Культурные особенности американцев (на английским языке)
Chapter 1.Language, culture and cognition
1.1.Linguistic and cultural relativity (Sapir-Whorf hypothesis)
1.2.Linguistic relativity hypothesis in modern conceptions
1.3.Linguistic consciousness and linguistic picture of the world
1.4.Cultural concepts in language
Chapter 2.Cultural concepts of American society as reflected in the language
2.1.American cultural identity
2.2.American cultural concepts as reflected in the language
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Показать всеских целях. – СПб, 2000.
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20.Энциклопедический словарь Российской цивилизации. – М., 2001.
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22.Encyclopedia Britannica. CD.
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25.Goddard C. Thinking across languages and cultures: Six dimensions of variation // Cognitive Linguistics. – 2003. – Vol. 14. – No. 2-3. – Pp. 109-140.
26.Goddard C., Wierzbicka A. Cultural scripts: What are they and what are they good for? // Intercultural Pragmatics. – 2004. – Vols 1-2. – Pp. 153-166.
27.Haarmann H. Language in Its Cultural Embedding: Explorations in the Relativity of Signs and Sign Systems. – Berlin et al: Mouton de Gruyter, 1990.
28.Hays P. From the jurassic dark: linguistic relativity as evolutionary necessity // Explorations in linguistic relativity / Ed. by M. Putz and M.H. Verspoor. – Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2000.
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30.Koerner E.F.K. Towards a ‘full pedigree’ of the ‘Sapir-Whorf hypothesis; from Locke to Lucy // Explorations in linguistic relativity / Ed. by M. Putz and M.H. Verspoor. – Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2000.
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33.Wierzbicka A. ‘‘Cultural scripts’’: A semantic approach to cultural analysis and cross-cultural communication // Pragmatics and Language Learning / Ed. by L. Bouton, Y. Kachru. – Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois, 1994. – Pp. 1–24.
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35.Wierzbicka A. Semantics: Culture and Cognition. – Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.
36.Wierzbicka A. Semantics: Primes and Universals. – Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.
37.Wierzbicka A. Understanding Cultures through their Key Words. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.
Stating differences and similarities between two languages is one thing. Formulating these differences is another. In the past, research into the relationship between language, culture and thought lacked descriptively adequate methods for analyzing the similarities and differences between the meaning systems of different languages. The key to achieving the necessary rigour is basing our method of semantic analysis on universal concepts. Many thinkers through the centuries have believed that a set of universal concepts exists. Philosophers like Pascal, Descartes, Amauld, and Leibniz called them "simple ideas." Modem linguists generally refer to them as semantic primes or semantic primitives.
So far about 60 semantic primes can be thought of as universal concepts or as the basic "atoms" of
Показать всеmeaning, in terms of which the thousands upon thousands of complex meanings are composed.
Table 2. Universal semantic primes
I, YOU, SOMEONE, PEOPLE, SOMETHING, BODY, WORD
THIS, THE SAME, OTHER, ONE, TWO, SOME, MUCH, ALL
KNOW, THINK, WANT, FEEL, SEE, HEAR
Actions and processes
SAY, DO, HAPPEN, MOVE
Existence and possession
THERE IS, HAVE
Life and death
Evaluation and description
GOOD, BAD, BIG, SMALL
WHERE, HERE, ABOVE, BELOW, NEAR, FAR, INSIDE, SIDE
WHEN, NOW, BEFORE, AFTER, A LONG TIME, A SHORT TIME, FOR SOME TIME
KIND OF, PART OF, VERY, MORE, LIKE
IF, BECAUSE, NOT, MAYBE, CAN
1.2.2. Culture-specific grammar
In any language there will be aspects of grammar which are strongly linked with culture. Proponents of linguistic relativity such as Sapir and Whorf concentrated on pervasive grammatical patterns such as whether or not a language insists on marking the distinction between singular and plural referents, or the relative time reference (tense) of an event, or the source of one's evidence for making a statement, etc. A language continually forces its speakers to attend to such distinctions (or others like them), inescapably imposing a particular subjective experience of the world and ourselves. A celebrated example of this comes from Whorf, who contrasted the way in which "time" is conceptualized in English and in Hopi (a native American language of north-eastern Arizona). In English and other European languages, time is very often spoken of in the same way as we speak of material, countable objects. Just as we say one stone/five stones, we say one day/five days, extending the use of cardinal numbers and plural marking from material entities to immaterial entities. This implies that we have conceptualized our experience of time in terms of our experience of material objects which may be present before our eyes. We are "objectifying" time. Units of time are, however, fundamentally different from objects. Five days are not "seen" simultaneously but can only be experienced sequentially. In the Hopi speaker's non-objectified view of time, the concept "five days" does not make sense. If the speaker wants to express this notion, he or she will make use of ordinal numbers, i.e. something like "the fifth day." According to Whorf, their primary conceptualization is in terms of the succession of cycles of day and night. The cycles are not lumped together as material objects.22
