social meanings
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2022 ◽  
Vol 31 ◽  
pp. 122
Andrea Beltrama ◽  
Florian Schwarz

Recent work at the interface of semantics and sociolinguistics showed that listeners reason about the semantic/pragmatic properties of linguistic utterances to draw social inferences about the speaker (Acton and Potts 2014; Beltrama 2018; Jeong 2021). These findings raise the question of whether reverse effects exist as well, i.e., whether (and how) social meanings can also impact the interpretation of semantic/pragmatic meanings. Using (im)precision as a case study, we provide experimental evidence that (i) numerals receive stricter interpretations when utteredbyNerdy(vs. Chill) speakers; and that (ii) this effect is stronger for comprehenders who don’t (strongly) identify with the speaker, suggesting that pragmatic reasoning is crucially shaped by social information about both the speaker and the comprehender. These findings suggest that different layers of meanings inform one another in a bi-directional fashion – i.e., semantic information can invite social inferences, and Misocial information can guide meaning interpretation.

This study aims to present evidence of gender variability among leaders of language change across different sociolinguistic variables, five phonological variables (a consonant and four vowels) and a discourse variable in Syrian Arabic, within the same speech community. Employing a sociolinguistic variationist approach and comparing children to adults yielded different gendered linguistic behavior. Children show the same dramatic gendered linguistic difference as adults regarding the variable (q), with males using much more rural [q] than urban [ʔ] than females. Regarding the vowel variables, children dramatize their gendered linguistic difference much more than adults; boys show much higher use of the rural vowels than girls compared to the difference between men and women. This pattern is reversed in the discourse variable (yaʕni) ‘that is/I mean’; the gendered linguistic difference is more dramatic among adults than it is among children, and gender effect diminishes in the linguistic distribution of the variable. This multidirectionality in gender effects bears implications for sociolinguistic variationist research. Variables indexed to urban refinement/prestige and social meanings such as femininity/masculinity are more likely to be led by females than males. Conversely, variables that lack these types of social/gender identification indexicality, regardless of whether they are phonological or discursive, do not follow the same pattern of leadership.

2021 ◽  
Raquel Aparicio Cid

If the significance of nature is a crucial phenomenon in understanding the forms of relations societies establish with the environment, in what way is this significance built? This paper presents the results of a case study focused on exploring how the meanings of nature and socioecological relationships relate to each other in an indigenous population. The first part of the article explains the theoretical scaffolding used to collect and analyse data, based on ecological anthropology and Ogden and Richards’ semiotic scheme. The second part describes the methodological procedures and the first findings, that is, the elements and dimensions that integrate the meanings of nature and land for the inhabitants of this population. It is also explained how those meanings are built and how they are fused to local socioecological relationships in an ontological way. The findings reveal that the inhabitants of this community configure their meanings of ‘nature’ from multiple references of biological, spiritual, axiological, and cultural character, often represented by its referent ‘land’. The notion of ‘nature’ (as land) is created from subjective and social experiences with the environment and the territory, and in turn provides meaning to the biocultural identity of the population. However, historical learning, worldview, and social organization also emerge as the main structuring elements of the social meanings of nature and land.

2021 ◽  
Vol 10 (2 (20)) ◽  
pp. 135-152
Witold Warcholik

This paper presents the issues of place and attachment to place. The aim of the article is to determine the level of knowledge among the academic community of the university building in which they study or work and its surrounding area, in the context of place attachment. The cognitive component – one of many aspects of identifying with a place – was examined. With limited knowledge about the building in which the study population spends time, calculated in months or years, it is difficult to determine place attachment, identification, or experience. The research method applied was a diagnostic survey, a questionnaire consisting of questions designed by the author. Both students and academics were surveyed. The results showed that students have limited knowledge of the building where they attend classes. The university building appears to be more of an anonymous non-place, without deeper symbolic or social meanings, than a place with which the academic community identifies itself.

