- Understanding cultures through their key words
- Anna Wierzbicka - Understanding Cultures through Their Key Words. English, Russian, Polish, German, and Japanese [A]
- Books > Academic
Book Title: Understanding Cultures through Their Key Words: English, Russian, Polish, German, and Japanese
Book Author: Anna Wierzbicka
Series: Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words (Book 8)
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 7, 1997)
Publication Date: August 7, 1997 | ISBN-10: 0195088360 | ISBN-13: 978-0195088366
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.
"There is a lot to be gleaned from just about anything produced by Wierzbicka-the "key words book"...is no exception...The observations are plentiful and fascinating...[Wierzbicka] has done more than anyone else to really "understand cultures through their key words."--Word
About the Author
Dr. Anna Wierzbicka is Professor of Linguistics at the Australian National University. She has lectured extensively at universities in Europe, America, and Japan, and is the author of many books, including Semantics: Primes and Universals (OUP, 1996) and Semantics, Culture, and Cognition: Universal Human Concepts in Human-Specific Configurations (OUP, 1992).