as discourse markers through which an addressor’s involvement is coded in written and spoken English discourse. The analysis will also show that XAS inversions in the declarative mood also serve an interpersonal function, this, however, being inherently tied to the clause-linking function performed by the construction. Furthermore, the data will show that the distribution of XAS inversions in declarative clauses is related to the degree of informational content of the texts in which these inversions occur.

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Development of directives in child language: A case study of Czech

Abstract

In this article, the longitudinal development of directives in first-language acquisition is described, and examples of the development of directive speech acts in one Czech child from the ages of 2.8 to 4.1 are included. The results show that the child acquires communicative strategies gradually and that he usually prefers one concrete strategy initially, which is later replaced by a new strategy corresponding with the acquisition of morphological categories. The child’s grammatical development is divided into two stages: the stage of protomorphology, when the child acquires basic morphological categories, and the stage of morphology proper / modular morphology, when the child uses a variety of grammatical means. In the stage of morphology proper, pragmatic factors become more influential as the child is no longer limited by a lack of grammatical competence.

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Aspectual coding asymmetries: Predicting aspectual verb lengths by the effects frequency and information content

Abstract

The topic of this paper is the interaction of aspectual verb coding, information content and lengths of verbs, as generally stated in Shannon’s source coding theorem on the interaction between the coding and length of a message. We hypothesize that, based on this interaction, lengths of aspectual verb forms can be predicted from both their aspectual coding and their information. The point of departure is the assumption that each verb has a default aspectual value and that this value can be estimated based on frequency – which has, according to Zipf’s law, a negative correlation with length. Employing a linear mixed-effects model fitted with a random effect for LEMMA, effects of the predictors’ DEFAULT – i.e. the default aspect value of verbs, the Zipfian predictor FREQUENCY and the entropy-based predictor AVERAGE INFORMATION CONTENT – are compared with average aspectual verb form lengths. Data resources are 18 UD treebanks. Significantly differing impacts of the predictors on verb lengths across our test set of languages have come to light and, in addition, the hypothesis of coding asymmetry does not turn out to be true for all languages in focus.

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Vowel reduction patterns of early Spanish- English bilinguals receiving continuous L1 and L2 input

Abstract

This study investigates the production of three morphophonetic variations of schwa in American English: the plural allomorph {-s} as in watches, the possessive allomorph {-s} as in Sasha’s, and word-finally as in Russia. The production of these three allomorphs were examined in Miami’s English monolingual and early Spanish-English bilingual populations. Our purpose was to determine how native-like early Spanish-English bilinguals′ spectral qualities and reduced vowel durations were compared to Miami English monolinguals during a reading task. Results indicate that early bilinguals′ reduced vowels followed the same overall pattern as monolinguals, but had different acoustic properties.

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On the production of metaphors and metonymies by Jordanian EFL learners: acquisition and implications

Abstract

This study explores the ability of Jordanian learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) to produce English metaphorical and metonymical expressions, using a completion task. It also examines whether the use of conceptual and linguistic knowledge of the participants’ first language, i.e. Jordanian Arabic (JA) would facilitate the production task. The study adopts a contrastive model to compare and contrast figurative devices in English and JA, consisting of six types that vary in relation to the conceptual bases and linguistic expressions involved. The results reveal that even though the participants’ scores were poor, the participants exhibited a general capacity to produce metaphorical/metonymical expressions that are similar in meaning to the ones required on the test, utilizing their L1 conceptual and linguistic knowledge. It was suggested that three important factors need to be satisfied to enable EFL learners to produce English figurative devices correctly, i.e. knowledge of the conceptual bases involved, a good command of English collocational knowledge and familiarity with the concept of partial synonymy, and continuous exposure to the figurative expressions in real-life English. Based on these results, the study proposes some pedagogical implications that may assist EFL learners to familiarize themselves with metaphorical/metonymical expressions in English and it concludes with recommendations for further research.

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Power in communication: revisiting power studies

Abstract

This paper revisits a range of theories of power in communication and argues that there has been no methodology able to grasp the multiplicity of power in communication as a concept. As a result, the present scholarship on power in communication is characterized by a multiplicity of approaches that a) use the concept of power as a self-explanatory or vague concept in the analysis of several interactional phenomena; b) draw on a particular approach to power, disregarding multiple workings of power; or c) acknowledge the complexity of power and synthesize various approaches to power.

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Studying text coherence in Czech – a corpus-based analysis

Abstract

The paper deals with the field of Czech corpus linguistics and represents one of various current studies analysing text coherence through language interactions. It presents a corpusbased analysis of grammatical coreference and sentence information structure (in terms of contextual boundness) in Czech. It focuses on examining the interaction of these two language phenomena and observes where they meet to participate in text structuring. Specifically, the paper analyses contextually bound and non-bound sentence items and examines whether (and how often) they are involved in relations of grammatical coreference in Czech newspaper articles. The analysis is carried out on the language data of the Prague Dependency Treebank (PDT) containing 3,165 Czech texts. The results of the analysis are helpful in automatic text annotation - the paper presents how (or to what extent) the annotation of grammatical coreference may be used in automatic (pre-)annotation of sentence information structure in Czech. It demonstrates how accurately we may (automatically) assume the value of contextual boundness for the antecedent and anaphor (as the two participants of a grammatical coreference relation). The results of the paper demonstrate that the anaphor of grammatical coreference is automatically predictable - it is a non-contrastive contextually bound sentence item in 99.18% of cases. On the other hand, the value of contextual boundness of the antecedent is not so easy to estimate (according to the PDT, the antecedent is contextually non-bound in 37% of cases, non-contrastive contextually bound in 50% and contrastive contextually bound in 13% of cases).

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Metaphorical profile of distress in English media discourse

Abstract

The current research is directed towards the transition of distress studies in the English speaking culture from the prototype towards the conceptual metaphor approach. It enables the enlightenment of mental images, which underlie distress language usage in modern mass communication. The analysis involves identification of conceptual distress metaphors and metonymies within the image-schematic structure. The study includes a cognitive semantic analysis of linguistic units of the distress lexicon retrieved from the GloWbE, BNC, COCA, English newspapers and media platforms. Figurative language reveals conventional beliefs about distress represented in English media discourse, such as strong associations of emotion with darkness and coldness. Metaphorical mappings contain views about the reasons for distress experience which lie in the loss of balance or inner equilibrium, loss of control, and convictions about the reaction characterizing a person as being weak and brittle. The findings of data analysis are summed up in a metaphorical profile of distress (MPD) which discloses the behavioural patterns (communicative behaviour, adequacy/inadequacy of behaviour, ability to socialize) and physical effects including health issues.

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