Approaches to New Trends in Research on Catalan Studies

Linguistics, Literature, Education and Cultural Studies

by Jordi M. Antolí Martínez (Volume editor) Antonio Cortijo Ocaña (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 384 Pages


This volume gathers a superbcollection of articles on current research topicsfocused on the Catalan language andculture of the Catalan-speaking lands. The twenty contributions offer an overview of the current state of Catalan Studies and deal with medieval, early modern and contemporary Catalan literature, including the intersection of literature and painting or literature and film. There are also contributions on Linguistics, particularly inthe fields of lexicography and phraseology or neology as applied to the Catalan language. Finally, the volume includes some proposals for the improvement and promotion of the teaching of Catalan language and culture.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Contributors
  • Approaches to new trends in research on Catalan Studies. An overview (Antonio Cortijo Ocaña and Jordi M. Antolí Martínez)
  • Poems and paintings: A virtual mixture (Nieves Alberola Crespo and Vicent F. Zuriaga Senent)
  • Superstition and faith: The prayer against the plague attributed to Saint Vincent Ferrer (Carme Arronis Llopis)
  • The virtues of lexicogrammar for the analysis of somatic idioms in corpora (Xènia Escolano Marín)
  • Austere diet and the concept of [ediocrity]. On the meaning and dictionarization of some adjective locutions in Catalan and Spanish (Josep Vicent Garcia Sebastià)
  • Rex imago aequitatis: Jaume I in the Vidal Mayor (Francesc Granell Sales)
  • From En valencià to En català : The first and second online conferences for the promotion of Catalan amongst Teenagers (Dominic Keown)
  • Patients’ voices in clinical case reports on mental disorders (Adéla Koťátková)
  • From ‘bloodthirsty thief’ to ‘brave thug’: Two models of bandits in popular printed literature (Alejandro Llinares Planells)
  • The perception of connotations in lexical innovations (Elisabet Llopart-Saumell)
  • Domesticating translation from the periphery towards the center: The translation of Cocori by Joaquín Gutiérrez into German in times of the GDR (Belén Lozano Sañudo)
  • Masculinity and Catalan modernist literature: Dandyism in Alfons Maseras’s Edmon (1908) (Antoni Maestre Brotons)
  • A reflection on theatricality in Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (Robert March)
  • Bilingual dictionary of geographical accidents in the literary work of Enric Valor (Joan de Déu Martines Llinares)
  • Phraseology to express corruption and falseness: Sermó by Bernat Metge, with its philological translation into Spanish as a methodological base (Vicent Martines)
  • The power of storytelling. Some aspects of James I’s Llibre dels Fets as a transmedia storytelling with educational purposes and social and political psychology (Rosabel Martinez-Roig, Gladys Merma-Molina, and Mayra Urrea-Solano)
  • Francisco Climent Pons (1885–1946). Diaries of a Valencian rural physician: Biographical approach and texts selection (Jacob Mompó Navarro)
  • Narrative techniques and aims of the discourse on military expeditions and coastal defense in Ramon Muntaner’s Crònica (1328) (Veronica Orazi)
  • Ramon Llull’s El llibre del gentil e dels seus savis in Bernat Metge’s Lo Somni . A prelude to the origins of Christian Humanism (Manuel Ortuño Arregui)
  • Teaching history in early childhood education: A research proposal on educational practice in classrooms for children aged three to five years (Santiago Ponsoda López de Atalaya, Marcos Jesús Iglesias Martínez, Inés Lozano Cabezas and Rocío Diez Ros)
  • Guilty pleasure : Framing collocations in phraseology (Elena Sánchez-López)