1.2.3. Cultural scripts
Focusing now more on the relationship between language and culture, we may now consider Wierzbicka's theory of "cultural scripts".23 Her claim is that "different ways of speaking, different communicative styles, can be explained and made sense of, in terms of independently established different cultural values and cultural priorities".24 Her Natural Semantic Metalanguage is meant to serve as a "language-independent 'culture notation', suitable for representing the 'cultural unconscious'... (T)he use of this metalanguage can clarify differences between cultures, including those most directly affecting communicative styles. The scripts are not necessarily embodied in any lexical material (although they are often found in the semantic structure of "cultural keywords", but can be extrapolated on the basis of evidence from lexical and grammatical semantics in a language, structures of communicative practice in a language community, and other sources of ethnographic evidence.25
In different societies people not only speak different languages, they also use them in different ways, following different cultural norms. Cultural norms of communication are usually described using vague and impressionistic labels such as "directness," "formality," and "politeness." Though useful up to a point, such labels are really quite vague, and are used with different meanings by different authors. They can also lead to ethnocentrism because they are usually not translatable into the language of the people whose culture is being described. These problems can be largely overcome if we use semantic primes to formulate our descriptions of cultural norms of communication. When cultural norms are described in this way, they are referred to as cultural scripts.
Compare proposed scripts for Anglo-American and Japanese culture, which are excellent examples of starkly contrasting principles in the "grammars" of these cultures, namely Anglo-American "individualism" and "tolerance" versus Japanese "harmony" and "non-confrontation".26
This applies in particular to the expression of personal desires, a fact linked with the Japanese ideal of enryo 'restraint, reserve.' One finds that Japanese people are reluctant to express their preferences directly. When asked what arrangements would suit them, they will often decline to say, using expressions like 'Any time will do' or 'Any place will be all right with me.' Direct questioning about a person's wishes is far from normal. With the exception of family and close friends it is impolite in Japanese to say such things as 'What do you want to eat?' and 'What do you like?' Nor is a guest in Japan constantly offered choices by an attentive host. Rather, it is the responsibility of the host to anticipate what will please the guest and simply to present items of food and drink, urging that they be consumed, in the standard phrase, 'without enryo.'
Overall, one may say that Japanese culture strongly discourages people from saying clearly what they want. The culturally approved strategy is to send an "implicit message" of some kind, in the expectation that the addressee will respond. These cultural attitudes can be captured in a script like this:
(A) Japanese script for "saying what you want" when I want something:
it is not good to say to other people: 'I want this' I can say something else if I say something else, other people can know what I want
Anglo-American attitudes are of course quite different in this respect. In line with Anglo ideals of individual freedom and personal autonomy, it is considered desirable if people "feel free" to express their preferences:
(B) Anglo-American script for "saying what you want" everyone can say things like this to other people:
'I want this,' 'I don't want this'
On the other hand, the same ideal of personal autonomy inhibits speakers of mainstream English from using the bare imperative and saying Do this! and encourages them instead to apply polite strategies (as later discussed in Chapter 7). Therefore they will use more elaborate locutions such as Could you do this?, Would you mind doing this? and the like. The message that "I want you to do something" is embedded into a more complex configuration which acknowledges the addressee's autonomy by inviting them to say whether or not they will comply. These norms can be captured in the following pair of scripts:
(C) Anglo-American script blocking "imperative directives" if l want someone to do something, I can't say to this person something like this:
'I want you to do this; because of this, you have to do if’
(D) Anglo-American script for "interrogative directives" if l want to say to someone something like this:
'I want you to do this' it is good to say something like this at the same time:
'I don't know if you will do it.
