rss_2.0Topics in Linguistics FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Topics in Linguistics in Linguistics Feed mental consideration of as a relevant social concept (a corpus-based research of American English)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article is dedicated to researching <sc>resilience</sc> as a relevant social concept. It puts forward a new idea to study the actual mental consideration of social and political phenomena via purely linguistic tools. As a research methodology, a new approach is offered. In particular, the authors extrapolate Zhabotynska’s semantics of lingual networks onto Popova and Sternin’s semantic-cognitive analysis. The study is conducted through corpus technologies: a COCA sample of discourse contexts with the <italic>resilience</italic> lexeme is used to reconstruct a conceptual model of the <sc>resilience</sc> concept (denotative meaning). Subsequently, this meaning is processed via two cognitive operations: cognitive interpretation and prominence. Finally, the field cognitive model of <sc>resilience</sc> is obtained. Sorted by frequency in the corpus sample as core and periphery zones, the separate cognitive features indicate what is more or less important for Americans in the current consideration of <sc>resilience</sc> as a social and political phenomenon. Each research stage is explained and discussed by the authors in detail.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue ADV speaking-construction in American English: A quantitative corpus-based investigation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this article, the author applies the theory of frame semantics, a usage-based model of construction grammar, and quantitative corpus-based methodology to investigate the nature of the <italic>ADV speaking-construction</italic> in American English, an adverbial participle construction that has not been previously explored using quantitative corpus-based methods. To investigate this construction, the author extracted its occurrences from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), analysed its structural, semantic, distributional and discourse-functional properties, and identified adverbs that frequently appear in the construction. The investigation reveals that the construction tends to combine with speech-functional adverbs, which evoke different semantic frames. It commonly occurs in spoken and written registers and serves various functions in discourse. In particular, it is used frequently in spoken discourse and academic prose to comment on the manner of conveying a message and to express speakers’ stances and attitudes toward various topics.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue morphological and syntactic functions of Dagbani nominal suffixes<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>One of the defining morphological properties of nouns and adjectives of Dagbani (a Gur/Mabia language of northern Ghana) and related languages is the presence of suffixes that mark number (singular or plural) as well as serve as the basis for noun classification. The typical regular noun or adjective (e.g. <italic>bi-a</italic> ‘a child’) consists of a bound root (<italic>bi-</italic>) providing the lexical meaning, and a suffix (-<italic>a</italic>) which indicates the singular number of the noun. In plural form, the suffix is replaced by a different one that marks plurality: (<italic>bi-hi</italic>). In this paper, we show that while this broad description is generally accepted, it is much weaker than assumed in previous studies, with many inconsistencies. As our main goal, we offer a much broader analysis of the morphological and syntactic functions of the nominal suffixes. We show that these suffixes are primarily there to project lexical words as nouns and adjectives and should be referred to as nominal suffixes used to inflect inherent nouns and derive nouns and adjectives from verbs. The nominal suffixes are also crucial to distinguishing between different compound nouns and noun phrases. The paper is largely descriptive, with no specific theoretical approach assumed.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in the Lab: Empirically reconsidering the constative-performative distinction<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Austin’s groundbreaking distinction between constative and performative utterances and his investigation of how to act in saying something initiated a whole new research programme in linguistics and philosophy of language. Within this programme, the arguments and discussions concerning the constative-performative distinction are based on linguistic intuitions. However, generally, they are only based on the respective linguist’s or philosopher’s own intuitions. This fact makes the whole programme seem incomplete because the linguistic intuitions of native speakers should be considered an important contribution which, so far, is mostly missing. With this article, we contribute to closing this gap by empirically investigating native speakers’ linguistic intuitions with respect to the following four aims: Aim 1 is concerned with the question of whether Austin’s criteria for distinguishing between performatives and constatives work. In order to achieve Aim 2, we introduce a new criterion for distinguishing between constatives and performatives, representing what we call the <italic>event character of performatives</italic>. For Aim 3, we evaluate Austin’s presumably strongest argument to reject the constativeperformative distinction which we call the <italic>Constative Expositive Argument</italic>. Aim 4 is concerned with the much-discussed question of whether performatives have truth values and, thus, are statements. In order to achieve the four aims, we present the findings of an online study comparing native speakers’ responses to vignettes containing constative or performative utterances.