Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words: English, Russian, Polish, German, and Japanese / Edition 1

Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words: English, Russian, Polish, German, and Japanese / Edition 1

by Anna Wierzbicka
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0195088360

ISBN-13: 9780195088366

Pub. Date: 08/28/1997

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

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

Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195088366
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
08/28/1997
Series:
Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics Series, #8
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 6.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
1(31)
1. Cultural analysis and linguistic semantics
1(1)
2. Words and cultures
1(4)
3. Different words, different ways of thinking?
5(5)
4. Cultural elaboration and the lexicon
10(1)
5. Word frequencies and cultures
11(4)
6. Key words and core cultural values
15(2)
7. "Culture"--a perilous idea?
17(5)
8. Linguistic and conceptual universals
22(1)
9. "Natural semantic metalanguage": Exit from Babel
23(7)
10. Conclusion
30(2)
2. Lexicon as a Key to Ethno-Sociology and Cultural Psychology: Patterns of "Friendship" Across Cultures
32(93)
1. "Friendship"-a human universal?
32(3)
2. The changing meaning of the English word friend
35(20)
3. Patterns of "friendship" in Russian culture
55(30)
4. Patterns of "friendship" in Polish culture
85(16)
5. Mate--a key to Australian culture
101(17)
6. Conclusion
118(2)
Appendix: Summary of the Formulae
120(5)
3. Lexicon as a Key to Ethno-Philosophy, History, and Politics: "Freedom" in Latin, English, Russian, and Polish
125(31)
1. 'Freedom'--a culture-specific concept
125(1)
2. Libertas
126(3)
3. Freedom
129(3)
4. Liberty
132(4)
5. The older meaning of freedom
136(2)
6. Svoboda
138(6)
7. Volja
144(4)
8. Wolnosc
148(4)
9. Conclusion
152(2)
Appendix: Summary of the Formulae
154(2)
4. Lexicon as a Key to History, Nation, and Society: "Homeland" and "Fatherland" in German, Polish, and Russian
156(42)
1. Different "homelands," different "patriotisms"
156(1)
2. Heimat
156(5)
3. Vaterland
161(15)
4. Ojczyzna
176(15)
5. Rodina
191(4)
6. Conclusion
195(1)
Appendix: Summary of the Formulae
195(3)
5. Australian Key Words and Core Cultural Values
198(37)
1. "Australian culture"
198(4)
2. Australian speech act verbs
202(15)
3. Australian "b-words" (swearwords)
217(14)
4. Conclusion
231(1)
Appendix: Summary of the Formulae
232(3)
6. Japanese Key Words and Core Cultural Values
235(46)
1. How "unique" is Japanese culture?
235(3)
2. Amae
238(5)
3. Enryo
243(5)
4. Wa
248(6)
5. On
254(8)
6. Giri
262(8)
7. Seishin
270(5)
8. Omoiyari
275(3)
9. Conclusion
278(1)
Appendix: Summary of the Formulae
278(3)
Notes 281(12)
References 293

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