Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics - latest Issue
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Volume 45, Issue 1, 2016
Author Alexander AndrasonSource: Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics 45, pp 1 –29 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.5774/45-0-211More Less
This article designs a method of improving traditional, qualitative semantic maps based on grammaticalisation paths, by including both quantitative data (frequency) and information concerning a gram's environment (the relation to the other maps). The incorporation of qualitative evidence transforms vectored maps into waves, while the introduction of the contextual factor combines waves organised along the same grammaticalisation template into a stream. The structure of a wave delivers, in turn, the statistical prototypicality of a gram (i.e. the prototypicality that is conditioned by the gram's own wave), whereas the structure of the stream yields product prototypicality (i.e. the prototypicality that is a combination of the gram's wave and the other waves of the stream). It is additionally hypothesised that the product prototypicality may be an overt indicator of the psychological perception of the grams by speakers.
Author Terrence R. CarneySource: Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics 45, pp 31 –48 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.5774/45-0-209More Less
The South African judicial system has a variety of ways to determine the ordinary meaning of words, ranging from preceding court cases and academic publications to expert witnesses. However, one of the main resources in the interpretation of ordinary words is a dictionary. Much has already been published on both the use (and abuse) of dictionaries in court cases and the ordinary meaning of words as a legal phenomenon. In continuation of this discourse, I propose that jurists consider using a conceptual approach to the interpretation of ordinary words as opposed to relying overly on dictionaries. One such conceptual approach is the use of frames, which deals with meaning in a way that is similar to Gestalt. In this article, I suggest the use of Barsalou's (1992) frame structure that may be applied to a contested word in six steps. To illustrate the way Barsalou's frame functions, I have applied it to two contested words taken from South African court cases. Building a frame in order to determine the ordinary meaning of certain words in court cases proves to be a possible alternative or an additional resource to dictionaries.
Author Herman C. Du ToitSource: Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics 45, pp 49 –75 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.5842/45-0-204More Less
In the Greek New Testament, relative sentences that are introduced by relative pronouns alone, apart from the adverbial uses, are the most frequent subordinate sentence type. The research reported on in this paper aimed to investigate and describe a number of syntactic features of relative constructions in the Greek New Testament, taking account, among others, of some typological parameters that have been developed in the general linguistics literature for these constructions.
The results indicate that relative constructions in the Greek New Testament have a variety of features, all of which have counterparts in some modern (or other ancient) languages, despite the differences. The relative sentence in the Greek New Testament is mostly postnominal, and the relative pronoun-type is used in those cases for encoding the role of the coreferential element in the relative sentence. Phrases expressing a variety of syntactic functions in a sentence (e.g. subject, direct object, etc.) are accessible to relativisation, that is, they can be represented by relative pronouns. Nominal elements serve mostly as antecedents of relative sentences, although sentences appear in that function as well.
A variety of syntactic types of relative sentences can be distinguished, including the prenominal participial, postnominal finite/participial, circumnominal, free relative, adverbial, prejoined, postjoined, sentential and conjoined types. These can be linked in a systematic way to the four functions of relative sentences in the New Testament, i.e. identifying, appositive, adverbial and continuative.
Relative sentences also play a role in communicative strategies. Prejoined relative sentences, for example, are most suitable for exposition and theme-building, especially in the correlative diptych construction.
Author Antonio FabregasSource: Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics 45, pp 77 –108 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.5842/45-0-201More Less
The goal of this article is to analyse a case of variation in Spanish. In most varieties, constructions of the form Hace dos dias que ("it has been two days since") reject nominal expressions like todo el dia ("all the day"), hence Hace todo el dia que (lit. "it has been all the day that"). However, a particular variety of Argentinean Spanish allows it. This article proposes that in the non-Argentinean varieties, hace ("make") is the spell out of a temporal relator placed in the extended projection of the verb; the nominal expression that accompanies it is a measure phrase providing the length of the vector it projects. These varieties build hace dos dias que-constructions through movement of the temporal relator to the CP area. However, the Argentinean variety builds hace dos dias que-constructions without movement, as a temporal verb that takes a durative argument. This explains the different range of nominal expressions allowed in each variety.