It would be wrong, however, to think that the cultural scripts of mainstream English are "typically European." There is considerable diversity among the languages and cultures of Europe in this regard (as in many others). In most of them, bare imperatives are used more often than in English, and the use of interrogative structures in directives is more limited.
The principles embodied in these scripts account for a range of phenomena, including well-known difficulties of cross-cultural communication. Wierzbicka summarizes thus:
(E)very society has a shared set of cultural norms, norms which appear to be quite specific and which can be stated in the form of explicit cultural scripts, Cultural scripts are above all concerned with things that one can or cannot say, things that one can or cannot do, and also things that "it is good" to say or do. They constitute a society's unspoken 'cultural grammar' (whose parts can surface, at times, in open discourse, in the form of proverbs, common sayings, popular wisdom, common socialization routines, and so on)27.
Importantly, Wierzbicka does not simply see the scripts as merely convenient descriptive devices:
“The remarkably good match between scripts written in lexical universals and generalizations emerging from ethnographic and linguistic data suggests that scripts of this kind may not only be useful theoretical constructs but also have genuine psychological reality”.28
Cultural scripts are not confined to representation of norms of discourse, but may also describe "common knowledge" ('people do this', "people (don't) want things like this to happen', 'this can happen if you do that', and so on), and especially "values" and "virtues" (i.e. what kinds of actions, events, and thoughts are 'good' or 'bad'). Positing a set of "scripts" does not imply that members of a cultural group are necessarily committed personally to the said values, or that they necessarily abide by the said norms. But it does entail that members of a culture are aware that these scripts represent the default set of representations a representative member most reliably assumes (and, in turn, one must assume others assume, and, further still, one must assume others assume that one assumes oneself.29
1.3. Linguistic consciousness and linguistic picture of the world
Evidence and arguments from a range of perspectives conspire to significantly weaken the claim that linguocentric methodology is inherently inadequate or flawed, or that it cannot provide reliable or persuasive results in empirical work in linguistic anthropology, and in particular on linguistic relativity and related issues. It is unrealistic to demand that studies concerned with the language-culture-thought relationship should seek exclusively to demonstrate correlation of a language system with a pattern of non-linguistic belief and behavior, since there are many reasons to believe that the "language system" on the one hand, and "belief and behavior" on the other, cannot be separated in any principled way. Firstly, recent work suggests that the language faculty has evolved synergistically with our general cognitive capacities for (and the demands of) complex and interactive social organization, strongly suggesting that language and thought are mutually interconstituted (both phylo- and ontogenetically). Secondly, culture crucially involves a great deal of semiotic phenomena, and language is the dominant human semiotic system. The establishment of sharedness of the ideas and significances which make up culture are heavily dependent on language in socialization, and in ongoing daily maintenance. A third point is methodological: Whatever the psychological reality of thought and culture in relation to language, it is only in terms of language and linguistic categories that these can be discussed, analyzed and compared by researchers. The methodological consequence of this is that monolinguocentrism is the flawed approach to be avoided. And this can be most effectively achieved (at least in formal description) via a metalanguage based on semantic and conceptual universals (or at least maximally near universals).
Many researchers argue that linguocentrism is a fact of life30. However, the cultural and/or cognitive import of linguistic evidence can only be assessed on the basis of well-justified semantic explication, done in clear and simple, non-monolinguocentric, and therefore non-ethnocentric terms.
In doing research on linguistic relativity, once we acknowledge the intrinsic linguocentricity of cultural and cognitive phenomena, and most importantly of their description and analysis, there is less interest in proving that there is a relationship (of "influence" or whatever) between language, thought and culture, but rather in uncovering and mapping out the dominant and/or recurring conceptual themes that populate the conceptual/symbolic systems of various culture-language complexes. This overall patterning of prevalent ideas in a system may be revealed not only by speakers' practices, but also by their habitual fashions of speaking – their idioms, metaphors, lexicalization patterns, and grammatical fixtures. The conceptual themes we find elaborated are at the same time, and equally, linguistic and cultural.
In other words, the culture-specific words and grammatical constructions of a language are conceptual tools which reflect a society's past experience of doing and thinking about things in certain ways. As a society changes, these tools may be gradually modified and discarded. In that sense the outlook of a society is never wholly "determined" by its stock of conceptual tools, but it is clearly influenced by them. Similarly, the outlook of an individual is never fully "determined" by his or her native language, because there are always alternative ways of expressing oneself, but one's conceptual perspective on life is clearly influenced by his or her native language.