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue semantic complexity of Hausa kinship terms<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study aims at analysing the absolute semantic complexity of kin terms in Hausa, i.e. to measure the amount of semantic information of individual kin terms. Each kin term is defined by a set of sufficient and necessary conditions (i.e. properties and relations) derived from the construction of a genealogical “space”. In order to calculate semantic complexity, properties (e.g. <italic>x is male</italic>, <italic>x is older than y</italic>) and relations (e.g. <italic>x is married to y</italic>, <italic>x is father of y</italic>) are encoded as a series of predicates. The terms are defined in a feature matrix system: for each property and relation each kin term is assigned a value on a truth table. Resorting to predicate calculus, the complexity coefficient <italic>c</italic> of kin terms is calculated as the negative dyadic logarithm of the relative number of trues according to the formula proposed by Lehmann (1978) and adapted from Carnap and Bar-Hillel (1952). Being culture-independent, the definition of kinship terms in a feature-matrix system allows for a) cross-linguistic comparison; b) a consistent treatment of polysemous instances based on the principles of intension and extension; and c) further analysis and applications in representations of kinship systems formulated with genealogical or algebraic approaches.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue metadiscourse in L1 and L2 English: Evidence from editorials<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study investigates the use of interactive metadiscourse markers in first language (L1) and second language (L2) English editorials. It also identifies how L1 and L2 editorials differ in the use of these markers. To this end, the study utilizes Hyland’s (2019) model of interactive metadiscourse to analyse – based on a descriptive approach – 80 editorials collected from two highly reputed newspapers: <italic>The Guardian</italic> and <italic>The Jordan Times</italic>, distributed evenly. The data were analysed both quantitatively, using SPSS tests to identify significant differences (if any) between the two sets of editorials, and qualitatively to enrich our understanding of the functions of interactive metadiscourse markers in editorials. The analysis revealed that there is no significant difference in the use of interactive metadiscourse markers between the two corpora. However, there is a slight variation in the use of individual interactive markers such as frame markers and evidentials. The findings are discussed in the light of theories of metadiscourse and previous literature. The study provides implications for L2 learning and teaching in terms of how interaction in written discourse is achieved in the L2.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue numerals in Jordanian Arabic: A morphosyntactic investigation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The purpose of this study is to discuss the morphosyntax of ordinal numerals in Jordanian Arabic (JA). I show that ordinal numerals in JA do not belong to a uniform category and argue that they show different syntactic and morphological behaviours depending on their structural position inside the extended nominal projection. In particular, I argue that pre-nominal ordinals are QPs that can merge inside or outside the DP, similar to the quantifier <italic>kull</italic> (Shlonsky, 1991; Benmamoun, 1999). On the other hand, I show that post-nominal ordinals are adjectives that merge inside the extended nominal projection (Corbett, 2004; Fassi-Fehri, 2018), similar to adnominal adjectives in JA. The findings of this study show that ordinals might belong to distinct syntactic categories within the same language depending on their structural position.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue comparative analysis of English nuclear stress principles in conversation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Nuclear stress (or sentence stress) as a prosodic feature marks information flow in spoken English, and has received some treatment in the linguistics literature, most notably in pragmatics, but less so in newer phonological paradigms. Current theories in linguistics might shed light on this feature, such as Optimality Theory (OT) and cognitive grammar (CG). This paper compares potential insights and likely predictions of these two approaches for nuclear stress, by examining a recorded conversation of native US English speakers. The descriptive statistics indicate stress pattern distributions as expected, and some stress tokens show particular pragmatic and discourse functions of nuclear stress. The OT framework can better explain the interaction of different levels of prosody, grammar, and information structure, while CG might offer a more holistic explanation of stress, and its sociopragmatic and discourse functions, and may thus be likely more applicable to discourse studies, applied linguistics, and pedagogy. Implications are discussed for a CG theory of prosodic phonology, and for L2 pedagogy.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue representations of freedom in The Sun newspaper between 2019 and 2021: A corpus-based study<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Existing studies have highlighted the close link between language and society (Fairclough, 1992) and demonstrated the impact of Covid-19 on language (Mahlberg and Brookes, 2021). There are no studies to date that have examined the changing representations and conceptual shifts of <italic>freedom</italic> in the pre-pandemic and post-pandemic years, which are expected to be affected by government policies on Covid-19.</p> <p>The present study aims to fill this gap. Specifically, the objective is to examine the conceptual evolution of <italic>freedom</italic> in the years 2019 and 2021 and to interpret it in the light of socio-historical issues derived from the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The study is a corpus-based investigation undertaken on <italic>The Sun Corpus</italic> (<italic>TS</italic>), i.e. a self-compiled corpus including newspaper articles published in the UK during the years 2019 and 2021. Media including newspapers are, indeed, influential discourses that shape the public view of particular events, current issues, and play “an important role in framing how people understand and respond to” contextual happenings (Brookes and Baker, 2021, p. 1; see Baker et al. 2013).</p> <p>The analysis reveals that there is a shift in the use of the word <italic>freedom</italic>, which is depicted as an enjoyable experience in 2019 and seen in a negative shade in 2021. These results support the social conceptualization of language and reveal aspects that are of particular concern in Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough, 1992), aiming to examine how socio-historical aspects frame the linguistic representations of social issues like the Covid-19 disease.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue construction of corruption in Nigerian media discourse<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Conceptual metaphor theory (CMT) and cultural linguistics (CL), which form the chief theoretical anchor for this study, express the role of language, culture and cognition in the construal and expression of human experiences. The approaches posit that the metaphorical use of language by an individual or group is shaped by their ideological orientation, knowledge of their natural and social world, and their cultural worldview. This study investigates the metaphorical use of language by the Nigerian print media in their attempts to express ideation on corruption in the Nigerian public sector. There has not been any deliberate and rigorous attempt to study the metaphorical representation of corruption in the Nigerian media discourse, hence this study aims at addressing the lacuna. Thus, this study uses insights from CMT and CL to identify, classify and analyse some of these metaphors in six Nigerian newspapers, namely; <italic>The Guardian</italic>, <italic>Punch</italic>, <italic>Daily Trust</italic>, <italic>The Nation, Vanguard</italic> and <italic>The Sun</italic>. The study shows that print media reports of corruption in Nigeria involving powerful social actors such as politicians, government appointees, career civil servants, academics, the military, the media and others have often used metaphorical frames that emanate from the domains of disease, war and conflict, enmity, impediment to movement, violent natural forces, monstrosity, among others, to describe the incidence, scope, effects and consequences of public sector corruption in Nigeria.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of in Polish: A cognitive linguistic approach<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The following qualitative study focuses on the metaphors of coming out in the Polish language. Native Polish speakers were asked to define coming out and then describe their coming out experiences. Data from 94 participants were analysed. The results from the analysis show that, consistently with the previous study on English data (Dyrmo, 2022b), coming out metaphors are based on several different conceptual structures and meaning foci, for example the image schema of FORCE and CONTAINER, the concept of openness and visibility, the domain of MOVEMENT and TRANSFER, the frame of SHARING AN OBJECT and two discursively oriented metaphorical scenarios: COMING OUT IS MAKING YOUR ORIENTATION VISIBLE TO OTHERS and COMING OUT IS SHIFTING A HEAVY OBJECT OFF YOUR SHOULDERS. The present analysis lays ground for further multimodal analyses of coming out metaphors.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Directorate-General for Translation’s gender-neutral English guidelines (1998-2022)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Ten years before the European Parliament adopted the <italic>Gender-neutral language in the European Parliament</italic> multilingual guidelines (2008), the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation had already included a section on this subject in the third edition of its <italic>English Style Guide</italic> (1998). The original text was later reproduced in other European Union’s style guides, namely the <italic>Interinstitutional Style Guide</italic>, the <italic>European Commission Style Guide</italic> and the ephemeral <italic>European Commission Guidelines for Inclusive Communication</italic>, withdrawn shortly after publication due to political and religious complaints. After a quarter of a century, the guidelines have drifted apart through their respective updates. What are the exact inconsistencies of the current style guides? How do the changes reflect developments in the field of inclusive language? And do the guidelines include gendered terms and expressions relevant for EU linguists? A unified EU policy on linguistic sexism across its languages and institutions expressed in a set of relevant and coherent language guidelines seems vital to enabling and fostering the implementation of non-sexist language as a gender mainstreaming tool in the EU.