Humanities and Social Sciences

LINGUISTICA SILESIANA

Content

LINGUISTICA SILESIANA | 2016 | vol. 37 |

Abstract

The present paper focuses on one of the non-surviving preterite-present verbs, *dugan/deah ‘avail, be of use’. Although the verb exhibited a low frequency, it continued in use throughout Old and Middle English and died out only by the end of the latter period. The exception is some northern dialects and Scottish English, where it still functions as dow ‘to be able, to be willing’. The paper attempts to account for the disappearance of *dugan from English taking under consideration both language internal and external factors. The analysis covers the usage of the verb in question in Old and Middle English as well as its main and peripheral meanings. The comparison of the distribution and sense of *dugan in the two periods shows the plausible causes of its demise, which include semantic bleaching, loss of impersonal constructions from English, and the presence of the closest synonyms of *dugan.
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Abstract

The word fi rst was very rare in Old English, which mostly used forma, fi rmest and ærest in both spatial and temporal senses. All the three OE words became obsolescent in the 14th century while fi rst, most likely supported by the fact that Old Norse had a similarly shaped cognate word, increased its occurrence and range of senses in early Middle English. By 1400 fi rst had become the usual word denoting the front position and temporal antecedence both as an adjective and an adverb. Simultaneously it outcompeted the equivalent words in the function of the ordinal number.
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Abstract

The following paper constitutes an investigation of Old Norse contributions to the development of the English language from a lexical-semantic perspective based upon the Proto-Germanic language. Such an approach is intended to offer a much deeper insight into the infl uence exerted by the speech of Vikings upon English, as well as to prove that the modifi cations of the English lexis resulting from the Anglo-Scandinavian contact represent an unusual and extremely rare language phenomenon, and at the same time to reveal surprisingly intriguing histories hidden behind many inconspicuous ordinary lexemes. Moreover, the investigation of Proto-Germanic forms ancestral to particular Scandinavian lexical items and their Anglo-Saxon equivalents may constitute an interesting, though obviously limited, account of the origin of vocabulary used by these two groups of Germanic peoples. Foremost, however, the Common Germanic parent language is hoped to serve as an important background for the analysis, due to its role in enabling all the unique interactions between the Old Norse tongue of the Viking raiders and the Old English speech of the Anglo-Saxons.
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Abstract

The recipe as a text type has been investigated among others by such scholars as Carroll (1999), Taavitsainen (2001a, 2001b), Görlach (e.g., 2004) and Mäkinen (2006). Schmidt (1994) distinguishes three types of the recipe: the medical, culinary and general. The majority of research conducted so far deals with the medical recipe or treats the text type as a whole without discussing the differences between the particular sub-types. The few studies devoted exclusively to the culinary recipe usually concentrate on its single features (for instance the presence of null objects, as in Massam and Roberge 1989, or Culy 1996). A diachronic study of the recipe shows the evolution that the text type has undergone, since the earlier a recipe the more it varies from what we know today (cf. e.g., Culy 1996, Martilla 2009). The earliest culinary recipes, written in English, come from the late Middle English period. However, following Hieatt and Jones (1986: 859), “the earliest culinary recipes occur in two Anglo-Norman manuscripts” from the beginning of the Middle English period. The aim of the present paper is to compare the Anglo-Norman and Middle English recipes. The former come from the end of the 13th and early 14th centuries, the latter from the 14th and 15th centuries. The study concentrates on some of the formal features of the texts, such as the length of the recipes, and their structure, esp. such recipe components as the heading and the procedure. The corpus can be divided into two parts: (i) the Anglo-Norman database, which consists of 61 recipes (belonging to two collections), and (ii) the Middle English database, composed of 208 recipes which were either translated or derived from the Anglo-Norman ones.
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Abstract

The present paper investigates the phenomenon of outbound anaphora on the basis of morphologically complex words in English and Polish. The discussion focuses on English noun+noun compounds and on Polish relational adjectives. Examples are provided when the nominal modifi er in an English compound can function as an antecedent for anaphoric expressions, such as possessive pronouns and personal pronouns. It is also shown that nouns which underlie Polish relational adjectives can become visible (as potential antecedents) to anaphoric expressions. It is further argued that the contextual accessibility of the underlying nouns “hidden” inside compounds or inside relational adjectives depends on the semantic transparency of the morphologically complex forms (i.e. compounds or suffi xal derivatives).
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Abstract

