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Abstract

This article’s purpose is to analyse the derived forms of term frère in French culture, where its correspondent is frérot, and in Italian culture, where the correspondent is fratè. We will try to show how and why, if yes or not, the two terms represent the same realities in both languages; if there is a same semantic extension and how the speakers of both languages use the two derived forms in their conversations. This study is contrastive, and its objective is also to define convergences and divergences of the use of the two forms fratè and frérot in the languages under analysis, that is to say French and Italian.

Abstract

The frontiers of biosemiotics are inconspicuously blurry. This is a feature and not a bug of the discipline in that it allows us to ask questions beyond certain boundaries, enriching both our knowledge beyond semiotic theories and the possibility of covering new ground through them. Yet, explanatory power should be something of a concern for biosemioticians looking to plant flags around different heights. The paths cleared by backwoodsmen should hold up to scrutiny, and in order for biosemioticians to examine these paths, some of the features of semiotic theory should work as reminders of what the aim of semiotic theory is.

This paper will explore one particular issue when it comes to building biosemiotic theories, namely, the idea that the semiotic comprises a universal and basal quality in a hierarchy of elements assumed to give rise to other, more complex things. The metatheoretical problem at its core will be defined as the unnecessary expansion of semiotic attributes in order to give them enough explanatory power to either provide semiotic theories of everything or give a semiotic basis to theories that do not, in principle, require it.

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Abstract

This paper argues that Russian Formalism is to be considered a constitutive part of the international empiriocritical movement—Ernst Mach (1838—1916) and Richard Avenarius’s (1843—1896). The conceptual parallelism between Empiriocriticism and Formalism is striking indeed. Thus, the cornerstones of the empiriocritical approach—the concept of series [Reihe] and the concept of elements [Elemente], understood as sensations [Empfindungen]—are plainly recognizable within formalist theories: the notion of ‘series’ (for example, the notion of ‘literary series’ or ‘poetic series’, leading to the famous concept of ‘literariness’, literaturnost’) and the very formalist idea of a necessarily perceptible character of aesthetic form are only two, most famous, examples of this astonishing affinity. Here are some of the most striking convergences between Empiriocriticism and Formalism: the relativity of any knowledge; continuity between knowledge and perception; the pragmatic dominant; the leitmotif of ‘the Unsalvageable Ego’. Besides, the paper seeks to situate Russian Formalism within European Aesthetic German-speaking Formalism. This kind of formalism formulates some basic oppositions correlated to different types of forming being associated with specific means and specific formal devices to affect them. In this context, particular morphological features result in producing particular feelings conceived in the spatial or syntactic perspective. From its German-speaking analogue, Russian Formalism has inherited this relational and spatial definition of feelings and, largely speaking, of emotionality within art. Indeed, both formalisms treat emotion as a ‘non-subjective’, ‘kinetic’, ‘syntactic’ phenomenon located on the surface of aesthetic objects.

Abstract

In January 2018, the President of the Czech Republic was elected. Before that, each of the candidates communicated their intention to run for the office in a different kind of speech. By using selected characteristics, we evaluate and compare these candidate speeches. Subsequently, we reflect on the possibilities of correlating the results of the election with data collected during the analysis.

Abstract

In this article, we deal with the similarity between epigenetic marks in DNA and hapax legomena in language; based on the so-called hapaxes, a grammar description is designed. We reflect hapax analysis of Czech language provided by Novotná (2013) and avoid random selection of the corpus. For this reason, we analyze a corpus of 12 authentic books from 12 authors who elaborated the theme “What’s new in…” concerning their field of science, assigned by Nová beseda publishing. By analyzing a middle-sized corpus, we expected results similar to those of large-scale national corpus (see Novotná 2013). We chose to classify hapaxes into different categories in comparison to Novotná, yet the results show similar language productive categories. This kind of language potentiality seems to be analogical to epigenetic processes in biology, which is briefly introduced.

Abstract

Reading is a complex function that affects our daily living. It requires the cooperation of many structures and functions and is influenced by many different factors. One of the factors influencing the word reading process may be the characteristics of the word, such as its frequency of use in the language, its length, orthographic neighbourhood, and others. These characteristics can affect the speed and accuracy of reading in readers with and without learning disability. The following paper presents some aspects of our current research focused on the influence of the properties of the word on their reading in the Czech language environment. The concept of orthographic neighbourhood will be explained in more detail including some specifics in its calculation and use in the Czech language.

Abstract

Self-assessment reports are a type of alternative assessment and provide a gateway of formative assessment by which learners get opportunities to reflect on their learning process and assess it, provided they are aware of their abilities and progress. In this exploratory study, we examine the self-assessment reports of 12 adult ESL learners enrolled in an Indian university programme where they assess the course content and language gains (reading and writing) from the course. Based on a mixed method of analysis, the learners were found to use exemplification to suit their discourse style. A quantitative analysis showed that the learners were using a variety of exemplification techniques like (i) brief examples with (a) phrases and (b) sentences; (ii) extended examples; and (iii) testimonials to support and argue for their assessments. Furthermore, the learners were found to use these different types of exemplification according to the levels of unity or coherence in their reports, which were at three levels – low (16 %), medium (50 %), and high unity (34 %). For instance, the presence of the first two sub-types of exemplification was found to be more frequent across the learners of low and medium unity whereas the last two types were more prevalent in the high text unity group of learners. A one-way goodness of fit chi-square test revealed that the two frequent sub-types were well distributed for the entire group as well as for the learners whose essays achieved low and medium unity while for the learners who achieved high unity the distribution was equal. Furthermore, a qualitative analysis of a few excerpts showed the types and purposes of using exemplification with 23 % overt and 77 % null markers; it was interesting to note that the null markers did not affect the communicative content of the reports as the learners were found to use other syntactic strategies to mark the presence of exemplification like listing of ideas and using wh-question markers preceding the ideas. A few instances of personalized anecdotal experiences showed that learners were using exemplification to substantiate their arguments at a high level. What is implied from this analysis is that such semi-formal self-assessment reports can be used for two purposes: to assess a course and document learner growth and orientation towards learning, and through the assessment task, trigger a linguistic gain such as develop argumentation skills in adult ESL learners.

Abstract

A description of living systems is still a topic of discussion among a number of disciplines. By an evaluation of the approaches, we get to an axis differentiating those that are indisputable in sense of dealing with verifiable and measurable phenomena. We thus also get to approaches that integrate particular extensions when dealing with the possibilities to describe living systems and processes. It is a task for biosemiotics to find connections of these approaches and thus ways to enrich each other or simply describe phenomena to the widest extent possible. One of the authors whose work is permeated by this idea is Howard Pattee. Inspired by his work, we discuss the options of description when talking about living systems and semiotic apparatuses. We do so by a formulation of two viewpoints that differ in questions of contextual dependency, interpretation and necessity of the existence of an autonomous agent as indispensable elements for the description of life phenomena.