Evolving Nature of the English Language

Studies in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics

by Robert Kiełtyka (Volume editor) Agnieszka Uberman (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 274 Pages

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Contributors
  • Part I: Studies in Theoretical Linguistics
  • Latinisms in Substandard Language (Ada Böhmerová)
  • From Man to Machine: In Search of Regularity in Semasiological Development of Professional/Occupational Names (Piotr Cymbalista)
  • Conceptual Blending in Virginia Woolf’s “Lappin and Lapinova”: Identity, Integration, Imagination (Yuliya Davydyuk)
  • London’s Linguistic Capital in Urban Visual Signs (Guntars Dreijers)
  • Verbal Zoosemy Revisited (Robert Kiełtyka)
  • The Semantics of Dog Revisited: In Search of Phraseologically Embedded Spectral Zoometaphors (Grzegorz A. Kleparski)
  • On Dagos, Limeys and Yankees: Semantic Evolution of Attributive Ethnonyms (Marcin Kudła)
  • Tracing Common-Denominator Semantics: In-Between Substantiated and Spectral Senses (Przemysław Łozowski)
  • The Analysis of Selected Swearwords: Their Meaning, Use and Functions in Various Contexts (Adam Pluszczyk / Artur Świątek)
  • The Colour of Endurance: Figurative Semantics of Green (Agnieszka Uberman)
  • Quantification and Traceability of Prepositional Meanings in English Legal Texts (Edyta Więcławska)
  • Abstract Nouns with Evaluative Meaning: Semantics and Structure (Anastasiia Yeromina)
  • Part II: Studies in Applied Linguistics
  • Translation Quality Assessment: Cultural and Linguistic Background (Vita Balama)
  • Plaisir-asation in the Polish Translation of Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (Łukasz Barciński)
  • What is Behind the Compiling of a Dictionary for a Bilingual User? (Magdaléna Bilá / Alena Kačmárová / Ingrida Vaňková)
  • Students’ Self-Generated Questions in Reciprocal Reading Tasks in L1/L2 Settings (Anna Kiszczak)
  • Instructional Designing and Modelling in Virtual Foreign Language Learning (Robert Oliwa)
  • The Marginalisation of Vulgar Language in Audio-Visual Translation (Michał Organ)
  • When Languages Interfere Too Much: On Interference and Negative Transfer in Translation (Karolina Puchała-Ladzińska)
  • Development of Early Literacy Skills in EFL: Problems and Solutions (Barbara Struk / Halina Chodkiewicz)

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The monographic study Evolving Nature of the English Language: Studies in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics presents a collection of insightful papers pertaining to the most thought-provoking problems in the areas of both theoretical and applied linguistics. The current volume comprises twenty chapters, organized into two parts.

Part I, “Studies in Theoretical Linguistics”, consists of twelve chapters devoted primarily to contemporary developments in morphological, semantic and pragmatic theorizing. The opening chapter, written by Ada Böhmerová, touches upon the problem of Latinisms in substandard Slovak. The author expresses the view that countless Latinisms have found their way into Slovak lexis, while many others are constantly being added to it as Neo-Classicisms. They are also shared with other languages as internationalisms. Among other things, the results of the research show that the presence, distribution, semantic content and communicative and pragmatic status of Latinisms in the lexical systems of Slovak and English are marked by various and complex differences.

The next chapter, written by Piotr Cymbalista, is devoted to a discussion of the semantic development of occupational names in English. The author would appear to reach the conclusion that terms denoting jobs, professions and occupations are a very potent source of the conceptualizations responsible for one clearly discernible pattern of semasiological development, namely that of the WORKER → MACHINE/IMPLEMENT. The analysed pattern of metaphorical lexical sense development may be explained through the influence of extralinguistic context on meaning conceptualization. In turn, Yuliya Davydyuk carries out an analysis of the mechanism of Conceptual Blending in Virginia Woolf’s “Lappin And Lapinova”. The author discusses the identity of the main characters with their alter egos, integration of all the events of the story and all the possible states and conditions of the main characters. The analysis also considers the role of imagination in creating the images of the protagonists which allows the reader to identify and integrate with the mental lives of the main characters.

The problems arising during the discussion of London’s linguistic capital in urban visual signs are portrayed by Guntars Dreijers. In the author’s view, texts in London’s visual signs appear in different formats, and they usually perform informative and vocative functions which elicit answers to questions of what the city talks about and how it creates urban narratives. The next chapter, authored by Robert Kiełtyka, sheds some light on the complexity of the mechanism of zoosemy ← 7 | 8 → in relation to its extension into the category VERB. It is devoted to the discussion of the mechanics of metaphor-metonymy interaction couched in terms of the theory of conceptual metaphor and metonymy where animal-related verbs are used with reference to human beings or those qualities and actions that are related to human beings. In turn, Grzegorz A. Kleparski, in his cognitively-oriented text, pursues the problem of phraseologically embedded spectral zoometaphors. Having considered a number of historically substantiated senses of dog in the context of the phraseologically embedded spectral senses singled out in the chapter, the author comes to the conclusion that they have much in common, and – not infrequently – the senses overlap, which may explain the historical centrality of certain senses and the marginal nature of others.

