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Abstract

Filled pauses (FPs) have proved to be more than valuable cues to speech production processes and important units in discourse analysis. Some aspects of their form and occurrence patterns have been shown to be speaker- and language-specific. In the present study, basic acoustic properties of FPs in Polish task-oriented dialogues are explored. A set of FPs was extracted from a corpus of twenty task- oriented dialogues on the basis of available annotations. After initial scrutiny and selection, a subset of the signals underwent a series of pitch, formant frequency and voice quality analyses. A significant amount of variation found in the realisations of FPs justifies their potential application in speaker recognition systems. Regular monosegmental FPs were confirmed to show relatively stable basic acoustic parameters, which allows for their easy identification and measurements but it may result in less significant differences among the speakers.
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Abstract

The debate around the relations between Christians and Jews has recently become one of the discussed issues in the cultural Israeli world. This article examines the references to Christianity and to Jesus in the contemporary Israeli fiction. Through the analysis of some literary works produced by the best-know Israeli writers, we will try to describe the way the authors deal with Christian elements and explore their personal considerations. In particular a great attention will be devoted to Amos Oz’s last novel Judas, published in 2014. The story is based on the life of a young student who is writing a doctoral dissertation on “How Jews see Jesus” but it ends up focusing on the figure of Judas. In revealing the intent of his research the protagonist presents a detailed investigation of the Jewish attitude towards Christians quoting sources from the ancient times until today. Through Oz’s book it is possible to explore the complex relationship between Christians and Jews and offers new starting points for the future debates.
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Abstract

The Catholic image of Martin Luther in the course of the centuries evolved from the literally negative one during the time of the Reformation and the centuries that followed, through the theological attempts and historically in-depth analyses inspired by the ecumenical movement up to contemporary acceptance of several theological postulates. Contemporary movements of Roman-Catholic thinking of Luther well summarize historically vulnerable and dogmatically deepened opinions of the recent popes: John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. Following the agreement texts of the Lutheran-Catholic Commission at the world forum, ecumenically open popes can find out in Martin Luther a profoundly religious man, the witness of the Gospel whose theological thought is still relevant and a challenge for the presently secularized world.
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Abstract

In this paper I respond to Elżbieta Mikiciuk’s polemic with my article: The Brothers Karamazov: Dostoevsky’s Tainted Hosanna (“Slavia Orientalis” 2017, nr 1; the polemic was published in “Slavia Orientalis” 2017, nr 2). I use this opportunity to look at my article anew and restate my interpretative approach to Dostoevsky’s last novel as well as the line of argumentation I had decided to adopt. The substance of my response relies heavily on the point evoked several times by E. Mikiciuk, concerning my “biased” selection of citations from the novel which generates a “one-dimensional”, “manipulated”, and “false” image of Christianity as a religion that approves of an “economic” idea of God, a God from whom one has to “buy” a right to salvation. Recalling narrations of starets Zosima on the problem of involuntary suffering and death, and meditating on an indefi nite, unpredictable or highly ambiguous nature of such characters as Dymitr and Alyosha Karamazov or Smerdyakov, I emphasize the radical openness and polyphonic nature of Dostoevsky's text which allows for manifold, even contradictory readings and understandings of the same fragments of his complex works. Further, I develop a key thesis that both theological/religious interpretations of Dostoevsky’s oeuvre, as supported by Elżbieta Mikiciuk, and philosophical/ existential ones, as advanced by me, are feasible and valuable as long as they remain anchored in a close reading and do not lay claims to representing the one and only valid approach to his literary universe. The paper ends with a conclusion in which I encourage a mutually inspirational dialogue (the agon, if you will) between these two exegetic strategies. Such a dialogue seems essential for a reinvigoration of Dostoevsky’s literary work, against which one should continuously measure himself in a constant, even painful at times, sense of insuffi ciency of his/her interpretative insight facing a paradoxical, axiologically ambivalent, and strictly polyphonic oeuvre.
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Abstract

Balmont’s only contribution to Russian Symbolist Drama is discussed in the forthcoming article as an attempt of quitting narcissistic “lyrical solitude”, which parallels Blok’s situation upon staging the play Balaganchik. Motifs of the mythologeme of Narcissus scattered all over Balmont’s poetry and prose, given narcissistic features of his individual character seem to reinforce that a subtle decoding of the myth as a sujet of semiosis, constitutes one of the chief constructive principles of the play. By means of contrasting allusions to the Blue Flower of Novalis Balmont accentuates metamorphosis via dematerialisation and transmutation coded in the myth. The pattern of colour and fl oral imagery juxtaposing the complementary yellow and blue is meant to reveal the harmony of universal correspondences shown through the omnipresent principle of the Eternal Feminine.
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