The paper examines the use of precision and approximation devices in a subset of English and Polish temporal expressions. Specifi cally, the corpus-based study reported here employs the Cognitive Linguistics analytic construct of “construal” to look into the variable degrees of precision and propositionality as it is coded linguistically in naturally-occurring data. We fi nd that approximation marking in the temporal magnitude representations under scrutiny is more pronounced than precision marking, and there are further conspicuous use asymmetries across languages (Polish vs. English), construal types (cumulative vs. fractional) and granularity levels (seconds/minute vs. minutes/hour).
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Abstract

The present paper compares the statistical data concerning the use of conceptual metaphors for death and dying in the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) and Narodowy Korpus Języka Polskiego (NKJP). Since death belongs to taboo topics, people often resort to euphemisms in order to cope with this diffi cult issue. Among linguistic devices used to create death euphemisms a special role is played by metaphor. Linguists interested in the language of death and dying provide lists of metaphors used by English and Polish speakers to conceptualize death, compiled on the basis of dictionaries, literature, press obituaries, headstone inscriptions, and even a TV series. In line with Kövecses’s observations (2005) that patterns of metaphorical conceptualization are not completely universal among cultures and languages, it is assumed that the metaphors for death and dying also differ between American Polish and English. The analysis of lexical correlates of death metaphors in the two language corpora allows us to identify the most common and the least common metaphors in both languages.
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Abstract

The conceptualization of space and its elements is manifested in language through diverse linguistic expressions. Space, one of the most signifi cant analytical categories not only in linguistics, introduces a variety of meanings and conceptual relations in communicative meaning construction. The paper endeavours to analyse the concept of the ‘door’ (‘porta’) in Italian discourse as the element of space around us, based on cognitive grammar of Ronald W. Langacker, with the central focus on conventional imagery in Italian language. It is an attempt to merge cognitive linguistics with text linguistics by investigating the concept from a discourse perspective, which takes into consideration the speech event and its elements, thus providing a broader context. The results of the research have shown that the concept of the ’door’ (‘porta’), used in various contexts with different meanings, belongs to four major profi les: entrance, access, possibility, and the social profi le. Firstly, the ‘door’ is conceptualized as the point of entrance or one that allows / bans access to a place. Secondly, it conceptualizes possibility: by opening / closing the door we get / lose a possibility to accomplish our objectives. Thirdly, the ‘door’ represents social relations and interactions by uniting / separating people. Finally, the ‘door’ appears in many metaphorical expressions conceptualizing time. Therefore, we can assume that the abundance of meanings and their interpretation will depend on the imagination and knowledge of the speaker and the hearer, the participants in the speech event.
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Abstract

Discourse Completion Test (DCT) became a very popular research instrument after the publication of the infl uential Blum-Kulka & Olshtain’s (1984) paper titled “Requests and apologies: a cross-cultural study of speech act realization patterns (CCSARP)”. Hundreds and thousands of papers employing the data collection instrument, originally developed by Blum-Kulka in 1982, have been published since then, and the controlled elicitation procedure has left a very important mark on the way in which speech acts have been studied cross-culturally. DCT has its strong supporters as well as pronounced enemies, but its contribution to the development of the fi eld cannot be questioned. The paper presents an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the data collection tool, as well as a synthesis of the most important fi ndings which it has managed to yield so far. Major directions of research are summarized and possible future developments outlined.
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Abstract

The McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), a tool used by specialists to let their patients describe the pain they (have) experience(d), has been rendered into different languages. Most renditions are either literal translations or cultural adaptations. Two examples include the Polish version offered by Sedlak and the Dutch-language version(s) respectively. By drawing on Fleck’s theory of scientifi c facts and thought collectives, an attempt is made to describe how the aforementioned renditions were created and what infl uence the chosen approach has on the fi nal version. Also, a detailed comparison of the Dutch-language version(s) and Sedlak’s Polish version of the MPQ with the original MPQ gives an invaluable insight into the ‘whilerendition processes’ that regulate modifi cations made to the form and content of the translated/adapted text.
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Abstract