Marcin Kudła, in another study couched in cognitive terminology and devoted to the analysis of the semantic evolution of attributive ethnonyms argues, among other things, that stereotypes are shared within a culture, but at the same time they operate simultaneously on the cognitive level, since they are products of the mind. In the author’s view, a linguistic analysis may bring us closer to identifying the most salient elements of particular stereotypes and – possibly – to uncovering the general mechanisms which determine the formation, use and evolution of stereotypes. The chapter authored by Przemysław Łozowski discusses some aspects of the so-called common-denominator kind of lexical semantics by making an attempt to uncover Kleparski’s (this volume) proposal of incorporating spectral senses in the study of zoometaphor. The author argues that despite a few problem questions addressed in his study, Kleparski’s proposal is no doubt intriguing and it may well prove to be “a new type of analysis”.

Adam Pluszczyk and Artur Świątek offer an analysis of selected swearwords identified in English and American corpora with reference to their alleged (in)appropriateness. The authors make an attempt to determine the functions and communication goals of swearwords by addressing the problem of motivation and functions of offensive language. In turn, the chapter authored by Agnieszka Uberman is devoted to a discussion of figurative semantics of green. The analysis of lexicographic sources targeted shows that the sickness-related aspect of the colour term is peripheral, while the environmentally-related issues are largely highlighted and come to the foreground. Green is most obviously positively valued for freshness, revival and the embodiment of nature-loving attitude, as well as for the peace and serenity it evokes.

The penultimate chapter in the theoretical linguistics section is written by Edyta Więcławska who approaches quantification and traceability of prepositional meanings in English legal texts. The author makes an attempt to present the results ← 8 | 9 → of a pilot case study conducted within the framework of a larger project devoted to the examination of legal terminology in order to develop an interdisciplinary, cross-linguistically universal model of its description. The last chapter in this section, authored by Anastasiia Yeromina, is a study into the semantics and structure of abstract nouns with evaluative meaning. The research is aimed at identifying and describing semantic characteristics of the abstract evaluative nouns in the English language, as well as creating and outlining the mechanisms and patterns of the formation of abstract evaluative nouns.

Part II entitled “Studies in Applied Linguistics” is a collection of eight chapters devoted to various aspects of the methodology of teaching English as well as the various intricacies of translation. This part opens with a chapter by Vita Balama devoted to the cultural and linguistic background of translation quality assessment. The text deals with linguistic and cultural limitations which affect the translation quality of the literary work. It discusses the role of the translator in meeting the demands for qualitative translation that can satisfy the target reader. The empirical part portrays some examples from John Grisham’s novel “The Pelican Brief” and their translation into Latvian and Russian. The analysed examples point to some linguistic differences between the compared and contrasted languages which adversely affect the translation process. The next contribution, authored by Łukasz Barciński, is a study into the Polish translation of Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. The analysis carried out in the chapter shows that most of the analysed items are not recreated in the target text, which might seriously impoverish the multifaceted message of Pynchon’s works, depriving the target text readers of the access to pivotal aspects of his fiction such as Puritan intertextuality, cinematic imagery, linguistic ambiguities or narrative idiosyncrasies, to mention just a few. The research also reveals a general tendency in the translation of Gravity’s Rainbow into Polish, which might be called the plaisir-asation of the source text, to paraphrase Barthes’s term, i.e. the transformation of a readerly text into a writerly one, making it excessively intelligible and devoid of the original defamiliarisation and sense productive potential by rationalisation, conventionalisation and servile conformance to target language rules.

In the next chapter, Magdaléna Bilá, Alena Kačmárová and Ingrida Vaňková focus on the intricacies of compiling of a dictionary for a bilingual user. The aim of the research is to design a bilingual dictionary entry structure. In the authors’ conviction, since in both targeted languages conceptualization is of vital importance, a combination of techniques adopted in both bilingual and monolingual dictionaries should be brought to light. In order to test the feasibility and appropriateness of their approach, the authors conducted a survey, proposed the ← 9 | 10 → structure of the dictionary entry and made an attempt to verify their proposal by examining relevant fields and notions. The problem of students’ self-generated questions in reciprocal reading tasks in L1/L2 settings is brought under scrutiny by Anna Kiszczak. The findings presented in this chapter suggest that reciprocal teaching can yield a positive influence on EFL students’ reading comprehension skills and metacognitive awareness. The author believes that the approach can be beneficial for reading to learn and building disciplinary knowledge for both good and poor learners. These results support Palinscar and Brown’s (1984) remark that the final goal for students taking part in reciprocal teaching instruction is not the acquisition of the four strategies but being tutored how to read for meaning and how to control the level of text comprehension.

