Humanities and Social Sciences

LINGUISTICA SILESIANA

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LINGUISTICA SILESIANA | 2011 | vol. 32 |

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Abstract

Bilingualism has long been observed in Silesia, a part of Poland which lies on the border between three cultures and languages: Polish, Czech and German. Some lin-guists consider Silesian one of the Polish dialects, others think it should be treated as a separate language. During the communist times the inhabitants of Upper Silesia were discouraged from using the local dialect at school or in public institutions. The situation has changed a lot since 1989 with the promotion of regional studies. Short characteristics of Silesian will be presented in the fi rst part of the paper.The main part of the project presents the results of a questionnaire which focuses on young people’s attitudes towards Silesian. The respondents (100 Polish students of English philology) fall into two groups – half of them identify themselves with the region and the other half do not. How many respondents speak Silesian? Where do they use it and how do they evaluate it? What is the linguistic stereotype of a person living in Upper Silesia? These are just a few questions that suggest themselves in the context of the study.

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Authors and Affiliations

Urszula Wieczorek
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Abstract

With a plethora of factors at work blurring the notoriously tenuous distinction between active and passive interpretations of verb constructions, one might with good reason express doubt as to whether establishing hard and fast principles for differentiating them is at all a sensible task. After a brief survey of passivum tantum -and basically passive verbs, as well as of chameleon-like, statal and dynamic passives, the author of the present contribution takes it upon herself to closer investigate the verbal or adjectival status exhibited by a series of -ed forms – as cited by various linguists (Stein, Quirk et al, Downing & Locke, Dixon) – with a view to advancing a more rigorous classifi cation of -ed for-ms based on the syntactico-semantic description of their individual behaviour in the various combinations analysed. The table submitted shows -ed forms located on an imaginary scale spanning passivehood from bona fide dynamic passives to copular complementation, with four further partitions in between. In the concluding section the author further glosses the subcategorization proposed, in that she provides the semantico-pragmatic motivation underlying the rather difficult choices made in the process.

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Authors and Affiliations

Gina Măciucă
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Abstract

In our paper we discuss the development of analytical/periphrastic structures in Spa-nish such as the periphrastic passive voice, the periphrastic comparison of the adjec-tictive, and the periphrastic future tense. Moreover, we discuss the process of phonetic attrition within the noun paradigm and the development of the SVO word order from the SOV one. We take into consideration a stretch of time that starts in the pre-Proto-Indoeuropean period and ends in the period of Modern Spanish. One of our conclu-sions is that the development of analytical structures is part of a cyclical process.

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Authors and Affiliations

Ireneusz Kida
Luz Castillo-Żarczyński
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Abstract

The aim of the paper is to explore the process of r obstruentisation which can be found in Polish in the ‘trapped’ context, i.e. between two obstruents or at the end of the word after an obstruent. More specifi cally, in order to explain the mechanics of the [r] > [/] shift, the author looks at the phenomenon of sonorant devoicing and some historical facts concerning the development of r. Since r obstruentisation can also be found in a closely related Czech, the data from both languages are confronted and discussed. The solution offered here is based on the analysis of w obstruentisation proposed by Cyran and Nisson (1998).

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Authors and Affiliations

Artur Kijak
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Abstract

The meaning of temporal distributiveness occurs either in situations in which a habi-tual activity is correlated with the recurrent periods of time, or in situations in which the recurrent periods of time are accompanied by an activity. The proposed framework is yet another contribution to a series of papers exploring temporal constructions in Polish that express the meaning of distributiveness. It focuses on the analysis of con-structions with a noun phrase including “the instrumental case without a preposition”, such as uczyć się nocami, which are exponents of the distributive time proper.

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Authors and Affiliations

Czesław Lachur
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Abstract

The following article deals with the language of emails. Of particular interest with regard to the linguistic features of emails is the fading distinction between the written medium and the oral conception. In order to receive a valid picture of the language of emails it is necessary to distinguish between formal and private emails (content wise). For this purpose, a corpus of selected emails has been compiled to illustrate language change in concrete examples of German emails. In this article examples of that email corpus have been selected to serve as underpinnings for the argumentations in this paper. Special attention is paid to the fading case marking on nouns, emoticons and syntax. With regard to syntax, the position of the lexical verb in subordinate clauses has been analyzed since in oral language it is often observed that even in a subordinate clause where verb-last is to be expected, we encounter verb-second. These are all indices of a more orally conceptualized language in medially written emails.

