MA Honors 2013/14

Roni Danziger

Roni Danziger

Sociolinguistics

Read More
Subject: Compliments and compliment responses in Israeli Hebrew: Huji students in interaction

Supervisor: Aldina Rodriguez Quintana

Abstract: This dissertation will examine how Hebrew speakers respond to compliments by examining Hebrew speaking students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as a sub-group of Hebrew speakers. This focus on a micro-level speech act is part of a wider understanding of the importance of pragmatics to intercultural communication.  By examining linguistic choices in socio-linguistic interaction a lot can be learned about the pragmatic motives of speakers. Understanding pragmatic motivation is extremely beneficial in preventing pragmatic failure, which occurs when speakers apply the pragmatic patterns of their native language (L1) on the spoken foreign language (L2) (Thomas 1983). 

 When receiving a compliment, it is expected to show happiness or embarrassment, the latter is more expected from women. External compliments, on appearance, performance and possession are the most welcomed, while physical appearance, talent and personality compliments are perceived as interior and therefore less welcomed. A simple /to’da/ will always suffice, especially if you are men, but expressing your pleasure with the compliment is a good choice too, especially if you are a woman and the giver of the compliment is a woman as well. Try to avoid denial of the compliment, as acceptance is much preferred. The least expected sub-strategies are ‘return compliment’, ‘magnified acceptance’ and ‘soliciting confirmation’. If you wish to choose ‘acceptance with amendment’, your best bet will be ‘tempered acceptance’. If you wish to ignore the illocutionary force of the compliment and address it as discursive, the best option is to view it a ‘topic introduction’.

The comparatively large variation in response choice in the Israeli culture, compared to the Spanish culture for example (Siebold 2008) is a result of two things: 1) the relative newness of the Israeli society, which means cultural expectations are not yet fully established, and 2) The importance of the individual over the importance of the group; Israel has become very diverse and Capitalism and North-American influence raised the importance of the individual over the collective. 

 

Read Less
Noa Goldblatt

Noa Goldblatt

Linguistics

Read More
Subject: The functions of Pennsylvania German auxiliary verb "duh"

Supervisor: Dr. Eitan Grossman, Dr. Larissa Naiditch

Abstract: In this study the main goal is to present a synchronic description of the functions of the poly-functional periphrastic duh (‘do’) construction in Pennsylvania German (PG). The secondary goal is to examine the PG data in comparison to other Germanic languages

Read Less

Or Lankri

General and Comparative Literature

Read More
Subject: The Internal Canon: An In-Depth Study of the Single Artist's Oeuvre

Supervisor: Prof. David Fishelov

Abstract: My dissertation addresses the notion of internal canon, namely the selection of works associated with each artist. Many times, only a small portion of an artist's body of work becomes widely known. James Joyce, for example, is widely recognized as the author of the novels Ulysses and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, however few are aware that Joyce was also a poet and dramatist. Although this phenomenon touches most if not all artists of all mediums, it is rarely studied. In my dissertation I focused on a couple of writers and tried to determine which are their most canonical works by examining academic studies, literary anthologies, universities' syllabi, translations, literary adaptations and so on. In addition, I explored in which ways this limited selection of works with which these writers are identified is or isn't representative of their entire artistic production.

Read Less
Ido Rivlin

Ido Rivlin

Cognitive science

Read More
Subject: Conscious vs. Unconscious Processing of Dynamic Stimuli

Supervisor: Prof. Ran Hassin

Abstract: Recent evidence which suggests many cognitive functions can operate in two manners, with and without consciousness, raises questions regarding the differences and similarities between the conscious and unconscious strategies for executing the same functions. In three experiments, I compared between generating predictions consciously and unconsciously in order to find strategic differences between the conscious and unconscious usage of the stimuli. Objective and subjective measures were used to verify participants were not consciously aware of the dynamic stimuli during the unconscious phases. Results do not verify that there are strategic differences between the conscious and unconscious prediction, yet preliminary findings demonstrate that cue validity affects these functions differently. The current study suggests that movement processing has multiple theoretical implications; also, my findings can be used to ameliorate comparisons between conscious and unconscious functions in general and specifically using dynamic stimuli.

Read Less
Shira Tal

Dr. Shira Tal

Cognitive Science

Read More
Subject: Pre-Lexical Processing of the Passive Voice in Hebrew

Supervisor: Inbal Arnon

Abstract: Human language contains an enormous amount of information at numerous different levels (phonologically, morphologically, semantically, etc.). One of the biggest questions in cognitive language research is how this linguistic knowledge is represented, i.e., what information speakers are sensitive to. According to usage-based approaches to language, human beings learn and process language with domain general learning skills, and are sensitive to recurring structures in all levels of the linguistic environment. Hebrew morphology serves as an interesting case study for this theory. All Hebrew verbs are comprised of seven possible verb templates (Binyanim), that systematically encode information regarding the verb, e.g., voice and verb argument, thereby creating statistical relations between certain forms (e.g., huCCaC) and certain grammatical-semantic functions (e.g., passivity). This study is designed to check whether the mere processing of a verb template's form will create  predictions regarding the information this form carries for the Hebrew speaker. This question was tested with regards to the passive voice: using a masked priming paradigm, unconscious processing of Hebrew verbs was examined, enabling us to check whether Hebrew speakers are sensitive to the passive information encoded in the passive verb patterns based only on their orthographic-phonological characteristics. The findings of the experiments do not allow us to determine whether Hebrew readers are sensitive to this information in early stages of processing. The reasons for this and the possible outcomes of the results on the existing theories of language processing are discussed.

Read Less