Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is, in the first instance, a literary reconstruction of a historical event: the Salem trials that took place in the village of Salem in Essex County, New England (today Danvers, Massachusetts) in 1692. As Miller explains in his autobiography Timebends (1987), and as is clear from his introduction to the play, he not only carried out scholarly research in preparation for writing the play, he also reflected explicitly on how he had used the historical material to reconstruct a story. The central issue in this investigation is the position taken by the play with regard to writing history – historiography – and to the question: what is historical truth? How does the play relate to the issues of representing history and historical truth? To answer these questions, I will, in this research, give an extensive overview of the historical debates about witchcraft in order to situate Miller’s position on this topic. Further, I will position Miller’s work within more general debates about historiography and the historian’s possibilities of rendering a historical ‘truth’.
This paper aims to explore from a technofeminist standpoint this failure to enunciate a ‘feminine’ technoscientific praxis in the Puttermesser and Xanthippe episode of Cynthia Ozick’s 1997 ‘serial’ novel The Puttermesser Papers. In particular, there is a tragic failure to integrate procreative ethos and creative technoscience: when the latter is placed in the service of the former, the curse of Frankenstein rears its ugly head, and catastrophe ensues. The female scientist, a Jewish polymath like Ruth Puttermesser who creates a female golem to save New York, in releasing procreativity from the necessity of heterosexual reproduction, unwittingly unleashes a plague of ‘hyperfemininity’ that threatens to destroy culture. Thus, the break from the biological restraints of procreation and the establishment of a utopian femarche (female rule) are deconstructed, parodied, and retrospectively opposed as destructive, while the figure of the female savant / scientist emerges as a tragic one, torn between the need to nurture, and the catastrophic consequences of that need.
The synchronic degrees of grammaticalization of size nouns are traditionally measured based on proportionate frequencies of their quantificational attestations in corpus samples. However, grammaticalization, in general, is associated not only with an increased frequency of grammaticalized uses but also with a rise in productivity and distributional expansion. Thus, drawing on corpus data encompassing selected English size nouns which originally individuate concrete inanimate nominals, this paper investigates the relationship between the three aforementioned parameters. Productivity is operationalized as the arithmetic mean of two measures, namely type-token ratio (TTR) and hapax-token ratio (HTR), i.e. the number of, respectively, types of quantified collocates and hapax legomena N2s divided by the number of all quantifier tokens of each expression, while host-class expansion is construed as the proportion of animate and abstract collocates among the respective items’ quantifier uses. Contrary to expectations, the results reveal only a weak positive correlation between the elements’ frequency values and their levels of productivity, and the same holds for the relation between frequency and distributional extension. Also surprising is the moderate negative correlation observed between productivity and expansion, which can nevertheless be elucidated in terms of a high type frequency of semantically general animate and abstract N2-collocates of the most distributionally extended expressions.
The technological advances of the 20th and 21st centuries have played a significant part in facilitating information exchange and processing the worldwide community outreach. A significant achievement has been the development of electronic dictionaries and terminological databases that allow access to information from various sources and in different languages. Much has been done to develop Latvian electronic dictionaries in line with the requirements of modern lexicography; however, the available electronic terminological databases are not so helpful in dealing with domain-specific terminology as is the case of Legal Latvian and its equivalents in other languages. The aim of the present research study has been to examine Latvian-English-Latvian electronic lexicographic resources, their adaptability to user needs and reliability, focusing in particular on their treatment of legal terminology where utmost precision is required. The research reveals the need for a free-access legal terminology electronic database where Latvian terms have equivalents from different foreign languages with appropriate support information. Undoubtedly, such a database can be developed only in close cooperation between language specialists and legal professionals that would consolidate the stability and reliability of Latvian legal terminology and the respective equivalents in other languages.
The paper aims at tracing the origin of the preposition, adverb, and conjunction after, starting with the first examples registered before 850; distinguishing the primary and transposed categories; and reconstructing the process of functional transposition in general. The analysis is undertaken on the basis of the examples, which have been manually selected from the HCET and the CLMET and have undergone the following PoS tagging, and the statistical data retrieved from the COHA and the BNC. It is proved that after emerges as the preposition and transposes into the adverb and conjunction. The preposition, which predominates throughout Old English, loses its position in favor of the adverb in the second half of the Middle English period. Later, it stabilizes the correlation, which remains more or less consistent up to now. The adverb reaches its peak in Early Modern English, then it starts rapid declension, and now its quantity is close to null. The conjunction, being neglected up to the middle of the Early Modern English period, starts its increase and is at the peak in Present-Day English. It testifies that functional transposition, which is undeservingly disregarded in linguistics, is still remaining in progress for fundamental and newly-coined lexical units.