This paper examines the discursive construction of persuasiveness in media language. Analysing the corpus consisting of forty reviews of the French comedy “Intouchables” (2011), different invariant characteristics of the genre ‘fi lm review’ are established in the light of two discursive strategies of persuasion based on metonymy and the rhetorical argument from community and authority. As the mentioned strategies assume that the discourse is to infl uence the addressees’ will, decisions and emotions, they refl ect some of the persuasive techniques used in advertising discourse, especially with regard to indirect means of interpretation, suggestion and evaluation. Therefore, different methods for (re)construction of the reality presented in the analysed texts stem from shared values and emotions becoming starting points for the deliberative dimension of the fi lm review. Since our perception of the world is relative, the deployed strategies aim at eliminating the information verifi cation process. Thus, they shape the interpretation of the message towards a set of parameters governing its attractiveness in order to meet the contemporary addresses’ needs.
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Abstract

The article discusses the phenomenon of the existence of different languages in the public space in Scuol, a famous tourist locality and health resort in the Swiss canton of Grisons. The offi cial language of the town is Romansh, but all citizens speak fl uently also German that has become the second “mother”-tongue of the local population. The author analyses the complexity of the linguistic landscape in the town concentrating of the visible texts in the shops of the commercial center. From the research work results that German is the most visible language. Romansh appears in the fi rst place in the names of the shops and in the information about the opening times. Other texts in Romansh are scarce and they emerge in the most cases with the parallel texts in German. English plays as the global language an important role too, mostly in the advertising of expensive and prestigious products but also in more common contexts. Other languages appear only exceptionally. The relatively unimportant role of Romansh and the dominating position of German reveal that the existence of the oldest language of Switzerland in Scuol is endangered.
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Abstract

Every language is characterized by numerous phenomena which deserve particular attention. Among such phenomena in the German language, one should undoubtedly mention multi-part word compounds, which in this article are also referred to as multiple complex compounds, tapeworm compounds or tapeworm words. Various questions related to this German language phenomenon made it possible to establish the linguistic and extra-linguistic factors responsible for creating those long and extremely long compounds, the areas in which they are created, their length (depending on the number of letters), their position in the classifi cation of speech parts and their forms. In order to arrive at research conclusions in the present article, I have used the COSMAS II corpus. Examples of multi-part compounds come from FOCUS magazine articles published between January 2000 and June 2014.
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Abstract

The aim of this article is to present selected meanings of the Spanish verb of movement entrar focused on the object oriented approach which can raise problems in the automatic translation process because of its ambiguity. The lexicographical description utilised in this analysis has been proposed by Banyś (2002a, 2002b) and constitutes the framework of this paper. Besides, the author shows the differences in presentations of selected meanings of the verb entrar in both Spanish and Polish.
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Abstract

Even though translation of diminutives may give rise to signifi cant diffi culties, it is usually omitted while analysing different aspects concerning the whole process of cross-cultural translating. The following paper discusses the issue of translating diminutives, as, in many cases, it requires not only a careful analysis of all the meanings of diminutive forms, but also the translator’s inventiveness and sensitivity. Therefore, as far as translation of diminutives is concerned, the notions of untranslatability, compensation and explicitation, as well as domestication and foreignization should be introduced. The chapter also discusses the most common methods used to translate diminutives from English into Polish.
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Abstract

The aim of the present paper is to analyse a 2008 translation of one of the most important texts written by E.T.A. Hoffmann Nussknacker und der Mäusekönig in translation by E. Zarych and published by the Cracow Instytut Baśni. The analysis focuses on grammatical errors and proves that (descriptive) grammar constitutes one of the fundaments of a successful (literary) translation. The listed types of mistakes concern both morphology and syntax and prove that a lack of grammar knowledge might lead to profound alterations of the author’s message, lack of logic in the text and deviations from the original.
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Abstract

