Jobs: Cognitive Science; General Linguistics: Lecturer, Emory University

Published: September 19th, 2014

University or Organization: Emory University
Department: Program in Linguistics
Job Location: Georgia, USA
Web Address:
Job Title: Lecturer in Linguistics, Language and Cognition
Job Rank: Lecturer

Specialty Areas: Cognitive Science; General Linguistics


The Program in Linguistics at Emory University invites applications for the
position of Lecturer to begin fall 2015. We seek an exceptional teacher with a
commitment to research. Preference will be given to candidates with expertise
in language and cognition who will be able to teach courses in First or Second
Language acquisition, Foundations of Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, and/or
Brain and Language. The initial appointment will be for a period of three
years with renewals and promotions possible within the lecture-track system,
as detailed in the Emory College of Arts and Sciences Guidelines for
Appointment of Lecture-Track Faculty

Responsibilities will include: 1) teaching five semester courses per academic
year (2-3); 2) supporting administration of the undergraduate program, and 3)
participating in the life of the College through academic service. Candidates
must have a Ph.D. in Linguistics or a related field.

Applicants should send a 1) cover letter, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) teaching
portfolio, including a statement of teaching philosophy, sample syllabi, and
numerical teaching evaluations from past courses, if available, and 4) three
letters of recommendation (which can be directly emailed) to the email address
below. Questions may be directed to Phillip Wolff, Cognitive Search Committee

Review of applications will begin November 15, 2014. Applications received up
to 30 days after review begins date will be given full consideration. We
expect to conduct interviews at LSA.

Emory University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Disability/Veteran
employer. Women, minorities, persons with disabilities and veterans are
encouraged to apply.

Application Deadline: 15-Nov-2014

Email Address for Applications:
Contact Information:
Dr. Phillip Wolff
Phone: 404-727-7904

LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3660

Jobs: Spanish; Applied Linguistics; Translation: Lecturer, The University of Sydney

Published: September 19th, 2014

University or Organization: The University of Sydney
Department: Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies
Job Location: Sydney, Australia
Web Address:
Job Title: Lecturer in Spanish and Latin American Studies
Job Rank: Lecturer

Specialty Areas: Applied Linguistics; Translation

Required Language(s): Spanish (spa)


School of Languages and Cultures
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Reference No. 1814/0914

- Be part of a dynamic department in the School of Languages and Cultures
- Have a significant role in developing language pedagogy within the
Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies
- Full-time, continuing, remuneration package: $110K – 131K p.a. (including
salary, leave loading and up to 17% superannuation)

The School of Languages and Cultures (SLC) in The Faculty of Arts and Social
Sciences offers the widest range of undergraduate and postgraduate language
studies in Australia and is a centre for European, Latin American, Asian and
Middle Eastern Studies.

The Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies is seeking to appoint a
scholar who will complement and enhance the department’s reputation in
teaching and in research. We are particularly looking for an expert in
language teaching methodology, particularly in the pedagogy of Spanish as
Second Language, Applied Linguistics and/or translation. Also of interest is
an ability to teach/coordinate cultural units with a focus on Spain.

In this role you will:
- Maintain a research profile compatible with the department’s research
- Supervise honours and postgraduate research students in Spanish and/or Latin
American Studies
- Contribute to core units in the Spanish and Latin American Studies majors
- Develop one or more elective units for inclusion in the Spanish and Latin
American Studies major. Areas of focus should reflect your area of expertise,
with specific emphasis on language pedagogy and on the culture of Spain.

To secure this role you will have:
- A PhD in hand in Spanish or Hispanic Studies
- A high level of fluency in Spanish and English
- Experience in designing and teaching Spanish-language courses with
demonstrated success in promoting student retention and achieving high levels
of language competency
- A good record of peer-reviewed publications relative to opportunity
- Demonstrated ability, relative to opportunity, to develop and maintain an
active research program including research grant applications
- Evidence of capacity to work flexibly and collaboratively in a team
environment, to teach at different levels and assume roles in administration
and planning in the department and school.

Desirable for appointment is your:
- Record of successful honours and research student supervision
- Demonstrated administrative skills.

The position is full-time, continuing, subject to the completion of a
satisfactory probation and confirmation period for new appointees. Membership
of a university-approved superannuation scheme is a condition of appointment
for new appointees.

Remuneration package Lecturer (Academic Level B): $110,802 – $131,575 p.a.
(which includes a base salary of $93,629 – $111,182 p.a., leave loading and up
to 17% employer’s contribution to superannuation).

For full details and to apply visit the application website below and search
by the reference number 1814/0914.

Closing Date: 12 October 2014 (11.30pm Sydney time)

The University is an equal opportunity employer committed to equity, diversity
and social inclusion. Applications from equity target groups and women are
encouraged. The University of Sydney has also established a scheme to increase
the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff employed across the
institution. Applications from people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
descent are encouraged.

© The University of Sydney

Application Deadline: 12-Oct-2014

Web Address for Applications:

LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3663

Confs: Computational Ling, Semantics, Philosophy of Lang, Discourse Analysis, Pragmatics/France

Published: September 19th, 2014

Workshop in Honor of Hans Kamp

Date: 08-Oct-2014 – 08-Oct-2014
Location: Nancy, France
Contact: maxime amblard
Contact Email:
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Philosophy of Language; Pragmatics; Semantics

Meeting Description:

Workshop in honor of Hans Kamp

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Salle internationale, MSH-Lorraine, Nancy

On the occasion of the award of a Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the University of Lorraine, we organise a workshop in honor of Hans Kamp.

Hans Kamp (Johan Anthony Willem Kamp) is a Dutch philosopher, linguist and logician. His work in formal semantics, most notably his Discourse Representation Theory, is widely used both in linguistics and in natural language processing.

After studying physics, mathematics and logic in the Netherlands, Hans Kamp joined the University of California at Los Angeles, where he did his PhD under the supervision of Richard Montague, obtaining his degree in 1968.

Over the next two decades, Hans Kamp taught at various universities, including Cornell, Amsterdam, London and Austin (Texas). In 1988, he obtained a professorship in formal logic and philosophy of language at the University of Stuttgart. He held this position until 2008, when he became professor emeritus.

Since 2008, Hans Kamp is an associate researcher (Senior Research Fellow) at the Center for Cognitive Science at the University of Stuttgart. He is now a visiting professor at the University of Texas in Austin.

Hans Kamp’s relations with the University of Lorraine are manyfold. Indeed, his work is known to the linguists (ATILF) as well as to the philosophers (Archives Poincaré) and the computer scientists (LORIA).

The workshop will be held in the International Room of the MSH-Lorraine. Talks will be in English.

The workshop is organised by Archives Poincaré, LORIA and ATILF, and it is supported by MSH-Lorraine, Université de Lorraine, CNRS and INRIA.

Program and registration are available here:


09:00 – 09:30
Registration and opening

09:30 – 10:20
Bart Geurts
Dynamics and bridging

10:20 – 11:10
Nicholas Asher

11:10 – 11:30 Coffee break

11:30 – 12:20
Irène Heim

12:20 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 14:50
Klaus von Heusinger
Beyond indefiniteness: indefinites and their discourse structuring potential

14:50 – 15:30
Paul Dekker
Natural Deduction

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break

16:00 – 16:50
Hans Kamp
From Discourse Interpretation to Verbal Communication

16:50 – 17:00

LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3641

Jobs: Russian; Computational Linguistics: Senior Computational Linguist, NTENT

Published: September 19th, 2014

University or Organization: NTENT
Department: Semantic Team
Job Location: California, USA
Web Address:
Job Title: Russian Computational Linguist
Job Rank: Senior Computational Linguist

Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics

Required Language(s): Russian (rus)


NTENT is looking for a Senior Russian speaking Computational Linguist who
would be responsible for providing support for a number of Russian language
applications such as a semantic search engine. This is a full-time and on-site
position located in Carlsbad, California.

