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Review of  Collected Articles of the 3rd International Linguistics Conference (Taganrog, Russia)


Reviewer: Irina Ustinova
Book Title: Collected Articles of the 3rd International Linguistics Conference (Taganrog, Russia)
Book Author: Galina T. Polenova Tatiana G Klikushina
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
General Linguistics
Historical Linguistics
Pragmatics
Translation
Anthropological Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Ket
Issue Number: 26.2595

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Review:
Review's Editor: Helen Aristar-Dry

SUMMARY

The present volume is a selection of papers presented at the 3rd International Linguistics Conference on the “Questions of the Theory of the Language and Methodology of Teaching Foreign Languages.” The collection of papers brings together a wide range of topics under the theme of ‘Linguistics and Methods of Teaching.’ This book, edited by Galina Polenova and Tatiana Klikushina, and published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, comprises the preface and forty nine selected papers presented at the conference held in Taganrog, Russia. The conference gathered many scholars from such countries as Belarus, Poland, Uzbekistan, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Greece, India, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and from Russian cities such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tambov, Volgograd, Saratov, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, and Stavropol.
This book is a collection of articles written in three languages—English, German, and French—with the focus on the research of languages from different cultural groups, including such widely spread languages as English, Russian, Italian, French, and German; the indigenous languages as of Uzbek, Tadjik, and Kazakh of Central Asia; and non-literate languages, such as the Ket language of West Siberia and Shetlandic, the dialect of the Shetland archipelago.

The categorization of linguistics’ subfields and the articles’ titles suggest that there are a growing number of directions that researchers are taking in their approaches to the study of multiple languages. The editors have divided the book into six sections: theoretical linguistics, lexicology, text studies, pragmatics, ethnolinguistics, and language teaching methods.

In a short review, it is impossible to summarize the vast amount of material; thus I have chosen a selected number of papers to describe in some detail. Each paper in the collection, however, deserves a full review in its own right because this collection will be of great interest to scholars in the fields of philology, linguistics, culture, and humanities.

In part I “Theoretical and Cognitive Linguistics,” the articles touch on studies of reference as the meaning of classification (Jewgenija Muracschova), typology of the category “person” and “non-person” in English interrogative pronouns (Marina Akhanova), and relations on possession in Germanic languages (Evgeny Krasnoshcekov). Three scholars - Galina Polenova, Heinrich Werner, and Larisa Pavlenko - concentrate on the study of the written sources about West Siberian people and the Ket language, the sole survivor of the Yeniseian family. While Polenova’s article sets her focus on the universal diachronic oppositions, such as “singular” vs. “plural,” Pavlenko’s research represents the study of typology of verbs of motion in Ket.

Natalya Dodonova’s ’article, titled “Concept: Term and Notion,” looks deeply into the nature and the interactions of the notions of concept, mental image, and idea from cognitive linguistics perception. The theoretical point of view and the interpretation of concept not only as linguo-mental entity, but as representation of emotional and human attitudes, rely on the views of outstanding linguists, such as Anna Wiezbicka, and Yuri Stepanov. The author comes to the conclusion that concept is the multifaceted notion that reflects culture, mentality, and verbalization simultaneously.

Olga Ikonnikova’s article focuses on the place of adjective in the part-of-speech system and provides a useful overview of the works of outstanding linguists such as S. Katsnelson, J. Lyons, H. Wetzer, A. Wierzbicka and others who point out that adjectives do not have a universal grammar status and occupy a dual position between nouns and verbs. According to Ikonnikova, the dual nature of the adjectives can be explained by their syntactic and morphological functions, as well as their being a part of attributive and predicative positions. Olga Melnik in her article “Anthropomorphism in the World Picture” examines the interpretation of the concepts of space and time in different cultures and compares these concepts in English, Russian and Karachaev-Balkan languages. She argues that in the Karachaev-Balkan language, space does not contain the abstract notion of empty space and is characterized by such parameters as “high-low” and “far-near”; thus, the author concludes that the space verbalization is the reflection of the lifestyle of the ethnos and a particular fragment of the world picture.

In part II, “Lexicology,” some researchers provide comparative analyses of lexicon in several languages: thus, Barno Avezova characterizes English and Tajik idioms, V.P. Minaeva classifies the data attesting to the Russian borrowings into the Ket vocabulary, and Vadim Melikyan represents phraseosyntactic schemes with Wh-words in English, Russian and Spanish.