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List of contributors

Nieves Alberola Crespo

Universitat Jaume I de Castelló, alberola@uji.es

Jordi M. Antolí Martínez

Universitat d’Alacant, ISIC-IVITRA, jordi.antoli@ua.es

Carme Arronis Llopis

Universitat d’Alacant, arronis@ua.es

Antonio Cortijo Ocaña

University of California, Santa Barbara, amcortijo@aim.com

Rocío Diez Ros

Universitat d’Alacant/Universidad de Alicante, Rocio.diez@ua.es

Xènia Escolano Marín

University of Alicante, ISIC-IVITRA, xenia.escolano@ua.es

Josep Vicent Garcia Sebastià

Universitat d’Alacant, ISIC-IVITRA, josepv.garcia@ua.es

Francesc Granell Sales

Universitat de València, francesc.granell@uv.es

Marcos Jesús Iglesias Martínez

Universitat d’Alacant/Universidad de Alicante, marcos.iglesias@ua.es

Dominic Keown

Fitzwilliam College (Cambridge), dk209@cam.ac.uk

Adéla Koťátková

Universitat Jaume I, López Piñero Inter-University Institute, adela.kotatkova@uji.es

Alejandro Llinares Planells

University of Malaga, a.llinares@uma.es←9 | 10→

Elisabet Llopart-Saumell

Universitat d’Alacant/Universitat Pompeu Fabra, ISIC-IVITRA

Inés Lozano Cabezas

Universitat d’Alacant/Universidad de Alicante, Ines.Lozano@ua.es

Belén Lozano Sañudo

Universitat de València, belen.lozano@uv.es

Antoni Maestre Brotons

University of Alicante, antoni.maestre@ua.es

Robert March

Universitat de València, Robert.March@uv.es

Joan de Déu Martines Llinares

Universitat d’Alacant, ISIC-IVITRA, jd.martines@ua.es

Vicent Martines

Universitat d’Alacant, ISIC-IVITRA, IIFV, IEC, RABLB

Rosabel Martinez-Roig

University of Alicante

Gladys Merma-Molina

University of Alicante

Jacob Mompó Navarro

Universitat Catòlica de València, jacob.mompo@ucv.es

Veronica Orazi

University of Turin, ISIC-IVITRA, IEC, veronica.orazi@unito.it

Manuel Ortuño Arregui

Instituto Superior de Ciencias y Educación (CUISCE), Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias Religiosas de la Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial

Santiago Ponsoda López de Atalaya

Universitat d’Alacant/Universidad de Alicante, Santiago.ponsoda@ua.es←10 | 11→

Elena Sánchez-López

University of Alicante, ISIC-IVITRA, elena.sanchez@ua.es

Mayra Urrea-Solano

University of Alicante

Vicent F. Zuriaga Senent

Universidad Católica de Valencia, vicent.zuriaga@ucv.es

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Antonio Cortijo Ocaña and Jordi M. Antolí Martínez

Approaches to new trends in research on Catalan Studies. An overview1

The reader has in his hands a volume of collected essays on Catalan cultural studies that delves into the history and language of the Catalan-speaking lands from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. A combination of novel approaches from the literary, linguistic and educational fields contributes to offering a view of this territory as a dynamic place fully immersed in contemporary research trends. The articles can be distributed within three main fields of study.


Representing the great wealth and quality of medieval and early modern Catalan letters, five articles deal with topics such as history, humanism, and superstition, and with authors such as Jaime I, Llull, or Metge. Manuel Ortuño Arregui, in his ‘Ramon Llull’s El llibre del gentil e dels seus savis in Bernat Metge’s Lo Somni. A Prelude to the Origins of Christian Humanism,’ explores the role of the Majorcan philosopher Ramon Llull as an interreligious figure. He analyzes the Llibre del gentil i dels seus savis as a forerunner of Christian Humanism in the Crown of Aragon. In particular, Ortuño studies the influence of this work on Metge’s Lo Somni through some structural and formal intertextualities that evince the value and relevance of the gentile figure in Llull’s philosophical, moral and even ethical thought. For this critic, Llull represents ←13 | 14→the prelude to the ideological opening towards rationality that will become a key element of Christian Humanism.

Carme Arronis, in her ‘Superstition and Faith: the Prayer against the Plague Attributed to Saint Vincent Ferrer,’ studies in detail the so-called Oración contra la peste attributed to the Valencian saint, from its uncertain medieval origins related to superstition to its use as a devout prayer in the modern period. Arronis studies how the ecclesiastical authorities approached the use of unregulated prayers and the efforts of inquisitors and hagiographers to turn this Oración contra la peste into an orthodox devotion.

