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Mapping “I Am” in the Gospel of John
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This book introduces a new methodological framework based on the theory of Systemic Functional Linguistics which can examine the linguistic features of the New Testament text. By applying a two-step discourse analysis model that includes a functional-semantic analysis and a rhetorical-relational analysis, this book argues that the twenty-eight occurrences of “I am” in Jesus’s utterances throughout the Gospel of John reinforce John’s portrayal of Jesus’s divinity. In the light of John’s construing of Jesus’ divinity, this new analysis of the Johannine “I am” phrases demonstrates how Johannine Christology is expressed through the narrative of John’s Gospel with various textual characteristics.
The Enduring Legacies of Russian Formalism and the Prague Linguistic Circle
This collection of essays explores the rich intellectual heritage of Russian Formalism and the Prague School of Linguistics to illuminate their influence on the field of biblical studies and apply their constructive and creative potential for advancing linguistic theory, discourse analysis, and literary interpretation of the texts of the Old and New Testaments in their original languages
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The language of Ḫaṣāʾiṣ is reputed to be difficult to access, and the thought of its author relatively opaque. With this book, readers now have a key to penetrate the linguistic thought of one of the most important grammarians in the Arabic grammatical tradition. It shows how Ibn Ǧinnī used the concepts of the episteme of his time to systematize grammatical explanatory reasoning. On reading this book, the reader will also perceive the importance attached by Ibn Ǧinnī to the role played by the speaker in language change, in that the speaker is seen as the true agent (ʿāmil) of his discourse. This work also offers the reader a broader perspective on Ibn Ǧinnī's relationship with the grammatical tradition, as it shows, for example, that most of Ibn Ǧinnī's diachronic reflections are borrowed from one of Sībawayhi's forgotten disciples (180/796): al-Aḫfaš al-Awsaṭ (215/830).
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Wittgenstein’s philosophy is directly related to semiotic theory. To examine this critical question, Wittgenstein & Semiotics discusses the cultural climate of Wittgenstein’s semiotics as the influence of Saussure and Peirce. Wittgenstein’s word-play can reflect historically the pros and cons of modern society transfigurating the disasters of two World Wars into belief and action. But Wittgenstein’s polemical style reflects the Zeitgeist of a new structure of writing philosophy based on the special force of semiotics. By transmitting one message to another to see how the linguistic signs are decoded and interpreted, Wittgenstein saw how the exchanges of signs are carried out to renew cultural society. His linguistic sign functions in direct speech reflect how the structure of signs influences the symbolic systems and processes to communicate the meaning of his style to the readers. Wittgenstein’s theory of semiotics contributed to the cultural technique of the growth of interdisciplinary fields of scholarly disciplines, both humanistic and scientific, which Wittgenstein’s “free” speech enjoys today.
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In: International Review of Pragmatics
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Abstract

This paper explores the discourse of the Russia-Ukraine war to outline and tentatively characterize the dominant narrative schemas anchored in the spatial geopolitical representations of globalness and localness. It employs a collection of analytical tools from the domains of critical cognitive discourse studies and narrative research to distinguish between two apparently most salient schemas: the Global Conflict Reality (GCR) narrative and the Local Conflict Reality (LCR) narrative. The GCR narrative conceptualizes the Russia-Ukraine war as a growing international conflict, extremely likely to produce serious political, economic and, not least, material consequences for the global community. GCR uses an emotionally charged coercive rhetoric to call for immediate political and military measures to support Ukraine so the war can be stopped before it spreads beyond its current borders. The principal narrator of GCR is the state of Ukraine itself, though the narrative is re-contextualized in a variety of other countries located in geographical proximity to the conflict, such as Poland and other states of Central Europe. In contrast to GCR, the LCR narrative, performed mostly by the Kremlin, construes the Russia-Ukraine conflict as an essentially local affair (merely a ‘special operation’ conducted by Russian forces) providing no legitimate reasons for foreign intervention. Involving fewer explicit ploys used for threat generation and public coercion, LCR is distinctive for its large number of sub-narratives appropriated for different geopolitical audiences, which include not only the Russian and the Ukrainian people, but also specific audience groups in the West and the Global South. Altogether, the inherent complexity of both narratives, and the process of their re-composition in the global discourse space requires further studies, focused not only on their conceptual design but on strictly linguistic features and lexico-grammatical markers of the GCR/LCR status.

In: International Review of Pragmatics

Abstract

There are broad disagreements between existing models regarding the mental representations and processes involved in the “DEGREE ADVERB + PROPER NAME” construction, including divergences regarding the semantics of the degree device, the category status of the proper name, the construction’s expressed meaning, its compositionality, and, crucially, the operation holding between the degree device and the proper name. Our corpus-based investigation of two competing models from Construction Grammar and Formal Semantics shows that while both make useful contributions to the scientific understanding of the construction, neither is empirically adequate. Most importantly, we find that the construction participates in several non-predicted expressed meanings; multivariate analyses show that the three meanings amenable to statistical analysis cluster with different semantic usage-features. We argue that the best way to account for the construction’s semantics/pragmatics is via a previously-dismissed cognitive mechanism: an enrichment/strengthening-type operation whereby a pragmatically-supplied scale is added to the message.

In: International Review of Pragmatics

Abstract

In this study, we scrutinize the collaborative balancing of stories and identities in a corpus of Belgian WWII interviews. Specifically, we zoom in on three dimensions—tellability, morality and credibility—to explore how interactants jointly construct testimonies that are in line with social norms—and are thus acceptable—within the WWII remembrance storytelling context. By relying on a narrative as social practice-approach, we confronted fine-grained analyses of identity work in the interviews with master narratives circulating in the wider remembrance context. Our analyses reveal unique norms regarding tellability (i.e. the tellability of typically untellable topics), morality (i.e. the condemnation of outgroup affiliations) and credibility (i.e. the importance of trustworthy narratives). We argue that these norms not only resulted from the storytelling world’s specific time-space configuration, but were also informed by the WWII storyworld, which may attest to the existence of a WWII remembrance community of imagination.

In: International Review of Pragmatics