2021 ◽  
Vol 10 (2) ◽  
pp. 62-77
Fabien Wille

FR. Le sport occupe une place non négligeable dans la société médiatisée. Dès lors, les productions informationnelles, à propos du sport, doivent être appréhendées comme des denrées objectivées (Quére, 2000) et « normalisées » dans le sens ou le sport est traité en fonction de significations sociales existantes, co-construites et légitimées par le journaliste lui-même. La diversité constitue-t-elle alors une norme ? Comment est-elle construite ? Comment est-elle perçue par les journalistes ? Dans quelle mesure cela interfère-t-il dans les pratiques et les discours produits ? Sur le plan théorique et méthodologique, l’analyse convoque les travaux de Denis McQuail (1997 & 2003) à propos de « the accountability of media ». L’analyse prend alors appui sur l’identification des procédés discursifs proposés par Schaeffer (1989), qui se structurent, d’une part par un acte communicationnel qui s’élabore sur la base des processus d’énonciation et d’autre part par l’acte réalisé. En l’occurrence, les données de terrain utilisées émanent du Projet RSJ-MéDiS, elles proviennent de différentes rencontres, journées d’étude, colloques, entretiens et échanges parfois informels. Si ces données permettent de mieux appréhender le contexte d’énonciation, l’analyse de l’acte réalisé, s’effectue quant à lui, au moyen des commentaires produits à l’occasion des directs consultés sur l’INAthèque. Les événements choisis sont les compétitions d’athlétisme à l’occasion des Jeux Olympiques de Rio (2016) et les Championnats du Monde de Londres (2017) diffusés sur les différentes chaines du groupe France-Télévisions (France 2-3-4). Dans le cas du terrain exploré, celui des journalistes de France Télévisions et au regard des évènements analysés, celui des compétitions internationales d’athlétisme, ce sont les normes et les valeurs communément associées au sport qui servent de cadre à l'interprétation des événements et des performances sportives. Tantôt inclusif, tantôt ségrégatif et exclusif, le discours oscille en fonction des fluctuations des normes sportives. *** EN. Sports take a significant place in our media societies. Informational productions on sports should therefore be apprehended as objectified commodities (Quére, 2000) and "normalized". This implies that sports should be apprehended based on existing social meanings which are co-constructed and given legitimacy by the journalist himself. Can diversity be considered as a norm? What does it consist of? How is it perceived by journalists? To what extent does it interfere with practices and discourses produced? The analysis developed refers theoretically and methodologically to the work of Denis McQuail (1997 & 2003) on "the accountability of media". It builds on the identification of discursive processes suggested by Schaeffer (1989), which are structured on the one hand by a communicative act that is elaborated on the basis of the processes of enunciation, and on the other hand by the act performed. In this case, the field data analyzed was produced by the RSJ-MéDiS Project: it was gathered during multiple competitions, workshops, symposiums, interviews and occasional informal exchanges. This data allows to better comprehend the enunciation context; however, analysis of the performed acts was conducted thanks to the commentary produced during the live broadcasts of selected sporting events. Those were consulted on the French National Archive Institute online consultation service, the INAthèque. The sporting events considered were the athletics competitions of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games as well as the 2017 London World Athletics Championships, which were broadcasted on multiple channels of the French public broadcasting company France Télévisions (France 2-3-4). In the present field of research – the discourse of France Télévisions sports journalists, and with regard to the events analyzed – international athletics competitions, norms and values commonly associated with sports appear to serve as a framework for the interpretation of sporting events and performances. At times inclusive, at times discriminatory, the discourse evolves based on the fluctuations of norms in sports. *** PT. O esporte ocupa um lugar significativo na sociedade midiatizada. Consequentemente, as produções informacionais sobre o esporte devem ser entendidas como mercadorias objetivadas (Quére, 2000) e “normalizadas” no sentido de que o esporte é tratado de acordo com os significados sociais existentes, co-construídos e legitimados pelo próprio jornalista. A diversidade é então uma norma? Como ela é construída? Como é percebida pelos jornalistas? Em que medida isso interfere nas práticas e discursos produzidos? No plano teórico-metodológico, a análise recorre ao trabalho de Denis McQuail (1997 e 2003) sobre "a responsabilização dos meios de comunicação". A análise baseia-se, então, na identificação dos processos discursivos propostos por Schaeffer (1989), os quais se estruturam, por um lado, por um ato comunicativo que se desenvolve a partir dos processos de enunciação e, por outro, pelo ato realizado. Neste caso, os dados de campo utilizados provêm do Projeto RSJ-MéDiS, advindos de vários encontros, jornadas de estudo, seminários, entrevistas e por vezes trocas informais. Enquanto esses dados proporcionam uma melhor compreensão do contexto do enunciado, a análise do ato praticado é realizada por meio de comentários produzidos durante as visitas diretas ao INAthèque. Os eventos escolhidos são as competições de atletismo dos Jogos Olímpicos do Rio (2016) e do Mundial de Londres (2017) transmitidos nos diversos canais do grupo France-Televisions (France 2-3-4). No caso do campo explorado, o dos jornalistas da France Télévisions e no que se refere aos eventos analisados, o das competições internacionais de atletismo, são os padrões e valores comumente associados ao esporte que servem de quadro para a interpretação dos eventos e desempenho esportivo. Às vezes inclusivo, às vezes segregativo e exclusivo, o discurso oscila de acordo com as flutuações dos padrões esportivos. ***

