Matching Items (11)

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Morphology and pragmatics of the diminutive: evidence from Macedonian

Description

Extensive cross-linguistic data document a wide gamut of semantic and pragmatic uses of the diminutive that revolve around the fundamental concepts of `small' and `child'. As typical inventory of informal

Extensive cross-linguistic data document a wide gamut of semantic and pragmatic uses of the diminutive that revolve around the fundamental concepts of `small' and `child'. As typical inventory of informal registers, diminutives are utilized as pragmatic markers of politeness in a wide range of contextual meanings. This dissertation is intended to fill some major gaps in the systematic and empirical research on the formation and pragmatic uses of the diminutives in Macedonian and to explore the role of diminutivization in a broader linguistic framework, by examining the consistency of the field of diminutives, the core and peripheral meanings of the diminutive, their typology, as well as their pragmatic potential. The morphology and pragmatics of the diminutive is examined by combining data from electronic and printed sources, video recordings of natural conversations, as well as from material collected from participant and non-participant observations. At the level of morphology, it is argued that three fundamental semantic constraints underlie the formation of diminutives: [-big], [+ emotional], and [+ informal]. Furthermore, it is shown how diminutive combinability is rule governed in Macedonian by proposing sets of formal constraints for all grades of diminutives. At the level of pragmatics, the pragmatic functions of the diminutives proper and the related periphrastic diminutive malku are investigated in a variety of contexts involving child-directed speech (CDS) and adult communication. By analyzing the pragmatic functions of the diminutive in a series of speech acts, and drawing upon cross-cultural interpretations suggested by Wierzbicka (1991), it is argued that, in Macedonian, social bonding, cordiality, intimacy or affection are pragmatically more salient than personal autonomy in the Anglo-Saxon societies, realized through non-imposition, tentativeness, or similar pragmatic strategies for saving face. Additionally, it is contended that there exist cultural differences in the assessment of the concept of imposition between these societies. The analyses of the pragmatic potential of the diminutive proper and the periphrastic diminutive 'malku' give rise to the claim that Macedonian culture is predominantly founded on the pragmatic principle of positive politeness.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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The Rhetorics of Political Graffiti on A Divisive Wall

Description

This study contributes to the literature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by offering rhetorical and discourse analysis of political graffiti on a wall built by Israel in Palestine. The analysis attempts

This study contributes to the literature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by offering rhetorical and discourse analysis of political graffiti on a wall built by Israel in Palestine. The analysis attempts to answer the urgent questions of why, who, when, how and for whom these graffiti exist. The data collected for the analysis consists of personal photos of graffiti taken randomly in 2010 and 2013 in Bethlehem, on the Palestinian side of the massive wall. Several theories in rhetoric and discourse analysis were consulted to perform the technical rhetorical and linguistic analyses of the graffiti utterances, images, and messages in selected photos of the graffiti. Social, physical, psychological and political factors that affect communication between the wall graffitists and their readers is discussed to assist in the interpretation of the messages of these graffiti from a Palestinian perspective. The findings of this qualitative study show that graffiti on such a high profile site are not typical of violent gang graffiti as commonly interpreted in the US, but rather contribute a universal interactive rhetorical mode employed by local and international graffitists to show their solidarity and demands for basic human rights for a misrepresented culture. Moreover, the wall graffiti function as evidence that graffiti has evolved into a formal performing art that can be found in respected art galleries. The wall graffiti create a dialogue between uncoordinated actors who come from different orientations to produce an array of positions not usually present in corporate media outlets. The analysis of the wall shows that these graffiti promote deep cultural and historical understanding, as well as break down boundaries and stereotypes. The collective threefold result of the analysis is the following: First, graffiti on the wall have a collective universal motive; second, the graffiti give voice to the voiceless; and third, the graffiti can prompt a sociopolitical change that can lead to a long overdue peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Keywords: Political rhetoric, discourse analysis, Burke, Halliday, Banksy, political graffiti, street art, Arab graffiti, rhetorical and linguistic patterns, dramatistic, identification, universality, Palestine divisive wall, intertextuality

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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The Saudi online discourse on the right to drive: a contrastive critical analysis

Description

The aim of this study was to investigate the issue of Saudi women’s right to drive through a critical analysis of the Saudi online discourse on women’s right to drive.

