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 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.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Patterns of Friendship Across Cultures
Freedom in Latin English Russian and Polish
Homeland and Fatherland in German Polish and Russian
5 Australian Key Words and Core Cultural Values
6 Japanese Key Words and Core Cultural Values
Other editions - View all
adjective amae Anglo attitude Australian Aboriginal languages Australian culture Australian English bastard bloody bugger bullshit characteristic chiacking close friends collocations component concept context dictionary discussion doesn’t don’t want drug druzja emotional English word enryo example explication expression fact Fatherland feel something bad freedom friendship German giri glosses Heimat human relations idea implies important Japan Japanese culture key words kind koledzy kolega language Lebra libertas liberty linguistic linked mateship meaning Morsbach natural semantic metalanguage noun obligation ofczyzna omoiyari one's one’s phrase podruga Poland Polish language political polysemy przyjaciel quoted refers reflected relationship rodina rodnye roughly Russian language Russian word seishin semantic sense sentences shared shout social society solidarity someone Soviet speak suggests svoboda Szlachta TAND tovarišč traditional Australian Vaterland volja want bad things want to say whereas whinge Wierzbicka wolność word friend yarn znajomi
Page 8 - We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native languages. The categories and types that we isolate from the world of phenomena we do not find there because they stare every observer in the face; on the contrary, the world is presented in a kaleidoscopic flux of impressions which has to be organized by our minds — and this means largely by the linguistic systems in our minds.
Page 8 - We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way — an agreement that holds throughout our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language.
Page 40 - Be courteous to all, but intimate with few ; and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.
Page 134 - In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way everywhere in the world.
Page 23 - I can see, any unusual ambiguity: it denotes an historically transmitted pattern of meanings embodied in symbols, a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which men communicate, perpetuate, and develop their knowledge about and attitudes toward life.
Page 129 - positive" sense of the word "liberty" derives from the wish on the part of the individual to be his own master.
Page 40 - Friendship is constant in all other things Save in the office and affairs of love: Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues; Let every eye negotiate for itself, And trust no agent; for beauty is a witch, Against whose charms faith melteth into blood.
Page 132 - All errors which he is likely to commit against advice and warning are far outweighed by the evil of allowing others to constrain him to what they deem his good.
Page 6 - A moderate skill in different languages, will easily satisfy one of the truth of this, it being so obvious to observe great store of words in one language, which have not any that answer them in another.
Page 131 - I am normally said to be free to the degree to which no man or body of men interferes with my activity.