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
     
 

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

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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.

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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

1Introduction1
2Lexicon as a Key to Ethno-Sociology and Cultural Psychology: Patterns of "Friendship" Across Cultures32
3Lexicon as a Key to Ethno-Philosophy, History, and Politics: "Freedom" in Latin, English, Russian, and Polish125
4Lexicon as a Key to History, Nation, and Society: "Homeland" and "Fatherland" in German, Polish, and Russian156
5Australian Key Words and Core Cultural Values198
6Japanese Key Words and Core Cultural Values235
Notes281
References293

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