- Lead a geographically distributed team of Russian speaking linguists working
on all major aspects of natural language processing in Russian:
tokenization/stemming, part of speech tagging, parsing, semantic analysis
(semantic role labeling, disambiguation, etc.) and translation.
- Work closely with a team of developers to ensure the compatibility of the
delivered results with the core technology.
- Identify requirements, priorities and deliverables for tasks and subprojects
and report regularly on the progress of the stated deliverables.

- A Ph.D. degree in Computational Linguistics/Natural Language Processing or a
Masters degree with at least 3 years of research/industry experience with
information retrieval, text analytics, or machine translation.
- A track record of leading or coordinating projects in natural language
processing/computational linguistics in Russian or Slavic languages.
- A native speaker of Russian.
- Fluency in English.
- Knowledge of open-source or proprietary NLP packages for Russian (stemmers,
taggers, parsers, semantic analyzers, etc.)

- Familiarity with programming in languages like Perl, C/C++, Java or Python.
- Experience with ontology engineering or formal semantic representation.
- Knowledge of machine learning techniques.
- Experience with disambiguation technology.
- Experience with named entity recognition.

We offer a full comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental and
vision.  Employees receive three weeks of vacation, generous sick days plan
and 9 holidays per year.  We also offer 401(k) benefits, long term disability
benefits and life insurance.

Application Deadline: 31-Mar-2015 (Open until filled)

Email Address for Applications:
Contact Information:
Talent Acquisition Jeff Korte

LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3643

Confs: French, Phonetics, Phonology, Socioling, Applied Ling, Text/Corpus Ling/Belgium

Published: September 19th, 2014

French Prosody in Contact

Date: 30-Oct-2014 – 30-Oct-2014
Location: Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Contact: Marie-Catherine Michaux
Contact Email:
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; Phonetics; Phonology; Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Subject Language(s): French (fra)

Meeting Description:

The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers working on the prosody of French in contact with other languages, and the prosody of other languages in contact with French. The notion of two languages being in contact is deliberately understood in its broadest sense, including the phenomena observed in areas where French is spoken concurrently with other languages and the interaction between an individual speaker’s L1 and L2 during language learning.

During the workshop, specialists and young researchers will come together to present the results of studies on prosody when French is found in contact with:

- African languages (Swahili, Lingala, Kirundi);
- Germanic languages (Norwegian, German, Dutch, English);
- Romance languages (Italian, Spanish).

The workshop highlights corpus-based approaches, with authentic speaker productions from L1 and L2/learner corpora, while many of the presentations focus on perceptual experiments to assess issues such as the perception of regional accent, stress deafness and fluency.

We hope that the workshop will foster a fruitful debate on aspects of the French prosodic system (such as initial stress, prosodic contours, rhythm etc.) and will highlight the theoretical and methodological issues inherent in the study of prosody in contact (e.g. the effects of the typological distance between source and target language, difficulties in assessing the existence of prosodic transfer etc.).

George Christodoulides (Valibel, UCL)
Marie-Catherine Michaux (Valibel, UCL)
Mathieu Avanzi (Valibel, UCL & LLF, U. Paris Diderot)
Anne Catherine Simon (Valibel, UCL)

LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3646

Review: Historical Linguistics; Sociolinguistics: Prifti (2013)

Published: September 19th, 2014

AUTHOR: Elton  Prifti
TITLE: Italoamericano [Italian-American: Italian and English in Contact in the United States. A Migrational and Diachronic Analysis of Variation]
SUBTITLE: Italiano e inglese in contatto negli USA. Analisi diacronica variazionale e migrazionale
SERIES TITLE: De Gruyter Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 375
PUBLISHER: De Gruyter Mouton
YEAR: 2013

REVIEWER: Mauro Giuffre, (MIUR) Ministero dell’Istruzione Università e Ricerca

Review’s Editor: Anthony Aristar

At the beginning of his preface Tullio De Mauro calls attention to the phrase
with which Elton Prifti concludes his essay: “Italian American is thus to be
considered in its entirety as a set of hierarchically interrelated varieties
of contact with a particularly dynamic graduated structure.” These words
represent the concept that the author’s research intends to demonstrate and
what, in De Mauro’s view, has been demonstrated successfully. Every word of
this conclusion deserves serious attention because it is the product of
careful research and analysis, much of which was performed first -hand.

Prifti uses the term Italian -American in a way similar to the way it is used
in Italy. For Italians, Italian- American is the name that is given to the
language varieties that have arisen among people in the United States of
Italian origin. The author’s inquiry examines precisely this context and
explores in a global perspective the various phases of Italian migration and
its various territorial aggregations. As Prifti pointed out, the adjective in
question, which in Italian is commonly used as a noun (and refers to people or
language), reveals only a portion of a more complex configuration. In fact,
the flow of emigration from Italy went not only in the direction of the United
States, but also toward other countries on the American continents, especially
after 1861, the year of Italian political unity.

Compared to many other studies that are more or less based on particular
situations of contact between the Italo -Romance of immigrants and the
dominant American English, Prifti’s study is something new and motivates us to
pay attention to conserving a sense of wholeness, of completeness, across time
and space. In this perspective, Italian- American is seen not as a unique
variety, but rather as a diachronic succession and a synchronic coexistence of
different varieties, in which a set of varieties can be identified. An
analysis of this set, portions of which speakers are aware of in varying
degrees, reveals a certain internal order: it appears to be an articulated set
of varieties related to each other within a hierarchical structure. Indeed,
the entire set gives evidence of dynamism, graduality in its internal
succession and the coexistence of distinct varieties within migrant

To demonstrate the proposition quoted above, Prifti makes use of a solid
theoretical framework and a broad and profound process of acquisition and
presentation of hard facts. His theoretical framework is based on the
reconsideration of the Aristotelian -Humboldtian vision defined by Coseriu,
which relies on the distinction between linguistic knowledge, behavior and
product. It therefore analyses separately the linguistic knowledge of speakers
(their awareness and competence), their linguistic behavior (the different
manners of use) and the products of that linguistic behavior (i.e. the genesis
of variant forms, examined by identifying the most frequent prototypical
phenomena). The author’s far -reaching acquisition and presentation of data,
whose successful completion is in itself already a great merit, has produced
an imposing mass of data. It constitutes an important collection of interviews
conducted between 1999 and 2010 in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York,
San Francisco and elsewhere in the states of New Jersey and Florida, enhanced
by the addition of documental research (historical and demographic) and
research on private, literary and paraliterary texts.

With this documentation, analyzed using the theoretical framework indicated
above, Prifti defines three phases in the development of Italian- American:
1) The diglossic phase = Italo -Romance dialectal monolingualism (every
immigrant group was the bearer of an exclusive use of its native dialect) come
into contact with American English.
2) The triglossic phase = migrants bring both a single Italian dialect and a
certain degree of knowledge of Italian into contact with English.
3) The current phase = new diglossia derive from the contact between Italian
and American English.

