Recent Submissions

  • Journal Article

    Adverbial clauses: Internally rich, externally null 

    Blümel, Andreas; Pitsch, Hagen
    Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 2019; 4(1)
    This paper suggests a novel syntactic treatment of adverbial clauses. The point of departure is the observation – in German and Slavic languages – that there exists an asymmetry in the complexity of subordinating elements in complement and adverbial clauses: While the former feature simplex complementizers, i.e. heads, the latter to a large extent feature complex prepositional phrases in addition to the adverbial CP. Sense can be made of this observation if adverbial clauses exhibit a structure {PP, CP} in the specifier-less framework of Chomsky (2013). The labeling algorithm suggested in that work delivers no result, i.e. structure remains exocentric in line with the spirit of suggestions regarding adjuncts more generally (Hornstein & Nunes 2008). The underlying reason for the asymmetry is thus that C-elements must be simplex to ensure that the selected complement clause is properly endowed with a syntactic category. There is no corresponding need for this in (unselected) adverbial clauses, and hence no derivational problem for Merging PP with CP which suppresses the application of the labeling algorithm.
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  • Journal Article

    Handling Sign Language Data: The Impact of Modality 

    Quer, Josep; Steinbach, Markus
    Frontiers in Psychology 2019; 10 p.483-483
    Natural languages come in two different modalities. The impact of modality on the grammatical structure and linguistic theory has been discussed at great length in the last 20 years. By contrast, the impact of modality on linguistic data elicitation and collection, corpus studies, and experimental (psycholinguistic) studies is still underinvestigated. In this article, we address specific challenges that arise in judgment data elicitation and experimental studies of sign languages. These challenges are related to the socio-linguistic status of the Deaf community and the larger variability across signers within the same community, to the social status of sign languages, to properties of the visual-gestural modality and its interface with gesture, to methodological aspects of handling sign language data, and to specific linguistic features of sign languages. While some of these challenges also pertain to (some varieties of) spoken languages, other challenges are more modality-specific. The special combination of the challenges discussed in this article seems to be a specific facet empirical research on sign languages is faced with. In addition, we discuss the complementarity of theoretical approaches and experimental studies and show how the interaction of both approaches contributes to a better understanding of sign languages in particular and linguistic structures in general.
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  • Journal Article

    Detecting clauses and their dependencies in signed utterances: A syntactico-semantic approach 

    Loos, Cornelia
    Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 2018; 3(1): Art. 123
    Investigating the syntactic structure of utterances with multiple predicates in sign languages requires a clear understanding of how many finite and infinitival clauses they contain and which syntactic dependencies exist between them. Since the sign language literature currently lacks a standardized methodology for identifying clause boundaries, this paper discusses syntactico-semantic diagnostics of clausehood and clause size and analyzes their applicability to American Sign Language (ASL) and German Sign Language (DGS). First, I discuss tests that distinguish coordinated clauses from dependent clause structures; specifically negation, A’-movement, and subject pronoun copy. Limitations of wh- and topic fronting as clausehood diagnostics are identified and a modified subject pronoun copy test is proposed. Determining whether a given utterance contains coordinated or dependent clauses is only half the battle, however; we also want to know the approximate “size” of the constituent an embedded predicate projects. The present study takes a first pass at filling this gap by introducing rightward wh-movement and confirming center-embedding as diagnostics that can discriminate between finite and infinitival clauses in signed languages. Based on acceptability judgments from 13 native signers of DGS and ASL, I show that wh-subjects can move across infinitival control complements and the secondary predicates of resultative constructions, but they cannot cross a finite complement clause. The diagnostic thus provides empirical evidence for the existence of various types of embedded clauses in signed languages that differ in their functional structure.
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  • Journal Article