The aim of this study was to investigate the issue of Saudi women’s right to drive through a critical analysis of the Saudi online discourse on women’s right to drive. In the study, the attempt was made to provide a critical contrastive analysis of the online debate for and against Saudi women’s right to drive. A review of the literature indicated that very little research has been done about critical discourse analysis (CDA) of online texts focusing on the representation and rights of Saudi women. Employing Fairclough’s three-dimensional framework, a corpus of written posts on the right to drive, written by Saudi women, was analyzed at three levels: (a) textual analysis, (b) discursive practice analysis, and (c) sociocultural practice. The findings of the analysis on the textual and discursive practice levels showed that the theme of ingroup and outgroup presentation was significant in the data. The findings also indicated that ideologies were expressed linguistically by means of naming, presuppositions, predication, and intertextuality. At the sociocultural practice level, the controversial struggle about the right to drive was situated in its broader sociocultural context, in which the complexity of the sociocultural practice of the Saudi Society was revealed.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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On words from days of yore: attitudes towards English word usage in American English speakers of different varieties

Description

The English language is taught all over the world and changes immensely from place to place. As such, both L1 and L2 English Language Users all utilize English as a

The English language is taught all over the world and changes immensely from place to place. As such, both L1 and L2 English Language Users all utilize English as a tool for creating meaning in their existence and to also form perspectives on how the language ought to be. What is interesting about this is that the language being used to do that is one birthed from a culture that many English speakers across the globe are separated from; that is, Anglo-Saxon culture. Since learning and using language is also learning and participating in culture the question is, then how separated are American English speakers from that of the culture that created the language they speak? Does Anglo-Saxon culture impact how worldviews are formed in contemporary English speakers? I propose that the first step to finding some answers is by investigating the language ideologies that American English speakers have through the inquiry of meanings that they prescribe to English words that derive from Old English and subsequently have Germanic origins. The following work details a study examining the language attitudes of American English speakers in hopes of shedding new light on these questions.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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English with a Navajo accent: language and ideology in heritage language advocacy

Description

Much of the public discourse promoting Navajo (Diné) language revitalization and language programs takes place in English, both on and off the reservation, as in many other indigenous communities whose

Much of the public discourse promoting Navajo (Diné) language revitalization and language programs takes place in English, both on and off the reservation, as in many other indigenous communities whose heritage languages are endangered. Although Navajo language is commonly discussed as being central to the identity of a Navajo person, this ideology may lie in contradiction to the other linguistic and social means Navajos use to construct Navajo identities, which exist within a wide spectrum of demographic categories as well as communities of practice relating to religion, occupation, and other activities (Field, 2009; Baker & Bowie, 2010).

This dissertation examines two sets of data: 1) interviews with eight Navajo individuals whose interests, academic studies, and/or occupations relate to the promotion of Navajo language use in connection with cultural and linguistic revitalization; and 2) public statements made in online forums discussing the language used by Navajos. The interview data gathered consist of ten sociolinguistic (and open-ended conversational) interviews, culminating in over 13 hours of recorded interviews. The findings of this study show enregistered (i.e., imbued with social meaning) features of the dialect of Navajo English as well as insights into the challenges Navajos face while advocating for programs and policies supporting the teaching of their heritage language.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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'I ain't nobodies' ho': discourse, stigma, and identity construction in the sex work community

Description

This study is based on 31 interviews conducted in 2012 with male, female, and transgender sex workers at the St. James Infirmary, a full-spectrum health clinic run by sex workers

This study is based on 31 interviews conducted in 2012 with male, female, and transgender sex workers at the St. James Infirmary, a full-spectrum health clinic run by sex workers for sex workers, located in San Francisco, California. My primary goals were, first, to document the lived realities of a diverse range of sex workers who live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area, and, second, to understand the impact of sex work discourse on the facilitation of stigma toward the sex work community and, finally, how that stigma influences the sex worker group identity and individual identity constructions. My primary findings indicate that although sex work discourse has traditionally been constructed within the dominant public sphere and not by sex workers themselves, this discourse has a profound effect on creating and perpetuating the stigma associated with sex work. In turn, this stigma affects both how the group and how individuals construct their identities, often negatively. Alternatively, a benefit of stigma is that it can induce the production of counterpublics which facilitate the emergence of new discourse. However, for this new discourse to gain acceptance into the public sphere, activist organizations must utilize traditional (and sometimes unintentionally marginalizing) strategies that can impact both the identity construction of the group and of individuals within the group. Understanding these complex relationships is therefore essential to understanding how activist organizations, such as the St. James Infirmary, situate themselves within the larger dominant public sphere, their impact on sex work discourse, and their impact on individual sex worker identity construction.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Surface conflict, underlying compatibility: reconciling rival theories of language

Description

Lakoff and Levinson claim they have discredited the theory of universal grammar. This dissertation discusses the possibility of a universal humor, suggesting that if universals exist in language's most playful