Prifti clearly shows that the three phases have overlappings and gradual
intertwinings. These overlappings and intertwinings have become layered in the
awareness and common use of the speakers.

The analytical capacity of Prifti is reflected in the balanced internal
organization of his book: the first part briefly describes the theoretical and
methodological grounds for his research and traces a historical synthesis of
Italian emigration to the United States (pp. 1 -127); the second part,
Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7 (pp. 128 -376), is focused on the impressive amount of
data that he has acquired and presented here; in the third part (Chapter 8),
the author presents an overview of the results achieved (pp. 377 -382), which
stem from his organization of the collected data; the volume concludes with
two additional chapters (pp. 383- 447), which explain the instruments used for
the field survey and provide tools to facilitate consultation of his work
(bibliography, index of names, places, and words).

The first part, of course, goes beyond the field of “Italian linguistics and
dialectology” to embrace the broader field of theoretical linguistics. With
sound doctrine, Prifti condenses the theoretical basis he refers to into a
lucid presentation of about 15 pages (pp. 58- 71). Starting from Aristotle’s
book θ and recalling the concepts of δύναμις, ἐνέργεια, and ἔργον, Prifti
establishes links with both von Humboldt and Hegel. He states that “the
distinction between synchrony and diachrony is [...] to be considered
artificial” (p. 60) and reminds us that Humboldt operates at a diachronic
level. The author then points out that Lausberg, with Aristotelian thought as
his starting point, distinguishes three perspectives of descriptive language,
which are defined by Coseriu respectively as linguistic behaviour (Tätigkeit),
linguistic knowledge (Wissen), and linguistic product (Produkt). Prifti
distinguishes the position of Coseriu from that of Lausberg: the latter,
followed by Prifti, supports the idea of a hierarchization (linguistic
knowledge -linguistic behavior -linguistic product), which corresponds to the
δύναμις-ἐνέργεια-ἔργον triad indicated by Aristotle.

Stehl 2012 developed a functional descriptive model that discriminates three
levels of variation: 1) competence of the variation; 2) pragmatics of the
variation; 3) linguistics of the variation. Stehl’s model was borrowed from
the pluridimensional linguistics of migration (PLM) elaborated by Prifti,
which puts the speaker at the center of attention and goes beyond perceptual
variational linguistics.

It is possible to adequately describe the dynamics of linguistic contacts as
ensuing from a quadruple perception of language as knowledge (δύναμις),
behavior (ἐνέργεια), product (ἔργον), and identity (οὐσία), upon which the
pluridimensional linguistics of migration (PLM) relies. The pluridimensional
linguistics of migration (PLM) works on four levels of analysis:
1) linguistic knowledge, with a distinction made between idiomatic and
reflexive knowledge;
2) linguistic behavior, with a distinction made between actual use of the
language and virtually possible use;
3) linguistic product, with a distinction made among three forms of analysis,
respectively called transference (interference and code switching), erosion
(the alteration component), and dialect-mixing;
4) correlation between varieties and identity, stressing that the principal
dynamics of changes in ethnic identity are reflected in language.

The method of investigation is based on the insights and indications of De
Mauro, Schlieben-Lange, Weydt, Stehl, Labov and the theoretical foundation of
the PLM lies in the recognition of the philosophy of language (especially that
of von Humboldt, Hegel, Coseriu), the study of linguistic change (especially
that of Lüdtke, Weinreich), language contact and variation (especially that of
Trudgill, Labov, Schlieben -Lange/H. Weydt), linguistic behavior (especially
that of Fishman), and in other areas of research.

The variational migrational interviews were conducted on a large sample of
informants, who were divided into five generations of immigrants and chosen on
the basis of specific sociolinguistic and migrational criteria. The large
corpus of correspondence, documents, and literature has enabled enough
empirical data to be collected to perform a systematic description of the
conceptual knowledge of Italian -Americans over the past 150 years or so, at
least. The quality of the linguistic knowledge acquired in Italy by
first -generation Italian -Americans determines the quality of their knowledge
(of English) and that of succeeding generations.

There is not any single determinant exclusively responsible for the functional
language chosen by speakers: in general, social determinants prevail over the
others, mainly because of the importance of idiomatic knowledge in English and
its increasingly frequent use for purposes related to the social mobility of
individual speakers. From the point of view of the linguistic behavior of each
single generation of Italian- Americans, individual functional languages and
their material quality are directly related. Comparing the interviews of
speakers of the same generation, Prifti notes that, due to the influence of
various extra linguistic factors, individual variants of the same functional
language may vary. The multitude of variations correspond to various forms of
contact, which have prototypical peculiarities that appear uniform during a
single given stage of contact. Italian-American contact has generated dynamics
of language convergence and code switching that can be described by tracing
the relationship between language and identity, since language is an essential
part of culture. Even in diachronic terms, the transformation of collective
identity (οὐσία) can be seen: Italian -Americanness emerges in two
chronologically sequential forms. The first is “old” and linked to the Great
Emigration and to Little Italies and is rooted in the rural dialect (1880 to
circa 1927); the second is “modern”, urbane, closer to culture and the
national language (circa 1954 to the present day). This transformation
proceeds in parallel with the evolution of linguistic contact.

On the whole, the work of Prifti is presented as a variational diachronic
analysis of this contact. The dynamics of this contact are described through
four sequential stages of investigation and the four-fold analysis is
systematically carried out for each of the three phases of contact. Within
each of these phases, the contact forms a specific constellation and the three
compositions that emerge outline the transition from dialectal monolingualism
to Italian- dialectal diglossia, then to Italian monolingualism. In the first
stage of contact, a relationship between dialect and American English is
evident. In the second phase the diglossia becomes a triglossia, as Italian,
too, enters the relationship. In the third stage, a diglossia appears once
again, this time between Italian and American English. The mesolect is
constituted by a graduated structure of distinct and hierarchically correlated
varieties which Prifti calls “archigradata”: defective Italo- Romance
(indicated by Prifti with IR -), defective American English (indicated by
Prifti with AE- ), non-defective American English (indicated by Prifti with
AE+), doubly defective Italo- Romance (indicated by Prifti with IR– ).
Generalising further, the individual mesolects can be grouped into two
categories of archigradata: ‘Itanglish’ (based on Italo- Romance) and
‘Americalian’ (based on English). The term “archigradatum” was coined by
Prifti as an analogy of archiphoneme, archimorpheme, archilexeme and
archisememe, re using the concept of “gradutum” developed by Mioni/Trumper.

The analysis of Italian -American contact using Prifti’s PLM has highlighted
that the ἐνέργεια is in constant flux, with regard to the individual, the
family, and the community. The ἐνέργεια is therefore not a static entity; its
transformation propels the linguistic change generated by migration.

In the work of Prifti, in addition to the theoretical framework, another
primary aspect is the collection of the empirical data, which follows the
principles of sociolinguistic surveys. In this context, the reference point is
the tradition of studies on language variation and change (known as secular
linguistics) inaugurated by Labov.

The empirical corpus on which the analysis is based consists of five sections:
1) interviews; 2) documents; 3) epistles; 4) (para )literature; 5) mass media.
The field survey required a considerable amount of phonetic transcription and
the use of an accredited standard. This standard is recognized by Prifti as
the method imposed on the scientific community by Ruffino 1995, which is the
basis of the system of transcription adopted for the Linguistic Atlas of
Sicily (LAS). The method of transcription used in the LAS makes it possible to
employ certain graphic conventions in regard to spontaneous speech.


First of all it must be emphasized that this monograph has been awarded the
Kurt Ringger Prize of the Academy of Sciences and Literature (Mainz, Germany)
and that a CIP catalog record for this book has been applied for at the
Library of Congress ( In fact, the method and
results of Prifti’s work constitute an exemplary contribution and indeed it is
a landmark of Italian linguistics of migration. Prifti’s research is a true
scientific masterpiece. Tullio De Mauro is the Italian linguist who, by
writing the preface, acts as the monograph’s “godfather”. No one is better
suited than De Mauro for this task. It was De Mauro in fact – as he proudly
points out in his preface (p. VIII) – who attempted to demonstrate to Italian
linguists that the linguistics of migration is an area of research worthy of
study and is of considerable importance. In Storia linguistica dell’Italia
unita, he gave ample space to the recognition of the linguistics of migration
as the linguistics of contact.

Prifti’s work, in addition to going beyond the narrow Italian national
perspective, should be attributed another merit – the last in a chronological
sense: it is a worthy addition to the array of masterpieces produced by the
German area of Romance language studies regarding the Italian language.

Though my evaluation of this monograph cannot be other than highly flattering,
some minor imperfections do appear on closer examination: since the volume has
a bibliography, and an index of names, places, and words, it would be best if
these tools were more accurately deployed. My remarks regard specifically the
bibliographic index.

The first observation regards a typo (or misprint) on p. 380, where we find
1933 instead of 1993, in reference to the work by Hermann W. Haller, Una
lingua perduta e ritrovata. L’italiano degli italo americani (Firenze, Nuova
Italia). The second is an error of a different nature, which I am not sure
whether to classify as a misprint or as a mistaken bibliographic reference: in
note 9 of p. 380 Prifti cites Menarini 1947, 167. In the bibliography there
are two works with the abbreviation Menarini 1947, denoted by (a) and (b)
respectively. Prifti, in his notes, always differentiates the various works
published in a given year with letters of the alphabet. In this case, Menarini
1947 (with no letter) ought to correspond to Menarini 1947a, that is, Appunti
d’italo americano, Lingua Nostra VIII (1947), pp. 26ff. However, this
reference is similar to Hall, Robert Jr. (1947): Appunti d’italo americano,
Lingua Nostra VIII/1, pp. 26ff., which also appears in Prifti’s bibliography.
It would appear that on page 26 of Lingua Nostra VIII begins an article by
Menarini that extends (at least) to page 167 – the page cited by Prifti  –
because the article (similar to a monograph) must have been at least 142 pages
long, and it would seem, furthermore, that this article had a supplement in
Lingua Nostra VIII/1 in which Robert Hall, Jr. published Appunti
d’italo americano, precisely on page 26 forward. A strange coincidence. Is
this another mistaken bibliographic reference, because the contribution found
in Appunti d’italo americano in Lingua Nostra VIII, on pp. 26- 27, is
Menarini’s and not Hall’s (or vice versa)? The only way to solve this small
mystery (besides owning a copy of Menarini’s original text, which I do not)
would be to get hold of Crocetti, Indici di Lingua nostra (1939 1959),
Firenze, Sansoni, 1961, which contains the indexes of several years of issues
of the academic journal, including the one I am referring to here.
Unfortunately, I was unable to find this volume and I therefore leave this
task to one of my readers, perhaps more skillful than me or with a more
passionate interest in the problem. In any case, there is a misprint in note 9
of p. 380 in Prifti’s volume, because the letter (b) is missing, and since
this work by Menarini is one of the pillars on which Prifti bases his
reasoning, the error should be corrected in the second edition.

Moving from the formal aspect to the contents themselves, I would make only
two observations: the first is without a doubt positive, the second is more
aporetic. The first observation concerns Prifti’s idea to identify an overall
structure consisting of four degrees of distinct and hierarchically correlated
varieties (archigradata) — 1) defective Italo- Romance (IR- ), 2) defective
American English (AE- ) , 3) non-defective American English (AE+), 4) doubly
defective Italo- Romance (IR –) , which can be further grouped into two
archigradata units: 1) ‘Itanglish’ (based on Italo-Romance), and 2)
‘Americalian’ (based on English). It is a genuine “egg of Columbus”: a
demonstration of amazing simplicity and obviousness, yet supported in its
entirety with such a wealth of documents as to be impervious to any objection
and indisputable from all points of view.

My second observation is more aporetic, given that Prifti illustrates two
different frameworks in the space of 60 pages (though they are not equal in
length); the first is theoretical- methodological, while the second is
methodical -empirical.

In the first framework, the theoretical -methodological one, the author gives
the reader proof of a thorough knowledge of theoretical linguistics and
demonstrates how Aristotle, Hegel, von Humboldt, Lausberg and Coseriu are
linked in a unanimous theoretical reflection: linguistic knowledge (Wissen),
linguistic behavior (Tätigkeit) and linguistic product (Produkt) are organized
in a hierarchy that corresponds to the Aristotelian triad
δύναμις- ἐνέργεια- ἔργον. This first point is clear, but in my opinion, it is
not sufficiently proven. I shall suspend judgement on this: it appears too
difficult to define here, in such a reduced space, relationships that would
require a well-articulated monograph to sustain. A more detailed analysis
would be necessary to determine whether this parallelism can really be made.
Not even Prifti 2014 (pp. 1 -6) appears adequate for affirmations of this
scope. It could be maintained that it is an inspired idea, but it seems
difficult to affirm with certainty that it would be accepted by all scholars.

The second framework, the methodical- empirical one, is based on the most
authoritative scholars of dialectology, linguistics and Italian
sociolinguistics: Berruto, De Mauro, Durante, Haller, Krefeld and Pustka,
Labov, Melillo, Menarini, Migliorini, Mioni and Trumper, Ruffino, Sobrero,
Stehl, Trudgill, Turano. In this case it is easier to say that Prifti had an
amazing insight: he brilliantly made use of the work of all major scholars in
order to outline a unified perspective he called the pluridimensional
linguistics of migration (PLM). Of course, as Prifti himself warns, those
arriving late to the “festival of labels” do not fail (p. 7) to reproach
Prifti for dividing the sample of informants into five generations of
immigrants (rather than three or four), for choosing the informants on the
basis of questionable (because they were subjective) sociolinguistic and
migrational criteria, for dividing the corpus of letters, documents and
literature into the various categories unequally and for defining four
categories of archigradata rather than three or five. But these are sterile
criticisms that do not diminish one bit the inestimable value of this

In terms of content, furthermore, I would like to comment on Prifti’s general
conclusion (pp. 377 -382), in which the author attempts to explain what
Italian-American is not. It is not what the following authors saw: Menarini (a
hybrid language), Bernardy and Durante (a jargon created on purpose), Haller
(a lingua franca), Cascaito and Radcliff -Umstead (a “creolizing” language);
for Prifti it is more appropriate to define Italian- American as a reverse
creoloid, term coined by Trudgill 2002. On the basis of this, he himself
concludes — as I mentioned at the beginning – that ”Italian- American is
thus to be considered in its entirety as a set of hierarchically interrelated
varieties of contact with a particularly dynamic graduated structure.” The
work ends in ring composition and with a rigorous scientific method that seems
to echo the words “QED”.


