Cross-Cultural Communication: International Communication

Proceedings of the
Mirny Regional Scientific-Practical Conference on Inter-Cultural Communication:
Issues of Politics, History, Language and Literature

Mirny Polytechnic Institute and Sakha (Yakutsk) State University
Mirny, Sakha Republic (Yakutia)
27-28 April 2002

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The Concept of Friendship
as Represented in the Russian and English Languages

by Njurgujana Petrova
4th Year Student
Mirny Polytechnic Institute,
affiliated with the Sakha (Yakutsk) State University

Introduction |    | The Study Itself |    | Conclusions |

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An introduction to the linguistic study

In contemporary linguistics, it is very important to gain an understanding of a language's nature by studying the human being and his worldview on the whole. In many new studies, language problems are viewed in close connection with the consciousness, congition, and practical activities of the human being. We are becoming more and more aware that it is impossible to find explanations about the formation of language structures on the basis of internal linguistic factors alone. We are becoming increasingly aware that the consideration of words' directions towards, or relationships with, extra-language reality may expose something about the words' own language content.

Investigating the representations of the surrounding reality as expressed in language and applying the interpretations of some extra-language categories, we can come to the conclusion that the nature of the language unit is determined by the difficult and mobile accumulation of the following factors:

  1. extra-linguistic: stipulated by objective reality as represented in thought and language;
  2. conceptual: stipulated by the orders of representation of the objective world in man's consciousness;
  3. intra-language: stipulated by one's own orders, active in a person's language.

Now, let's take the concept itself. A concept is a culturally-marked verbal sense, presented in the plan of its expression by a whole pack of its language realizations that produce the appropriate lexical semantic paradigm. Three main approaches have been developed for a linguistic understanding of a concept.

Firstly, lexemes are included in a number of concepts in the most broad sense, the meaning of which makes up the content of the consciousness of the national language and forms the "naïve worldview" of the native speakers of the language. An accumulation of such concepts form the concept sphere of the language, within which is a concept about the culture of the nation. The way of conceptualization of the world in lexical semantics is determined through such an approach. The main means of the investigation is a conceptual model, with the help of which the basic components of the concept's semantics can be stressed and the steady connections between them can emerge.

Secondly, the semantic forms are ascribed to a number of concepts in a narrower sense. A lingua-cultural specificity is marked for a characterization of the native speakers of a definite ethno-culture. The accumulation of concepts at this level does not form a concept sphere as some sort of a whole structural semantic space, but it takes a definite part: a conceptual one.

Lastly, these semantic forms are ascribed to a number of concepts, the list of which is rather restricting but which is a key for an understanding of the national mentality as a set of specific relationships within the world of its native speakers.

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Citation Guidelines

Petrova, Njurgujana, "The Concept of Friendship as Represented in the Russian and English Languages", Cross-Cultural Communication: International Communication, Proceedings of the Mirny Regional Scientific-Practical Conference on Inter-Cultural Communication: Issues of Politics, History, Language and Literature (27-28 April 2002), Mirny Polytechnic Institute and Sakha (Yakutsk) State University, edited by S.A. Mousalimas, 2002, available at http://www.OxfordU.net/mirny_international-2002/students/petrova.html.


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