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Abstract

The two experiments described in this article are focused on semantic priming in the context of lexical ambiguity and hierarchic model of mental lexicon. For both experiments, the verification method was a decision taken in the process of translating a sentence from Polish (L1) to English (L2). The decision was a result of solving dilemma of interpretation of the particular sentence that included homonym. The sentences used in the experiments were prepared in a manner that allowed them to be interpreted in at least two ways – each way being a direct result of interpretation of a ambiguous word meaning included in a sentence. In this study the secondary meanings of the homonyms were primed. In the first experiment the primes were presented in L2 – therefore this part of the study was concentrated on interlingual aspect of semantic priming. The second experiment was focused on intralingual aspect of semantic priming and the primes were presented in L1. The results of both experiments have shown the effect of semantic priming of ambiguous words’ meanings when translating from one language to another. Participants used significantly more often (when translating sentences from Polish to English) those English words the meaning of which was primed in the experimental groups during the first phase of the conducted experiments. We discuss the results in the context of the hierarchic model of mental lexicon in the case of bilingualism and we suggest possible paths for future research.
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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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