Bernardy, Amy Allemand, Italia randagia attraverso gli Stati Uniti, Torino,
Fratelli Bocca Editori, 1913.

Berruto, Gaetano, La sociolinguistica, Bologna, Zanichelli, 1974.

Berruto, Gaetano, La variabilità sociale della lingua, Torino, Loescher, 1980.

Cascaito, James/Radcliff- Umstead, Douglas, An Italo- English Dialect,
American Speech: a quarterly of linguistic usage 50/1- 2 (1975), 5- 17.

Coseriu, Eugenio, Sistema, norma e ‘parola’, in: Giancarlo Bolognesi et al.
(ed.), Studi linguistici in onore di Vittore Pisani, vol. I, Brescia, Paideia,
1969, 235- 253.

Coseriu, Eugenio, Synchronie, Diachronie und Geschichte. Das Problem des
Sprachwandels, Munchen, Wilhelm Fink, 1974.

Coseriu, Eugenio, Schriften von Eugenio Coseriu (1965 -1987). ἐνέργεια und
ἔργον. Sprachliche Variation, Sprachgeschichte, Sprachtypologie, vol. I, ed.
Jörn Albrecht, Tubingen, Narr, 1988.

Coseriu, Eugenio, Sprachkompetenz. Grundzüge der Theorie des Sprechens,
Tübingen, Francke, 1988.

Coseriu, Eugenio, Einführung in die allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Tübingen,
Francke, 1992.

De Mauro, Tullio, Foreword, in: Camilla Bettoni (ed.), Altro Polo. Italian
abroad: Studies on language contact in English -speaking countries, Sydney,
Frederick May Foundation of Italian Studies, 1986, 5 15.

De Mauro, Tullio, Storia linguistica dell’Italia unita, Bari, Laterza, 1963,
Durante, Francesco, Italoamericana. Storia e letteratura degli italiani negli
Stati Uniti, vol. I: 1776- 1880, vol. II: 1880- 1943, Milano, Mondadori,

Fishman, Joshua A. (ed.), Readings in the sociology of language, The Hague,
Mouton, 1968.

Hall, Robert Jr., Appunti d’italo americano, Lingua Nostra VIII/1 (1947), 26.

Haller, Hermann W., Italian speech varieties in the United States and the
Italian American lingua franca, Italica 64 (1987), 393 -409.

Haller, Hermann W., Una lingua perduta e ritrovata. L’italiano degli
italo americani, Firenze, La nuova Italia, 1993.

Krefeld, Thomas/Pustka, Elissa, Für eine perzeptive Varietätenlinguistik, in:
Krefeld/Elissa Pustka (eds.), Perzeptive Varietätenlinguistik. Spazi
comunicativi = Kommunikative Räume, Frankfurt am Main et al., Centre for
Language and Cognition, 2010, 9 28.

Labov, William, The Social Stratification of English in New York City,
Washington D.C., Center for Applied Linguistics, 1966.

Labov, William, Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English
Vernacular, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1972.

Labov, William, Sociolinguistic Patterns, Philadelphia, University of
Pennsylvania Press, 1972.

Labov, William, Some principles of linguistic methodology, Language in Society
I (1972), 97 -120.

Labov, William, Field methods of the projection linguistic change and
variation, in: John Baugh/Joel Sherzer (eds.), Language in Use, Englewood
Cliffs, Prentice Hall, 1984, 28- 53.

Labov, William, Principles of Linguistic Change, vol. II: Social Factors,
Oxford, Blackwell, 2001.

Lausberg, Heinrich, Romanische Sprachwissenschaft, vol. II: Konsonantismus
(zweite, durchgesehene Auflage), Berlin, de Gruyter, 1967.

Lausberg, Heinrich, Romanische Sprachwissenschaft, vol. I: Einleitung und
Vokalismus (dritte, durchgesehene Auflage), Berlin, de Gruyter, 1969.

Lüdtke, Helmut (ed.), Kommunikationstheoretische Grundlagen des Sprachwandels,
Berlin/New York, de Gruyter, 1980.

Lüdtke, Helmut, Oberlegungenzur, Metodologie der lateinisch romanischen
Sprachgeschichtsforschung, in: Arnold Arens (ed.), Text Etymologie.
Untersuchungen zu Textkörper und Textinhalt. Festschrift für Heinrich Lausberg
zum 75. Geburtstag, Stuttgart, Steiner, 1987, 382 -391.

Melillo, Matteo Armistizio (ed.), Lettere dalla Merica, Bari, Adriatica, 1991.

Menarini, Alberto, Appunti d’italo americano, Lingua Nostra VIII (1947), 26.

Menarini, Alberto, Ai margini della lingua, Firenze, Sansoni, 1947.

Migliorini, Bruno, Recensione su: «Vaughan, Herbert H., Italian and Its
Dialects as spoken in the United States, American Speech: a quarterly of
linguistic usage 1/8 (1926), 431- 435, 2/1 (1927), 13 -18», La Cultura V
(1927), 285.

Mioni, Alberto/Trumper, John, Per un’analisi del ‘continuum’ linguistico
veneto, in: Raffaele Simone/Giulianella Ruggiero (edd.), Aspetti
sociolinguistici dell’Italia contemporanea. Atti dell’VIII Congresso
Internazionale di Studi (Bressanone, 13 maggio – 2 giugno 1974), Roma,
Bulzoni, 1976, 329- 372.

Prifti, Elton, Enèrgeia in trasformazione: elementi analitici di linguistica
migrazionale, Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 130/1 (2014), 1- 22.

Ruffino, Giovanni, L’ALS: storia del progetto, stato dei lavori, prospettive,
in: Giovanni Ruffino (ed.), Percorsi di Geografia linguistica. Idee per un
atlante siciliano della cultura dialettale e dell’italiano regionale, Palermo,
Centro Studi Filologici e Linguistici Siciliani, 1995, 11 -109.

Schlieben- Lange, Brigitte, Soziolinguistik. Eine Einführung,
Stuttgart/Berlin/Köln, Kohlhammer, 1991.

Schlieben- Lange, Brigitte/Weydt, Harald, Für eine Pragmatisierung der
Dialektologie, Zeitschrift für Germanistische Linguistik 6 (1978), 257- 282.

Schlieben- Lange, Brigitte/Weydt, Harald, Wie realistisch sind
Variationsgrammatiken?, in: Brigitte Schlieben- Lange (ed.), Logos semantikos.
Studia linguistica in honorem Eugenio Coseriu (1921- 1981), vol. V: Geschichte
und Architektur der Sprachen, Berlin/New York, de Gruyter, 1981,117- 145.

Sobrero, Alberto A., I padroni della lingua. Profilo sociolinguistico della
lingua italiana, Napoli, Guida, 1978.

Stehl, Thomas, Funktionale Variationslinguistik. Untersuchungen zur Dynamik
Sprachkontakten in der Galloromania, Frankfurt am Main et al., Lang, 2012.

Trudgill, Peter, Sociolinguistic Variation and Change, Edinburgh, Edinburgh
University Press, 2002.

Trudgill, Peter, A Glossary of Sociolinguistics, Edinburgh, Edinburgh
University Press, 2003.

Turano, Anthony M., The speech of Little Italy, The American Mercury 26
(1932), 356 -359.

Weinreich, Uriel, Languages in Contact: Findings and Problems, New York,
Linguistic Circle of New York, 1953.


Mauro Giuffré is a post-doc scholar in Linguistics at the University of
Palermo. He holds a PhD in General Linguistics and his dissertation was
entitled Text Linguistics and Cognitive Sciences: the proceduralism of
Dressler and De Beaugrande. His main research interests concern the
relationship between classical studies (philology and ancient western European
languages, such as Latin and Greek) and theoretical work in text linguistics;
his scientific production is devoted to connecting theoretical linguistics
with classical studies. He is the editor of Studies in Semiotic Textology in
honour of János S. Petőfi (2011), (a preview in, Supplement 1 of Sprachtheorie
und germanistische Linguistik directed by András Kertész
( He is the author of other reviews for LINGUIST List,
( and, and for Bryn Mawr Classical
Review, ( and

LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3608

Jobs: Modified: Spanish; Anthropological Linguistics; Sociolinguistics: Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina

Published: September 19th, 2014

University or Organization: University of South Carolina
Department: Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Job Location: South Carolina, USA
Web Address:
Job Title: Assistant Professor of Spanish Transatlantic Studies
Job Rank: Assistant Professor

Specialty Areas: Anthropological Linguistics; Sociolinguistics

Required Language(s): Spanish (spa)


University of South Carolina
Spanish Transatlantic Studies
Assistant Professor

The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and the Spanish Program
at the University of South Carolina invite applications for a tenure-track
assistant professor in the area of Latino/a Studies, Border Studies, or
Hispanic Sociolinguistics (especially Bilingualism or Languages in Contact).
Scholarly interest in Portuguese is a plus. The successful candidate will be
expected to contribute to our new Ph.D. program to bridge traditional
Hispanic/Spanish Studies and new fields of inquiry concerning Latin America
and/or the Spanish-speaking diaspora in the United States. The successful
candidate will also have an interest in playing an active role in the
community. Teaching responsibilities include two courses per semester, with
assignments in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate courses in Spanish.
Experience teaching at the college level is required. Also required are native
or near-native command of both Spanish and English and a Ph.D. in hand by
August 1, 2015.

Applicants should submit a letter of application, current CV, and three signed
letters of recommendation (include academic addresses, emails and phone
numbers) through the Interfolio website (below). For full consideration by the
search committee, complete applications should be received through the
Interfolio website no later than November 1, 2014.

The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures is proud to be home to
the tenth ranked public PhD in Comparative Literature in the nation (NRC
2010). We are also home to internationally known scholars in language
acquisition and literary studies, Chinese, Classics, French, German, Russian,
and Spanish. The department provides instruction in 12 languages and offers
undergraduate majors in seven different programs, teacher certification in 4
language programs, and Masters degrees in Comparative Literature, French,
German, and Spanish. It also works as an active partner with the PhD in
Linguistics. Languages, Literatures, and Cultures is a campus leader in the
study and use of instructional technology, and the home of innovative programs
that move learning beyond the traditional classroom.

The University of South Carolina’s main campus is located in the state
capital, close to the mountains and the coast. The Carnegie Foundation for the
Advancement of Teaching has designated the University of South Carolina as one
of only 73 public and 35 private academic institutions with “very high
research activity” and also lists USC as having strong focus on community
engagement. The University has over 31,000 students on the main campus (and
over 46,000 students system-wide), more than 350 degree programs, and a
nationally-ranked library system that includes one of the nation’s largest
public film archives. Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, is the center
of a greater metropolitan area which has a population over 750,000.

The University of South Carolina is an affirmative action, equal opportunity
employer. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply. The University of
South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment
opportunities or decisions for qualified persons on the basis of race, color,
religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or
veteran status.

Application Deadline: 01-Nov-2014

Web Address for Applications:
Contact Information
Phone: 803 777 4882

LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3609

Jobs: Semantics: Assistant Professor, Harvard University

Published: September 19th, 2014

University or Organization: Harvard University
Department: Department of Linguistics
Job Location: Massachusetts, USA
Web Address:
Job Title: Assistant Professor
Job Rank: Assistant Professor

Specialty Areas: Semantics


The Department of Linguistics at Harvard University invites applications for
an appointment, expected to begin July 1, 2015, for a tenure-track position at
the level of Assistant Professor in the area of semantic theory. Candidates
must show demonstrated promise of excellence in research and teaching at both
the undergraduate and graduate levels. A substantial doctoral record is
required.  Special attention will be given to applicants with a strong
interest in interface areas with, e.g., syntax, morphology, or cognitive
(neuro)science, in ways that would complement the departmental offerings.

Candidates should submit a letter of application, accompanied by a detailed
curriculum vitae, a teaching statement, a research statement, and the names
and contact information for three references, by applying online at the
application website below.

Applications will be processed as received, but should be submitted no later
than December 1, 2014 to assure full consideration.

Harvard University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women
and minority candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

Application Deadline: 01-Dec-2014

Web Address for Applications:
Contact Information:
Department Administrator Cheryl Murphy
Phone: 617-495-4006
Fax: 617-496-4447

LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3613

Review: Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics: Herrmann (2013)

Published: September 19th, 2014

AUTHOR: Julia Berenike  Herrmann
TITLE: Metaphor in academic discourse
SUBTITLE: Linguistic forms, conceptual structures, communicative functions and cognitive representations
SERIES TITLE: LOT Dissertation Series
PUBLISHER: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
YEAR: 2013

REVIEWER: Jill M. Hallett, Northeastern Illinois University

Review’s editor: Helen Aristar-Dry


Metaphor in academic discourse incorporates analytic frameworks from Lakoff
and Johnson’s conceptual metaphor theory (1980), Biber (1988) and Biber et
al.’s (1999) corpus linguistic functional register analysis, and Halliday’s
meta- functions (Halliday and Hasan 1985/1989, and Halliday 2004) in analyzing
written language from English- language academic textbooks and journal
articles. Bowdle and Gentner’s (2005) “career of metaphor” theory has a
significant influence on the empirical studies of metaphor processing
presented later in the book. From the LOT Dissertation Series, “Metaphor in
Academic Discourse” is written for readers already well-versed in a variety of
theories of figurative language, as well as for those with some facility in
corpus linguistics and discourse analysis.

Chapter 1, “Metaphor in Academic Discourse” (15- 50), opens with an
illustration of metaphor by means of a Woody Allen quote, followed by an
introduction to conceptual metaphor theory (CMT) as a jumping -off point.
Herrmann questions the role metaphor plays in academic discourse, which is
sometimes erroneously thought to be too rigid for figurative language. She
sets out to examine academic writing vis- à- vis fiction, news, and
conversation for metaphoric frequency across these genres as well as by word
class. Gaps in metaphor studies, such as the lack of large -scale metaphor
samples, inclusion of lexico -grammatical features, and variation across
academic prose, are briefly mentioned. In situating the background amid
controversies in metaphor theory, such as mapping and classification versus
comparison, Hermann presents the following research questions (37ff):

1. How is metaphor distributed among the four main registers of English?
2. How are particular linguistic features of metaphor such as word class and
metaphor type distributed in academic discourse as opposed to other main
registers of English?
3. What discourse functions can be inferred from the analysis of linguistic
forms of metaphor in academic discourse?
4. How is metaphor type (in terms of function) distributed across the four
academic subregisters of academic writing, fiction, news, and conversation?
5. Do contextual factors such as the domain of discourse and expert knowledge
play a role in the processing of academic metaphors?

