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Language in Research and Teaching

Proceedings from the CALS Conference 2016

Edited By Marija Brala Vukanović and Anita Memišević

This book aims at bridging language research and language teaching and contains four sections. It opens with two papers which relate language to literature: one exploring childlike language, the second investigating the distinction between literary and non-literary text categorization principles. Next are the papers on multicultural and sociolinguistic topics, including a paper on English as an international language, and two papers on the perception of bilingualism in education. The third thematic section explores semantics, with two papers on prefixes and one on metaphor. The final thematic section is dedicated to syntax, with one paper on complex predicates, one on syntactic complexity in spontaneous spoken language and one of Croatian null and overt subject pronouns.

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Childlike language: What it is and how it conquered the world (Željka Flegar)


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Željka Flegar

Facuty of Education, University of Osijek

Childlike language: What it is and how it conquered the world

Abstract: The term childlike language denotes a type of literary discourse that is used by popular adult authors of children’s fiction as a means of communication and rapport with their young readers (Flegar 2015a). It is marked by various linguistic deviations, the semiotic as defined by Julia Kristeva, as well as its neologistic quality related to Bakhtin’s concept of the carnivalesque. The language used by the authors who gladly identify with their readers and engage in experimentation with meaning and form, such as Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, J. M. Barrie, Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, Roald Dahl, or J. K. Rowling, encompasses the playful and subversive usage of onomatopoeia and sound patterns, puns, riddles, orthographic alterations, portmanteau words, nonsense, hyperbole, and neologisms. By way of cross-media synergy, as well as inter- and hypertextuality of literary texts, the usage of childlike language extends beyond the pages of a book and has a profound effect on cultural trends. Disseminated by way of electronic media and visible particularly in the vernacular of advertising, childlike language reinforces the sacralisation of childhood (Zelizer 1985) and the concept of kidulthood which emerged in the first decade of 21st century (BBC 2010). Research shows that as the attitude towards children’s culture and its products dramatically changed over the past two centuries, so has the process of growing up....

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