Robert Oliwa makes an attempt to provide an insight into the design and modelling of language learning and to propose a virtual model of foreign language instruction. In the author’s view, the classroom setting has acquired a completely new dimension of virtuality, mobility and shareability as a result of which instructional design is moving away from process-centeredness and creating an environment which is learner-centred. The model proposed may close the digital divide and help teachers extend the teaching process beyond the physical classroom boundaries. It also offers a discussion of the Information Technology setting, the so-called key IT considerations, which may be crucial for the implementation of the proposed model. In turn, Michał Organ’s chapter is devoted to the problem of the marginalisation of vulgar language in audio-visual translation. The author expresses the viewpoint that vulgarisms, as inherent elements of language, are becoming more and more popular in audio-visual productions, however, their translation is frequently highly marginalised, which may, in turn, significantly devalue their humorous nature. The research shows that their rendition is commonly restricted by omissions, reductions and the use of euphemisms which can both negatively affect the humorous nature of adult animated sitcoms and limit certain linguistic and cultural elements contained within the dialogue. Consequently, the viewers of translated versions of these sitcoms seem to be in a somewhat inferior position when compared to those who may enjoy viewing them in the original form.

In another translation-based chapter, Karolina Puchała-Ladzińska focuses on interference and negative transfer in students’ translation. The examples analysed by the author show not only the interference of the source language, but also the students’ insufficient knowledge of the structures, idiomatic expressions and collocations typical of their native language. A number of conclusions and implications for the teachers of translation emerge directly from the conducted research. Among these one may highlight the role of dictionaries and online resources in ← 10 | 11 → translation classes or the necessity to develop the students’ skills and knowledge of their native language in the form of a comprehensive course in Polish stylistics. The implementation of at least some of the suggested solutions might result in the future omission of errors originating due to negative transfer, and ultimately improve the competence of trainee translators.

The last chapter in this section, authored by Barbara Struk and Halina Chodkiewicz brings under scrutiny the development of early literacy skills in EFL. The discussion (undertaken in the paper) clearly implies that it is classroom teachers at EFL primary level who are in need of up-to-date research-based knowledge of the complexity of the reading acquisition processes. Their knowledge and professionalism are indispensable for taking adequate decisions in both planned and unplanned situations when learners arrive at some difficulties and need appropriate scaffolding in order to move forward. The teachers’ role in identifying basic problems in early literacy in English as a foreign language and providing efficient instructional procedures can be possible only when they become aware of such vital issues as: phonological processing in reading, L1/L2 cross-linguistic interactions and word recognition strategies.

As editors of the volume, we nurture the hope that this publication will be of interest to specialists pursuing the intricacies of both theoretical and applied linguistics. We believe that the prospective readers shall enjoy thus presented fruit of the academic research carried out by researchers of various institutions.

Last but not least, we wish to express our gratitude to Prof. Sylweter Czopek, Rector of the University of Rzeszów and to Prof. Zenon Ożóg, Dean of the Philological Faculty, for their benevolence and significant financial support.

Robert Kiełtyka

Agnieszka Uberman

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Vita Balama

Ventspils University College, Ventspils, Latvia


Łukasz Barciński

University of Rzeszów, Rzeszów, Poland



This volume presents a collection of interdisciplinary papers pertaining to the most thought-provoking problems in the areas of both theoretical and applied linguistics. The contributors focus on contemporary developments in morphological, semantic and pragmatic theorizing. The contributions are also devoted to various aspects of the methodology of teaching English as well as some intricacies of translation.


ISBN (Book)
Publication date
2016 (December)
Semantics Morphology Foreign Language Teaching Translation Pragmatics Lexicography
Frankfurt am Main, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2017. 274 pp., 16 fig., 4 tables

Biographical notes

Robert Kiełtyka (Volume editor) Agnieszka Uberman (Volume editor)

Robert Kiełtyka is Associate Professor at the Institute of English Studies, University of Rzeszów (Poland). His main research interests include diachronic semantics, cognitive linguistics and morphology-semantics interface. Agnieszka Uberman is Associate Professor at the Institute of English Studies, University of Rzeszów (Poland). Her main research interests include applied linguistics, cognitive linguistics and figurative language use.


Title: Evolving Nature of the English Language