Vol 9, No 2 (2017)

All articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Vol 9, No 2 (2017)

Table of Contents



Dorota Brzozowska, Władysław Chłopicki

Communication Styles – An Overview (PDF)

Władysław Chłopicki

Abstract. This paper constitutes an attempt to define the communication style as a cluster of discursive elements, both formal or technical, such as turn taking patterns, overlap or backchannelling, and those based on pragmatic usage, such as emotionally loaded language, politeness patterns, gender differences, metaphors, neologisms, humour or laughter, as well as other elements of discourse culture such as culture-specific values. Following the discussion of relevant intercultural studies, the paper moves on to analyse two corpora of Polish face-to-face conversations and draws some tentative conclusions about Polish communication style, which is broadly cooperative, expressive, uses positive politeness, although it abounds in open disagreement as well as linguistic creativity.

Visual and Multimodal Metaphor in Advertising: Cultural Perspectives (PDF)

Charles Forceville

Abstract. It is often claimed that a picture tells us more than a thousand words, but studying pictorial metaphors reveals how much background knowledge is needed to understand and evaluate visuals. Commercial print advertising and billboards make for good case studies, because their goal is unambiguous: to sell consumer products and services. In this chapter some of the pitfalls in analysing visual and multimodal metaphors are discussed, Consideration of a number of examples suggests how metaphors involving visuals may misfire when they are interpreted by members from another culture than the one for which they were designed. In the conclusion some ideas are put forward to make these insights productive in educational contexts.

Persuasion, Politeness and Relational Models (PDF)

Jerzy Świątek

Abstract: Politeness Theory, just like Grice’s Cooperative Principle, points out that pragmatic analysis of language behaviour has to be grounded in extra-linguistic facts of social (or even biological) nature. Additionally, despite the slightly misleading label, Politeness Theory provides a sound methodology to explain some persuasive as well as politeness phenomena. In the same vein, the so called Relational Model Theory provides another theoretical framework for the explanation of persuasive phenomena and persuasive language. Both Relational Model Theory and Politeness Theory show that persuasion is also to be understood as a rational response to not-so-rational social and biological needs. In the article an attempt is made to compare the two theories focusing on their explanatory power in reference to language choices aiming at enhancing the persuasive potential of a language message.

The Stylistics of Selected American, Italian and Polish Challenge Vlogs (PDF)

Ryszard Kurpiel

Abstract. The emergence of a new mode of communication called vlogging allows the spoken variety of language to manifest itself in new settings. Vloggers appear to draw both from traditional television aesthetics and from the videos of other vloggers. The content which circulates on the website globally is often recontextualised (cf. Rymes, 2012). The plethora of different types of vlogs and the sheer number of videos created daily call for an attempt to find a common stylistic denominator within specific types of vlogs. The chapter discusses characteristic stylistic features of a selected type of such videos, namely, challenge videos in American English, Italian and Polish. The chosen videos form the basis for an analysis in search of similarities and differences in style. The findings suggest that the analysed challenge videos have many common features, and if differences ensue, they are not generally found within specific national or linguistic groups but in mixed sets of videos in the three languages of interest. The author seeks to find explanations for the similarities.

“Scientists Joke”: Evolution and Genres of Humour about Science and Scientists in Russia (PDF)

Ksenia Shilikhina

Abstract. The paper analyses humour about scientists and humour produced by scientists in Russia. The aim of the study is to track back the evolution of scholarly humour and analyse social factors that stand behind professional humour in the academia. The analysis centres around three categories of humour: “intellectual” humour, which requires knowledge in a specific branch of science, “professor vs. student” humour, which is based on our understanding of social relations between two social groups involved in academic communication. Finally, there is profession-specific humour based entirely on professional experience and is best understood by those involved in research. While “intellectual” and “professor vs. student” jokes are not unique to the Russian culture, profession-specific in-group humour reflects social problems characteristic of science in Russia. This category of scholarly humour has grown from the ongoing debates about criteria of academic excellence and the discussions about importance of science for society in general. Profession-specific humour mirrors social tension caused by the attempts to introduce quantitative measures of academic excellence and to reform science in Russia (the recent attempts at turning around the Russian Academy of Sciences being a good example of such a reform).

A Practical Joke in Public Sphere – a Polish Case Study (PDF)

Dorota Brzozowska

Abstract. The aim of the paper is to show multiple layers of discourse and the consequences of a particular practical joke that has been played at a local public event and has become a theme for media coverage nationwide. Students in one of Polish high schools brought a goat as a present to their headmaster and handed it in during their commencement ceremony. Some event participants reported it to the Animal Welfare Society claiming that the goat was mistreated. It seemed that it was not eager to be led on a leash and it urinated, which was interpreted as a sign of discomfort and stress. The story became a headline first in the local and then in the national press and television, and was accompanied by heated discussions on social media. Photos were posted on the official school website. Multiple comments were very aggressive towards the school, its students and teachers alike. Some students used the opportunity to create a goat fan page – a good source of rapidly appearing jokes. The discussions evoked by the incident, lead to the questions about political correctness and about the possibilities and consequences of making practical jokes in the contemporary public sphere. The analysis of the case makes it possible to create the communication model showing the reverberations caused by the incident in the public sphere. The perspectives of the participants involved in different communication roles are highlighted in the model, altogether with the links marking the relations between particular parties involved.

Constructing Local Identities via/for Humour: A Cretan-Greek Case Study (PDF)

Villy Tsakona

Abstract. One of the most common functions of humour is the construction of identity, usually achieved by including certain individuals in a group sharing specific values and views, and by excluding others representing different values and views (Archakis and Tsakona, 2005). The aim of the present study is to investigate how online interactants create a local identity via the production of digital humorous texts, thus forming a group of people with common perceptions on a specific event reported by the media. In particular, Facebook participants formed communities supporting the right of a crocodile -non endemic to Greece- to live on the loose in a lake in Crete, Greece, and opposing local authorities wishing to capture the animal. Interlocutors draw on, and reframe, popular -and even stereotypical- aspects of the Cretan identity involving, among other things, a passionate love of freedom, resistance to official authorities, rebelliousness, and heroism (Herzfeld, 1985). Such cultural traits seem to be attributed to the crocodile so as not only to bolster the interlocutors’ own perspective, but also to create a humorous effect.

The Stranger in the Society: Exploring Student Attitude to Migrants (PDF)

Dorota Rygiel

Abstract. A lot of people decide to leave their homes in search of a job, more favourable living conditions or just safety. Most modern European societies are full of people who were born in other countries but change their place of living in the hope that they will improve their living conditions. Some of them are willing to accept the new culture and system of values but sometimes they find it very hard to assimilate into the host society. The paper intends to compare the attitude of Spanish and Polish students towards people of different ethnic origin. The introductory part of the paper provides a definition of the stranger based on Georg Simmel’s theory. The main part aims at showing young people’s attitude to strangers in the society based on the survey carried out in the group of the 3rd - and 4th-year students of English Philology at Krosno State College and Valladolid University.