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Language World Picture and National-Cultural Specificities in Oral and Written Text



  1. Language as a Mirror of the World…………………………………………..

    1. Different points of view on the term “Language World Picture”……….

    2. Language and Culture: problems of interaction………………………..

1.3. Folklore as the most important and well-acclaimed component of the cultural heritage of the nation……………………………………………………….

1.3.1. Expression of folklore in Oral and Written forms of Text …………

2. Reflection of the Language World Picture and National-Cultural Specificities in Oral and Written forms of texts………………......................................................

2.1. Comparative analysis of Language World Pictures and National-Cultural Specificities in Written and Oral forms of Text…………………............................

2.2. Determination of Russian and Kazakh World Picture through the conceptual analysis of Folklore (Folktales and Folksongs)…………………………




The theme of the research is language units, which function in written and oral texts and create language world picture.

The problem of conceptualization of national world picture with the help of other language cultures attracts interests of many linguists, philologists, philosophers and anthropologies. Necessity to establish the concept of “language world picture” in literary language can be explained by the necessity to understand the situation of polyvariance existing in this sphere. Moreover, the concept of World Picture can be determined in 2 ways: by the description of inner society and with the help foreign observers. Actuality of research, represented in works of many linguists, connected with the lack of scientific description of language units which expresses the national specificity of nations. Another point of the work is the correlation of Language and Culture. The relationship between language and culture may be viewed from two opposite angles: On the one hand language may be seen as closely associated with a culture: language and culture are seen as inseparable phenomena. On the other hand language may be seen as an instrument of communication that may be used with any subject and anywhere in the world: language and culture are seen as separated phenomena. None of these positions is satisfying. The first one emphasizes that language is culture-bound, and one is not far from a conception of a closed universe of language, culture, history and mentality – a national romanticism that is misleading in the light of international and transnational processes in the (late-) modern world. The other one claims that language is culturally neutral; language is seen as a code, and one is not far from a reconstitution of the classical structuralism conception of the autonomy of language.

Topicality of the thesis is determined by the necessity to illuminate problems of conceptualization of national characteristics, which can help to reveal the peculiarities in World Picture of different cultures, through their analysis in oral and written forms of text.

The aim of the research work is to reveal the many aspect investigation of language of literary and oral texts, determination of concepts, which represent the connection of different cultures, detection of lexical facilities, which forms and describes Language Picture of the World.

In compliance with set aims following tasks are considered:

-to analyze cultural and national specificity of language world picture;

-to reveal the essential characteristics and peculiarities of ratio between “concept” and “meaning”;

-to examine language as a mirror of social life in the concept of cross-cultural communication.

-to reveal the peculiarities of Russian and Kazakh language world pictures

The novelty of our research work is determined by the formulated goals and aims which directed to reveal the aspects of conceptualization of national cultural world picture from the lingvocultural points of view.

Theoretical significance of our research is concluded from the investigation and systematization of many written and oral forms of text which belong to various languages.

Practical significance of the thesis work is conditioned by the opportunity of usage the research work in further development of academic processes in the course “Theory of Language”, lingvoculture, cross-cultural communication, socio-linguistics, in practice of teaching languages.

The object of research work is language units of various cultures in oral and written forms of text.

Subject of the thesis work are lingvo-cultural and ethno specific peculiarities of oral and written forms of text, which determine the conceptualization of national picture of the world.

Materials under analyses are oral and written texts from articles, “Tractatus focused” of Wittgenstein, “Когнитивная лингвистика” of Maslova V.A, “Conceptual analyses and conceptual elucidation” of Julia Tanney.

To achieve our aim we applied for the following methods:

-Method of working with appropriate oral and written literature (observe, select, research)

-systematization of information

-method of contextual and conceptual analysis

The paper consists of the introduction, two chapters, conclusion and bibliography:

In introduction we prove the topicality of investigation, set the aims and objectives, and define the methods of the research.

In the first chapter we introduce you different points of view on the determination of the concept “Language of the World Picture”. Also we regarded problems connected with the choice of theoretical basis of cognitive, sociolinguistic and lingvocultural approaches of studying of national picture of world; defined Folklore as the most important component of national heritage, revealed the problems of Language and Culture interaction.