The present paper is situated within the Cognitive Linguistics movement, which claims that language is associated with certain cognitive abilities. One of them is the ability to conceptualise a situation at different levels of abstraction. This process is shown to apply, among others, in the process of forming patterns of metaphorical extension, as postulated within Cognitive Grammar (Langacker 1987, 1990, 2000b, 2008, etc.). The paper aims to discuss the process of emergence of these patterns and their pedagogical potential. In the fi rst part of the paper, the major processes engaged in the emergence of these patterns are discussed: schematisation and extension. Then, embeddedness of these schematic structures in bodily experience and culture is emphasised. All these considerations indicate the schemas’ pedagogical potential in the area of foreign language pedagogy. The paper is concluded with several suggestions made by the author about the possible applications of such schematic structures in class.
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Abstract

The objective of this paper is to acquaintance the readers with works of Aleksander Szulc, an eminent Polish linguist and researcher in glottodidactics, devoted to the topic of learning and teaching vocabulary during courses of German as a foreign language. Special attention has been paid to the notions of conventional syntagm and situation idiom introduced by Szulc. The fi rst part of the paper focuses on the former notion, which partially corresponds to the notion of collocation. We present the role of conventional syntagms in learning and teaching foreign vocabulary and the impact they have on the process of interference. We also argue for the presence of conventional syntagms in vocabulary building activities in classroom and in course books. Further we show the evolution of Szulc’s defi nition and understanding of the notion of conventional syntagm and how he progressed from this notion to the notion of collocation. The second part of the paper focuses on situation idioms which correspond to the modern notion of pragmatic fi xed phrases. After their short presentation, we argue for their signifi cance in learning German as a foreign language and hence, for the necessity of their incorporation in teaching of German. Finally, the article is also an attempt at reintroducing Szulc’s insights into academic discourse and an appeal to recognize his contribution to the research on collocationality.
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Abstract

The paper seeks to investigate how the shift towards the ‘marketisation’ of academia, widely discussed by critical discourse scholars and researchers specialising in academic discourse, is refl ected in the genre of university admission bulletins. The study examines two sets of texts: the admission bulletins published by four Polish universities in the years 1978-1981, and the ‘Admissions/Information for candidates’ sections found at the websites of those universities in June 2014. Acknowledging the rather obvious differences between the two corpora stemming from the development of Internet technologies, the analysis focuses on the evolution of the communicative goals of the genre and its inner structure, seen as being largely determined by the external social context. The fi ndings indicate that although some of the structural elements appear to remain rather stable over time, others demonstrate a considerable tendency to being colonised by promotional functions. The linguistic/ communicative strategies realising particular moves confi rm the evolution of the genre, refl ecting the broader shift towards ‘marketisation’ of academia.
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Abstract

Discussions of the disciplinary roots of second language (L2) composition studies contain no mention of cognitive linguistics, even though there are regular references to systemic functional linguistics, which is one of the cognitive-functional approaches to language of which cognitive linguistics is a central member (Nuyts 2007). In fact, systemic functional linguistics is recognized in composition studies as an infl uence in composition’s social turn (cf. Grabe and Kaplan 1996). However, composition researchers have apparently taken no interest in cognitive linguistics, a discipline which epitomizes the linguistic turn within linguistics. The linguistic turn became a slogan in the academic community in the 1970s, after Rorty (1967) used the phrase as the title of his anthology presenting the steps in what he called the philosophical revolution of the 20th century. The revolution meant the recognition that philosophical problems were in an important sense linguistic/conceptual: Knowledge depends on language, and philosophical concepts (e.g., truth, reality, etc.) are linguistic constructs that have a human socio-cultural (i.e., embodied and embedded) foundation rather than an ultimate transcendental foundation. As a result of this major development in 20th-century philosophy, the humanities and social sciences started to recognize the importance of language as a structuring agent of human consciousness. This fundamental idea affected the development of composition studies (bringing about its social turn) as well as contributed to the rise of cognitive linguistics in the 1980s. The paper looks into this affi nity between composition studies and cognitive linguistics, focusing on how the two fi elds are defi ned by their opposition to what is called Cartesian or fi rst-generation cognitivism.
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Abstract