2021 ◽  
pp. 180-202
Jenny Nilsson ◽  
Lena Wenner ◽  
Therese Leinonen ◽  
Eva Thorselius

2021 ◽  
pp. 75-80
Xianyou He ◽  
Wei Zhang

In the study discussed in this chapter, the authors found that concrete pictographs elicited variable aesthetic appraisals related to the aesthetic qualities of the reference objects. In addition, Chinese characters are also produced in the form of metaphorical writing symbols that convey social concepts (ideographic symbols of oracle bone script). The study investigated whether the reference social meanings altered neural responses in the aesthetic appraisal of oracle bone scripts. Similar to the findings of pictographs, the beauty judgment of positive oracle bone scripts activated the occipital lobe for perceptual processing, frontal lobe for cognitive judgment, and right putamen for rewarding experience. However, only perceptual processing regions were found in the ugly judgment of negative oracle bone scripts. Results indicated that aesthetic appraisal of oracle bone scripts mainly depended on the valence of the reference social meanings and was in accordance with the stereotype of “what is good is beautiful, and bad is ugly.”

2021 ◽  
Frank Fischer

The phenomenon of post-truth poses a problem for the public policy-oriented sciences, including policy analysis. Along with “fake news,” the post-truth denial of facts constitutes a major concern for numerous policy fields. Whereas a standard response is to call for more and better factual information, this Element shows that the effort to understand this phenomenon has to go beyond the emphasis on facts to include an understanding of the social meanings that get attached to facts in the political world of public policy. The challenge is thus seen to be as much about a politics of meaning as it is about epistemology. The analysis here supplements the examination of facts with an interpretive policy-analytic approach to gain a fuller understanding of post-truth. The importance of the interpretive perspective is illustrated by examining the policy arguments that have shaped policy controversies related to climate change and coronavirus denial.

2021 ◽  
Vol 28 (2) ◽  
pp. 105-134
Erna Andriyanti

As an approach to multilingualism, the study of linguistic landscape (LL) in educational settings is still underexplored. LL study is significant to disclose various aspects of language existence and use. In the school context, it might reveal what and how languages are used among school members and their relevance to education. This article aims to examine the emerging themes of signs’ messages in school LL and the contribution of multimodal social semiotic elements to the signage social meanings. It studied 890 signs from five senior high schools in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and used a geosemiotic approach to analyse the verbal and visual texts. The findings reveal eight major themes of messages: (1) location or place direction, (2) morality and religion, (3) environment and energy, (4) school identity and information, (5) activities, (6) how to comport oneself, (7) science and knowledge and (8) rules, regulations and acts. The three main modes (language, image and colour) in the school LL serve the functions to communicate and to represent the schools’ social reality relevant to the emerging themes through iconic and symbolic semiotic systems. The school LL is a multifaceted social construct that also reveals the relationship between the sign makers and the addressees.

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