The paper reveals and describes the causes of communicative failures from a perspective of the intersubjective approach to communication incorporating basic assumptions of psycholinguistics. It introduces a unit of communication analysis called an intersubjective act. It is defined as an inter-action, where verbal/non-verbal communicative actions of addressers are viewed as perceptual stimuli that, coming into the focus of addressees’ attention, trigger parallel conscious/non-conscious inference processes involving cognition, volition, and affect to issue a command of a communicative and/or (immediate or postponed) social action. Inferential analysis applied in the research provides tools for the recreation of communicants’ inferential processes and allows consideration of perceptual, cognitive, affective, and volitional aspects of interaction. Inferential analysis handles American cinema discourse represented by the genre of a situation comedy that models live communication, supplying instances of communicative failures to subject to analysis. А communicative failure is viewed as an inability on the part of an addressee to make an inference or make a faulty inference in an intersubjective act. Communicative failures are identified and classified in accordance with the element of the physical or mental experience of the participants of an intersubjective act, which plays a privileged role in causing them. We distinguish between perceptual, lingua-cognitive, cognitive and affective-volitional communicative failures.
The article is focused on the reinterpretation of the genre of spiritual autobiography in Richard Rodriguez’s novel Darling. Rodriguez’s autobiographical prose depicts his extremely embittered attitude to heritage and the pitfalls lurking at the crossroads of cultural practices. For a long time, this author had been placed outside the canon of Chicano literature and was considered an ‘outsider’ because of his statement that he was not a representative of a minority but a supporter of the assimilation of immigrants into the broader mainstream American society. Rodriguez emphasized the privilege of the individual over the collective identity. The study focuses on the formation of ethnic identity by autobiographical narrator Rodriguez and the evolution of his views on the nature of the concept of ‘self-identification’. In addition, as Mexican-Americans are gradually becoming the largest ethno-cultural group in the United States of America, the issues of identity, assimilation, heterogeneity and cultural hybridity raised by the author stay relevant and important.
Presidential speeches as a type of political discourse are aimed not only at the negotiation and construction of the national identity of a nation-state at a local level but also at the representation and shaping of the national identity internationally. The presidents of the Baltic States have represented their individual, collective and regional identities in the international gatherings of world leaders since the restoration of independence of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania from the Soviet Union. The current study displays an analysis of how the keyness factor of particular lexical items used in 142 speeches given by the presidents of the Baltic States internationally from 1991 until 2021 helps to identify the tendencies of identity construction and representation, which can then be investigated in detail via a critical analysis of the discursive strategies and linguistic means applied in the speeches. Moreover, the analysis of keyword tendencies across speeches marked by different criteria shows how the process of identity construction as marked by lexical change varies across time and states. The keyness factor points to multiple identities being constructed in the international speeches, where the national identities are constructed most frequently, followed by the common European identity, Baltic regional identity, and global identity. It is also concluded that a common political past is one of the main elements of national and Baltic identities, while shared values such as democracy and cooperation are the main elements of supra-national identities.
In 2017, the organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development estimated that around 25 per cent of the population experiences difficulties in reading comprehension. The World Health Organisation (2021) has indicated that around 15 per cent of the world population faces functional impairment-related problems, which limit sufficient access to information unless the resources are adapted for meeting the needs of this layer of society. Considering the increasing numbers of the population who suffer from impairments at the language perception level, the present study has attempted to examine selected approaches that might serve for developing easy-to-read (EtR) discourses. Limited research has been conducted in the above-mentioned field, and the contributions that exist so far have focused on the linguistic and design features considered when producing EtR discourses; however, other central components that govern the adaptation of authentic texts for EtR needs seem to be neglected. Therefore, the present study aims to examine selected discourse-pragmatic approaches that can be applied for adapting texts to an EtR language. The present research is a qualitative case study targeted at EtR text developers and seeks to answer the research question: which discourse-pragmatic approaches should be considered to produce easy-to-read discourses? In conclusion, the paper offers the implications of the findings and reflects on the value of using discourse-pragmatic approaches to EtR discourse and cognitive load reduction.
