Evaluating Language Intentions (as an academic resource)

What can provenance bring that was surely found in its content?  Information.  For the provenance of text, as a primary source(s) taken from the internet, books or journals; primary sources being the raw material of the work written by various people, in this case the end-user (UGC) on any topic or issue, texts are sources which then can to be studied by others; including historians and social scientists or researchers, which then becomes a contemporary subject matter.

As even though provenance is important to a certain extent, particularly where texts are concerned, these entries, generally, can still prove useful, for example, Novalis, which means ‘one who turns over new ground’, was the pen-name for one Fredrich Freiherr von Hardenburg (1772-1800), yet an extract of his work from ‘Miscellaneous Observations’ can still be found¹, not just because it was published, but the fact remains that he actually wrote something down, liken to today’s texts.

I also think on similar lines, that is,  that a “…writer may quite deliberately exploit the ambiguities and resonances of language, but a historian [or researcher] should make special efforts to be as clear and explicit as possible, and to separate out unambiguously what is securely established from what is basically speculation….”¹ when evaluating the content as well as it authenticity and provenance.

Therefore the questions to ask, when looking at texts and to minimalize any issues is:

1. What strengths and weaknesses does it have as a source for a research study.

2. Are there any particular words and phrases in the document that require elucidation or special comment before you can make use of it?

3. What can be learnt from this source with respect to its subject matter.  And distinguish between the witting and unwitting testimony.²

Written by ANON (female)
Code name: OU ID M2515473

_______________________________________________

FOOTNOTE

1. “…At present this realm certainly seems to us so dark inside, lonely, shapeless. But how entirely different it will seem to us – when this gloom is past, and the body of shadows has moved away. We will experience greater enjoyment than ever, for our spirit has been deprived…” (Lavin, C., 2004, Extract 3: from Novalis, From Enlightenment to Romanticism, Anthology II, published by Manchester University Press in association with The Open University, p.211)

2. “…Witting – means ‘deliberate’ or intentional; ‘unwitting’ means ‘unware’ or ‘unintentional’ whereas testimony means ‘evidence’ […].Thus ‘witting testimony’ is the deliberate message of a document or other source; the unwitting testimony’ is the unintentional evidence that it also contains. (Actually, it is the writer or creator of the document or source who is intentional or unintentional, not the testimony itself, but transferring the adjective from the person to the testimony is perfectly acceptable in ordinary English usage.) Witting testimony, then, is the information that the person who originally compiled or created the document or source intended to convey…” ³ (Arthur Marwick, 1998, ‘Basic Questions to be Asked of Any Primary Source’, A103: Introduction to the Humanities, published by The Open University, p.52.)

_______________________________________________

REFERENCE
1. Marwick, A., 1998, ‘Technical terms, conceptual terms, collective nouns and cliches’, A103: Introduction to the Humanities, The Open University, p.36
2. Lavin, C., 2004, Extract 3: from Novalis, From Enlightenment to Romanticism, Anthology II, published by Manchester University Press in association with The Open University, p.211
3. Marwick, A., 1998, ‘Basic Questions to be Asked of Any Primary Source’, A103: Introduction to the Humanities, The Open University, p.52.
WEBLINK RESOURCE:  The Open University History Society
Advertisements

Subscribe To My Podcast

Subscribe to this podcast feed
December 2008
M T W T F S S
    Jan »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

My Image

My Photos

Mavarine Du-Marie

More Photos

Categories

RSS Financial Times newspaper: Management

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Times newspaper: Law

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Evening Standard newspaper: Polite society

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Times Literary Supplement

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS History & The Arts Blog

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Archives

To Bookmark: