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In: Signs and Media
In: Signs and Media
Author: Sarah Colvin


This article acknowledges racism and sexism as ethical problems in Grimmelshausen’s novel Courasche. Its charismatic protagonist is not only old and a woman (and therefore arguably a witch), but adds racialised exclusion to her portfolio when she narrates her autobiography in blackface. Here the author interrogates Grimmelshausen’s narratorial masks using Medina’s conception of the infelicitous subject, who has a paradoxical double function: infelicitous subjects simultaneously demonstrate how things should not be done and sow seeds of doubt about the practices and beliefs of the normative economy. Recognising the problem racism and sexism represent in Courasche raises the question whether Grimmelshausen’s engagement with knowledge is conventional or innovative; whether Courasche merely reproduces, or also destabilises, epistemic injustice. Courasche as a protagonist is an exemplar of transgression. But is her transgressive infelicity epistemically constitutive – does it contribute to the creation of new discursive contexts?

Open Access
In: Daphnis
Brill's Language and Linguistics E-Books Online, Collection 2022 is the electronic version of the book publication program of Brill in the field of Language and Linguistics in 2022.

Linguistics, Indigenous languages, Semantics, Reference, Literacy, Grammar, Phonetics

This E-Book Collection is part of Brill's Language and Linguistics E-Books Online Collection.

The title list and free MARC records are available for download here.

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Free access
In: Language Dynamics and Change
Volume Editors: Andreas Lammer and Mareike Jas
This volume—the proceedings of a 2018 conference at LMU Munich funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation—brings together, for the first time, experts on Greek, Syriac, and Arabic traditions of doxography. Fourteen contributions provide new insight into state-of-the-art contemporary research on the widespread phenomenon of doxography. Together, they demonstrate how Greek, Syriac, and Arabic forms of doxography share common features and raise related questions that benefit interdisciplinary exchange among colleagues from various disciplines, such as classics, Arabic studies, and the history of philosophy.


This paper investigates the sociolinguistic factors that impact the typology and evolution of grammatical gender systems in northwestern Bantu, the most diverse area of the Bantu-speaking world. We base our analyses on a typological classification of 179 northwestern Bantu languages, focusing on various instances of semantic agreement and their role in the erosion of gender marking. In addition, we conduct in-depth analyses of the sociolinguistics and population history of the 17 languages of the sample with the most eroded gender systems. The sociohistorical factors identified to explain these highly eroded systems are then translated into a set of explanatory variables, which we use to conduct extensive quantitative analyses on the 179 language sample. These variables are population size, longitude, latitude, relationship with the Central African rainforest, and border with Ubangi/Central Sudanic languages. All these measures are relevant, with population size and bordering with Ubangi/Central Sudanic being the most robust factors in accounting for the distribution of gender restructuring. We conclude that fine-tuned variable design tailored to language and area-specific ecologies is crucial to the advancement of quantitative sociolinguistic typology.

Open Access
In: Language Dynamics and Change
From the perspective of philosophical contrastive pragmatics, this study investigates our multiple selves as manifested in how we use language. Based on analyses of original and translation texts of Japanese and English literary works, the Japanese self is proposed as being fundamentally empty and yet richly populated with multiple subjective aspects, characters, and characteristics. Incorporating the concept of emptiness drawn from Japanese philosophical traditions and postmodernism primarily developed in the West, selves evidenced in grammar, style, and variation are investigated applying interpretive resources of linguistic subjectivity, character, and character-speak. Expressive gaps found in source and target texts across two languages lead us toward different ontological views, and guide us to engage in the rethinking of the concept of self.
Author: Fedor Benevich


The Arabic scholarly tradition produced several doxographies and gnomologies of ancient Greek thought in the Arabic language. In this paper, I will focus on al-Šahrastānī’s (d. 548/1153) Religions and Sects (al-Milal wa-l-niḥal). Despite the popularity of the work and the scholarly attention it attracted, the final evaluation of Šahrastānī’s doxography in terms of its method and sources still remains a desideratum. I will avoid the generalizations inherent in the previous characterizations of the work. Instead, I will focus on the chapter on Pythagoras, carefully reading it sentence by sentence, attentively considering the philosophical import of each passage alongside its potential sources as well as the traces of (and reasons for) Šahrastānī’s reworking them. I will argue that Šahrastānī provides a systematic reconstruction of Pythagorean philosophy based on quotations and paraphrases from previous doxographies and of what he considers as contemporary Pythagoreanism (i.e. Ismāʿīlīsm). Religions and Sects will reveal itself both as a source for the Greek philosophical tradition and as a source of information on the Arabic philosophical tradition as such.

In: Received Opinions: Doxography in Antiquity and the Islamic World