Acceptable analyticities, i.e. contradictions or tautologies, constitute problematic evidence for the idea that language includes a deductive system. In recent discussion, two accounts have been presented in the literature to explain the available evidence. According to one of the accounts, grammatical analyticities are accessible to the system but a pragmatic strengthening repair mechanism can apply and prevent the structures from being actually interpreted as contradictions or tautologies. The proposed data, however, leaves it open whether other versions of the meaning modulation operation are required. Novel evidence we present argues that a loosening version of the repair mechanism must be available. Our observation concerns acceptable lexical contradictions that cannot be rescued if only a strengthening version of the pragmatic strategy is available.
This study compares turn-taking and disagreement behaviors in spontaneous conversations in American English and Mandarin Chinese. The English and Chinese speakers observed some turn-taking rules and employed weak disagreement, but differed in the deployment of extended concurrent speech and strong disagreement. Analysis of the Chinese speakers’ reactions reveals nothing negative. This was confirmed by the Chinese speakers’ viewpoints that were explicitly stated in follow-up interviews, which signal that they perceived the practice of extended concurrent speech and strong disagreement in the collected conversations as politic. Furthermore, the similarities and differences between the speakers’ turn-taking and disagreement behaviors appear to be constrained by contextual factors. This discloses the interplay of context, practice, and perception. These findings can raise our awareness of potential issues that might occur in intercultural encounters and the importance of understanding cross-cultural pragmatic differences to avoid miscommunication.
In the Genesis Apocryphon, Lamech worries that his son is illegitimate and accordingly confronts his wife about her fidelity. Bitenosh answers these accusations with a surprising response: she asks her husband to recall the sexual pleasure that she experienced during their intercourse. Scholars have clarified this rhetorical strategy by connecting the episode to Greco-Roman theories of embryogenesis, in which a woman’s pleasure during intercourse was taken to indicate conception. While this provides a convincing explanation for Bitenosh’s argumentation, in this essay I argue that rather than deriving these ideas from the Greco-Roman world, the conception theory which informed the Genesis Apocryphon is in fact consistent with notions that can already be found in the Hebrew Bible and the wider ancient Near East. By exploring the concept of conception in biblical and ancient Near Eastern texts, I uncover a belief in the necessity for female pleasure during intercourse as well as the existence of female “seed.” These ancient authors were able to develop and promote significant reflections upon medical issues such as conception, and this is recalled in Bitenosh’s speech. This essay therefore has significant implications for understanding concepts of sex and conception in the Genesis Apocryphon, as well as in the Hebrew Bible and the wider ancient Near East more generally.
In this study I argue that the translator of Prov 24:50–51 LXX (30:15–16 MT) adapts the Hebrew text to his Hellenistic audience by alluding to Hesiod’s Theogony. The core message of these verses—the ineluctability of cosmic greed—remains the same, yet the images employed in the Septuagint are engrained in and originally belong to the Hellenic mythological understanding of how the universe came into being. The use of classical literature to convey the message contained in the texts of the Hebrew Bible speaks to the hybrid character of the Jewish community of the Egyptian diaspora. When the translator quotes or alludes to Greek literature, he is not borrowing foreign material, but rather drawing wisdom from his very own well. In Alexandria, the waters that flowed from the rock at Horeb and from the Hippocrene spring have merged their course.
Recent research in the field of New Institutionalist analysis has developed the view that institutions are grounded not only upon authoritative rules but also upon accepted practices and narratives. In this paper I am interested in the ways in which honorific practices and accounts of identity set out in ancient Greek inscriptions contribute towards the persistence of polis institutions in the Hellenistic period. A diachronic survey of Erythraian inscriptions of the classical and Hellenistic periods gives an impression of the adaptation and proliferation of forms of discourse established in the classical period. It demonstrates the ongoing prominence of the rhetoric of identity in conversations that went on not only between peer polities and within real or imagined kinship groups but also in negotiations between powerful and weak state entities and in inward-facing discourses on euergetism.
In the course of the last eighteen years more than 75 new “Dead Sea Scrolls” fragments have surfaced on the antiquities market. These are commonly referred to as post-2002 Dead Sea Scrolls-like fragments. A growing number of scholars regard a substantial part of them as forgeries. In this article, we will discuss four more dubious fragments, but this time from the 20th Century—or at least from pre-2002. Two of the fragments have been known since the late nineties and are published in the DJD series. One was published in Revue de Qumran (2003), and one in Gleanings from the Caves (2016). All four are today accepted as part of the Dead Sea Scrolls dataset even though they are unprovenanced and have made-up—or at least very adaptable—lists of previous owners. In this article, we will critically review their provenance and discuss the lack of proper interest in provenance on the part of the collector who owns them and the scholars who published them.
The paper focusses on the spread of Hindu-Arabic arithmetic among European practitioners. The analysis is based on an original database recording detailed information on over 1200 practical arithmetic manuals, both manuscript and printed. This database provides the most detailed reconstruction available of the European tradition of practical arithmetic from the late 13th to the end of the 16th century. The paper argues that studying this spread makes it possible to open a perspective on a progressive transmission of ‘useful knowledge’ from the ‘commercial revolution’ to the ‘little divergence’. Focussing on the transmission of practical arithmetic allows to stress the role of skills and human capital in pre-modern European economic development. Moreover, it allows to reconstruct a progressive transmission, from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, of a ‘practical knowledge’ which eventually contributed to major developments in European ‘theoretical knowledge’.
Studies of judgements of the durations of filled auditory and visual stimuli were reviewed, and some previously unpublished data were analysed. Data supported several conclusions. Firstly, auditory stimuli have longer subjective durations than visual ones, with visual stimuli commonly being judged as having 80–90% of the duration of auditory ones. Secondly, the effect was multiplicative, with the auditory/visual difference increasing as the intervals became longer. Only a small number of exceptions to both these conclusions were found. Thirdly, differences in variability between judgements of auditory and visual stimuli derived from most procedures were small and sometimes not statistically significant, although differences almost always involved visual stimuli producing more variable judgements. Currently, the most viable explanation of the effects appears to be some sort of pacemaker-counter model with higher pacemaker speed for auditory stimuli, although this approach cannot, in its present form, deal quantitatively with all the findings usually obtained.