Lakoff and Levinson claim they have discredited the theory of universal grammar. This dissertation discusses the possibility of a universal humor, suggesting that if universals exist in language's most playful and least rule-governed aspect then they must exist in grammar, language's least playful and most rule-governed aspect. Lakoff's and Levinson's texts are closely analyzed to demonstrate that their claims against Chomsky are not firmly supported; that their groundbreaking new theories of language, perception and cognition do not constitute data that undermines Chomskyan theory; that Levinson's theory of a universal mechanism for human interaction is no stronger than the the grammar universals that Levinson strongly rejects. It is suggested that the litmus test of culture-specific versus universal language may be its level of rhetorical density, as illustrated with humor and naming samples. It is argued that Fillmore's deep case theory, as explained by Nilsen using semantic features and pragmatic intent, has never lost its status as a linguistic universal; Chomsky's theoretical debt to Charles Fillmore may indicate that he unconsciously used Fillmore's deep case, which for Chomsky became thematic relations, without realizing that Fillmore had been the impetus for his research. It is argued that none of the theories of universality, typology or conceptual metaphor may be considered mutually exclusive.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Ideologies in four Saudi newspapers: a critical discourse analysis

Description

This study offers a critical discourse analysis of four Saudi newspapers, examining their coverage of two particular incidents relating to the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention

This study offers a critical discourse analysis of four Saudi newspapers, examining their coverage of two particular incidents relating to the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Following van Dijk’s framework, the study examines the ideological role of language within media discourse. The tools of analysis include headlines, leads, lexical choices, reported speech, unnamed sources, and silenced texts. The findings of the study show that there are differences between the four newspapers in the coverage of the two incidents. The analysis also reveals different ideological attitudes among writers.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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A sociocultural approach to the study of L2 writing

Description

Using a sociocultural framework, this dissertation investigated the writing processes of 31 ESL learners in an EAP context at a large North American university. The qualitative case study involved one

Using a sociocultural framework, this dissertation investigated the writing processes of 31 ESL learners in an EAP context at a large North American university. The qualitative case study involved one of the four major writing assignments in a required first-year composition course for ESL students. Data were collected from four different sources: (a) A semi-structured interview with each participant, (b) process logs kept by participants for the entire duration of the writing assignment, (c) classroom observation notes, and (d) class materials. Findings that emerged through analyses of activity systems, an analytical framework within Vygotskian activity theory, indicate that L2 writers used various context-specific, social, and cultural affordances to accomplish the writing tasks. The study arrived at these findings by creating taxonomies of the six activity system elements - subject, tools, goals, division of labor, community, and rules - as they were realized by L2 writers, and examining the influence that these elements had in the process of composing. The analysis of data helped create categories of each of the six activity system elements. To illustrate with an example, the categories that emerged within the element division of labor were as follows: (a) Instructor, (b) friends and classmates, (c) writing center tutors, (d) family members, and (e) people in the world. The emergent categories for each of the six activity system elements were then examined to determine if their effects on L2 writing were positive or negative. Overall, the findings of the present study validate arguments related to the post-process views that an explanation of L2 writing processes solely based on cognitive perspectives provides but only a partial picture of how second language writing takes place. In order for a more comprehensive understanding of L2 writing one must also account for the various social and cultural factors that play critical roles in the production of L2 texts.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Agency, power, and identity in business meetings: a comparison case study between Kuwaiti and American organization

Description

This dissertation examines the organizational discourse of business meetings in a Kuwaiti financial organization (Innovative Kuwait Co., pseudonym) and an American non-profit trade organization (Global Phoenix, pseudonym). Specifically, I explore

This dissertation examines the organizational discourse of business meetings in a Kuwaiti financial organization (Innovative Kuwait Co., pseudonym) and an American non-profit trade organization (Global Phoenix, pseudonym). Specifically, I explore the discourse and social identities, agency, and power used in staff members' task-oriented business meetings (Bargiela-Chiappini & Harris, 1997). The study is based on ethnographic business meetings data collected during eight months of fieldwork in 2010, 2011 and 2012. I used three major qualitative methodologies: observation, audio recording, and feedback focus group. In this study, I propose three research questions: 1) How does agency of staff members reflect membership in the corporate culture of an organization as a whole? 2) How is power used in relation to agency in business meetings? And 3) How are discourse and social identities of staff members enacted in business meetings? The analyses of ethnographic and fieldwork data demonstrate similar and different business linguistic behaviors in the two companies. In Innovative Kuwait Co., male managers are responsible for opening and closing the meetings. They also perform power by using language directives and suggestions directed to staff members. In contrast, female staff members in the Kuwaiti company participated insignificantly in meetings and produce more nonverbal cues. However, in one meeting, a female manager organized the discussion by controlling topics and giving directions. In Global Phoenix, female managers outnumber their male counterparts; therefore, agency, power, discourse, and social identities are performed differently. Female managers are responsible for opening and closing the meetings and for organizing the overall discussions. Additionally, female and male staff members participate equally and they interrupted their colleagues less frequently compared to staff members in Kuwait. Interestingly, American staff members laugh and joke more together than staff members in Kuwait. The findings of this dissertation will contribute to existing linguistic literature on business discourse and the examination of social meanings and structures in organizations, explaining how language shapes the actions and relationships of business staff members. This dissertation will also encourage business people to become mindful of the role of language and language training in developing and maintaining the corporate culture of their organizations.

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Date Created
  • 2012