This paper reports on how simulated communication with the client via different channels has been integrated into a general translation course. It examines the results of two studies conducted during a course offered to Polish students doing a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Linguistics and specialising in translation. The aim of the fi rst study, in which the students communicated with a simulated client (the instructor) using individual e-mail accounts in the fi nal translation assignment and a discussion forum on a Moodle-based platform in all the other assignments, was to investigate the students’ performance in the exchange with the client. For this purpose, the questions the students asked the client were analysed in terms of their topic and relevance in a given translation situation; the lack of questions concerning important extra-textual information was also noted. The fi rst study additionally probed the students’ views concerning this aspect of the course: the students completed a survey in which they were asked how useful they thought being able to work with the client would be in their future jobs as translators and how effectively the skill had been practised during the course. In the second study, the mode of communication with the client for in-class assignments was changed in such a way that three different e-mail accounts were used instead of one discussion forum. The primary aim of this study was to investigate whether the changes in the mode of communication had increased student participation and to probe the students’ perceptions of the modifi ed course using a survey.
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Abstract

According to Falkum (2011: 9), it is apparent that a single word form can be associated with several different meanings. We may take the selected word for our elaboration, which is run. Its meaning in the verb phrase run a half marathon is apparently different from the one it has in run some water, or, for that matter, in run on gasoline, run on empty, run a shop, run late, run away from responsibilities, run in the family, run for President, etc. This phenomenon, described as polysemy, proliferates in natural languages, including English as well. This is confi rmed by a range of different senses (and/or uses) that any available source, e.g. any dictionary will have listed under a polysemous term a considerable number of its entries. The objective of this article will be the theoretical analysis related to the notion of polysemy. The subsequent sections of the article will comprise the practical demonstration of the results of the corpus study. Its subjects were Polish students of English Philology. The students’ use of a selected polysemous word run was investigated based on the available corpus PELCRA1. The corpus was selected as it is a very reliable source to investigate the use of L2 from the perspective of non-native Polish users of English. To demonstrate how the students comprehend the selected polysemous word run, the extracts from students’ compositions, essays and short stories were analysed in accordance with the occurrence of the word run and supplemented with their performance during the spoken mode. The extracts were subsequently analysed in light of their use and assumed awareness of the investigated word.
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Abstract

A textbook of English is one of the tools used by both teachers and students in the process of teaching/learning the language on the lessons of English at Polish (upper) secondary schools. Owing to the big variety of such textbooks on the market every teacher can choose the one that will comply with different criteria and will meet teacher’s and students’ expectations. It is also a fact that the students are not homogenous – the differences appear not only on personality, social, intellectual levels etc. but also on the level of different specifi c diffi culties in the process of learning, often resulting from the students’ special educational needs. All these diverse students use the same (glotto)didactic materials although their perception abilities may be different. That is the reason for asking about the infl uence of the layout of the textbooks and workbooks of English on the way the students work with that type of (glotto)didactic materials. To fi nd the answer to the above problem the eye-tracking methods were used – a textbook and workbook examples were checked on a group of (upper)secondary school students. In the experiments the students represented two groups of (upper)secondary school students – dyslectic and non-dyslectic ones. The aim of the study was to compare the way the students work with the textbook material, show tendencies in their way of doing it and check if there are any signifi cant differences between dyslectic and non-dyslectic students dealing with the particular English textbook examples.
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Editorial office

Editor
Rafał Molencki

 

Assistant to the Editor
Artur Kijak

 

Editorial Board
J. Arabski (Katowice)
W. Banyś (Katowice)
M. Bilynskiy (Lviv)
A. Bogusławski (Warszawa)
J. Čermák (Prague)
J. Cygan (Wrocław)
J. Fisiak (Poznań)
D. Gabryś-Barker (Katowice)
P. Kakietek (Katowice)
M. Krygier (Poznań)
A.M. Lewicki (Lublin)
W. Lubaś (Kraków)
A. Łyda (Katowice)
M. van Oostendorp (Amsterdam)
H. Sauer (Munich)
Cz. Schatte (Poznań)
P. Stalmaszczyk (Łódź)

 

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