In Chapter 2, “The Linguistic Analysis of Metaphor in Academic Discourse”
(51 -89), Hermann provides background on the corpus linguistic research from
which her data are culled, in an attempt to “arrive at a global profile of
metaphor use in the academic register in contrast with other registers” (52).
Biber’s (1988) classification of registers through multidimensional analysis
complements the quantitative analyses of word count and class among the
registers. The author hypothesizes that academic discourse is less explicit
than other genres in its use of metaphor (69).

As explained in some detail in Chapter 3, “MIPVU: A Manual for Identifying
Metaphor- related words” (91- 108), Herrmann’s data source is a subcorpus of
the British National Corpus (BNC) containing almost 200,000 words, annotated
according to the procedures outlined in the Pragglejaz Group’s (2007) metaphor
identification procedure of Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam.This procedure
involves cross- checking lexical units with their most basic use as determined
by their explication in the Macmillan Dictionary, and tagging word classes
according to the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Each
metaphor -related word (MRW) is further given a ‘direct metaphor’ tag if it
may be explained by cross -domain mapping [as in “the campsite was like a
holiday village” (105)], an ‘implicit’ tag if it is used for
lexico -grammatical substitution, as in the case of a pronoun [as in
“Naturally, to embark on such a step is not necessarily to succeed immediately
in realizing it” (105)] , or an ‘MFlag’ tag if it is a signal of an impending
MRW, [as in ‘conceive of and others (92ff)]. Herrmann elaborates the
appropriate procedures to follow when tags are in question, assuring the
reader that the resulting data are reliable. In Chapter 4, “Metaphor
Identification in Academic Discourse” (109 -126), Herrmann offers a glimpse of
her results. There are not as many simile- like expressions used as she
expected, and “[d]irect use of lexical units related to metaphor may
frequently be related to a didactic function in academic discourse…(125).

The presentation of Herrmann’s results begins in earnest in Chapter 5, “A
Distributional Profile of Metaphor in Academic Discourse” (127- 176). Here she
examines her corpus (BNC Baby) for metaphor distribution among word classes in
each register; the roles played by indirect, direct, and implicit metaphor in
academic prose versus in news, fiction, and conversation; and variation among
four sub registers of academic prose: humanities and arts, natural sciences,
social sciences, and politics, law, and education. She finds that the academic
register has the highest percentage of metaphor- related words at 18.5%,
followed closely by news at 16.4%. Furthermore, there is a “relatively stable
proportion of metaphor -related words across all word classes in [academic
prose] in direct cross- variety comparison” (144). Prepositions and verbs
account for the most MRWs,
although noun MRWs are most prevalent in academic prose. Herrmann also finds
that academic prose is situated toward the explicit reference end of Biber’s
Dimension 3 (as opposed to the situation -dependent end), and at the abstract
information end of Biber’s Dimension 5 (as opposed to the non -abstract end)
(157). The data also show that indirect metaphor is overwhelmingly more
prevalent than direct or implicit metaphor, especially in academic prose,
which the author attributes to indirect metaphor’s highly conventional nature,
suitable for academic texts (162 -163). Finally, we learn that indirect
metaphors comprise 16.6 -18.8 of the lexical units in the four sub registers
of academic prose, with the highest percentage in social science and the
lowest in natural science.

Where Chapter 5 presents a macroscopic approach to metaphor in academic
discourse, Chapter 6, “Metaphor and Word Class in Academic Prose: Detailed
Interpretation” (177 -258) provides a microscopic analysis of the functions of
the linguistic elements at hand. Specifically, the author is interested in the
specific use of metaphor per word class, and the relationships among
metaphorical, lexical, and semiotic attributes and functions (177). For this
portion of her study, Herrmann, aided by the Longman Grammar of Spoken and
Written English (Biber et al. 1999), seeks to determine whether linguistic
features can be functionally categorized as ideational, textual, personal,
interpersonal, contextual, or aesthetic for the purpose of understanding how
MRWs in each word class behave in academic prose (181). She finds that
“lexical variation in MRWs reflects by and large the pattern of lexical and
functional word classes generally” (251), although, as evidenced in the
previous chapter, nouns seem to be more conducive to metaphorical
interpretations in academic prose. Additionally, Herrmann determines that
noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and preposition MRWs function ideationally,
whereas adverbs can also function interpersonally; all word classes may
exhibit textual functions as expected given the source of data. MRWs for
aesthetic functions, as for stylistic conventions such as variation of
vocabulary and avoidance of repetition through use of synonyms, are largely
abandoned in the academic register (251- 253). An additional interesting
takeaway from the data in this chapter is that academic prose seems to make
metaphorical use of more word classes than do the other registers (255);
however, it is apparent that certain subclasses of words, namely prepositions,
verbs, and nouns, are more conducive to metaphor -related use (257).

Chapter 7, “Testing the Influence of Expertise on Metaphor Processing”
(259 -298) is a departure from the corpus -based studies in previous chapters.
In this chapter, the author is interested in exploring alternatives to
metaphor theories of cross -domain mapping (Lakoff and Johnson 1980, Kövecses
2002). To that end, Herrmann runs two experiments with human subjects based on
Bowdle and Gentner’s (2005) “career of metaphor” theory, which relates
expertise to grammatical processing as it differentiates categorization (in
the form of metaphor) from comparison (in the form of simile). Herrmann aims
to understand linguistic conventionality shown by metaphor use in academic
subdisciplines (here, psychology), and the role of expertise with respect to
such discourse. She hypothesizes that experts would process domain specific
figurative language as conventional metaphor, where novices would resort to
strategies of comparison due to their lack of familiarity with the canonical
figurative language in their field (268 -269). A scalar grammatical preference
task was constructed for categorization (A is B; for canonized figurative
language in psychology, the predicted choice for experts) versus comparison (A
is like B; for canonized figurative language in psychology, the predicted
choice for novices in the field). In Experiment 1, Herrmann selected two
groups of subjects with different levels of expertise in psychology, and found
no significant effect of expertise on technical figurative language: all
preferred categorization. Experiment 2 involved the training of novices;
Herrmann hypothesized that subjects would prefer the comparative form for
unstudied items and the categorative form for studied items, in effect
positing that repeated exposure canonizes technical figurative language.
Again, this hypothesis was not confirmed. The results were described as
“tentative and exploratory” (296) with respect to the effect of expertise on
grammatical form.

Wrapping up the research presented, Chapter 8, “Discussion and Conclusion”
begins with the reminder that “[m]etaphor use is not only specifically
frequent in academic prose in comparison with other registers of English, but
is pervasive in academic prose in that it is relatively evenly spread across
academic subregisters/ disciplines,” and furthermore that “concreteness and
conventionality of metaphorically used words are predictors of grammatical
form preference” (299). The chapter reiterates how the studies presented in
the book take into account conventionality, conceptualization, and discourse
functionality of metaphors; such integration of seemingly disparate approaches
inspired the author’s experiments on the relationship between grammatical form
preference and processing behavior, especially as such relationship
corresponds with expertise. Herrmann suggests that her corpus study supports
CMT theory (308), and while her data do not correlate with the results of
Bowdle and Gentner (2005), she posits that other factors, such as
lexicalization, may have affected her results with respect to grammatical
processing. Finally, Herrmann notes the significance of the annotated Vrije
Universiteit Amsterdam Metaphor Corpus (VUAMC) as a major contribution to
corpus linguistic research. She calls for further research on metaphor and
other linguistic patterns, especially as they relate to variation in discourse
and style, and also calls for more attention to metaphor and processing, as
well as investigation of spoken academic prose.


