Slovene language basic, contrastive, and applied studies

COORDINATOR: dr. V. Gorjanc
DURATION: 01.01.09 - 31.12.14

The research deals with fundamental areas of the Slovene language with a special emphasis on the contrastive element. In terms of its application, the research relates primarily to the use of core linguistic findings in textbooks and teaching materials at university level as well as other levels of education. The basic research relates to the following fields: (1) Contemporary Slovene, where the emphasis is placed on the following: topics in grammar, centring on syntactic issues at the level of structure as well as at the level of meaning. The focus is on determining basic sentence units by differentiating multi-word lexemes (idiomatic expressions) from phrases. This field comprises also topics in phraseology and will result in a monograph based on the concept established during the research. - The level of syntax is primarily concerned with introducing new aspects into the understanding of complex sentence structures at least to the level of the so-called 'spoken discourse paragraph'. The research will also deal with issues in Functional Sentence Perspective. - The issues in morphology relate to word formation, where one of the goals is the preparation of a monograph based on the concept allready established. The problems of the modern language are open to all other grammar topics as well. -The basic research also includes topics in sociolinguistics. The research will aim at the empirical determining, the quantitative assessment and the interpretation of the differences between the language varieties of some characteristic socially defined groups (sociolects) in the Slovene language at various linguistic levels. (2) The history of the Slovene language: The research is directed at establishing the developmental dynamics mostly in the field of morphology and lexicology and primarily according to dialect groups. - For Slovene place names, a subset of proper names, representing a relatively independent linguistic sub-system, a structural typology will be constructed, with a special reference to their chronological and regional distribution. - The Glagolitic tradition in Slovenia, part of Slovene linguistic and cultural history, will be examined, classified and described according to the written and printed materials available. The contrastive research will focus on individual grammar topics that will provide a base for a contemporary Russian-Slovene contrastive grammar. In addition, the contrastive point of view will partly serve as a basis for an overview of the most important periods in the history of Russian until the forming of the modern standard variant. - The period of the formation of the modern standard Slovene language foundations (the turn of the 18th century and the whole 19th century) will be presented in the light of broader Slovene-Czech cultural connections. Part of the research will centre on Slovene-Czech contrastive studies in general. - The applied research will be of an empirical and comparative nature. It will be primarily concerned with studying communication skills (linguistic, pragmatic, metalinguistic and metacognitive) throughout the whole educational process. Basic research methods: The research methods relate to European and American linguistics of the 20th century, i.e. structuralism (functional, linear) and generative linguistics. The two frameworks apply to both basic and contrastive studies. Certain basic and applied studies will also incorporate methods pertaining to the field of pragmatics. - When dealing with historical topics, methods of a diachronic approach will be used to a certain degree. - The methodology of cognitive linguistics, developed at the end of the 20th century, will be used in parts of the basic research of the contemporary Slovene language. - Methods pertaining to sociolinguistics will be used as well.

Intercultural Literary Studies

DURATION: 01.01.14-31.12.18

In the future, the research will address important anniversaries of major writers (Goethe, Schiller, Shakespeare) and significant personalities (Bertha von Suttner), who greatly contributed to European and world thought. As they represented the moving force of their time, literature and intercultural literary studies can in the world of increasingly intensive exchanges between cultures and individuals contribute important knowledge that makes easier mutual cooperation, increases international mobility and migrations, while strengthening intercultural awareness on all levels of contemporary society. The group knows that literary science has to respond more efficiently than traditional concepts to the erosion of personal and collective identities in the period of greater transcultural connectivity, characteristic of the 21st century. In this framework, the dissemination of ideas and discourses, connected with literature and culture (i.e. »the literary osmosis«) and their study, is set forth in the research programme. The research field covered by interculturality is vast, which can be seen from the heterogeneity of the group, for researchers work in English literary studies, American studies, German literary studies, translation studies, Slavonic studies, Slovenian and comparative literature, and research literary interculturality in contact between cultures in the English/American and German-speaking areas, between the South and West-Slavonic literatures. The research programme is partly dedicated to study fields that were in the centre of attention in the previous period (mediation of literatures and cultures, literatures in direct intercultural contacts and literary-aesthetic research), but it will primarily be directed at new questions, as well as reinterpretations in the light of new findings. Research will be put into the context of contemporary socio-economic and scientific context in which the axis of research on the global level is slowly being shifted from the centre to the periphery, to new languages, states and cultures, in the world and in Europe. Research focuses on five basic fields: 1) literary-theoretical discourse (intercultural hermeneutics, phenomenological theories, imagology); 2) analysis of the literary field (analysis of contexts and literary conventions, literary-historical aspects, reception, literatures in direct intercultural and transcultural contacts, canonization); 3) narratives of the foreign(the other and one's own, and the aesthetics/poetics of the foreign); 4) translation as intercultural mediation and translation of marginalized literatures into Slovenian (indirect translations, the role of central languages, cultural specificities); 5) didactics and the development of intercultural and reading competences (the research of literature as a polyvalent phenomenon touching upon burning social issues, raising the awareness of problematic issues, empirical analyses of the reception of foreign literature).