Special Issue 78A/2014


Timo Ahlers, Marion Dotter, Sabine Laszakovits, Lisa Niederdorfer, Jakob M. Steixner


Kognitive Metaphern im Roman von Hermann Hesse „Der Steppenwolf“.

Aigerim Rakhimzhanova

In recent years with structural dynamic changes of the contemporary knowledge and a new perspective on findings of linguistics the interest in the study of metaphors has grown. In linguistics theories, especially in the fields of language and thought, are re-evaluated. The role of language as an essential means for the determination as well as the reception of knowledge has come to the fore and a close relationship between the semantic and cognitive processes of perception is acknowledged. However, not only linguists but also philosophers, psychologist and even mathematicians engage in the research on metaphors and therefore attest to the wide interest of in the topic of cognition. In this paper, in the first part, I review the theory of cognitive metaphors of Lakoff and Johnson. In the second part I analyse the novel Der Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse under the aspect of the cognitive theory of metaphors. I identify the cognitive metaphors and categorise them in metaphor models, which I then use to draw conclusions on the function of cognitive metaphors for Hesses text.


Multimodale Repräsentation von Klimawandel und Klimaschutz. Eine theoretische und methodologische Annäherung am Beispiel des Österreichischen Rundfunks.

Andrea Sabine Sedlaczek

This paper deals with a concept of multimodal representation from a semiotic perspective and applies it to the investigation of media discourses about climate change and climate protection. In the theoretic discussion it will be argued that the social semiotic theory of representation by Kress and van Leeuwen can be fruitfully combined with the triadic sign concept of Peirce to analyse representations of climate change and climate protection. This combination is the starting point in the development of a theoretic and methodological approach of a multimodal critical discourse analysis that is then applied in the analysis of a corpus of factual non-news television programmes that were broadcast as part of a climate protection initiative by the Austrian public service broadcaster ORF. In this paper a pilot analysis of a short segment of a television programme is presented, which investigates representations of climate change and climate protection as well as the discursive strategies employed therein and demonstrates the applicability of the theoretic concepts discussed above.


Vistas of Cultural and Contextual Determination of Language Formulas: Anatomy of Speech Acts.

Elisabeth Senft

The aim of this treatise is to set the foundation for a large-scale Ph.D study focused on inter-cultural and ethnopragmatic analysis of (apologetic) speech acts, the notion of context from an interdisciplinary perspective, and how these fit into the Bakhtin-Vygotskian theory of dialogic verbal communication. The main focus shall, therefore, be placed on the theoretical analysis of the above mentioned aspects in general, and cultural and contextual underpinnings of language formulas - speech acts, in particular. Given that the study itself will involve a semantic and pragmatic analysis of the aforementioned particular speech acts from three distinct cultures/languages - Serbian, Austrian German and Australian English, the rationale underlying their choice shall also constitute an important part of this treatise. In addition, due to the immense importance they have for the study itself, as sources of the empirical substance, the treatise will also include an account of and the rationale behind the linguistic tools to be used. More specifically, the enhanced version of the conventional DCT [Discourse Completion Test] method and the NSM [Natural Semantic Metalanguage] & cultural scripts framework.
It is the author’s belief that an amalgam of the theoretical and the empirical, such as the one fostered by the study in question, can provide us with extremely valuable insights into the innards of the social and the cultural, and the impact they have on our natural language use and inn(out)er-workings of the mind.


Sprachenpolitik auf Hawai’i: Ist Hawaiianisch eine aussterbende Sprache?

Susanne Mayer

Based on UNESCO’s classification of Hawaiian as “critically endangered“, this paper will first analyze the language policy situation in Hawai’i, particularly as regards the Hawaiian language. In this context, we will examine the reasons why the Hawaiian language community today is one of the smallest and least cohesive in Hawai’i, and it will be determined which language revitalization measures are currently taking place and what results have been achieved so far. Using Fishman’s Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (GIDS model) (1991) and a field study that was independently conducted in Hawai’i in 2011, we will then attempt to determine the degree to which the language is currently threatened. Furthermore, this empirical study will show how present Hawaiian actually is in the daily lives of those surveyed, what their attitude is as regards the indigenous language and what forms of discrimination against those who speak the language are still perceived.


How many letters are there? – Distributivity and the Verbal Particle in Hungarian.

