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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

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

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

In this article, we deal with similarity between epigenetic marks in the DNA and the so-called hapaxes in language. A grammar description based on hapax legomena 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 the 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 middle-sized corpus, we expected results similar to those in case 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

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

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.

Abstract

The precedent phenomenon is estimated as a productive source for creating the language game in the headlines of political media discourse. Headlines based on a language game draw the attention of the reader more quickly. There are often used precedent phenomena, understood as culturally loaded signs, known to a major part of the representatives of the same national community. That is a precedent phenomenon that may serve multiple purposes. We have focused on its effect applied in the headings. The coincidence of the background knowledge of the author and the reader contributes to the hidden influence on the images of politicians formed in the mind of the reader.

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to overview the presence of catastrophes in game worlds and, in particular, to investigate what they can tell us about real catastrophes. To this end, we present a semiotic typol-ogy of catastrophes, confronting them with epistrophes and apostrophes and further articulating them relative and absolute cessation events. Then we highlight the long-standing relationship between playfulness and disasters in literature, cinema and video games underlining how the suppos-edly opposite characteristics of the two are, in fact, a very productive cultural trope. To conclude, we look into some examples of catastrophes in game worlds, both relative (such as the “corrupted blood incident” in World of Warcraft) and absolute (the end of the worlds in StarWars Galaxies and Matrix Online).

Abstract

The article examines the individual and social, practical, and theoretical presumptions (“idols” and “beliefs”) that constitute the conscious and unconscious re-construction of the social reality and reality of different conventional sign systems that represent and are represented by society. It is shown that in everyday life and in theoretical studies, we quite often analyze sign systems as if they were autonomous and empirically “given” realities. The work explains how this “natural belief” originated and developed. It is argued that conventional sign systems cannot be reduced to the reality of material “sign vehicles” because in society, sign systems are both subjective and objective, internal and external, and process and object.