Anastasia Rybtsova considers the origin, development, and formation of the concept “West” in the Russian mentality from the diachronic perspective. The notion of “West” appeared in the Russian mentality in the tenth century; then Peter and Catherine the Greats’ eras consolidated the aspirations to learn from the West and paved the way for Russians to enter the European intellectual space. However, during the Soviet period the notion of “West” acquired a negative connotation, and then at the beginning of the 21st century again it became the synonym of progress. The author concludes that the several stages of the interpretation of the concept “West” depend on the circumstances of different times in history.

Irina Khoutyz in the article “The Usage of Anglicisms in Modern Discource : the Aspect of Intercontextuality” relies on Michail Bakhtin’s idea of dialogism and applies it to intertextuality. She claims that anglicisms mark Russian discourse as modern and express the author’s point of view. Camiel Hamans devotes both of his articles to the issues of productivity and uniqueness of blends. Following the previous contributions to blends by Cannon, Marchland, Warren and others, the author distinguishes a few types of blends, such as most typical (e.g. franglais), complex (e.g. Oxbridge), composition with a difference (e.g. malware), and combining forms (e.g. Reagonomics). The author rejects the idea expressed by some scholars that blends are morphologically irregular and cannot be models for analogical productivity. He provides an apt description of types of blends and claims that they have specific patterns of morphological derivation.

The authors who contribute to Part III, “Text,” explore different genres and types of discourse, such as American advertisements (Tatiana Klikushina), mass media (Edward Glinchevskiy), Russian and English folk texts (Natalia Bogatyriova), text linguistics (Sofia Agapova), epigraph (Marina Oleynik), and Internet communication (I.V. Elov) .

Much of the content of Tatiana Klikushina’s article ‘The Texts of Contemporary American Advertisements and Commercials’ is devoted to exploring the characteristics of high quality professional advertising. She analyses stylistic devices such as allusion, affiliation, parcellation, inversion, anaphora, and gradation as well as playing techniques based on rhyme, graphic devices, proverbs, neologisms, etc. in American advertising texts and shares her experience that the dialogic correlation of verbal and non-verbal messages, target audience, aim of the company, and disclosure of the topic lead to successful marketing.

Sofia Agapova is influenced by the previous studies of Eugenio Copseroi, Harald Weinrich, and Frantisek Danek on text linguistics and provides a useful view of their contribution. She also develops her ideas on text linguistics as a theory that comes on the global level, on top of semantic and structure analyses, and deals with texts as communication systems.

In Part IV, “Pragmatics,” L.N. Seliverstova devotes her article to the speech behavior of Russian politicians, and Galina Matveeva defines the term ‘pragmalinguistics’, while Ashur Yahshiyev focuses on linguo-didactic interpretation of the dialogue. Karen Kow Yip Cheng’s article is a showcase of gender issues in Malaysian parliamentary discourse. The words related to gender, marriage, and human qualities were selected, counted, and analyzed according to whether they have positive, negative, or neutral connotations. The author paves the way for future studies to critically examine discourse that reveals gender inequality.

Part V, ”Ethnolinguistics and Translation,” contains only two articles. The article by Viktoria Tuzlukova, Ekaterina Andrienko, and Ekaterina Goosen, having explored the academic texts on education, emphasizes that the English language has become the lingua franca of academia and acknowledges the important role of terminological collocations in the educational texts.
The objective of Elena Poliakova’s article is to investigate the national and cultural ethical concepts denoted by Russian and English idioms. The analysis reveals that the ethical concepts are conditioned by realities typical of the lifestyle of the specific community, and these have found reflection in the idiom creations.

Two articles included in Part VI, “Language Teaching Methods,” point out the correction strategies of second language learners’ mistakes. Sara Servetti adopts the approach to metalanguage as a specific register used by teachers and students to motivate their choices when they cooperatively discuss corrections, especially in grammar. Styliani Tsigka and other researchers apply computational tools while studying phonological errors in Greek-speaking language impaired children.

EVALUATION

The collection is a fascinating read for specialists, students and postgraduate students majoring in the humanities, as well as those interested in issues of language, culture and language teaching methods. As the titles of the proceedings indicate, the research being undertaken in the field of linguistics is multi-dimensional and multi-directional.