The article is a study of relations between translation theory or, to be more precise – theoretical and applied translation studies and translation practice (i.e., regular work of translation professionals) with a glimpse into the views of some prominent translation theorists and afterwards provides a general picture of opinions of novice translators, experienced professional translators and translation studies experts in Latvia. The feeling is that in ‘real life’ there is a wide gap between the assessment of translation theory and practice in the eyes of several groups of persons relevant to the phenomenon of translation. A deeper survey and analysis of its results shows that the range of opinions is very wide among both translation theorists and practitioners. The pivotal question of this study is to find out who are of those who care (or do not care) about translation theory and who are those who care for translation theory. Is translatology as a research discipline a necessary complement to translation practice, or is it a testing site for ever more sophisticated translatological schools?
Distance learning introduced in almost all educational establishments in spring 2020 has raised interest among researchers how to deal with it in a more productive way. Thus, the goal of the research was to find out undergraduates’ views on distance learning of English grammar and the use of online revision materials in developing students’ independent study skills at a tertiary institution in Latvia. the research tool was a questionnaire consisting of open-ended and closed questions. Twenty-three students answered the survey questions. the research results indicate that studying by distance is preferred because it allows the students to choose the study time and place, to develop their timemanagement, independent study skills, as well as improve their motivation. the main drawbacks of studying by distance, according to the students, are insufficient feedback, inability to ask questions directly and receive immediate answers and problems with their own time management and independent study skills.
Nowadays, it has become commonly accepted that the meaning of linguistic elements is interconnected with the context of their use. Deixis is one of the classical pragmatic phenomena that illustrates that context-dependence is inherent in language as meaning of deictic expressions cannot be constructed without the identification of the speech event where these expressions occurred. The present article discusses cases of time deixis in the context of engineering discourse. The goal of the research is to demonstrate how the deictic expression use in different genres of professional discourse impacts meaning construction. The study deals with the data obtained from scientific articles, encyclopaedia chapters and coursebooks. The findings indicate that temporal deictic expressions can be utilized both deictically and non-deictically and their frequency may depend on the genre within each professional discourse. Further research can be conducted to investigate the use of other categories of deictic expressions in engineering discourse.
The article deals with the perception of language and languages in the economy-oriented contemporary world and its specific features in such language-centered countries as Latvia. Two main levels could be discussed concerning the ‘intellectual’, ‘symbolic’ and practical treatment of language: a global (supra-national) and a national one. In majority of countries special laws have been adopted or national level programs have been enacted in order to protect the most significant elements of respective national identities – folklore, traditional ways of life, beliefs and languages in particular. At the beginning of the 21st century, economic and political goals of the European Union have been associated with the ideas of European culture and European identity. At the same time, the popularization of the languages, histories, and traditions of the member states have also been emphasized. The Republic of Latvia belongs to the countries where the diversity of thoughts and viewpoints on language are ever present and intense in both the political debates and even in many informal conversations. The paper gives an insight in Latvian language policy against the background of global and European sociolinguistic processes and wide usage of so-called international languages, English in particular.
One of the internationalisation strategies for higher education institutions is internationalisation of their curricula by delivering English-medium instruction programmes. These internationalization efforts can be successful if support for the language needs of all stakeholders involved is provided. English language proficiency assessment of academic staff is an essential prerequisite to the implementation of a high-quality study process in the English language. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to validate the assessment system of academic staff performance in English medium instruction at a university in Latvia and the use of mediation strategies as a basis for the assessment system development. The qualitative and quantitative analysis of the test results suggests that the integrated assessment tasks demonstrate higher internal consistency and higher correlation with the test results and the performance of the academic staff in the international setting.
Today, social reality can hardly be viewed as the one-state-one-nationone language ideological framework (Bauman and Briggs, 2003). The modern multilingual and multicultural communities are inclined to examine social reality in a multiple variety of socio-economic and political manifestations and forms. To understand how social reality can be explored through examining certain socio-political processes in a country, the present paper aims at analysing the role of conceptual metaphor in cases when political scandals, involving corruption charges of high-ranking officials in Latvia are considered. For this purpose, the present study has focused on the analysis of selected commentaries that deal with corruption charges which were revealed in December 2019 issues of the magazine IR. The Latvian-origin weekly magazine IR was selected deliberately because; on the one hand, it has an enormous influence on how social reality is constructed and perceived by Latvian citizens. On the other hand, it was important to reveal that the evidence-based theoretical premises on the relationship between metaphor and society in the English language are applicable and work cross-linguistically in Latvian. The research presents a case study type. With the focus on the conceptualization of corruption-related social problems, selected discursive practices that dealt with the corruption cases being revealed by the news medium IR were considered. The results demonstrated that the journalists of the commentaries tend to take a critical discourse perspective on the representation of corruption-related issues and political events, which can be represented at the levels of abstraction. Conceptual metaphors contributed to mental representations of political issues and communication of social reality by conveying additional negative evaluation of such an inherently derogatory concept as corruption. The metaphors CORRUPTION IS DIRT, CORRUPTION IS GARBAGE, CORRUPTION IS NUCLEAR DISASTER, CORRUPTION IS A DISEASE also fulfil a cognitive function, helping to understand the concept of corruption in terms of another more concrete concept. The use of metaphors in the commentaries may have causal effects such as bringing about changes in the readers’ knowledge, beliefs and attitudes.