Francesc Granell Sales, in his ‘Rex imago aequitatis: Jaume I in the Vidal Mayor,’ studies the famous illuminated manuscript that contains the Furs of Aragon. The author explores the close link between its iconography, the political intentions of Jaume I, and the theses of Salisbury’s Policraticus, the best-known mirror for princes in late medieval Europe.

Veronica Orazi, in her ‘Narrative Techniques and Aims of the Discourse on Military Expeditions and Coastal Defense in Ramon Muntaner’s Crònica (1328),’ studies how Muntaner’s personal experience of war was reflected in his chronicle through what this scholar calls the technologization and the literarization of the events described. She pays attention to the defense during the Crusade against the Crown of Aragon (1283–1285), the narrative of the conquest of Djerba and the Kerkennah Islands (1309–1314), the campaign of Sardinia and Corsica (1323–1324), and the expedition of the Catalan Company to the East (1303–1308). The latter one, in concrete, summarizes all the features utilized by the author and represents one of the highest moments of the whole Crònica.

Àlex Llinares Planells, in his ‘From “bloodthirsty thief” to “brave thug”: two models of bandits in popular printed literature,’ studies the figure of the bandit in popular printed literature in the modern period. According to the author, bandits and nobility factions created an atmosphere of violence and insecurity in most of the territories of the Crown of Aragon during the first centuries of the early modern period. The way the bandit was portrayed in popular literature depended on the moment ballads were printed and on the person or institution interested in their dissemination. In order to explore the similarities and differences among different cultural models of bandits, the author studies the cordel printings on the 16th-century Catalan bandit Antoni Roca and those on the 17th-century Valencian bandit Vicent Benet. While both were important chieftains of gangs of outlaws and were connected to nobility factions, the cultural presentation of each of them was very different.

Four more articles explore modern Catalan literature. Joan de Déu Martines Llinares, in his ‘Bilingual Dictionary of Geographical Accidents in the Literary ←14 | 15→Work of Enric Valor,’ offers us a Catalan/English dictionary of the lexicon related to geographical accidents in Enric Valor’s literary works done with the help of the Corpus Informatitzat Multilingüe de Textos Antics i Contemporanis (CIMTAC) of ISIC-IVITRA, which allowed him to compile the corpus of literary works of Enric Valor (COLEV).

Jacob Mompó Navarro, in ‘Francisco Climent Pons (1885–1946). Diaries of a Valencian rural physician: biographical approach and texts selection,’ studies the recovery of memorial writing as a means to contemplating first-hand the culture, mentality, and traditions of the people who lived in a particular period. In his case, he focuses on a selection of the texts that Francisco Climent Pons, a Valencian rural doctor, wrote between 1893 and 1902.

Antoni Maestre Brotons, in ‘Masculinity and Catalan modernist literature: dandyism in Alfons Maseras’s Edmon (1908),’ analyzes how Edmon embodies one of the most well-known literary archetypes of the 19th century: the dandy. He studies the ways in which Edmon, as a dandy, prefigures some aspects of the consumer and spectacular society of the 20th century, and his criticism to the Catalan social backwardness, as well as his disapproval of middle-class values (chiefly, utilitarianism and industriousness), thus providing a remarkable example of the decadent hero, an epitome of the art for art’s sake ideal which, along with vitalism, emerges as the main trend of Catalan modernist literature.

Belén Lozano Sañudo, in ‘Domesticating translation from the periphery towards the center: the translation of Cocori by Joaquín Gutiérrez in times of the GDR,’ studies a classic of Costa Rican children’s literature Cocori by Joaquín Gutierrez with its translation into German published during the days of the GDR. She shows how translation is used to create an image of the dominated culture as inferior and by doing so to legitimate the hierarchical relation between cultures/languages. This is accomplished on the one hand by choosing those originals to be translated that best match the preconceived idea of the colonizing power and on the other by the use of domestication, which can be seen as a means of fighting against the cultural dominance of the metropolis, or a way of erasing any trace of foreign origin and thus perpetuating cultural imperialism.

