Logic of Narratives is a linguistic study of narrative discourse that contextualizes the ‘logical’ rather than the ‘stylistic’ aspect of narratives within the range of current issues in the interdisciplinary study of narratives being conducted in linguistics, philosophy, literature, cognitive science, and Artificial Intelligence. The book quantitatively analyzes naturally occurring narratives randomly selected from the British National Corpus (BNC) as well as James Joyce’s (1882-1941)
The Dead (1914) and Fredrik Backman’s (1981-)
A Man Called Ove (2012). Discourse Representation Theory (DRT) formalization (Kamp and Reyle, 1993) is employed and enriched with the representations and interpretations of perspective/point of view, genre differences, coherence relations, and episodes, which are called in the book Perspectival DRT (PDRT).
Ten Lectures on Event Structure in a Network Theory of Language, Nikolas Gisborne explores verb meaning. He discusses theories of events and how a network model of language-in-the-mind should be theorized; what the lexicon is; how to probe word meaning; evidence for structure in word meaning; polysemy; the lexical semantics of causation; a type hierarchy of events; and event types cross-linguistically. He also looks at the relationship between different classes of events or event types and aktionsarten; transitivity alternations and argument linking. Gisborne argues that the social and cognitive embedding of language, requires a view of linguistic structure as a network where even the analysis of verb meaning can require an understanding of the role of speaker and hearer.
The Inimitable Qurʾān: Some Problems in English Translations of the Qurʾān with Reference to Rhetorical Features, Khalid Yahya Blankinship examines certain Arabic rhetorical features of the Qurʾān as represented in seven English translations. The author addresses the intersection of two important topics in Qurʾānic studies: the critique of the available English translations and the role of rhetoric in the interpretation of the Qurʾān. He identifies a number of figures characteristic of Qurʾanic style which represent some of the chief stumbling blocks for readers who are used to English in attempting to understand, interpret, and appreciate the text. The book should be useful to all those interested in rhetorical and translation studies and theory as well as Islamic studies.
The Semantics of Silence in Biblical Hebrew, Sonja Noll explores the many words in biblical Hebrew that refer to being silent, investigating how they are used in biblical texts, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Ben Sira. She also examines the tradition of interpretation for these words in the early versions (Septuagint, Vulgate, Targum, Peshitta), modern translations, and standard dictionaries, revealing that meanings are not always straightforward and that additional work is needed in biblical semantics and lexicography. The traditional approach to comparative Semitics, with its over-simplistic assumption of semantic equivalence in cognates, is also challenged. The surprising conclusion of the work is that there is no single concept of silence in the biblical world; rather, it spans multiple semantic fields.
Paul Thom’s book presents Kilwardby’s science of logic as a body of demonstrative knowledge about inferences and their validity, about the semantics of non-modal and modal propositions, and about the logic of genus and species. This science is thoroughly intensional. It grounds the logic of inference on
that in virtue of which the inference holds. It bases the truth conditions of propositions on relations between conceptual entities. It explains the logic of genus and species through the notion of essence.
Thom interprets this science as a formal logic of intensions with its own proof theory and semantics. This comprehensive reconstruction of Kilwardby’s logic shows the medieval master to be one of the most interesting logicians of the thirteenth century.
How advanced students in the 15th century learned to understand Latin with the help of Middle Dutch becomes clear in Master Simon’s (?) commentary in the form of questions on the famous medieval didactical poem on grammar
Doctinale of Alexander de Villa Dei. The master discusses notions such as the six cases of Latin (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative and ablative), construction, impediments of construction, and participles. The author has a conceptualist approach of language and criticizes interpretations by realists (Modists). He refers to other important medieval grammars, viz.
Commentary on Priscian attributed to Peter Helias,
Compendium de modis significandi attributed to Thomas of Erfurt, the
Regulae Puerorum and the
The chapters of this volume address a variety of topics that pertain to modern readers’ understanding of ancient texts, as well as tools or resources that can facilitate contemporary audiences’ interpretation of these ancient writings and their language. In this regard, they cover subjects related to the fields of ancient Hebrew linguistics and Bible translation. The chapters apply linguistic insights and theories to elucidate elements of ancient texts for modern readers, investigate how ancient texts help modern readers to interpret features in other ancient texts, and suggest ways in which translations can make the language and conceptual worlds of ancient texts more accessible to modern readers. In so doing, they present the results of original research, identify new lines and topics of inquiry, and make novel contributions to modern readers’ understanding of ancient texts.
Contributors are Alexander Andrason, Barry L. Bandstra, Reinier de Blois, Lénart J. de Regt, Gideon R. Kotzé, Geoffrey Khan, Christian S. Locatell, Kristopher Lyle, John A. Messarra, Cynthia L. Miller-Naudé, Jacobus A. Naudé, Daniel Rodriguez, Eep Talstra, Jeremy Thompson, Cornelius M. van den Heever, Herrie F. van Rooy, Gerrit J. van Steenbergen, Ernst Wendland, Tamar Zewi.
In addition to expressing some main content, utterances often convey secondary content, which is content that is not their “main point”, but which rather provides side or background information, is less prominent than the main content, and shows distinctive behavior with respect to its role in discourse structure and which discourse moves it licenses. This volume collects original research papers on the semantics and pragmatics of secondary content. By covering a broad variety of linguistic phenomena that convey secondary content – including expressives, various particles, adverbials, pronouns, quotations, and dogwhistle language – the contributions show that secondary content is pervasive throughout different aspects of natural language and provide new insight into the nature of secondary content through new semantic and pragmatic analyses.
The volume proposes original semantic analyses on items marking grammatical aspect. The contributions deal with structurally divergent languages, setting to the fore some less studied forms coding aspect, revisiting or challenging certain conventionalized views on aspectual categories and shedding light on interactions between aspect and modality, another multifaceted semantic category. In doing so, the volume is intended to emphasize the diversity of aspectual systems and the fuzzy semantics of grammatical aspect and help the reader to make their own mind on a topic traditionally viewed as a subcategory of verbal aspect together with lexical aspect.
Contributors are Denis Apothéloz, Trang Phan and Nigel Duffield, Galia Hatav, Jens Fleischhauer and Ekaterina Gabrovska, Stephen M. Dickey, Adeline Patard, Laura Baranzini, Jaroslava Obrtelova.
Questions in Discourse - Vol. 1 Semantics contains a comprehensive overview of the semantic analysis of questions and their role in structuring discourse, next to a series of in-depth contributions on individual aspects of question meanings. The expert contributions offer novel accounts of semantic phenomena such as negation and biased questions, question embedding, exhaustivity, disjunction in alternative questions, and superlative quantification particles in questions. Some accounts are modelled in the framework of inquisitive semantics, whereas others employ alternative semantics, and yet others point to the discourse-structuring potential of marked questions. All contributions are easily accessible against the background of the general introduction. Together, they give an excellent overview of current trends in question semantics.