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue investigation into the use of metadiscourse in undergraduates’ abstracts in social sciences<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>There is very little research on the use of metadiscourse markers in abstracts across different disciplines (especially in a single study) in the research of undergraduates as novice researchers, and little qualitative research has been done on the topic in EFL and ESL contexts altogether. Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine the use of metadiscourse markers in EFL and ESL undergraduates’ abstracts in social sciences across three disciplines (English Language and Communication, Mass Communication, and Psychology) in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts at UCSI University, a Malaysian private university. We adopt Hyland’s (2005) interpersonal model which involves two main categories – interactive metadiscourse and interactional metadiscourse – to analyse all 62 abstracts collected from the 2016 Colloquium held at the faculty. The method used is qualitative to categorize the metadiscourse markers accordingly as well as counting their frequencies. The findings showed that the interactional metadiscourse markers were used nearly twice as often as the interactive discourse markers for the three disciplines, and the most used markers are boosters. The most used interactive metadiscourse markers are transitions, followed by frame markers, evidentials, code glosses, and endophoric markers. The findings can be used by ESL and EFL instructors when teaching students learning argumentative writing and research writing to use metadiscourse markers to make arguments and write proper critiques to reflect their stance and voice. This research adds some insights into this neglected genre of academic discourse at the undergraduate level.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of imitation and self-imitation practice on L2 pronunciation progress<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The major aim of the current study is to verify whether an interdependence between self-imitation practice and L2 pronunciation improvement in the process of second-language acquisition is stronger than traditional imitation tasks. 35 Polish students of Applied Linguistics (at English level B2+) divided into two groups performed imitation and self-imitation exercises in order to improve their L2 pronunciation skills. Three acoustic parameters were considered, namely, articulation rate, speech rate and average syllable duration. The results of the research have revealed that there is a significant interdependence between L2 pronunciation improvement and self-imitation training in terms of speech rate. The outcomes of the research are in line with Ding et al. (2019), De Meo et al.’s (2013), and Felps et al.’s (2009) assertion that the better the match between learners’ voices and their modified equivalents, the more positive impact there is on L2 pronunciation training.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the vocabulary of reggaeton song lyrics<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper studies the lyrics of reggaeton songs. Reggaeton is a popular genre nowadays, especially among young people. Its songs contain a very rich and sometimes surprising vocabulary. That was the reason for choosing this topic: to understand this genre of songs and their lyrics. Thus the purpose of this paper is to discover the meaning of the words used in the songs of this genre, to clarify the main vocabulary characteristics and to point out to the differences between the Spanish spoken in Latin America and Spain. In the analysis, specialized dictionaries were used to reveal the meaning of particular expressions. Attention was paid to expressions which are different from European Spanish as well as to English borrowings (anglicisms). Fifteen reggaeton songs from three countries (Puerto Rico, Cuba and Colombia) were chosen. Our findings showed that in each group (Puerto Rican, Cuban and Colombian), words typical of each of these countries were used in the songs. Anglicisms were also present, although to a different extent in each group.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue specificity of fiction simile and the choice of translation strategy<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this paper, we combine methodological tools of cognitive linguistics and translation studies to establish correlations between translation procedures applied to render English fiction similes into Ukrainian, and the (sub)cultural specificity of the conceptual mappings that license linguistic expression of the similes and prompt translators’ decisions in favour of foreignization or domestication. We revealed five translation procedures (retention, replacement, reduction, omission, and addition) that contribute to foreignization or domestication (complete compulsory or complete optional, and partial compulsory or partial optional). Foreignization presupposes retention of a source-text simile based on a (sub)culture-specific conceptual mapping. Complete compulsory domestication entails replacement, reduction or omission of such a simile. Partial compulsory domestication involves retention of a (sub)culture-specific simile with implicit or explicit explanation of its sense. Complete optional domestication realizes as replacement, reduction or omission of a source-text simile that does not bear any (sub)cultural specificity as well as addition of a simile in the target text to translate a source-text utterance containing no simile. Partial optional domestication implies combining retention of a simile bearing no (sub)cultural specificity with implicit or explicit explanation of its sense.