Two articles attempt an approach between literary and film studies, and literature and painting. Robert March, in ‘A reflection on theatricality in Ingman Bergman’s The Seventh Seal,’ studies how Ingmar Bergman has reflected remarkably on existentialism and death in The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet, 1975), a film that approaches death through theatricality where the masks and the game of chess appear as a background. March reflects on the ←15 | 16→forms that this theatricality takes in a film which has the Middle Age as the setting and the dance of death as the end. Nieves Alberola Crespo and Vicent F. Zuriaga Senent, in ‘Poems and Paintings: A Virtual Mixture,’ study how over the years the experience of traveling has evolved, and as a consequence, poets and painters have worked with visual and poetic images to offer their personal visions with the aim of starting a dialogue and questioning the convictions and routines of the viewers/readers in a never ending voyage towards further spaces and cultures. This article allows a visual mixture, an in-road into the essence of the works of a selection of well-known artists from the artistic and literary establishment.


The article by Martines utilizes the Middle Ages as an excuse to delve into issues of linguistics and thus serves as an introduction to the four additional essays that deal with this topic in this collection. Vicent Martines, in his ‘Phraseology to express corruption and falseness: Sermó by Bernat Metge, with the philological translation into Spanish as a methodological base,’ studies the Sermó by Bernat Metge, the famous secretary of the Royal Chancery of the Crown of Aragon. While we could expect from a sermon a praise of virtue, Metge uses irony and even cynicism to preach the opposite, that is deception, falseness, and corruption. The author pays particular attention to the use of proverbs in the Sermó.

Elisabet Llopart-Saumell, in ‘The perception of connotations in lexical innovations,’ analyzes the perception of connotations in lexical innovations (i.e. neologisms). The results of her study show that there is a higher degree of coincidence among participants when the neologisms are classified with connotative categories (informal, personal, subjective, and ideological) than with non-connotative (formal, general, objective, and neutral). In this sense, the morphological, semantic, pragmatic, and discursive characteristics of the neologisms and their context of use guide the pragmatic interpretation of these new or recent words even if the receivers are not acquainted with them, since the linguistic strategies followed by the speakers do provide relevant data about their communicative intention.

Elena Sánchez López, in ‘Guilty pleasure: framing collocations in Phraseology,’ gives collocations their place in phraseology. Through the application of a frequency-based methodology she identifies combinations with the word pleasure. By means of Sketch Engine corpus manager and text analysis tools, she generates its collocations, extracted by frequency (with N-grams) and by distributional significance (with Word Sketch). She selects one of the ←16 | 17→most significant ones, guilty pleasure, and analyzes it within the theoretical framework of phraseology, providing some clues for a better integration of collocations within phraseology.

Josep Vicent Garcia Sebastià, in ‘Austere Diet and the Concept of [mediocrity]. On the Meaning and Dictionarization of Some Adjective Locutions in Catalan and Spanish,’ analyzes the adjective locutions de pa sucat amb oli and de chichinabo from a pragmatic and diachronic point of view through examples taken from linguistic corpora and contemporary newspapers. It can be observed that both locutions have developed more or less equivalent meanings associated to the idea of [mediocre] and other similar values, taking as a point of departure a common semantic node that refers to [food]. Because not all the usages analyzed in this article are included in the reference dictionaries, the author stresses the importance of offering precise information in the lexicographic entries referred to these locutions.

Xènia Escolano Marín, in ‘The Virtues of Lexicogrammar for the Analysis of Somatic Idioms in Corpora,’ applies lexicogrammar to the analysis of the Catalan somatic idiom obrir els ulls and its equivalent in English based on the occurrences of this unit in CTILC for Catalan and BNC for English, using a tagging recognized by NLP systems. This semasiological characterization of idioms helps to determine their semantic value and morphosyntactic combinatorial possibilities going from language to abstraction, considering the differences of conceptualization between Catalan and English and their equivalence relationship.


