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The Dispersion

A History of the Word Diaspora

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Stéphane Dufoix

Winner of the 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award

In The Dispersion, Stéphane Dufoix skillfully traces how the word “diaspora”, first coined in the third century BCE, has, over the past three decades, developed into a contemporary concept often considered to be ideally suited to grasping the complexities of our current world. Spanning two millennia, from the Septuagint to the emergence of Zionism, from early Christianity to the Moravians, from slavery to the defence of the Black cause, from its first scholarly uses to academic ubiquity, from the early negative connotations of the term to its contemporary apotheosis, Stéphane Dufoix explores the historical socio-semantics of a word that, perhaps paradoxically, has entered the vernacular while remaining poorly understood.

Functional Structure in Morphology and the Case of Nonfinite Verbs

Theoretical Issues and the Description of the Danish Verb System

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Peter Juul Nielsen

In this book, Peter Juul Nielsen examines the foundations of morphological theory from a structural-functional perspective on language as a sign system. He offers a framework for the analysis of morpheme relations based on a thorough discussion of syntagmatic and paradigmatic structure, indexical relations, zero as meaningful absence and morphological relations across grammatical categories. It is argued that when paradigmatically related morphological structures have different syntactic functions, the semantics of the paradigmatic opposition consists in the specification of functional potential. The framework is applied in three detailed studies of Danish nonfinite verbs presenting new accounts of their morphological structure, semantic coding and paradigmatic organisation.

Revisiting Aspect and Aktionsart

A Corpus Approach to Koine Greek Event Typology

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Francis G. H. Pang

In Revisiting Aspect and Aktionsart, Francis G.H. Pang employs a corpus approach to analyze the relationship between Greek aspect and Aktionsart. Recent works have tried to predict the meanings that emerge when a certain set of clausal factors and lexical features combine with one of the grammatical aspects. Most of these works rely heavily on Zeno Vendler's telicity distinction. Based on empirical evidence, Pang argues that telicity and perfectivity are not related in a systematic manner in Koine Greek. As a corollary, Aktionsart should be considered an interpretive category, meaning that its different values emerge, not from the interaction of only one or two linguistic parameters, but from the process of interpreting language in context.

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Edgar Onea

In Potential Questions at the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface Edgar Onea proposes a novel component for question under discussion based discourse pragmatic theories thereby combining such theories with new ideas from inquisitive semantics. He shows how potential questions account for an entire range of grammatical phenomena. These phenomena include the semantics of indefinite determiners, the meaning contribution of nominal appositives, specificational constructions and non restrictive relative clauses.


This book delivers a comprehensive and empirically rich investigation into the role of questions in natural language interpretation. Drawing on data from German, English, Hungarian and Russian, Edgar Onea's study significantly broadens our understanding of conventional sensitivity to questions through formally rigorous analyses of specificational particles, parentheticals and indefinites. The Potential Questions framework offers a new and exciting perspective on utterance meanings as not just addressing, but also raising questions, with important consequences for integrated analyses of discourse structure and discourse relations. This book is essential reading for anybody interested in the semantics-pragmatics interface.

Judith Tonhauser, The Ohio State University

Christus Militans

Studien zur politisch-militärischen Semantik im Markusevangelium vor dem Hintergrund des ersten jüdisch-römischen Krieges

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Gabriella Gelardini

In Christus Militans knüpft Gabriella Gelardini an Interpretationen an, die das Markusevangelium im Kontext des jüdisch-römischen Krieges und des Aufstiegs der Flavier interpretieren. Von Interesse sind darin aber nicht nur „ideologische Macht- oder Herrschaftsdiskurse“ und damit „politische Theologie,“ sondern insbesondere auch die militärischen Zusammenhänge und die Kriegssemantik im engeren Sinn. Dies erfolgt eingedenk der großen Bedeutung, die das Militär und der Krieg für die Herstellung und Aufrechterhaltung von Herrschaft in der Antike hatten, besonders bei Dynastiewechseln, etwa wie hier von der julisch-claudischen zur flavischen Dynastie.
Diesen Wechsel zur flavischen Dynastie zeichnet die Autorin zunächst in einer umfassenden kontextuellen Analyse nach, nicht allein auf der Basis des Werkes von Josephus und antiken Historikern, sondern erstmals auch unter Einbezug zeitnaher Militärhistoriker. Die Rekonstruktion dieses durch Militär und Krieg erzielten Aufstiegs, der seinen krönenden Abschluss in der Machtergreifung und einem den Krieg beendenden Triumph in Rom fand, trägt sie dann an den Evangelientext heran, und stellt in der Erzählung des Protagonisten Jesus Christus vergleichbare politisch-militärische Inkodierungen fest, nicht zuletzt auch in Form von „hidden transcripts,“ welche diesen Herrschaftsantritt ebenfalls als einen Dynastiewechsel darstellen, nämlich von der herodianischen zur davidisch-messianischen Dynastie.
Politisch-militärische Inkodierungen ließen sich in jeder Szene finden, so dass die Autorin das Repertoire von Anknüpfungsmöglichkeiten des markinischen Texts an den literarisch-historischen Kontext des ersten jüdisch-römischen Kriegs um viele, neue und oft auch plausiblere Deutungsangebote erweitert konnte. Inkodierungen stellte sie aber auch auf lexikalischer Ebene fest; denn nicht weniger als ein Drittel des markinischen Lexikons trägt im Blick auf seine Semantik auch oder ausschließlich militärische Bedeutung. Eine zentrale Rolle misst sie der sogenannten Passion Jesu zu. Denn zwar steht der Kreuzestod als Sinnbild für die militärische Niederlage, interpretiert man seinen Tod jedoch konsequent im Kontext des „Triumphzugs,“ dann wäre er auch als sühnendes und von Kriegsschuld reinigendes Opfer zu deuten. Und als solches – lässt sich schließen – hätte Jesus die religiös zwingende Voraussetzung für eine gottgewollte und siegreiche, durchaus auch militärisch zu verstehende Rückkehr geschaffen.