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue an argument: Reformulation and exemplification in L2 Master’s theses<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Following a large body of research on metadiscourse in academic writing, this paper explores one feature of textual metadiscourse, code glosses, in English L2 academic texts written by Czech university students. The study draws on Hyland’s metadiscourse model (2005), which characterizes code glosses as devices that elaborate propositional meanings by rephrasing or explaining what has been said. Thus, they can help readers understand the writer’s intended meaning or contribute to the formation of persuasive arguments. The corpus consists of 48 English L2 Master’s theses representing three disciplines – linguistics, literature and English language teaching (ELT) methodology, totalling almost 950,000 words. The results are compared with professional writing represented by English L1 research articles from the same disciplines. The findings reveal differences in the frequency and functions of several code glosses, as novice writers are shown to overuse certain devices. The findings also indicate cross-disciplinary variation, as reformulation and exemplification proved to be much more prominent in linguistics and methodology than in literary studies.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in lockdown: Cultural aspects of English and Russian “coroneologisms”<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Thanks largely to the affordances of social media, the Covid-19 pandemic has provoked a glut of neologisms, loan-words, abbreviations, calques and other linguistic variants. The crisis was accompanied in most nations by social measures curtailing what have long been seen as fundamental liberties; hence, it has foregrounded the re-emergence of old controversies about individualism vs collectivism, the nature of personal freedom, the role of the state, the right to healthcare, the distribution of wealth, and so on. On the UK side, our study explores some emergent neologisms in English and Russian, especially implicit meaning in terms like “social distancing” and “lockdown”. We consider cross-cultural implications that relate to the way each national group conceptualized, and lived through, the experiences of lockdown. Linguistic practices may reflect deep-seated habits of being that characterize different countries, and thus our research may shed light on long-standing questions of national stereotypes. We look at some of the Covid-19 neologisms produced and/or used in British and Russian contexts, on the assumption that, by comparing these micro-linguistic practices, it is possible to learn something concerning the cultural realities of the countries in question, along the lines proposed in the works of Hofstede (2001) and Wierzbicka (2003).</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and functions of self-repetitions in spoken discourse: A corpus linguistics analysis of L1 and L2 English<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Self-repetitions as a compensation strategy potentially have a powerful influence on maintaining communication in L1 and L2 contexts. By subjecting two comparable corpora to contrastive interlanguage analysis, in the present study we explored the use of self-repetitions by L1 speakers of English and Turkish speakers of English and their structural and functional distributions. The results indicated that while L1 English speakers tended to utilize repetitions as fillers, L2 English speakers employed considerably more repetitions as self-initiated self-repairs. The results of the study suggest that, despite being used for different purposes, self-repetition occurs in L1 and L2 English speech indicating that self-repetitions cannot be associated with disfluency as long as they do not hinder the flow of speech. For this reason, raising L2 learners’ awareness might help them prevent breakdowns in L2 communication.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue social distance: The linguistic landscape of the major malls in Jeddah amid the COVID-19 pandemic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study examines the linguistic landscape of the two major malls in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through social distancing posters and signs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study draws on the conceptual framework of linguistic landscape theory, speech acts and semiotics to unveil language dominance, linguistic messages, image-text relations and poster elements that enforce social distancing. A survey questionnaire, primarily aimed at expats, was also administered to find out how they view and interpret the use of bilingual modes in disseminating the social distancing measures. The semiotic analysis reveals that Arabic and English are used in most of the posters, but Arabic remains the dominant language and the preferred medium of information dissemination. Speech acts analysis shows that representatives and directives facilitate implementation of social distancing. The findings also suggest that semiotic modes and signifiers (inscription and materiality) reinforce the effectiveness of the posters. Overall, the use of Arabic and English reflects the country’s stance on language policy and economic vision for Jeddah to be a truly global city amid the pandemic.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue