In this Issue:
Alberto Maria Langella| Patrizio Malloggi | Nazarena Fazzari | Victoria Bogushevskaya | Riva Evstifeeva | Jacopo Saturno | Manuela Pavone | Diego Sirico | Renato Rizzoli | Federica Perazzini | Riccardo Gramantieri | Daniela Puolato
This article aims at showing an application of Zellig Sabbettai Harris’ operator grammar to the description of Italian syntax. Zellig S. Harris started to develop his mathematical conception of natural language at the end of the forties starting from a distributionalist approach and culminating in a very personal method of formal investigation of natural language. The first paragraph is an introduction to the article with a theoretical justification of the formal perspective adopted, the second paragraph deals with the inspiring concepts of a harrisian grammar or rather the basic constraints which determine the creation of mathematical structures inside language. In the third paragraph I discuss in detail the concept of operator and the typology of harrisian operators.
Keywords: operator, argument, constraints, information, mathematical structure
In den traditionellen Grammatiken werden die Wörter nach verschiedenen Kriterien in Wortklassen eingeteilt. Die Klassifizierungen basieren auf syntaktischen, morphologischen und semantischen Kriterien (Glinz 1968; Ehlich 2007, S. 51ff.). Dennoch lassen sich einige Wörter aufgrund idiosynkratischer Merkmale nur schwer in eine Kategorie einordnen, z.B. ab, seit, von im Deutschen. Diese Wörter können als syntaktische „Einzelgänger“ betrachtet werden (Pasch et al. 2003, S. 584ff.), da sie das typische syntaktische Verhalten von Präpositionen mit Dativ sowie von Präadverbien aufweisen. In der vorliegenden Arbeit soll das syntaktische Verhalten von ab, seit, von als Präadverbien untersucht werden, so dass diese Wortklasse zu den kanonischen Wortklassen (vgl. Duden 2006) gezählt werden kann, auf deren Grundlage das lexikalische Inventar der deutschen Sprache klassifiziert werden kann.
Keywords: word class classification, Einzelgänger, preposition, pre-adverb, adverbial complement
On the basis of a spoken corpus we built during field research conducted in Langfang (Hebei), in 2017, through 30 semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample, we verified the role of homophony today in gift exchange in China from a sociolinguistic perspective.
Keywords: gift exchange, homophony, instrumental gifts, expressive gifts, Modern Standard Chinese, liwu jiaohuan 礼物交换
Victoria Bogushevskaya | Formal theory-driven, psycholinguistic data and corpus-driven study confirms the absence of a basic colour term for ORANGE in Modern Standard Mandarin and elaborates the syntaxico-semantic ‘distributional potential’ criterion for basicness
This paper deploys formal, experimental, and corpus-based evidence to demonstrate that, despite being psychologically salient in Modern Standard Mandarin, orange is not yet encoded by a monomorphemic monosyllabic single-character colour term, and the possible candidates do not possess the entire set of the criteria to become ‘basic’. It also suggests an additional analysis of the syntaxico-semantic ‘distributional potential’ criterion, which is a precondition for colour terms’ basicness.
Keywords: basic colour term, colour naming, mnemonic, chì-chéng-huáng-lü-qīng-lán-zi
The article offers a contribution to the knowledge of S. Volchkov’s translation methods. Sergej Volchkov was one of the most prolific translators of the XVIII century related to the Academy of Sciences. In his Vojazhirov leksikon he added Russian definitions to the French-German-Latin part of the Nouveau Dictionnaire du Voyageur. In this article we provide a brief characteristic of Volchkov’s approach in his work on the dictionary and then analyse a selection of lemmas. The selection includes the terms that describe the intellectual qualities of a man, so to compare VL to Volchkov’s most renown translation, Pridvornoj chelovek (from Gracián’s Oráculo manual).
Keywords: translation studies, Volchkov, XVIIIth cent.
The paper describes the acquisition of L2 Russian by Italian volunteers hosting Russian-speaking children for humanitarian purposes. The focus is on an oral comprehension and production task, whose results show that alongside traces of inflectional morphology, production is mostly based on the juxtaposition of topic and comment. Performance is superior in production than comprehension, which is explained in terms of input and motivation. Didactic and acquisitional implications are discussed.
Keywords: L2 Russian, L2 for special purposes, initial SLA, input, utterance structure
Diego Sirico | Students’ Perceptions and Attitudes on the Use of Literature as a Tool for Learning English as a Foreign Language
Considering the lack of studies to support the theories regarding the advantages of integrating literature into language classes, our aim is to investigate the upsides of the use of literature in TEFL through empirical research. After teaching a set of lessons focused on three literary genres, we try to find out whether students’ views towards the use of literature in EFL classes change and which genre pupils perceive as the most beneficial. As for the quantitative research, we make use of a statistical survey through paired t-tests, effect size and ANOVA, while for the qualitative research, we try to uncover what underpins students’ viewpoints. Pupils’ feedback proves that literature can be a motivating and valuable source in developing linguistic and transversal competences.
Keywords: students’ perspective, literature in EFL classes, literary genres, quantitative and qualitative analysis
By drawing upon J.G.A. Pocock’s studies on the Financial Revolution and its controversial reception in contemporary debate, the essay analyses three plays (Shadwell’s The Volunteers, Taverner’s The Female Advocates, and Chetwood’s The Stock-Jobbers), whose main theme is credit and tries to demonstrate that, behind its moralistic condemnation, there are ambiguities and contradictions that replicate the instability of the public debate.
Keywords: comedy, financial revolution, credit, speculation, representation, the return of the repressed
The article focuses on the relationship between clothing and Bildung in the characterization of the protagonist of Dickens’s controversial Bildungsroman Great Expectations. The correlation between dynamics of self-representation and class performance will be analysed in terms of display and adherence to specific standards of rules, values and dress codes that aim to guarantee characters’ acquisition of the elusive status of gentleman they aspire to.
Keywords: Abito, Bildung, Gentiluomo, Great Expectations, Parvenu
In 1960s American writer William Burroughs used a literary composition technique which he called ‘cut-up’. That method consisted in destructuring several literary sources, and reassembling them to form new texts with similar or new meanings. The ‘cut-up’ has some similarities with the concept of bionian transformation, which describes the change produced during the analytic situation that transforms a patient’s and the analyst’s previous mental condition into a new psychic condition.
Keywords: Wilfred R. Bion, William S. Burroughs, Cut-up, Funzione alfa, Trasformazioni
In this contribution, the study of syntactic variation observed in different types of texts and an interest in stylistic variation intertwine in a legal-literary contact dimension. The presence/absence alternation of subject personal pronouns in texts dating back to Middle French is analysed from a quantitative perspective, and explained as the result of an evolutionary phenomenon and a possible narrative strategy. Special attention is devoted to the analysis of the first person pronoun.
Keywords: Middle French, subject personal pronouns, legal field, literary field
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