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Authors and Affiliations

Anne Aschenbrenner
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Abstract

Participants in a conversational exchange may express their viewpoints in a number of ways, or put more precisely, they use various ways of expressing their viewpoints. When employing phrases such as It is likely that ..., perhaps ..., actually ..., it is possible that..., and I think that ..., etc., speakers modify the meaning, or the illocutionary force, of the utterances they make. This feature, which has been called ‘modality’, is present, among others, in the genre of political interview and serves various functions. The present contribution offers an inquiry into the linguistic means that politicians utilize to modify their involvement in, or their detachment from, the proposition and in this way they alter the meaning of their statements.

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Authors and Affiliations

Jana Kozubíková Šandová
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Abstract

The paper focuses on the semantic analysis of lexical borrowings of English origin used in informal spoken Polish. The study is based on the corpus, collected and analyzed by the present author. First, general information is given about the corpus, followed by the description of the methodological problems associated with studying lexical loans in spoken language. The main part of the paper focuses on the description of the loans found in the corpus. Special attention is paid to the newest borrowings, not noted in the dictionaries of Polish and/or dictionaries of foreign terms.

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Authors and Affiliations

Marcin Zabawa
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Abstract

The discourse of advertising offers an environment conducive to the exploitation of novelty in language. Novelty can be conceptualised as an opposite of salience (Giora, 2003), being also a graded feature. Giora claims that there exists a specific level of novelty, which evokes pleasurable experience in recipients. She proposes Optimal Innovation Hypothesis, which may be implied in the investigation of various types of discourse marked with high originality. The paper reports on two studies. The initial one, described in Wojtaszek (2011), focused on the appreciation of three alternative versions of Polish and British advertising slogans, while the subsequent one is the attempt to find a relationship between the previous fi ndings and the degree of legibility of the investigated texts. In the appreciation task the plain formulations received the lowest scores, followed by the highly innovative slogans, with the optimally innovative formulations ranking highest. In the task where evaluation of clarity was performed, the plain formulations turned out to be the easiest, the optimally innovative slogans were a bit more diffi cult, and the highly innovative ones the least conspicuous. A number of interesting dependencies were also found, suggesting further developments for the future.

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Authors and Affiliations

Adam Wojtaszek
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Abstract

The main goal of this article is to describe the occurrence of the verb talk in con-temporary academic spoken English. The analysis proceeds along semantic, syntactic and pragmatic paths, with a focus on accounting for the functions performed by talk in academic spoken English. The occurrence of talk was investigated in small and large lectures in the MICASE corpus, with corpus linguistics constituting the major methodological tool. This article is addressed to linguists, students of linguistics and English philology, as well as to all scholars whose interests revolve around academic English.

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Authors and Affiliations

Oskar Gawlik
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Abstract

It is undisputable that the James Bond movies constitute the longest and the most successful series in the history of cinema. The titles of particular movies may be treated as specific brand names contributing to the commercial success of the fi lms. Successful brands, in turn, are developed and evaluated with the participation of linguists. The article analyses them from the perspective of the linguistic features of a successful brand name. The analysis focuses on the relationship between the titles and the film plot. It also covers the identification of the lexical and grammatical features of the titles. The author will endeavour to prove that linguistic features have played a vital role in the creation and the promotion of the 007 myth.

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Authors and Affiliations

Małgorzata Gola-Brydniak
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Abstract

Simultaneous interpreting is believed to be the most constrained type of translational activity. Constraints that distinguish simultaneous from other modes of interpreting (i.e. consecutive and liaison), and their written counterpart are manifold. The factors most often referred to in literature are: substantial temporal pressure and limited short-term or working memory capacity. Moreover, owing to virtual simultaneity of the input reception and output production, an interpreter’s receiver and sender roles over-lap in time. Another major problem is the lack of revision phase – an interpreter’s ou-tput is always the fi rst and the only draft of the text. Numerous accounts also stress the potentially adverse effects of the linearity constraint (e.g. Hatim and Mason 1997, Set-ton 1999), an issue we shall explore in the present paper. The discussion is set within the framework of Hatim and Mason’s model of textuality domains in interpreting.

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Authors and Affiliations

Ewa Gumul
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Abstract

Mission statement is a genre of corporate management addressed to a large and diversified group of recipients. The aim of the investigated genre is to persuade them to accept the goals and actions of a corporation. It is the choice of relevant generic and register forms which plays a major role in the accomplishment of aims of a mission statement. Almost any contemporary handbook on management addresses the issue of the function and content of a mission statement. This contrasts with the relatively limited interest of linguists in this genre. The analysis presented below draws mainly on the research made by Priscilla Rogers and John Swales (1990), John Swales and Priscilla Rogers (1995), Piotr Mamet (2005), and Maja Wolny-Peirs (2005). The aim of the study is to investigate how certain translational shifts might alter the corporate image of the company. The analysed disourse features cover grammatical metaphor, lexical choice, omission, as well as syntactic and lexical interference.

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Authors and Affiliations

Ewa Gumul
Piotr Mamet
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Abstract

The polysemic nature of words in natural languages causes a lot of problems in the process of translating texts, especially in automatic translation. The first part of the following paper is devoted to a brief analysis of the above mentioned phenomenon. The analysis is based on different kinds of chosen monolingual dictionaries. Next, the author shows the way in which automatic translator, placed on Google website, translates simple sentences including polysemic words from French into Polish. In the subsequent section of the paper the most important principles of the description of words based on the object oriented approach proposed by W. Banyś are briefly presented. The object oriented approach makes it possible to eliminate the mistakes whose coming into being results from the polysemic nature of words and which are done by a machine in the process of translating texts. The author has chosen several polysemic words which are then described with the use of object oriented approach.

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Authors and Affiliations

Beata Śmigielska
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Abstract

The main topic of this paper deals with a general description of the notion of the class of objects, its historical draft and development in linguistic studies (generative grammar of N. Chomsky, semantic markers in the theory of J.J. Katz, J.A. Fodor, the predicate-argument structure of S. Karolak and the electronic dictionary of G. Gross). The author takes advantage of this concept in her analysis basing on object-oriented approach and the disambiguation by W. Banyś. This article demonstrates also that the disambiguation of the meaning of polysemic word pass by a correct choise of a class of objects which is the only solution to provide adequate equivalents in the target language and the condition of the effective and satisfying translation supported by computer.

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Authors and Affiliations

Aleksandra Żłobińska-Nowak
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Abstract

The article discusses an application, within the sphere of foreign language pedagogy, of one of the psychological mechanisms omnipresent in language – construal (Lan-gacker 2008: 4-5, Tomasello 2003: 13). In the fi rst part, the article takes up two major issues: a more detailed characterization of the construal aspects in question: profi le and base, as well as the problems often encountered in pedagogical grammar while referring to the uses of one of the English tenses – Present Perfect: the number of uses, the manner of defi ning them, and the level of schematicity at which the description should take place. The second part of the article is devoted to an analysis of the uses of Present Perfect by means of the presented Cognitive Grammar tools. In the conclu-sions this analysis is reviewed from the perspective of the above-mentioned problems and some pedagogical implications fl owing from the model proposed by the author are discussed.

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Authors and Affiliations

Grzegorz Drożdż
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Abstract

The major task of this paper is to show and discuss the tools, techniques and strategies which affect the development of phraseological competence in foreign languages. First, the author will investigate a wide range of available dictionaries as well as French textbooks. Then, the selected techniques and phraseo-didactic strategies will be explored. Finally, the author will provide an in-depth review of the method according to which the discussed techniques and strategies have been put in practice in the selected texts on phraseo-didactics

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Monika Sułkowska
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Abstract

The aim of the article is the analysis of the results of the empirical research concerning the process of acquisition of English article system by Polish learners, carried out at three different levels of L2 acquisition. English articles, as a semantic category non-existent in Polish, constitute a notorious source of difficulties in their acquisition by Poles. Polish learners of English at the beginning of their education, being at the elementary level, do not actually acquire articles because of the lack of associations with Polish counterparts. The semantics of English articles differs while compared to Polish, where instead of the articles: a/an, the demonstrative pronouns occur, e.g. ten (this), tamten (that) or there exists a different word order, different intonation, verbal aspects and many other syntactic-semantic processes.While teaching English, we may easily observe that the process of acquisition of English article system by Polish learners differs depending on the level of advancement in learning English. In my article I would like to familiarize the addressees with the question of acquisition of articles by young teenagers, late teenagers and young adults. I hope the results of my research will evoke an interesting source for scientific discourse.