Three more articles focus on education as the main topic either promoting history in early education, the role of storytelling in medieval and contemporary narratives and its utility for the management of emotions and the mind in terms of social pedagogy, and the use of Catalan among teenagers. Dominic Keown, in ‘From En valencià to En català: The First and Second Online Conferences for the Promotion of Catalan amongst Teenagers,’ analyzes how the field of Modern Languages has seen its prestige devalued as a subject in secondary and tertiary education in both the United Kingdom and Spain over the past half century. Successive governments have done little to arrest this decline – particularly acute with regard to minority languages – which coincides with an insidious, institutional critique of Arts-orientated disciplines now commonly known as the Crisis of the Humanities. In the UK the notion of Impact, where funding for research no longer depends on intrinsic academic value but rather on the relevance to an identifiable constituency outside the ←17 | 18→Faculty, is emblematic of this mindset. This article assesses the success of a pilot project which, availing itself of such funding, sought to arrest linguistic substitution in the Catalan-speaking areas by demonstrating to school leavers the international prestige of the vernacular via a series of online conferences organized by Cambridge University with the participation of academics, from universities in Europe and the USA, in a medium which demonstrated the suitability of the language for the present century.

Rosabel Martinez-Roig, Gladys Merma-Molina and Mayra Urrea-Solano, in ‘The Power of Storytelling. Some Aspects of James I’s Llibre dels Fets as a Transmedia Storytelling with Educational Purposes and Social and Political Psychology,’ analyze the keys of storytelling in connection to the usefulness of classics for the management of emotions and the mind in terms of social pedagogy and its application to social psychology. They use several examples of contemporary transmedia storytelling and of medieval storytelling in James I the Conqueror’s Llibre dels Fets.

Santiago Ponsoda López de Atalaya, Marcos Jesús Iglesias Martínez, Inés Lozano Cabezas and Rocío Diez Ros, in ‘Teaching history in early childhood education: A research proposal on educational practice in classrooms for children aged three to five years,’ describe a project that focuses on the analysis of teaching practices related to the teaching and learning of historical content in the second cycle of early childhood education – that is, for children aged three to five years.

Finally, Adéla Kot’átková delves into storytelling and discourse analysis in her ‘Patients’ Voices in Clinical Case Reports on Mental Disorders.’ She analyzes how healthcare professionals have developed a genre for sharing the clinical experience of their medical community for didactic and research purposes. This is the clinical case report (CCR), a highly specialized document with specific rhetorical features. One key characteristic of the genre is that it presents the case of one or more patients. The CCR is therefore not a quantitative study but a storytelling exercise focusing on these patients. Beneath the narrative structure constructed by the healthcare professional – who becomes a narrator – lies the original narrative articulated by the patients or their companions and relatives. This original narrative can be observed in several ways in the published text. The patient’s original words may be paraphrased or translated from colloquial language into the specific technolect of the discursive community, or reproduced in various degrees of precision, literality and exhaustivity. From the discourse analysis perspective, the authors’ choices can be correlated with their communicative purposes, the concept of discourse colonization, and the trends of humanization and dehumanization in health ←18 | 19→care. From this conceptual framework and using a corpus of CCR from several mental health disciplines, the author reviews the strategies that are used to incorporate the patients’ voices into this genre.


Literature, History, Education, Linguistics, Film Studies, and Healthcare are intertwined in this collection of essays on the language and history of the Catalan-speaking lands. Medieval chroniclers and writers, early modern popular literature, memorial writing, modernist dandies, and children’s literature combine with the study of phraseology, neologisms, lexicogrammar, collocations, and adjective locutions, as well as with the analysis of the didactic and mental function and usefulness of history and storytelling to showcase the absolute importance of the Humanities in a period when its value has been uncritically brought into question.

Biographical notes

Jordi M. Antolí Martínez (Volume editor) Antonio Cortijo Ocaña (Volume editor)

Antonio Cortijo Ocaña is a professor at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His work deals at large with the analysis of the ideological foundation of the early modern period. He also specializes in medieval and classical studies. He is the author of over 50 monographs and more than 150 articles. He is the founder of eHumanista (see www.ehumanista.ucsb.edu). Jordi M. Antolí Martínez is a professor and researcher at the Department of Catalan Studies of the University of Alicante and member of the Institut Superior d’Investigació Cooperativa IVITRA (ISIC-IVITRA). His work deals with the analysis of Catalan diachronic linguistics, cognitive linguistics and construction grammar.


Title: Approaches to New Trends in Research on Catalan Studies