Cooperating with scholars from universities across the globe, the Department of English at the University of Zielona Góra has already published a few volumes from the Language, Thought and Education series. Exploring language acquisition, education, translation and language systems, we focus on mutually complementary areas which, when looked at holistically, constitute an intrinsically coherent body of knowledge. The present volume – LTE: Across Systems, is yet another contribution to our linguistic explorations. The book is divided into five parts: “Across the systems of sounds”, “Multilingual systems”, “Learning to communicate across cultures”, “Cognition and pragmatics across cultures” and “Issues in translation”.
The first part, which explores phonological systems, consists of two chapters: “The phonological component of interlanguage: from Polish into Engllish” by Marek Kuczyński and “Articulation of the Polish /r/ in the intervocalic position” by Łukasz Stolarski. The former presentation identifies convergent as well as divergent aspects of phoneme articulation in the English and Polish languages. Identifying parallels allows for anticipating positive phonological transfer, while differences – negative. By identifying them, we make comparative linguistics an area with true value for foreign/second language education. Stolarski, in turn, focuses on one single phoneme – the Polish /r/ sound. This sound is usually referred to as a trill, yet recent studies have suggested that this articulation is observed in only 3% of occurrences. The tap, rather than trill, is the typical instantiation of the phoneme in question. What this suggests is that this phoneme, while still different from the corresponding English sound, has different articulatory properties than previously thought.
The second part of the book is also composed of two chapters; their focus is on multilingualism – “Lexical and conceptual gaps in the Multilingual Mental Lexicon: some problems of communication and cognition” by Teresa Maria Włosowicz, as well as “Bilingualism and diglossia in China” by Maria Kurapska. Włosowicz’s study is concerned with intra-personal processes which take place alongside the development of bilingual competence, while Kurapska touches upon inter-personal phenomena which are observed on the social level involving the peoples of a major part of South-East Asia.