DepositThe Noise of Multilingualism: Reader Diversity, Linguistic Borders and Literary Multimodality

The article proposes a new multimodal approach to literary multilingualism, with special attention devoted to how readers with different language skills partake in making literary multilingualism happen. It presents a critical assessment of previous scholarship on literary multilingualism, which we claim is characterized by monolingual assumptions and a problematic division between mono- and multilingual literature. As a continuation of the theoretical argument, multimodal readings of three contemporary poets Cia Rinne, Caroline Bergvall and Ralf Andtbacka are presented. Instances of contemporary multilingual poetry, the article concludes, can help us to critically scrutinize notions of clear-cut linguistic borders, as well as to study the intricate dynamics between the acoustic and visual aspects of literary multilingualism.

DepositShakespearean Performance as a Multilingual Event: Alterity, Authenticity, Liminality

The age of global Shakespeare has arrived. It is an age in which national and transnational performances become self-conscious of the contact zone they inhabit, where dramatic meanings are co-determined by linguistic cohesion and pluralism. If Jacque Derrida’s theory of translation makes all writing inherently multilingual, Shakespeare as multilingual events at home and abroad complicate the idea of translation and cultural difference. The business of performing Shakespeare has grown into a multilingual affair since the 1990s as transnational connections and touring became not only more desirable but necessary for artistic inspiration and success.

DepositUsing ancestral state reconstruction methods for onomasiological reconstruction in multilingual word lists

Current efforts in computational historical linguistics are predominantly concerned with phylogenetic inference. Methods for ancestral state reconstruction have only been applied sporadically. In contrast to phylogenetic algorithms, automatic reconstruction methods presuppose phylogenetic information in order to explain what has evolved when and where. Here we report a pilot study exploring how well automatic methods for ancestral state reconstruction perform in the task of onomasiological reconstruction in multilingual word lists, where algorithms are used to infer how the words evolved along a given phylogeny, and reconstruct which cognate classes were used to express a given meaning in the ancestral languages. Comparing three different methods, Maximum Parsimony, Minimal Lateral Networks, and Maximum Likeli- hood on three different test sets (Indo-European, Austronesian, Chinese) using binary and multi-state coding of the data as well as single and sampled phylogenies, we find that Maximum Likelihood largely outperforms the other methods. At the same time, however, the general performance was disappointingly low, ranging between 0.66 (Chinese) and 0.79 (Austronesian) for the F-Scores. A closer linguistic evaluation of the reconstructions proposed by the best method and the reconstructions given in the gold standards revealed that the majority of the cases where the algorithms failed can be attributed to problems of independent semantic shift (homoplasy), to morphological processes in lexical change, and to wrong reconstructions in the independently created test sets that we employed.

DepositThe Reader as Multilingual Soloist: Linguistic and Medial Transgressions in the Poetry of Cia Rinne

Der vorliegende Beitrag untersucht den Lyrikband notes for soloists (2009) der transnationalen Lyrikerin Cia Rinne mit einem besonderen Schwerpunkt auf der Frage der literarischen Vielsprachigkeit und der Intermedialität des Textes. Mit Ausgangspunkt in Naoki Sakais Verständnis von Übersetzung als bordering (Sakai 2009) wird die Rolle des Lesers von notes for soloists als Erzeuger sprachlicher Grenzen hervorgehoben. Hierbei funktioniert Rinnes mehrsprachiger und intermedialer Text als eine Art Partitur, die Leser verschiedener Sprachkompetenz auf unterschiedliche Weise realisieren. Es wird veranschaulicht, wie die Dynamik zwischen dem gedruckten Text und den verschiedenen artikulatorischen Möglichkeiten des Textes die Leser in eine Sphäre zwischen Sonorität und sprachlicher Artikulation versetzt; eine Sphäre, die normalerweise kleinen Kindern, die noch keine Sprache beherrschen, vorbehalten ist. Dabei wird die Kontingenz sprachlicher Grenzen ins Auge gefasst, zugleich werden jedoch auch mögliche Verbindungen zwischen verschiedenen für die Leser unbekannten bzw. bekannten Sprachen vorgeführt.