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Edited by Egbert Fortuin, Peter Houtzagers and Janneke Kalsbeek

Every five years, on the occasion of the International Congress of Slavists, a volume appears that presents a comprehensive overview of current Slavic linguistic research in the Netherlands. Like its predecessors, the present collection covers a variety of topics: Bulgarian and Polish aspectology (Barentsen, Genis), Slavic historical linguistics (Kortlandt, Vermeer), pragmatics of tense usage in Old Russian (Dekker), dialect description (Houtzagers), L2 acquisition (Tribushinina & Mak), Russian foreigners’ speech imitation (Peeters & Arkema), corpus-based semantics (Fortuin & Davids) and theoretical work on negation (Keijsper, Van Helden). As can be seen from this list, the majority of the contributions in this peer-reviewed volume displays the data-oriented tradition of Dutch Slavic linguistics, but studies of a more theoretical nature are also represented.

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Nikolas Gisborne

In 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.

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David J. Fuller

Habakkuk is unique amongst the prophetic corpus for its interchange between YHWH and the prophet. Many open research questions exist regarding the identities of the antagonists throughout and the relationships amongst the different sections of the book. A Discourse Analysis of Habakkuk, David J. Fuller develops a model for discourse analysis of Biblical Hebrew within the framework of Systemic Functional Linguistics. The analytical procedure is carried out on each pericope of the book separately, and then the respective results are compared in order to determine how the successive speeches function as responses to each other, and to better understand changes in the perspectives of the various speakers throughout.

How Language Informs Mathematics

Bridging Hegelian Dialectics and Marxian Models

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Dirk Damsma

In How Language Informs Mathematics Dirk Damsma shows how Hegel’s and Marx’s systematic dialectical analysis of mathematical and economic language helps us understand the structure and nature of mathematical and capitalist systems. More importantly, Damsma shows how knowledge of the latter can inform model assumptions and help improve models.

His book provides a blueprint for an approach to economic model building that does away with arbitrarily chosen assumptions and is sensitive to the institutional structures of capitalism. In light of the failure of mainstream economics to understand systemic failures like the financial crisis and given the arbitrary character of most assumptions in mainstream models, such an approach is desperately needed.

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Edited by Patricia Salazar-Campillo and Victòria Codina-Espurz

The present volume, edited by Patricia Salazar-Campillo and Victòria Codina-Espurz, is a timely contribution to the field of interlanguage pragmatics. The nine chapters presented here expand the scope of research to date by including different contexts (i.e., formal instruction, stay-abroad, and online) and age groups which have received less attention (for example, young learners and adolescents). Whereas the speech act of requesting is the one that has been most explored in the field of interlanguage pragmatics, as attested by several chapters in the present volume, disagreements and directives are also tackled. This book embraces research addressing both elicited and naturally-occurring data in studies which deal with pragmatic use, development, and awareness.

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Sara Gesuato

Abstract

This paper raises the issue of the identifiability of moves in speech and writing. The question addressed is whether reliable, convergent criteria can be provided for their recognition in stretches of discourse. The discussion is motivated, on the one hand, by the variety of coding schemes presented in the literature for the description of, supposedly, the same kinds of goal-oriented discourse, and on the other, by the frequent lack of explicit motivation in the adoption of one or the other of the available coding schemes for the analysis of exemplars of given texts or tokens of given text units. While the complexity of interactional phenomena cannot be reduced to neat classification templates – with clear-cut boundaries between neighboring categories of communicative behavior – just for the sake of building elegant theoretical models, the various functional descriptions offered on speakers’ and writers’ rhetorical choices should be justified only by the varied manifestations of discursive behavior themselves rather than the varied intuitions of researchers; more importantly, the suitability and accuracy of these descriptions in accounting for discursive behavior should be explicitly verified. To this end, this paper proposes a focused reflection on the non-obviousness and degree of analytical “fitness” of a fundamental tool of the trade in text analysis – the move. This notion, which has been fruitfully applied to the examination of many types of discourse, bringing to light the rhetorical structure and strategic nuances of speech acts and genres, is however often identified intuitively, and not explicitly operationalized. A proposal is therefore made on how to systematically go about defining and recognizing moves in discourse through a staged, multi-perspective procedure, which takes multiple parameters into consideration.

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Volume-editor Patricia Salazar-Campillo and Victòria Codina-Espurz

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Sofía Martín-Laguna

Abstract

The aim of the present study is to explore in what ways individual differences and personal experiences affect pragmatic development in an English as a foreign language classroom. Participants were 313 learners of English from 10 secondary schools in Spain. Each learner wrote one argumentative essay three times over the course of one academic year during regular classes, and a mixed-method approach was followed to examine gains in the production of textual discourse-pragmatic markers. A quantitative analysis at the group level showed that gains in the use of textual discourse-pragmatic markers occur rapidly, and these gains are sustained at the end of the academic year. In spite of the pragmatic gains, individual developmental trajectories were observed and analyzed qualitatively. Using a maximum variation sampling to select low and high generator participants, four case stories are reported. Findings of the qualitative analysis show that, in spite of the pragmatic gains, individual pragmatic learning trajectories seem to be closely related to the nature of what happens to the learners in the instructional context, together with their personal experiences.

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Volume-editor Patricia Salazar-Campillo and Victòria Codina-Espurz

Series:

Patricia Salazar-Campillo and Victòria Codina-Espurz