Kata Wohlmuth

This paper examines the semantic consequences of the presence and absence of the verbal particle in Hungarian sentences containing a verb of creation. Since these verbs are Definiteness-Effect verbs, the aspectual interpretation does not depend merely on the verbal particle’s position – or even presence – in the sentence, as in other cases, but rather on the specific/non-specific interpretation of the object. The main claim of the paper is that the verbal particle’s role in such sentences can be defined in terms of collectivity and distributivity: the Definiteness-Effect constructions – the ones without verbal particle – can only refer to collective events, and the non-Definiteness-Effect-constructions – the ones containing a verbal particle – can refer to both collective and distributive events.


Does sentence structure boost early word learning? An artificial language learning study.

Eva van den Bemd, Maria Mos, Afra Alishahi & Shakila Shayan

Many studies show that structural information in a sentence is used as an information source to find the meaning of a novel word in that sentence, a phenomenon known as syntactic bootstrapping (Gleitman, 1990). However, no research thus far has investigated the use of structural cues in the first stages of learning a new language, when both word and structure knowledge are still in development. We conducted an artificial language learning experiment to investigate the interaction between learning word meaning and sentence structure. Participants watched animated scenes while hearing a three-word sentence describing the scene, and were subsequently tested on their linguistic knowledge. Results show that some, but not all participants were able to uncover the word meanings and the underlying sentence structure, and that knowledge of the structure may start to boost vocabulary learning in a later learning phase, which would be in line with the syntactic bootstrapping hypothesis. Follow-up studies are conducted to corroborate these preliminary results.


A computational morphology approach to Croatian noun inflection — the case of gender assignment.

Milena Mihajlovic

The primary aim of this paper is to present a research on noun inflection and gender in the Croatian language through the prism of computational morphology. The secondary goal of the paper is to set the basis for the computational model that would be able to predict gender. The research in question represents a network of different theoretical approaches, in particular Network Morphology, recent Natural Morphology account of Serbo-Croatian (Radisavljević, 2013), and the approach that served as a framework for the Croatian National Corpus.


What do we learn from clitics? The case study of Polish.

Albert Ventayol Boada

Clitics pose a challenge to any linguistic theory that does not abandon the classical stratification of grammar in modules. Halfway between phonology and syntax, clitics have their own morphological features different from both morphemes and syntactically independent elements — words. Revising the described typologies and taking Polish as a case study, our aim is to see whether an on-going process of grammaticalization of these elements in this particular language exists or not. Bearing this in mind we designed a value judgement test that we spread online between target groups from 16 to 64 years old. The obtained data confirmed our hypothesis; as the age of the participants decreased, so did the acceptance of the mobility of clitics as well as their adjunction to non-verbal hosts. A wide range of consequences derive from these results, ranging from the theoretical treatment of these elements to their computational manipulation and the elaboration of teaching materials of Polish as a L2.


Object-drop in Hungarian.

Júlia Keresztes

In this paper the issue of Hungarian object-drop is presented. It has been stated in the literature that object pronouns are allowed to be dropped only in singular (Farkas 1987, Puskás 2000). This paper, however, explores the possibility of omitting the plural object pronouns. An experiment with acceptability judgment task was conducted concerning plural object-drop. The results show that first and second person plural object pronouns can be dropped – though omitting the second person is more degraded, while third person object pronoun must always be pronounced. The semantic features of pronouns are [speaker], [hearer] and [PL]. There is a hierarchy between the features: speaker>hearer>PL (Harley & Ritter, 2002).The omission of the pronoun is allowed if its semantic content can be recovered. Features that are lower in the hierarchy are more difficult to recover, thus second plural pronoun is degraded and third is unacceptable to omit.


ACC as Topic Marker in Turkish.

Sabine Laszakovits

Turkish accusative case marking (an instance of DOM) follows a number of influences and their combinations, such as definiteness, specificity, scrambling, and the presence of
possessive suffixes. This paper suggests that the direct object’s information status may be an additional influence in that topicalized DOs are preferred to be case marked and
even required to be so in responses to wh-questions about another constituent. I analyze this as movement of the DO out of the focus position into a (secondary) topic position,
by which it receives ACC as topicalization marker. It falls nicely into this picture that ACC behaves similarly to indicate the availability of wide scope taking at LF. Data from
Albanian, German, and Greek show a similar phenomenon of topichood marking, and evidence from Bantu languages, Hungarian, and Ostyak suggests that object marking
may have evolved from topic marking in the first place.