    Cuneiform Culture and Science, Calendars, and Metrology in Elam 

    Basello, G. P.; Ascalone, E.
    Routledge, 2018
    The word “culture” is commonly used as either a synonym for “civilization” or in reference to the “shared education” of a specific segment of society, the literate people. In an inspiring book like The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture (Radner and Robson 2011), it is used in both senses, while the syntagm “cuneiform culture” represents an umbrella term for Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and so on textual communities (Radner and Robson 2011: xxvii, following Stock 1990: 23 in defining textual communities as “microsocieties organized around the common understanding of a script”). While it would be interesting to discuss the extent to which individuals from different social classes and time periods would have identified and labeled themselves as “Elamite” in Susa and other Elamite areas, in what follows we will be concerned with the second meaning, that is, the one pointing to cuneiform literacy in Elam and especially to literacy in the Elamite language.
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  • Journal Article

    Ökonomische Integration durch Gewichtsnutzung im bronze - zeitlichen Anatolien 

    Rahmstorf, Lorenz
    Anatolian Metal; VIII
    Marie Leidorf GmbH, Rahden/Westf., 2018
    Im Folgenden werde ich versuchen einen kurzen Abriss der Nutzungsgeschichte von Waagen und Gewichten in bronzezeitlichen Anatolien zu bieten. Hierbei handelt es sich um eine Momentaufnahme, die vor allem neue Erkenntnisse der letzten Jahre referiert. Die rasante Veränderung des Forschungsstandes zeigt sich dadurch, dass neue Ergebnisse zur Gewichtsnutzung in den einzelnen Epochen der anatolischen Bronzezeit erst in den letzten Jahren erschienen sind: zur Frühbronzezeit (Horejs 2016), zur Mittelbronzezeit (Dercksen 2016) und zur Spätbronzezeit (Müller-Karpe 2015).
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  • Journal Article

    Of middens and markets: the phenomenology of the market place in the Bronze Age and beyond 

    Rahmstorf, Lorenz
    Oxbow Books, 2018
    It is not known when humans started using markets to exchange goods. However, we have concrete evidence of their doing so from at least the Bronze Age. While the existence of market places is often not taken into consideration by researchers due to preconceived conceptions about exchange during the Bronze Age, textual evidence from the Near East and tomb reliefs from Pharaonic Egypt demonstrate their existence during this period. Nevertheless, it is difficult to identify actual market places by archaeological means in these regions. This applies even more to Bronze Age Europe, where researchers have argued that it may be not appropriate to speak of trade, as this implies an economic system in which markets were in use. In this article I would like to discuss the phenomenon of market places by investigating the archaeological remains of potential exchange sites from the Neolithic and Bronze Age and comparing them with later evidence from the Mediterranean, central Europe and Mesoamerica. It will be argued that specific sites (‘middens’) from Late Bronze Age Britain and the Early Iron Age transition in the earlier first millennium BC in southern Britain can be considered to be market places. Certain archaeological features and objects may indicate the existence of market places from a cross-cultural and diachronic perspective and thus provide us with a range of distinct criteria for detecting their physical remains.
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  • Journal Article

    Market as place & space of economic exchange. Perspectives from archaeology & anthropology 

    Rahmstorf, Lorenz
    Oxbow Books, 2018
    It is not known when humans started using markets to exchange goods. However, we have concrete evidence of their doing so from at least the Bronze Age. While the existence of market places is often not taken into consideration by researchers due to preconceived conceptions about exchange during the Bronze Age, textual evidence from the Near East and tomb reliefs from Pharaonic Egypt demonstrate their existence during this period. Nevertheless, it is difficult to identify actual market places by archaeological means in these regions. This applies even more to Bronze Age Europe, where researchers have argued that it may be not appropriate to speak of trade, as this implies an economic system in which markets were in use. In this article I would like to discuss the phenomenon of market places by investigating the archaeological remains of potential exchange sites from the Neolithic and Bronze Age and comparing them with later evidence from the Mediterranean, central Europe and Mesoamerica. It will be argued that specific sites (‘middens’) from Late Bronze Age Britain and the Early Iron Age transition in the earlier first millennium BC in southern Britain can be considered to be market places. Certain archaeological features and objects may indicate the existence of market places from a cross-cultural and diachronic perspective and thus provide us with a range of distinct criteria for detecting their physical remains.
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  • Journal Article

    Indeterminacy and approximation in Mediterranean weight systems, in the third and second millennia BC 

    Ialongo, N.; Vacca, A.; Vanzetti, A.
    Archaeopress Publishing Ltd, 2018
    Research on weight systems used during the Bronze Age, prior to the introduction of writing, generally assumes that the widespread use of metal as ‘commodity currency’ eventually resulted in the adoption of widely shared systems of measurement. Many studies aimed at the identification of recurrent weight values as multiples and/or submultiples of theoretical standard units. This approach faces two limitations: 1) the absence of written sources, or at least statistically sound samples, makes it difficult to either validate or reject any reconstruction of prehistoric systems; 2) in the literate Ancient World, different polities usually retained distinct systems. Here an alternative analytical framework is outlined, making use of elementary statistics and cross-historical comparisons, and relying positively on ‘indeterminacy’ and ‘approximation’ rather than on ‘exactness’. Recurrent weight measures can correspond to ‘Standard Average Quantities’, rather than representing arrays of exact multiples/submultiples of given units. By departing from a ‘fractional’ theoretical logic, one can observe that constant exchange practice may have produced the normalisation of ‘tradable quantities’ and that this can happen without necessarily implying the unification of local systems.
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  • Journal Article

    The Use of Bronze Objects in the 3rd Millenium BC – a survey between Atlantic and Indus 

    Rahmstorf, Lorenz
    Oxbow, 2017
    The present article provides a survey on the appearance of bronze, an intentional alloy of copper and tin, before the end of the 3rd millennium BC, or more precisely before 2200/2100 BC. More than 140 sites have been assembled between the Atlantic in the west and the Indus or north-west India in the east. The analysis was originally intended as a detailed overview of the chronology and geographical distribution of early bronze objects and their contextual associations. Another aim was to investigate the kind of objects that were made of bronze when this material was still new and in most cases difficult to come by. No more than a preliminary outline of all these interesting aspects can be given here. Nevertheless, the data may hopefully provide a basis for others to investigate these questions further on a broader material basis than has been possible so far.
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  • Journal Article

    The Intangible Weight of Things: Approximate Nominal Weights in Modern Society 

    Ialongo, N.
    Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2016
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  • Journal Article

    Emerging Economic Complexity in the Aegean and Western Anatolia during Earlier Third Millennium BC 

    Rahmstorf, Lorenz
    SHEFFIELD STUDIES IN AEGEAN ARCHAEOLOGY
    Oxbow Books, 2016
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  • Journal Article

    Die Rahmenbedingungen des bronzezeitlichen Handels in Europa und im Alten Orient einschließlich Ägyptens 

    Rahmstorf, Lorenz
    PBF; XX, 14
    AKADEMIE DER WISSENSCHAFTEN UND DER LITERATUR, MAINZ, 2016
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  • Journal Article

    Snyd ikke på vægten – nye vægtlodder fra bronzealderen i Middelhavsområdet 

    Sørensen, Lasse; Rahmstrof, Lorenz
    Nationalmuseet Arbejdsmark 2016; 2016 p.158-169
    Don’t fiddle with the scales! – new weights from the Bronze Age in the Mediterranean area Scales were the epitome of a new technique that could measure various raw materials by weighing them in a variety of units. This article presents new knowledge of rare finds of worked stone weights from various collections of antiquities in Denmark and England, which can be dated to the Aegean Bronze Age. The studies of the 53 identified stone weights show that as early as the beginning of the third millennium there were close trading links across the regions in the eastern Mediterranean area among Greece, Turkey, Syria and Mesopotamia, since they used similar weight system, which included the eastern Mediterranean, the Mesopotamian and the Minoan. These connections are also confirmed by studies of the material culture. With the weight units people could communicate with one another across regions and created economic integration and a consensus on the valuation of objects. Whether people tipped the scales is hard to guess today, but when one studies many of the weights it is rare for them to be wholly accurate in terms of the proposed unit of weight. This might mean that there were probably people cheating then, but that the common, known and regulated weight units and systems were the best safeguard against cheating and fraud.
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  • Journal Article