In Christus Militans, Gabriella Gelardini builds on interpretations that construe the Gospel of Mark in the context of the Jewish-Roman War and the rise of the Flavians. She explores not only “ideological discourses of power and domination,” but also military contexts and the semantics of war. This book thus acknowledges the great importance of the military and warfare for establishing and maintaining power in antiquity.

Hosios

A Semantic Study of Greek Piety

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Saskia Peels

In Hosios: A Semantic Study of Greek Piety Saskia Peels elucidates the semantics of the Ancient Greek adjective hosios and its cognates. Traditionally rendered as ‘piety’, hosios was a key notion in Classical Greek religion and reflected a core value in Athenian democracy. Since antiquity, its meaning and usage have puzzled many. This study sets out to resolve various scholarly debates on the semantics of hosios by focusing on the idea of lexical competition. It illuminates the semantic relationship between hosios and its near-synonyms eusebês and dikaios, and the connection to the notion of the ‘sacred’. Using insights from modern linguistic theory, the book also aims to improve methods for research into the lexical semantics of a dead language.

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Edited by Anna Brożek and Jacek Jadacki

Izydora Dąmbska (1904-1982) was a Polish philosopher; a student of Kazimierz Twardowski, and his last assistant. Her output consists of almost 300 publications. The main domains of her research were semiotics, epistemology and broadly understood methodology as well as axiology and history of philosophy. Dąmbska’s approach to philosophical problems reflected tendencies that were characteristic of the Lvov-Warsaw School. She applied high methodological standards but has never limited the domain of analyzed problems in advance.
The present volume includes twenty-eight translations of her representative papers. As one of her pupils rightly wrote: “Dąmbska’s works may help everyone [...] to think clearly. Her attitude of an unshaken philosopher may help anyone to hold oneself straight, and, if necessary, to get up after a fall”.

Tradition of the Lvov-Warsaw School

Ideas and Continuations

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Edited by Anna Brożek, Alicja Chybińska, Jacek Jadacki and Jan Woleński

The volume aims to show the variety of research currents of the Lvov-Warsaw School and the ways in which these currents are developed today. The content of the book is divided into three parts. The first part provides an overview of the logico-semiotical achievements of the Lvov-Warsaw School. It also includes analyses of specific problems: categorial grammar, theory of truth, theory of reasoning and semiotic defects. The second part presents some metaphysical and ontological views of Twardowski, Kotarbiński, Ajdukiewicz, Bocheński and Lejewski. In the third part, specific features of psychological and sociological branches of the Lvov-Warsaw School are discussed.

Contributors include: Anna Brożek, Wojciech Buszkowski, Alicja Chybińska, Mariusz Grygianiec, Aleksandra Horecka, Stepan Ivanyk, Jacek Jadacki, Ryszard Kleszcz, Natalia Miklaszewska, Wioletta Miśkiewicz, Teresa Rzepa, Piotr Surma, Jan Woleński, and Marta Zaręba.

The Thirteenth-Century Notion of Signification

The Discussions and their Origin and Development

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Ana María Mora-Marquez

In The Thirteenth-Century Notion of Signification, Ana María Mora-Márquez presents an exhaustive study of the three 13th-century discussions explicitly dealing with the notion of Significatio. Her study aims to show that the three discussions emerge because of apparently opposite claims about the signification of words in the authoritative literature of the period, namely in Aristotle, Boethius and Priscian. It also shows that the three discussions develop in the same direction – towards a unified use of the notion of signification, which keeps its explanatory role in semiotics, but loses its role in grammar and logic. Mora-Márquez offers us the first exhaustive analysis of the scholarly discussions around the notion of signification in the pre-nominalist medieval tradition.

A Conceptual History of Chinese -Isms

The Modernization of Ideological Discourse, 1895–1925

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Ivo Spira

In A Conceptual History of Chinese -Isms, Ivo Spira explores the linguistic and rhetorical development of Chinese -isms, as well as the key concept zhǔyì 主義 ('ism') itself. He argues that the introduction of this concept from Japan in the 1890s inaugurated an 'Age of -Isms', in which it served as a conceptual focus for the stereotypical categorization of people and the utopian imagination of the future.
The book focuses on Chinese -isms in the formative period (1895–1925) through a close reading of key primary sources, covering linguistic, conceptual, and rhetorical aspects of their use in ideological reasoning. Spira emphasizes the combination of internal (traditional) and external (Western and Japanese) factors in the emergence of Chinese -isms.