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Anfangsgeschichten / Origin Stories

Der Beginn volkssprachiger Schriftlichkeit in komparatistischer Perspektive / The Rise of Vernacular Literacy in a Comparative Perspective

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Edited by Elke Krotz, Stephan Müller, Norbert Kössinger, Pavlina Rychterova and Pavlína Rychterová

From the fifth to the sixteenth centuries, what we know today as the “vernacular languages” developed across Europe. The present volume focuses from a determinedly comparative perspective on the process of the integration of the linguae vernaculae vel barbaricae into the domain of literacy and learning. Exemplary case studies explore the issue of the beginnings of vernacular literacy at the intersection of historical sciences, philology, linguistics, media history, and literary sciences to analyse discernable patterns and norms. In this way, the common and traditional national philological narratives of the respective “Origin Stories of written tradition” are questioned and discussed.

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Edited by Manuel Sartori, Manuela E.B. Giolfo and Philippe Cassuto

This volume includes the reflections of leading researchers on Arabic and Semitic languages, also understood as systems and representations. The work first deals with Biblical Hebrew, Early Aramaic, Afroasiatic and Semitic. Its core focuses on morpho-syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, rhetoric and logic matters, showing Arabic grammar's place within the system of the sciences of language. In the second part, authors deal with lexical issues, before they explore dialectology. The last stop is a reflection on how Arabic linguistics may prevent the understanding of the Arabs' own grammatical theory and the teaching and learning of Arabic.

Linguistic Manifestations in the Trimorphic Protennoia and the Thunder: Perfect Mind

Analysed against the Background of Platonic and Stoic Dialectics

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Tilde Bak Halvgaard

Both the Thunder: Perfect Mind (NHC VI,2) and the Trimorphic Protennoia (NHC XIII,1) present their readers with goddesses who descend in such auditive terms as sound, voice, and word. In Linguistic Manifestations in the Trimorphic Protennoia and the Thunder: Perfect Mind, Tilde Bak Halvgaard argues that these presentations reflect a philosophical discussion about the nature of words and names, utterances and language, as well as the relationship between language and reality, inspired especially by Platonic and Stoic dialectics.
Her analysis of these linguistic manifestations against the background of ancient philosophy of language offers many new insights into the structure of the two texts and the paradoxical sayings of the Thunder: Perfect Mind.

The Foundations of Arabic Linguistics II

Kitāb Sībawayhi: Interpretation and transmission

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Edited by Amal E. Marogy and Kees Versteegh

This second volume on The Foundations of Arabic Linguistics contains contributions from the second conference on Arabic linguistics, hosted by the University of Cambridge in 2012.

All contributions deal with the grammatical theories formulated by the first grammarian to write a complete survey of the Arabic language, Sībawayhi (died at the end of the 8th century C.E.). They treat such topics as the use of hadith in grammar, the treatment of Persian loanwords, the expression of modality, conditional clauses, verbal valency, and the syntax of numerals.

Contributors are: Georgine Ayoub, Michael G. Carter, Hanadi Dayyeh, Jean N. Druel, Manuela E.B. Giolfo, Almog Kasher, Giuliano Lancioni, Amal Marogy, Arik Sadan, Beata Sheyhatovitch, Cristina Solimando, and Kees Versteegh.

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.

The Dimensions of Hegemony

Language, Culture and Politics in Revolutionary Russia

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Craig Brandist

Though generally associated with the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, the idea of hegemony had a crucial history in revolutionary Russia where it was used to conceptualize the dynamics of political and cultural leadership. Drawing on extensive archival research, this study considers the cultural dimensions of hegemony, with particular focus on the role of language in political debates and in scholarship of the period. It is shown that considerations of the relations between the proletariat and peasantry, the cities to the countryside and the metropolitan centre to the colonies of the Russian Empire demanded an intense dialogue between practical politics and theoretical reflection, which led to critical perspectives now assumed to be the achievements of, for instance, sociolinguistics and post-colonial studies.

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Edited by Tina Skouen and Ryan Stark

The Royal Society’s establishment in 1660 signaled a new beginning for the rhetoric of science, mainly because the organization’s founders advocated a modern plain style for scientific communication. Rhetoric and the Early Royal Society aims to initiate fresh debates about this watershed event in the history of rhetoric and science. In the last twenty years, scholars in numerous disciplines have produced significant work, ranging from theoretical essays to case studies of founding members such as Wilkins, Hooke and Boyle. This is the first book to collect in one volume the key contributions. The newly written introduction by editors Skouen and Stark places the reprinted essays into perspective by evaluating the Society’s pioneering role in shaping modern scholarly communication.

Approaches to Meaning

Composition, Values, and Interpretation

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Edited by Daniel Gutzmann, Jan Köpping and Cécile Meier

The basic claims of traditional truth-conditional semantics are that the semantic interpretation of a sentence is connected to the truth of that sentence in a situation, and that the meaning of the sentence is derived compositionally from the semantic values meaning of its constituents and the rules that combine them. Both claims have been subject to an intense debate in linguistics and philosophy of language. The original research papers collected in this volume test the boundaries of this classic view from a linguistic and a philosophical point of view by investigating the foundational notions of composition, values and interpretation and their relation to the interfaces to other disciplines. They take the classical theories one step further and closer to a realistic semantic theory that covers speaker’s intentions, the knowledge of discourse participants, meaning of fiction and literature, as well as vague and paradoxical utterances.

Ede Zimmermann is a pioneering researcher in semantics whose students, friends, and colleagues have collected in this volume an impressive set of studies at the interfaces of semantics. How do meanings interact with the context and with intentions and beliefs of the people conversing? How do meanings interact with other meanings in an extended discourse? How can there be paradoxical meanings? Researchers interested in semantics, pragmatics, philosophy of language, anyone interested in foundational and empirical issues of meaning, will find inspiration and instruction in this wonderful volume. Kai von Fintel, MIT Department of Linguistics

Ockham's Assumption of Mental Speech

Thinking in a World of Particulars

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Sonja Schierbaum

In Ockham’s Assumption of Mental Speech: Thinking in a World of Particulars, Sonja Schierbaum advances a detailed philosophical reconstruction of William Ockham’s (1287-1349) conception of mental speech. Ockham’s conception provides a rich account of cognition and semantics that binds together various philosophical issues and forms a point of departure for many later and even contemporary debates. The book analyses the role of mental speech for the semantics and the use of linguistic expressions as well as its function within Ockham’s cognitive theory and epistemology. Carefully balancing Ockham’s position against contemporary appropriations in the light of Fodor’s LOTH, it allows us to understand better Ockham’s view on human thought and its relation to language.

The Italian Mind

Vernacular Logic in Renaissance Italy (1540-1551)

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Marco Sgarbi

From the twelfth to the seventeenth century, Aristotle’s writings lay at the foundation of Western culture, providing a body of knowledge and a set of analytical tools applicable to all areas of human investigation. Scholars of the Renaissance have emphasized the remarkable longevity and versatility of Aristotelianism, but they have mainly focused on the Latin tradition. Scarce, if any, attention has gone to vernacular works. Nonetheless, several important Renaissance figures wished to make Aristotle’s works accessible and available outside the narrow circle of professional philosophers and university professors to a broad set of readers. The thesis underpinning this book is that Italian vernacular Aristotelianism, especially in the field of logic, made fundamental contributions to the thought of the period, anticipating many of the features of early modern philosophy and contributing to a new conception of knowledge.