The theory of language and speech is represented in synchronic and diachronic analyses and ‘deep’ and ‘surface’ structures of the different levels of languages, as well in the typological aspects of the languages belonging to different families and the search for linguistic universals. Thus, in Marina Akhanova’s article, the comparison of the category of “person-non person” is researched in the Indo European, Finno-Ugric, Altay, and Dravidian languages. The universal categories of space and time used by humans while creating their world pictures are examined in the article of Olga Melnik, and that adjectives share universal grammatical status is concluded in the article of Olga Ikonnikova. Vadim Melikyan formulates the main rules of syntactic typology of English, Russian, and Spanish phraseoschemes that allows him to extrapolate his conclusion to any language. The comparison of language and speech, the relationship of the same concept in translation, text, and discourse issues are treated in the volume as well. The comparison of French and Russian idioms allows Alexander Chervony to conclude that phraseologisms in those languages have their particular associate links, images and symbols. In the article of Anatoliy Serebryakov the problem of “semantic excessive summation” as a literature translation problem is investigated.

While the collection is a marvelous read, still, some critique may be offered. The lack of an index is a significant drawback. Only a few articles of the volume begin with the abstracts in English and the inclusion of the key words that should facilitate library search. The abstracts could definitely add to the value of the volume; otherwise, it is impossible for the researchers who are not trilingual to educate themselves on the subject matter of the scholarship.

Certain inconsistencies exist in how the authors are introduced; thus, in some cases the author represents the country—say Belarus; in other cases, a former state that does not exist anymore, as Malaya in the Federation of Malaysia; in other instances, the authors represent their employment or internship, as in European Parliament Brussel/Strasbourg or CIMEC- Universita Degli Stufdi do Trento.

Some terms should be more thoroughly defined to avoid confusion. In the article on
anglicisms (p. 170-175), it seems that the term encompasses appropriation of borrowings from English into modern Russian discourse; however, the provided illustrations contain not only well established borrowings, but examples of code-switching of Russian and English as in ‘fashion agentsvo’ or ‘sport lifestyle.’

The articles entitled “Natural vs. Cultural in English and Russian Moral Consciousness” (p. 360-366) and “Metaphor as a Means of Language World Picture Organizing” ( p. 249-255) dwell on the concepts of English and Russian linguocultures and do not take into account that the English language belongs to multiple linguocultural communities, because English is the native language not only of Great Britain, but the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and each country has its own cultural identity.

In the very interesting article “The Texts of Contemporary American Advertisements and Commercials,”( p. 241-248), the author reflects on the texts in general and illustrates her arguments with mostly newspaper and magazine ads. However, ads belong to various genres and the choice of grammatical and lexical elements, stylistics devices, and arrangements of printed and visual materials are different for newspaper ads, street billboard ads, and TV commercials. In the article “Scientific and Naïve Images of Space and Time in Russian and English Folk Texts”(p. 256-264), the definitions of “Time” and “Space” are derived from Wikipedia, though most academics, scholars, and teachers reject Wikipedia as a reliable source of information, considering it a mixture of truths, half truths, non-professional comments, and even some falsehoods.

Some spelling typos can be noticed; thus on p. 180 the text states that by 1940 two philosophical ideas appeared in Russia, i.e., Slavophilism and Westernism. In fact, this division appeared a century earlier, in 1840. Inconsistency in spelling should be avoided as well; thus, on p. 293 the last name has two orthographic forms, Kryms’kyy and Krymsky . Some translation ambiguity or vagueness is presented in various statements, such as “ the biblical texts allow for a conception of the historical background of concept” (p. 201) or “It makes absolutely no sense to mention the role played by mass media in the life of present day society”(p. 230). Grammar errors, such as noun and pronoun agreement in “Seliverstova devotes their article to the problems of speech of Russian politicians” (p. 2) should be eliminated.

Overall, diverse in research topics, sites, participants, methodologies and approaches, the volume, Collected Articles of the 3rd International Linguistics Conference, should prove to be of great use to academic writers and scholars. The strength of the volume is the attention it pays to contemporary approaches to the subfields of linguistics. Contributions come from both linguists and professional practitioners and the editors should be commended for bringing together such a group of both well-known and new scholars who shed light on language and teaching.
 
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
Irina Ustinova, PhD, is an Associate Professor at Southeast Missouri State University, USA. She has taught Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Intercultural Communication, Research in TESOL to graduate students from the United States, Brazil, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Ukraine. Her research interests include English as a global language, language of advertising, cooperative learning and teaching, semantics, the use of new technologies in the second and foreign language classroom.

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