Sign languages in the heritage language context: A new direction in language research
A heritage language is a minority language used in a context where a different language is dominant in the community. Codas (children of Deaf adults) who sign but may be dominant in the spoken language of their community present an interesting case due to the added difference in spoken/signed modality. The relatively new field of research on heritage sign languages builds upon our knowledge of phenomena at play when both the heritage language (HL) and the community language use spoken modality (e.g., varying degrees of proficiency in HL, interference of the community language on HL), as well as issues specific to balanced signed/spoken language bilinguals (e.g., the tendency to use blending, by which is meant simultaneously signing and speaking rather than code- switching). One aspect crucial to the study of heritage language is that of assessment.
Two useful methods used for assessing production are (1) eliciting narratives on the basis of picture books or silent video clips and then measuring the data for features such as the speech rate or number of errors and (2) cloze tests. Methods are also under development to assess comprehension and perception in signed languages. Studying heritage sign languages promises to provide us new insight into strong tendencies already established in heritage spoken languages, such as speakers’ difficulty with optionality and ambiguity, as well as speakers’ better command of verbs in their heritage language than of nouns.
In this article I am offering some critical comments on two of the most important programs of modern social and political philosophy: transcendental pragmatics and communication theory. These considerations will cover two main problems: justification of rational prerequisites of activities, that would be common and universal for all of humanity and universal and transparent communication, that is common for all representatives of intersubjective commonality. The first problem is the difficulty of removing the fundamental contradiction between "ones" and "someone else's" and the second is the difficulty of simulation of communication unity, that despite its universality, may serve as different packages of values.
This is an interdisciplinary volume that focuses on the central topic of the representation of events, namely cross-cultural differences in representing time and space, as well as various aspects of the conceptualisation of space and time. It brings together research on space and time from a variety of angles, both theoretical and methodological. Crossing boundaries between and among disciplines such as linguistics, psychology, philosophy, or anthropology forms a creative platform in a bold attempt to reveal the complex interaction of language, culture, and cognition in the context of human communication and interaction.
The authors address the nature of spatial and temporal constructs from a number of perspectives, such as cultural specificity in determining time intervals in an Amazonian culture, distinct temporalities in a specific Mongolian hunter community, Russian-specific conceptualisation of temporal relations, Seri and Yucatec frames of spatial reference, memory of events in space and time, and metaphorical meaning stemming from perception and spatial artefacts, to name but a few themes.
The article is devoted to the problem of the structure of pragmatic constraints. The fact that gricean maxims are neither pure descriptive rules nor pure prescriptive ones is one of the puzzles of early pragmatic theories. I try to clarify the problem of ontological status of pragmatic constraints by means of game theory and optimality theory.
The chapter explores the semantics and pragmatics of the Russian temporal syntactic phraseme ‘X to X,’ (a construction characterized by a semantically restricted set of lexical items able to fill in its syntactic variables) which expresses either the speaker’s surprise at the fact that events go as planned (surprising punctuality interpretation) or the speaker’s surprise at the fact that unplanned events go as if they had been pre-planned (surprising fateful coincidence interpretation). While the construction is not unique, and occurs in other languages, its preferred interpretations are language-specific. The chapter demonstrates differences between Russian and English outlooks on time, based on their fundamental differences in linguistic worldviews. According to one of the central key ideas of the Russian linguistic worldview, events are difficult for human subjects to control, as they are commonly controlled by outside forces, such as fate, and therefore surprising punctuality interpretation prevails in Russian. English, which does not view punctuality as something out of the ordinary, favours the surprising fateful coincidence interpretation of this syntactic phraseme. The idea of fate in relation to temporality is also found in other languages, as demonstrated by Bernard Charlier’s research on Mongolian temporality in his chapter in the current volume.
These proceedings include papers on subjects from a wide number of areas including theoretical linguistics, translation, computational linguistics, natural language processing, and applied linguistics, focusing on a variety of languages, ranging from familiar Indo-European languages to Mandarin Chinese, Wolof, and Dene Sųɬiné. In order to make the papers available to the wider research community, these proceedings are being published electronically and distributed freely at http://www.meaningtext.net
The article discusses the religious and philosophical outlook of L. N. Tolstoy in the context of the concept of anarchism. The complexity of the problem is determined by the duality of Tolstoy’s position: denouncing the violence of power and calling for non-resistance to force. The first allows one to see him as a spiritual oppositionist who totally condemns culture, science, politics and law as institutions of power. The second exposes an ethical, spiritual and existential alternative to life, presented not only in political essays, but also in literary texts. The ability to practically live by Christian ideals becomes Tolstoy’s cherished dream, and at the same time it acquires the features of revolutionary nihilism in the eyes of the government and society. With this, Tolstoy stands on the positions of philosophical idealism, believing in the possibility of everyone’s rational consciousness, aimed at the non-violent transformation of all.
The article presents a structural-semantic analysis of a N. Leskov’s story “The Devil-Chase” (“Chertogon”) in order to establish some particularly meaningful elements of the text and show how they direct and determine the understanding. In particular, there are some utterances, a narrative perspective, a narrative program, as well as some multiple variable focalizations, which show a narrative subject in focus of different points of view. As for a narrative organization, the told story is enclosed between two reflected sentences: (1) “there is absolutely no life” and (2) “...he feels life again” with a key link episode, such a devil-chase (‘chertogon’), as a condition for transformation of ‘non-life’ in ‘life’ in the time interval to ‒ to +1. In a narrative perspective, the so called rite, described in the story, includes some several episodes (sub-frames), such a riotous night in a restaurant, ablution in baths and praying before the icon of Virgin of All-Waving (“Vsepetaya”), connected by a causal implication A → B → C. So ‘fall’ is necessary implicated by ‘ascension’, as being concerned in a mutter and condition, behind only a basic opinion, what the narrative subject believes, as a ground and a “good popular faith” as guarantee for truth.
Within a brief historical period, BRICS as an inter-State association has become an influential player in the world economy and politics. BRICS is a primarily political entity, and in that regard, the BRICS grouping correlates with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). However, not all the expectations placed on the SCO by the founding countries at the time of its creation in 2001 have been met so far. The question is to what extent expectations may be fulfilled in case of BRICS.
The article addresses the social dimension of Leo Tolstoy’s thanatological prose based on the “Master and Man” short story material. The research is focused on the relationship between narrative form of the text, its social thrust, and experience conveyed by the poetic act, which are intrinsic to the “journey-discovery” concept.