English - Anglicky

Alternative narrative forms 1: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

This week Lydia Moore talks to Dominik Lukeš about Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, a US television show with literary qualities. This begins another mini-theme, this time on alternative narrative forms.

Lukeš D. Alternative narrative forms 1: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Moore L, editor. Norwich: Future Radio 96.9; 2007.

Alternative narrative forms 2: Fanfiction

Lydia Moore and Dominik Lukeš continue their discussion of nontraditionally published narrative literature with a look at Katharyn Rosser’s fanfiction novel Sidestep Chronicle. You can read the whole work online. Other interesting works of fanfiction can be found at Fanfiction.net.

Lukeš D. Alternative narrative forms 2: Fanfiction. Moore L, editor. Norwich: Future Radio 96.9; 2007.

If a word falls in the woods...The interactional nature of meaning

It seems the Oxford dictionary has inadvertenly posed a rather serious challenge to the semanticians of the world. They launch a fun little website asking the net to save individual words reminiscent of the parrot Gerald Durrell's "Talking Parcel". Lifehacker immediately recognized the utility of such a project for party entertainment:

No fair in Bulgarian: Universals of language and particulars of culture

A rather silly comment in the Christian Science Monitor about the consequences of the supposed lack of the word for 'integrity' in Bulgarian on the Bulgarian economy recently drew the ire of Mark Lieberman on the Language Log: 

Gendered discourse as a consequence of gendered socialisation

I've been planning to write a column or speak on the radio about this for a long time and I'm happy that Amanda Carpenter beat me to it. Her observation on fashion and make up being to women what sports are to men, is one of not insignificant sociological depth. What we talk about and consequently what we're interested in is a function of the group we talk about it with. And the discourse (and even the interest) has a dimension of group utility.

Everyone is a discourse analyst now: Multimodality and hypostasis

What is the difference between a discourse analyst with training in linguistic methodology and a blogger or the reader of a blog? Discourse analysis relies on the human capacity to understand text but it is also embedded in the social practices of discussing and inferring the meaning from text. The following example of a simple computer-generated graphical representation of Obama's speech (courtesy of Wordle.net) in many ways does the job of half an academic paper. It presents the data and lets the reader infer meanings (particularly in comparison with other speeches).

Obama, Socialist Realism and the Inventory of Expressive Units of Culture

Obama and swaying fields of corn was a major theme of his 30-minute pre-election and then Elizabeth Alexander's poem at the inauguration brought it home during the inauguration:

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