Metaphor in Academic Discourse is quite successful in taking a
multimethodological approach to metaphor research. As the field of linguistics
is becoming more and more specialized, I find it appealing to read work that
integrates scholarship from several sub fields, in this case corpus
linguistics, psycholinguistics, and sociolinguistics (particularly discourse
analysis). The author is explicit in laying out her aims, and she addresses
them satisfactorily. Where previous scholarship seeks polarity, Herrmann
situates her work in such a way that seemingly incompatible views inform her

My problems with this book are fairly trifling, but worth a mention as a
reader unfamiliar with the particulars of the ongoing research at VU
Amsterdam. First, I lamented the dearth of examples in context; inclusion of
more examples and from where they were culled would have aided in illuminating
some of the coding strategies for those outside the VU sphere. I was, however,
pleased that the author included in the appendix examples of figurative
language used for the grammatical form preference tasks. Second, Herrmann’s
explanation of the results from the processing tasks struck me as somewhat
unconvincing; she did not get what she had expected, but made multiple
attempts to defend the theory quite staunchly anyway. Reading this publication
as a dissertation contextualizes adherence to the theory despite its lack of
support by these data.

Regardless of the minimal aforementioned issues, I found the book to be a
solid example of painstakingly detailed research into metaphor in academic
discourse on levels both micro-  and macro-analytical. I was fascinated by the
human subjects experiments on expertise, and am quite curious to see similar
methods applied to different fields, with more levels of expertise. Further
research in this area would certainly elucidate the results found by Herrmann,
and give insight into how language is canonized institutionally. I would
recommend “Metaphor in Academic Discourse” to those working in the subfields
of corpus linguistics, psycholinguistics, and sociolinguistics who would be
interested in seeing an example of work that not only successfully integrates
these three areas, but illustrates how such integration produces a holistic
body of data
that is greater than the sum of its parts.


Biber, Douglas. 1988. Variation across speech and writing. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.

Biber, Douglas, Stig Johansson, Geoffrey Leech, Susan Conrad, and Edward
Finegan. 1999. Longman grammar of spoken and written English. Harlow: Pearson

Bowdle, Brian F. and Dedre Gentner. 2005. The career of metaphor.
Psychological Review 112(1), 193 216.

Halliday, Michael Alexander Kirkwood. 2004. An introduction to functional
grammar, 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Halliday, Michael Alexander Kirkwood and Ruqaiya Hasan. 1989. Language,
context, and text. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Kövecses, Zoltan. 2002. Metaphor: A practical introduction. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.

Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson. 1980. Metaphors we live by. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press.

Pragglejaz Group, the. 2007. MIP: A method for identifying metaphorically used
words in discourse. Metaphor and Symbol 22(1). 1 39.


Jill Hallett is an instructor of English as a second language at Illinois
Institute of Technology, linguistics at Northeastern Illinois University, and
curriculum and instruction at University of Illinois at Chicago.  Her research
interests include sociolinguistics, specifically American and world Englishes,
urban pedagogical discourse, language in the media, linguistic identity in
literature, and second dialect acquisition.  Research from her dissertation,
“African American English in Urban Education: A Multimethodological Approach
to Understanding Classroom Discourse Strategies”, recently earned her the 2014
Founders’ Emergent Scholar Award from the International Society for Language
Studies and the Language Studies Foundation.

LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3614

FYI: Call for Chapter Proposals: Teaching ESL/EFL to Chinese Students

Published: September 18th, 2014

Theory and Practices for Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language to
Chinese Students in a Global Context

With ever accelerating globalization and digitalization, English has
increasingly been used as the de facto lingua franca internationally, as is
felt from economy to trade, from culture to sport, and from technology to
science and education. Meanwhile, the Greater China region, which includes
Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, and Taiwan, has seen not only
fast economic and population growth in recent years, but also unprecedented
enthusiasm for teaching and learning English (Feng, 2011). It is estimated
that there are 300 million Chinese learners of English as a second or foreign
language (ESL/EFL) in Mainland China. The Institute of International Education
reported that students from China alone make up 29% of the total international
student population just in the United States (Open Doors, 2013). It is
therefore imperative that all ESL/EFL educators and policy-makers clearly
understand the needs and experiences of this significant cohort of learners
from various Confucian-heritage learning cultures (Watkins & Biggs, 1996).

Not surprisingly, the field of ESL/EFL has been dominated by educational
models and practices originated in the United States, Britain, Canada, and
Australia. These models and practices are embraced as universally applicable
approaches for teaching ESL/EFL, yet there is insufficient empirical data to
show that practices following these approaches have indeed resulted in better
teaching and learning outcomes. This situation gives rise to the question of
how to effectively teach English as a second or foreign language to Chinese
learners from diverse backgrounds. Ironically, there are still relatively few
systematic investigations about how Chinese learners achieve their English
proficiency in various sociocultural settings. Additionally, since teachers
necessarily teach differently under native and non-native English-speaking
environments, and multiple and complex variables act upon both the process and
the outcome of teaching and learning, how can the socioculturally sensitive
ESL/EFL pedagogy that McKay (2012) advocated be developed across discrete
sociocultural contexts? Equally importantly, in what ways will any
theory-building and innovations in teaching practices for Chinese learners
contribute to the international ESL/EFL community? Obviously, more systematic
research is needed in these areas for a meaningful marriage of general
conceptual/theoretical notions and their localized adaptations.

The present book project addresses all these questions and more. This edited
volume will be divided into three sections: 1) theorizing of ESL/EFL teaching
practices for Chinese learners; 2) innovative instructional methods and
effective strategies; 3) education and training of ESL/EFL teachers. Taken
together, the chapters in the book may add to the research literature on
ESL/EFL, especially in terms of contextualized ESL/EFL theory and practices
for Chinese learners.
Presently, chapter proposals are invited from educators and researchers who
have experiences in research, learning or teaching in any sociocultural
settings involving Chinese learners. Individual chapters may address ESL/EFL
teaching and learning theories situated within various contexts for Chinese
learners, innovations in ESL/EFL teaching or learning that reflect
educational/cultural frames or local wisdom, or ESL/EFL teacher education. All
chapters need to be situated within the current research literature, be
data-driven, and have new theoretical or pedagogical implications.

Each chapter proposal should include:
1. A one-page chapter description.
2. A vignette, quote or example to illustrate the chapter.
3. Complete author contact information and professional affiliation.

Chapter proposals are due by November 15, 2014. All proposals will be peer
reviewed and authors will receive the review results by December 15, 2014.
Accepted proposals should result in a book chapter of approximately 20-22
pages (including references and appendixes) due by March 15, 2015. The writing
should follow the latest APA style.

Currently, the publisher for the book has not been finalized. The authors
whose chapter proposals are accepted will be informed of the publisher
information as soon as it is available. The target publication date is spring
of 2016.

Deadline for chapter proposal submission: November 15, 2014.
Send your proposal as an email attachment to both co-editors:

Barry Bai, Ph.D.
Professional Consultant of ESL/EFL Education
Faculty of Education
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin, Hong Kong

Wen Ma, Ph.D.
Co-Editor, Literacy, Language and Learning
Associate Professor of Education
Le Moyne College
Syracuse, New York 13214

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3606