The advancement of technologies and the recently forced lockdown by Covid-19 are bringing changes to the organisation of the learning process by accelerating the introduction of e-learning to create a learner-centred technology-based approach to English studies, thus stepping towards digital humanities. These trends initiated the institutional project Mobile and Desktop Software Integration in Bachelor and Master Study Programmes. The present study, using a questionnaire, elicits university students’ attitudes to the mobile applications and speech analysis software-based seminar activities in Moodle e-course in accordance with the blended learning model selected for the studies of theoretical grammar and phonetics. It is a cross-sectional, focused, and exploratory case study, comprising a description of factors, contributing to the problem of blended learning model selection. The yielded data demonstrate that students do not possess extensive prior experience with the use of software and mobile applications to study English grammar and phonetics. After completing seminar tasks, they favourably account for the integrated blended learning materials and consider that those facilitate their learning process.
The present article analyses intertextual references in David Lodge’s Small World. An Academic Romance (1984), focusing on allusions to the corpus of medieval and twentieth-century Arthuriana in the representation of women characters. An analysis of Arthurian allusions in the portrayal of women characters shows that Lodge introduces Arthurian women to his academic ‘Camelot’ in response to medieval and post-medieval literature about King Arthur and the Grail quest. In this respect, his representation of academic women in Small World is different from the way they are described in Lodge’s other academic novels, Changing Places and Nice Work. Lodge rarely recasts Arthurian women characters as his heroines with the exception of Prof Fulvia Morgana, who is modelled on the Arthurian sorceress Morgane/Morgause. Nevertheless, in Small World, women appear in the traditional roles of being the object of a ‘knight’s’ quest, such as Persse’s beloved Angelica and Swallow’s lover Joy, and wise advisors (Miss Maiden). Alternatively, women are portrayed as antagonistic or negative characters, the so-called ‘whores’ or ‘demonic temptresses’: such are Angelica’s twin sister Lily and the lusty Fulvia Morgana.
The article investigates the concept of authorship in the works of two authors separated by three centuries, namely, Daniel Defoe and J. M. Coetzee, both concerned, in different ways, with aspects regarding the origin and originators of literary works or with the act of artistic creation in general. After a brief literature review, the article focuses on Coetzee’s contemporary revisitation of the question of authorship and leaps back and forth in time from Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) to Coetzee’s Foe (1986). The purpose is that of highlighting the multiple perspectives (and differences) regarding the subject of authorship, including such notions and aspects as: canonicity related to the act of writing and narrating, metafiction, self-reflexivity and intertextuality, silencing and voicing, doubling, bodily substance and the substance of a story, authenticity, (literary) representation and the truth, authoring, the author’s powers, the relation between author and character or between narrator and story, authorial self-consciousness, agency, or ambiguity. The findings presented in the article show that both works are seminal in their attempts to define and redefine the notion of authorship, one (Defoe) concerned with the first literary endeavours of establishing the roles of professional authorship in England, while the other (Coetzee), intervenes in existing literary discussions of the late twentieth century concerning the postmodern author and (the questioning of or liberation of the text from) his powers.
The first decade of the 20th century was a period of huge advances and expansion in the Latvian translation scene. New, contemporary authors’ works became available to Latvian readers. The Latvian readership was consciously being integrated into general European literary trends. It was also a heyday of periodicals that published numerous translations, including numerous novels. There are countless parallel translations even reaching double digits. Translations included various genres and the traditional Latvian interest in plays was obvious. German was gradually losing its dominant positions as both a source and intermediate language, Russian was advancing. This period also saw a change of generations among translators, and with the new generation women became visible in translation scene. Practically all Latvian writers were also active translators. The translation method changed from localisation to a fidelity mode with a tendency towards foreignisation. Frequently translations now had prefaces and explanations by the translators. Translated literature now ranged from serious classical works to modern ones and from pulp literature to high quality creations. The quality of translations was also very varied. T he expansion of translation and the cultivation of new domains went hand in hand with the development of the Latvian language itself.