Location, Locatum Verbs, and the Locative Alternation in English and Romanian

Adina Camelia Bleotu

The aim of this paper is to look into the structure of location verbs and locatum verbs, as well as the locative alternation in Romanian, a Romance language, in opposition to English, a Germanic language, and offer a possible explanation for their different behaviour. English is a language full of location verbs (i.e. verbs incorporating Locations such as to shelve the books, to cage the parrots a.o.) and locatum verbs (i.e. verbs incorporating Locatums/ displaced Themes such as to butter the bread, to paint the wall a.o.). I argue that Romanian, on the other hand, is not so rich, it only has a few verbs like a adăposti ‘to shelter’ (location verb), or a bandaja 'to bandage', a potcovi ‘to shoe’ (locatum verbs). It is, however, quite productive in verbs constructed with the prefix în-, such asa îmbarca ʽto shipʼ or a împodobi ‘to adornʼ. In addition, following Mateu 2000 and Damonte 2005, I argue that a verb’s ability to occur in two location patterns, i.e. the locative alternation in a Romance language (like Romanian) has different properties from the locative alternation in a Germanic language (no complex resultatives, an additional of-variant absent in Germanic a.o.), and relate this to the verb-framed/ satellite-framed distinction (Talmy 1985, Mateu 2002), i.e. the distinction between languages which conflate the Path and languages which conflate the Manner instead.


Breaking Chains: A Parenthetical Analysis of the German w…w-Copy Construction.

Andrew Murphy

The w...w-copy construction has long been viewed as evidence for the successive-cyclic nature of long distance wh-movement. I will show that the claim that wh-copying involves long distance wh-movement faces a number of empirical problems and will instead argue that it is derived from the insertion of a V1-parenthetical (as argued for cases of putative V2-extraction by Reis 1995, 1996a,b). Furthermore, I will argue that this parenthetical is adjoined counter-cyclically to the structure and thus ‘breaks’ the link to the upper-most wh-copy, thereby creating two chains and resulting in multiple Spell-Out of the wh-phrase.


X-bar Theory in 17th-18th Century Western Tonal Music.

Réka Köcsky

It has been proposed that musical syntax and musical universals can be examined using linguistic tools and concepts. The goal of the paper is to support the claim that "music contains a syntactic component in which headed structures are built". This paper makes an attempt to do this by showing that the structure of cadences in 17th-18th c. Western tonal music obeys principles of X-bar theory and the Projection Principle. I carried out a rating experiment, using a 5-point Likert scale, to address the following question: Can we identify heads, and distinguish between complement and adjunct modifiers in the syntax of cadences, in terms of obligatoriness/optionality, variability and order? The task was to judge the melodies on a 5-point Likert scale from the viewpoint of how harmonic (pleasant to hear) they found them. It is argued that the ratings provided by the musically untrained participants can for the most part be interpreted in terms of an X-bar theoretic structure. Cadences are analyzed as including heads, adjuncts, and selected complements.


Untersuchung informationsstruktureller Schemata im Deutschen und im Ungarischen

Bernadett Modrián-Horváth

The present study focuses primarily on the sentence-level description of information structure. The analysis is based on a model that treats information structure as the realization of diverse perspective patterns (schemata). These patterns are described through a topological topic concept (also represented by Halliday 1994) and the topic continuity (cf. Givón 1983). The latter will be asserted to exceed simple coreference chains significantly and can be interpreted as a text-level perspective. Two basic types of information structure schemata (event-centered vs. figure-centered) that originate in the interaction of sentence and text-level perspectives relate closely to the two methods of conceptualization that are characteristic of human cognition: namely, the synthetic and analytic approach. A third type is the result of text-level perspectivation (through the focus on a continuous discourse topic).


Synchronisierungstendenzen von Lexik und Syntax im interaktiven Sprachgebrauch.

Marion Dotter

Language is a dynamic phenomenon, a self-evident way of interaction and last but not least an important and deliberate tool that helps us to express not only our thoughts and feelings but also our identity and our social position. One aspect of this huge field of research deals with the problematic of synchronizing, an issue that has predominantly been examined from a phonological perspective. This article is interested in the question, if similar linguistic transfers can also be observed on a syntactic and lexical level. Furthermore it tries to figure out, what reasons people have to change their style of language while speaking and if they are aware of what they are doing. The study is arranged in two parts: On the one hand a questionnaire that gives information about the social data of the participants as well as of their attitude to dialects and other linguistic variations and, on the other hand, an experiment of accommodation which deals with the analysis of an evoked dialog situation between a dialect-speaker and a standard-speaker.