Much the same can be said about communicative style. An individual's communicative style is not rigidly determined by the cultural scripts which he or she internalizes while growing up in that culture. There is always room for individual and social variation, and for innovation. But the communicative style of both society and individual cannot escape the influence of the "cultural rules" of communication.
In the end, the existence of a common stock of semantic primes in all the world's languages means that all human cognition rests on the same conceptual bedrock. Theoretically, any culture-specific concept can be made accessible to cultural outsiders by being decomposed into a translatable configuration of universal semantic primes, and indeed, this technique can be an important practical aide to inter-cultural communication. Even so, since every language functions as an integrated whole (of enormous complexity), there will never be a better way to understand the inner workings of a culture than to learn, to speak, and to live life through the language of its people.
Considerations represented above served the basis for the development of the conceptions of ‘linguistic picture of the world’, ‘linguistic consciousness’ and ‘linguistic/linguo-cultural personality’ which posit that the language as acquired by the speakers reflects the reality in a specific linguo-cultural way, that is – in a certain culturally predetermined construal, all the speakers of the language are culturally shaped linguistic personalities and the way we cognize things to a great extent depend upon the language we code the results of our cognitive operations.
Linguistic personality (языковая личность) is understood as a set of capabilities and characteristics of a person which predetermine the creation and perception of speech products (texts). These capabilities involve not only the knowledge of language but also the so-called en-culturation, that is, notions, norms of behavior, values, stereotypes, etc. deeply rooted in the consciousness of a human being who necessarily is a bearer of a certain culture.31
One of the key issues of the above-mentioned conceptions are cultural concepts which reflect the corner stones of culture. By decoding them we can better understand the culture and the language which codes the culture32.
1.4. Cultural concepts in language
Besides being a means of communication, language is considered to be a system via which structure cultural concepts as key cultural ‘cells’ in the national mentality of a person are objectively interpreted.
Cultural concepts are understood as bundles of notions, elements of knowledge, associations which form the aura of a given culture for its bearers.33
Being designed and constantly refined as a system servicing human communication, language is engaged in nominating and actualizing in speech of those conceptual entities which are relevant for a given linguo-cultural community, are used for exchange of information, and there inventory is defined and predetermined by culture itself,
Actually, the fact that the universal core of semantic primes appears to be so small (almost certainly less than 100 words) highlights the great conceptual differences between languages. The vast majority of words in any language have complex and rather language-specific meanings, and this can often be seen as reflecting and embodying the distinctive historical and cultural experiences of the speech community. In this case, we speak of culture-specific words, or cultural concepts.34
We can see some prosaic examples in the domain of food. It is clearly no accident that Polish has special words for cabbage stew (bigos), beetroot soup (barszcz) and plum jam (powidla), which English does not; or that Japanese has a word sake for a strong alcoholic drink made from rice, whereas English does not. Customs and social institutions also furnish abundant examples of culture-specific words. For example, it is no accident that English doesn't have a word corresponding to Japanese miai, referring to a formal occasion when the prospective bride and her family meet the prospective bridegroom and his family for the first time.
Apart from differing in their inventories of culture-specific words, languages often differ in the number of words they have for speaking about a particular domain of meaning. When a language has a relatively high number of words for a single domain, e.g. the Sami words for reindeer, forms of snow, freezing and thawing, this is known as lexical elaboration. Lexical elaboration can often be seen as reflecting cultural facts. It is understandable that many Asian languages have several words for rice; for example, Malay padi 'unhusked rice,' beras 'rice without the husk but uncooked,' nasi 'cooked rice.' On the other hand, compared with most indigenous cultures, European languages have a very large stock of expressions to do with measuring and reckoning time (words such as clock, calendar, date, second, minute, hour, week, Monday, Tuesday, etc., January, February, etc.).
Sometimes it is possible to nominate certain highly salient and deeply culture-laden words in a language as the cultural key words of that culture. For example, one could argue that work, love and freedom are among the key words of mainstream English-speaking culture (Anglo-Saxon culture). Such words are usually very frequent, at least in their own domains. Often, they stand at the centre of a large cluster of fixed phrases, and occur frequently in proverbs, sayings, popular songs, book titles, and soon.35 Скрыть
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