Impact measurement : towards creating a flexible evaluation design for academic literacy interventionsSource: Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics 45, pp 109 –145 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.5774/45-0-202More Less
Considering the vast array of academic literacy interventions that are presented both nationally and internationally, and the resources required to present these interventions, it is becoming increasingly important for those who are responsible for these interventions to provide evidence of their impact. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of instruments that are commonly used to assess impact, and to discuss guidelines regarding the use of these instruments, their strengths and their weaknesses. The instruments are divided into two broad categories, namely those that measure the observable improvement in students' academic literacy abilities between the onset and the completion of an intervention, and those that measure the extent to which these abilities are necessary and applied in students' content subjects. A conceptual evaluation design is then proposed that could be used in evaluating the impact of a range of academic literacy interventions. Avenues to explore in future include testing the design in the South African context.
Author Johanita KirstenSource: Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics 45, pp 147 –168 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.5842/45-0-207More Less
According to emergent grammar and exemplar theory in cognitive linguistics, the frequency of an item affects its behaviour in terms of structural change. In this article, I illustrate how high frequency items, such as preterital modal auxiliaries and copulas in Afrikaans, resist regularising with the rest of the Afrikaans verbal system. Items with a moderately high frequency can resist change for a time, but succumb to it eventually, such as mog ("might") and wis ("knew"). While the course of change can also be affected by other factors, such as het ("have") and had ("had"), and dink ("think") and gedink/dag/dog ("thought") show, the data in diachronic Afrikaans corpora from 1911 to 2010 confirm that high frequency items resist structural change to a large extent, while low frequency items do not. This links with the cognitive representation of language and language processing, and illustrates how the use of language shapes the structure of language.
Author Deogratias NizonkizaSource: Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics 45, pp 169 –187 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.5774/45-0-215More Less
The present study explores academic vocabulary knowledge, operationalised through the Academic Word List, among first-year higher education students. Both receptive and productive knowledge and the proportion between the two are examined. Results show that while receptive knowledge is readily acquired by first-year students, productive knowledge lags behind and remains problematic. This entails that receptive knowledge is much larger than productive knowledge, which confirms earlier indications that receptive vocabulary knowledge is larger than productive knowledge for both academic vocabulary (Zhou 2010) and general vocabulary (cf. Laufer 1998, Webb 2008, among others). Furthermore, results reveal that the ratio between receptive and productive knowledge is slightly above 50%, which lends empirical support to previous findings that the ratio between the two aspects of vocabulary knowledge can be anywhere between 50% and 80% (Milton 2009). This finding is extended here to academic vocabulary; complementing Zhou's (2010) study that investigated the relationship between the two aspects of vocabulary knowledge without examining the ratio between them. On the basis of these results, approaches that could potentially contribute to fostering productive knowledge growth are discussed. Avenues worth exploring to gain further insight into the relationship between receptive and productive knowledge are also suggested.
Levelling-out and register variation in the translations of experienced and inexperienced translators : a corpus-based studyAuthor Karien RedelinghuysSource: Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics 45, pp 189 –220 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.5842/45-0-198More Less
Explicitation, simplification, normalisation and levelling-out, the four features of translation proposed by Baker (1996), have attracted considerable attention in translation studies. Although the first three have been studied extensively, levelling-out has been the subject of less empirical investigation. Furthermore, there are no studies to date that have investigated the extent to which levelling-out occurs in translations by experienced translators and inexperienced translators. In this study, levelling-out is operationalised in terms of register. It is hypothesised that less register variation will be apparent in translations by inexperienced translators and, in keeping with the features of translation hypothesis, it is predicted that select linguistic features will demonstrate less register variation in translations than in non-translations. A custom-built corpus was compiled to test these hypotheses. While some light is shed on how translation expertise contributes to register sensitivity and the distribution of certain features across different registers, little evidence could be found for levelling-out as register variation is evident in the translation corpora.