- By Anna Wierzbicka

Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words: English, Russian, Polish, German, and Japanese

  • Title: Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words: English, Russian, Polish, German, and Japanese
  • Author: Anna Wierzbicka
  • ISBN: 9780195088366
  • Page: 365
  • Format: Paperback
  • Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words English Russian Polish German and Japanese This book develops the dual themes that languages can differ widely in their vocabularies and are also sensitive indices to the cultures to which they belong Wierzbicka seeks to demonstrate that ever

    This book develops the dual themes that languages can differ widely in their vocabularies, and are also sensitive indices to the cultures to which they belong Wierzbicka seeks to demonstrate that every language has key concepts, expressed in key words, which reflect the core values of a given culture She shows that cultures can be revealingly studied, compared, and eThis book develops the dual themes that languages can differ widely in their vocabularies, and are also sensitive indices to the cultures to which they belong Wierzbicka seeks to demonstrate that every language has key concepts, expressed in key words, which reflect the core values of a given culture She shows that cultures can be revealingly studied, compared, and explained to outsiders through their key concepts, and that the analytical framework necessary for this purpose is provided by the natural semantic metalanguage, based on lexical universals, that the author and colleagues have developed on the basis of wide ranging cross linguistic investigations Appealing to anthropologists, psychologists, and philosophers as well as linguists, this book demonstrates that cultural patterns can be studied in a verifiable, rigorous, and non speculative way, on the basis of empirical evidence and in a coherent theoretical framework.

    1 thought on “Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words: English, Russian, Polish, German, and Japanese

    1. A surprising and fascinating look at how people in different cultures use words. For example, in Russia, there are six different words for friend, and none is used so casually as the way Americans use the word friend. Seems to support the Whorf hypothesis--that the words we use partly define who we are. A bit dry but pick the chapters or languages that interest you most, and you'll enjoy it.

    2. Uno dei pochi lavori in cui Anna Wierzbicka si abbandona al vento relativista, provando a slegarlo dai soliti stereotipi, pur mantenendo solide radici nella sua inclinazione all'universale (che raggiunge l'apoteosi nella teoria dei primitivi semantici, una tiepida rilettura delle intuizioni del compianto Swadesh). Un testo che si legge con piacere se interessati all'argomento, ma risulta limitante nella gamma di sistemi linguistici considerati; un classico di questi studi, purtroppo, sia precede [...]

    3. I found the idea of semantic primes interesting and helpful, and the comparison of words for key ideas like friend or freedom or fatherland in various languages gave me a lot of food for thought. I guess I would need to reread the Japanese chapter, though, it was a lot less clear in my mind.

    4. Много интересных умозаключений. Но главное исскуство в том, чтобы на самоочевидных вещах построить полноценный лингвистический/семантический анализ.

    5. Absolutely love this book! A fresh change from the typical monolingual-centric view on linguistics books. I will definitely be looking for more by Wierzbicka.

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