    From 'value ascription' to coinage: a sketch of monetary developments in Western Eurasia from the Stone to the Iron Age 

    Rahmstorf, Lorenz
    Leister Archaeology Monograph; 24
    Leicester Archaeology Monographs, School of Archaeology & Ancient History, University of Leicester, 2016
    Surely, ‘money is one of the most timeless, all-pervading, and arbitrary inventionsin human history’ (Haselgrove and Krmnicek 2012, 235), yet it is possible to differentiate three different stages of monetary use and the estimation of value. Exchange is considered as the key to assessing the precise value of commodities. Hence it is of primary importance to understand how exchange was conducted. During the first stage, which began at an uncertain date within the Stone Age, various substances were considered as valuables and could have functioned as some form of currency, yet their range was limited by many factors, not least by social constraints. This was still very much the case during the Copper Age, even if metals now offered new and fantastic possibilities for defining value and creating money. On present evidence it cannot be established whether objects standardised by size (aes formatum) existed on a large scale at this period. A relationship between value and mass was apparently not yet established. Only in the Bronze Age did the invention of weights and scales enable such a nexus, marking the second stage. This step created a highly precise medium for exchange, as a method of payment and a standard of value. Metal was clearly now a currency. These innovations were more revolutionary than the appearance of coins in the Iron Age, the threshold of the third stage of fundamental monetary developments.
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  • Journal Article

    The Earliest Balance Weights in the West: Towards an Independent Metrology for Bronze Age Europe 

    Ialongo, Nicola
    Cambridge Archaeological Journal p.1-22
    Weighing devices are the earliest material correlates of the rational quantification of economic value, and they yield great potential in the study of trade in pre-literate societies. However, the knowledge of European Bronze Age metrology is still underdeveloped in comparison to Eastern Mediterranean regions, mostly due to the lack of a proper scientific debate. This paper introduces a theoretical and methodological framework for the study of standard weight-systems in pre-literate societies, and tests it on a large sample of potential balance weights distributed between Southern Italy and Central Europe during the Bronze Age (second–early first millennium bc). A set of experimental expectations is defined on the basis of comparisons with ancient texts, archaeological cases and modern behaviour. Concurrent typological, use-wear, statistical and contextual analyses allow to cross-check the evidence against the expectations, and to validate the balance-weight hypothesis for the sample under analysis. The paper urges a reappraisal of an independent weight metrology for Bronze Age Europe, based on adequate methodologies and a critical perspective.
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  • Journal Article

    Breaking down the bullion. The compliance of bullion-currencies with official weight-systems in a case-study from the ancient Near East 

    Ialongo, Nicola; Vacca, Agnese; Peyronel, Luca
    Journal of Archaeological Science 2018; 91 p.20-32
    In this paper we provide an analytical insight on a specific form of bullion-currency. Through the comparison of the statistical properties of different samples of hacksilver and balance weights from various contexts of the Near Eastern Bronze Age, the study attempts to assess whether the weight values of bullion-currencies can be expected to comply with existing weight-standards. The results of the statistical analyses on a silver hoard from Ebla (Syria) strongly suggest that hacksilver in the Bronze Age Near East was shaped and/or fragmented in order to comply with the weight-systems that were in use in the trade networks where it circulated. The results also show the possibility to quantify the level of affinity between different weight-systems. The study is intended to provide a starting point for future research, aimed at the identification of different forms of bullion-currencies in pre- and protohistoric economies.
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  • Journal Article

    Under Control? Or Border (as) Conflict: Reflections on the European Border Regime 

    Hess, Sabine; Kasparek, Bernd
    Social Inclusion 2017; 5(3) p.58-68
    The migrations of 2015 have led to a temporary destabilization of the European border and migration regime. In this contribution, we trace the process of destabilization to its various origins, which we locate around the year 2011, and offer a preliminary assessment of the attempts at re-stabilization. We employ the notion of “border (as) conflict” to emphasize that crisis and exception lies at the very core of the European border and migration regime and its four main dimensions of externalization, techno-scientific borders, an internal mobility regime for asylum seekers, and humanitarization.
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  • Journal Article

    Decolonial Perspectives on Charitable Spaces of “Welcome Culture” in Germany 

    Braun, Katherine
    Social Inclusion 2017; 5(3) p.38-48
    This article focusses on the relationships between volunteers and refugees in the German “welcome culture”. I highlight the continuities between historical and colonial notions of feminine charity and contemporary volunteering efforts in support of refugees in Germany. The “welcome culture” is conceived here as a charitable space that is historically sedimented by specific understandings of gender, racial and class difference. In particular, the difference between the modern emancipated female volunteer and the female oppressed refugee plays a central role. The question of female self-determination, then, becomes an important social arena in the German “welcome culture”, through which the rate and terms of participation of refugees in social life are negotiated. Thus I draw on decolonial thought as well as theoretical insights from post-development scholarship and critical studies of humanitarianism in order to consider the multitemporal and transnational character of current “welcome culture” as well as to gain a better understanding of the entailed power relations. These are more contingent than might first appear. Presenting findings from my ongoing fieldwork I conclude that the notion of “welcome culture” allows for the emergence of new forms of sociality.
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  • Journal Article

    The transfer of science to Europe through Arabic and the use of Arabic sources until the Renaissance 

    Schwartz, Werner
    al-Maǧalla al-ʿarabīya li-'ṯ-ṯaqāfa 2017; 63 p.3-63
    The article follows the main steps in the movement of scientific works and ideas from the Muslim East to the Muslim West and further on to Latin Europe. Of the numerous medieval scholars and their works only a few can be mentioned. The main phases in the transfer of knowledge, however, and its reception are briefly described in their historic context. Today we know more about this transfer than only a few decades ago. At the same time, it seems to be more difficult than before to assess the influence Arabic works of science had on the advance of European science and technology in early modern Europe. The reason for such a difficulty is the tremendous increase in information gained from ongoing research. This adds to the complexity of the picture that we try to draw of this development. The present article gives a concise but selective overview of recent research published in European languages.
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  • Journal Article

    Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Ghana: What Governance System Works? 

    Bogweh Nchanji, Eileen
    Sustainability 2017; 9(11)
    Urban farming takes advantage of its proximity to market, transport and other urban infrastructure to provide food for the city and sustain the livelihoods of urban and peri-urban dwellers. It is an agricultural activity which employs more than 50% of the local urban population with positive and negative impacts on local and national development. Urban agriculture is an informal activity not supported by law but in practice is regulated to a certain extent by state institutions, traditional rulers, farmers and national and international non-governmental organisations. Tamale’s rapid population growth, exacerbated by the unplanned development system and institutional conflicts, are factors contributing to the present bottlenecks in the urban agricultural system. In this paper, these bottlenecks are conceptualised as problems of governance. These issues will be illustrated using ethnographic data from land sales, crop-livestock competition, waste-water irrigation, and markets. I will explain how conflicts which arise from these different situations are resolved through the interactions of various governance systems. Informal governance arrangements are widespread, but neither they nor formal systems are always successful in resolving governance issues. A participatory governance does not seem possible due to actors’ divergent interests. A governance solution for this sector is not yet apparent, contributing to food and nutritional insecurity.
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