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Arts and Humanities journals’ primary focus is on presenting theoretical and empirical research in these respective fields. The main goal is to encourage educational research and connect academia to the scientific community. Researchers and scholars need to share their research findings with others to help better understand and act on the ongoing social changes in the field. The Arts and Humanities journals aim to provide a platform for everyone who shares a common interest in these fields and to group all the latest field findings in one place.

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The Chinese term rou doukou has generally been taken to mean ‘nutmeg’. This identification dates from the nineteenth century. However, there is reason to think that rou doukou was originally not nutmeg, but the fruits of a plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Early descriptions and illustrations of rou doukou are clearly not of nutmeg: in Chinese pharmacopoeias, it is usually listed with herbs, not trees. The earliest reference to nutmeg is probably in the Zhu fan zhi of 1225. However, most Chinese references to rou doukou long after that date still refer to a plant of the ginger family.

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The Naxi manuscripts are generally religious texts used by the Dongba priests in southwest of China. The interpretation of colophons has often been underappreciated in previous studies. This paper reviews previous research on colophons in Naxi manuscripts and redefines the concept of the ‘colophon’ as a term used in the study of Naxi manuscripts. In this paper, the colophons of some of the Naxi manuscripts in the Staatsbibliothek zu of Berlin are discussed, revealing when and where the manuscripts were copied, and the events associated with the copying process. When reading the colophons, one often encounters translation errors and other problems, but their correct interpretation will help shed more light on the circumstances of the production of the Naxi manuscripts, which make up a unique component of the world’s literary heritage.

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After discussing some thus far unknown examples of inner-Tocharian borrowing processes with direction TA >> TB, the present paper argues that also the substantive B lek* ‘gesture’ represents a loanword from Tocharian A, in particular from the Tocharian A form lek ‘shape; gesture’. Under the assumption of a semantic development ‘equality, identity, correspondence’ ⇒ ‘figure, shape’ ⇒ ‘gesture’ – for which parallels are available –, A lek is etymologically connected with the independently reconstructable root PIE *leig-‘(be[come]) equal’ and thus traced back to a nominal pre-form *lóig-u- or *lóig-o-.

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Religious texts are written in understandable language due to their instructive and preaching characteristics. Although different methods are used in these texts, the form of ‘narration/storytelling’ is prominent. In this article, two stories, ‘The House of Hasan’ and ‘The Story of the Nightingale,’ which were published in Eastern Turki by Swedish missionaries in the East Turkistan region with the Swedish Mission Press, are evaluated by considering their stylistic features. While these stories were written in Eastern Turki, Arabic and Persian words, which the public often saw in works related to the Islamic religion, were also frequently used. Such linguistic choices are related to the source person’s message to the receiver and the importance of the receiver’s easy understanding of the text.

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Inscriptions in the highly calligraphic and still undeciphered śaṅkhalipi or ‘shell script’ have been found by the hundreds in most parts of India except the far south, typically in conjunction with sites and monuments dating from around the Gupta period and succeeding centuries. To date, four specimens have also been discovered in the Indonesian archipelago, in West Java and West Kalimantan (Borneo). Another specimen of śaṅkhalipi inscription, engraved on a pillar and exceptionally ornate, was recently discovered in Thailand at the site of Si Thep, a moated early settlement in Phetchabun Province. The article reviews the historical and cultural contexts of shell-script inscriptions in India and discusses the significance of this remarkable first specimen found in mainland Southeast Asia.

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Abstract

The present paper aims to examine the role of the oil lamp (λύχνος) in the daily life of the residents of Egypt through the documentation of Greek papyri and ostraca from the Graeco-Roman and Byzantine periods. Due to the fragmentary condition of the archival material, the sources of ancient Greek and Latin literature are also taken into consideration with a view to corroborating some uncertain points of detail. Specifically, careful scrutiny is given to aspects such as the oil lamp's price and material, its domestic uses, its role as pledge (ἐνέχυρον) and part of inheritance, as well as its function in various activities performed at night. The matters of its importance in the realm of theatre, its connection to theft, the side-effects of its use, and the exploration of the figurative use of the term λύχνος as a literary device are also examined.

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The study explores the perceptions of small talk shared by the users of a Japanese online community, seeking information on their expected speech and behaviour in small talk and factors contributing to positive/negative evaluations of small talk. The study investigates a discussion thread consisting of 73 responses to a contributor's request for advice on improving small talk capabilities from the perspectives of interaction ritual (Goffman 1967), balancing obligations (Ohashi 2008, 2013, 2021) and typology of speech acts (Edmondson & House 1981; House & Kádár 2022b).

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In this paper, the results of a large web-corpus study on gender of Russian inanimate indeclinable common nouns are presented. In most cases, neuter is assigned to indeclinables as a default. However, morphophonological and semantic analogy may lead to feminine and masculine gender assignment. An extensive variation is observed in the whole group of indeclinables and for particular words, which is much larger than anything that can be found in indeclinable nouns. These data support the idea that both masculine and neuter genders have a special status in the Russian gender system (Magomedova & Slioussar 2023). Masculine tends to be chosen in case of conflicting gender cues. When there are no strong cues pointing to any gender, neuter is assigned as the default option. The results of the study are hardly compatible with various structural approaches to gender assignment, but can be accounted for in competition-based models.

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Acta Linguistica Academica
Authors:
Jan Don
,
Fenna Bergsma
,
Anne Merkuur
, and
Meg Smith

Abstract

In this paper, we propose a comprehensive account of the paradigms of Frisian verb-classes. Verb-classes in Frisian are an example of a more general phenomenon of inflectional classes that we encounter in many natural languages across the major word classes. Members of different inflectional classes show different paradigms. Traditionally, inflectional classes have been analyzed using class-features (see e.g., Marzi et al. 2020). However, such features suffer from being ad hoc devices that seem to have no other function in the grammar than to code this difference. In the present analysis we propose that the verb stems from different classes show a difference in size. Using phrasal spell-out, we will show that these stems differ in the amount of morpho-syntactic structure that they may realize, rendering class-features superfluous.

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Abstract

One of the basic questions in the theory of morphology concerns the nature of word formation: how morphemes are assembled into larger objects, and—crucially—whether there are distinct systems in which this occurs (lexicon versus syntax), or just one. Stative (a.k.a. “adjectival”) passives like opened in the opened door, or flattened in the metal is flattened, have provided an interesting testing ground for questions of this type. Following a period in which such passives were argued to be formed lexically, much subsequent work has developed the idea that they are derived syntactically, in fully phrasal structures. This paper examines a number of properties of English stative passives which raise problems for a fully phrasal treatment. These include (but are not limited to) (i) modification asymmetries relative to eventive passives; and (ii) interactions with un-prefixation. The generalizations that are revealed suggest that stative passives are built syntactically, but without phrasal internal structure: what I call small(er) syntax. Importantly, small structures are not tantamount to a lexical analysis; I provide a direct comparison that argues that the evidence favors the smaller type of approach. The argument for small structures has implications for the syntax of Roots that are introduced throughout the discussion.

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