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Artur Świątek
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Abstract

The paper introduces the concept of a critical incident (CI) in the context of foreign language teaching and discusses its importance for teachers` professional development as a factor leading to a teacher ́s awareness of his/her classroom. The ability to diagnose critical incidents is seen as an inseparable part of a teacher ́s ability to control the teaching context and thus create critical events (CE).

This paper also introduces the concept of an appraisal system (Smith and Lazarus 1993 ), understood as one ́s evaluation of the relationship between one ́s success and failure in respect of past experience and the ability to adapt to an immediate context. In my analysis I will follow Scherer ́s (1984) taxonomy of components of appraisal systems such as novelty, the pleasantness of a task and coping potential, among others. This appraisal system is seen as emotionally-driven but it also emphasizes the cognitive dimension and the interaction between affective and cognitive processing.

In the empirical part of the paper, the study on CI in teaching EFL is reported on. The main objective of the study was to make in-service teachers of EFL reflect upon their most memorable critical incident (CI) and evaluate it from the affective point of view. The study was also to make the subjects more aware of themselves and their classroom presence. The research instrument used in the project was the Geneva Appraisal Questionnaire -GAQ (Scherer 2001), based on Scherer ́s taxonomy.

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Authors and Affiliations

Danuta Gabryś-Barker
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Abstract

The article is intended as a voice in the discussion on language aptitude, with particular regard to its two components: memory and language analytic ability. It will be argued here that – unlike memory, favoured by Skehan (2003) – it may be the language analytic ability manifested, among others, as considerable dexterity in re-trieving constructional schematizations to decode language innovation, which grows in importance with learner proficiency. It will also be stated that both capacities, the said ability as well as memory, should be considered in relation to working memory, which should be understood in terms of storage and processing considered separately and ascribed to individual differences, and not as a homogenuous storage-and-processing space.

To verify the above claim, a study was carried out in the years 2007-2008 in three groups of advanced EFL learners (N=60) at three different levels of language proficiency (B1/B2, N=20; C1, N=20; and C2, N=20). All testees were asked to solve two tests which required interpreting 32 (16/test) skeletal sentences containing schematic representations of events such as X verbed Y. The only given in each sentence was the verb, a product of noun-to-verb conversion1 like to bottle or to buoy. In Test 1 the constructions chosen for interpretation were highly schematic (in-, mono- and ditransitive); as a result, the testees had to deal with sentential constructions such as X bottled Y or X buoyed. Test 2, on the other hand, included examples of complex substantive constructions2 such as X buttered home (where the verb slot is reserved for verbs of motion) or X kept Y bungeed (where only the fi nal slot is open to inter-pretation). The present article presents a comparative analysis of the results of both tests on the three different levels mentioned above. Their interpretation and following conclusions are based on VanPatten’s Input Processing (VanPatten 1990, 2004), Cowan et al.’s model of working memory (Cowan et al. 2005), and Truscott and Sharwood-Smi-th’s Acquisition by Processing Theory (APT; Truscott and Sharwood-Smith 2004). Towards the end of the article, all this is related to the discussion of language aptitude: its components, with special regard to the afore mentioned two: memory and analytic language ability; the importance of the two components as regards different perspec-tives on language aptitude (CALP vs. BICS; Cummins 1983).

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Authors and Affiliations

Anna Turula
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Abstract

Learning a foreign language in the context of formal education often imposes on students the management of difficult tasks. This demands an adoption of adequate coping behaviour (achievement vs. avoidance). Easy tasks reduce learning opportunities, while too difficult ones lead to escape-motivated problem behavior. For the purpose of the present research it is proposed that the level of FL task difficulty is related to coping behaviour. The empirical results demonstrate that students who perceive FL tasks as difficult apply more avoidance strategies. Apart from that, students with higher and lower levels of task difficulty use similar amounts of achievement strategies. It follows that the implementation of achievement coping is independent from the level of task difficulty.

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Authors and Affiliations

Ewa Piechurska-Kuciel

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)

 

Contact

Professor Rafał Molencki

Editor Linguistica Silesiana

Institute of English

University of Silesia

ul. Grota-Roweckiego 5

41-205 Sosnowiec

Poland

e-mail: rafal.molencki@us.edu.pl

tel. (32) 3640 828

fax. (32) 3640 830

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