In the second chapter we analyzed the usage of language units in oral and written text by giving the examples of texts; determined the peculiarities of different World Pictures and made their comparative analysis.

In conclusion, we concluded the done work.

1. Language is a mirror of the World.

    1. Different points of view on the term “Language World Picture”

Language has been studied for many years and from different perspectives. Ancient Greek philosophers elaborated on its proper use and purpose, modern scholars analyzed how it is produced and perceived. Everything that has so far been said about language can be ascribed to a certain general conception of talking about this issue. There are four such different approaches to talking about language: treating it as a social fact, as natural behavior, as a mental organ, or as an abstract object.

Language as a social phenomenon was first described by Ferdinand se Saussure who claimed that providing only historical description of languages (as it was done at his time) should not be the only approach to this complex entity. He maintained that crucial information about language can be obtained from its common users, who in most cases do not posses practically any theoretical knowledge about their native tongue and yet are competent speakers. Moreover, as Saussure assumed language use reflects the contemporary structure which should enable synchronic language analysis (language used at a given point in time) in addition to diachronic analysis concerned with the past linguistic forms. The social aspect of using language, or speech was called parole by Saussure, while the underlying knowledge of linguistic structure was known as langue.

Another view on language, mainly language as behavior partially derived from the behaviorist psychology and philosophy. Linguists representing this attitude focused on different languages used by various people rather than on linguistic universals, as they assumed that linguistic data is best gathered by observation of human behavior and interaction. Apart from that, it was assumed that meaning of sentences is not observable, thus it must be analyzed referring to introspective judgments. What follows this assumption is the definition of language provided by linguists who represent this approach. They maintain that language is: the totality of utterances that can be made in a speech community.

According to the third approach to language started by Noam Chomsky language is a mental organ. Having noticed certain similarities among languages Chomsky expressed the view that they cannot be explained by environmental factors or be accidental and there needs to be a special mental ability embedded in human brains. He defined language by means of generative grammar: a finite set of rules which would enable users to make an unlimited number of expressions. Representatives of this approach support the view that it is not particular languages that should be analyzed, but the Universal Grammar, or the mental organ that allows humans to speak.

The last group is constituted by scholars who claim that language is an abstract object as it does not occupy any space or time. Thus this view is in opposition to Chomsky’s ideas, but linguists who agree with it emphasize that the analysis of the best abstract models of language can bring helpful effects of the entire area of study.

Language reflects not only reality, but also interprets it, creating special reality where man lives. A.M.Haidegger, an outstanding thinker of the last century named language “The house of reality”. In our thesis we considered language as a way by which we go through into nation’s mentality, into outlook of ancient people to the World and their society. Echoes of past times going through centuries are preserved in today’s proverbs, sayings, phraseological units, metaphors, symbols of culture and etc.

It’s known that person becomes person only when he acquires language and culture of his nation. All refinements of nation’s culture reflect in language, which is specific and unique. Huge part of information about the World comes to person through linguistic channel that’s why person lives rather in the world of concepts, created by him for intellectual, spiritual and social needs, than in the world of objects and things; enormous information comes to him through a word and human’s success in society depends on that how good he possessed the language, and not so much on possession of cultural speech, but rather on his abilities to understand secrets of language. Philosophers even say that understanding thoroughly a word which names any object or event, it’s possible to say that it become easier to capture the real world.

One of the most valuable source of the information about the culture and mentality of the nation are phraseological units, metaphors, symbols and others, because they keep the myths, legends and traditions of the target culture. Well-known Russian linguist B.A.Larin wrote: “Phraseological units always indirectly reflect the nation’s outlook, social system, and ideology of its epoch”. The same can be said about metaphors, symbols and others.

In our work very valuable thought is asserted, that the mystery of language is one of the biggest mysteries of human being; if it won’t be examined enormous knowledge of the past would be lost. Our aim is to help to see the cultural background which consists of language units and which allows to correlate superficial language structures with their deep essence.

Every language creates the World in its own way also it has its way of conceptualization. Thereby linguists decided that every language has unique picture of the World and language speaker needs to arrange utterances in equivalence with its picture. Here we can observe the specific perception of the world fixed in language.

Language is an important method of knowledge formation and existence about the World. Reflecting the objective world in the process of activity, in word people fix the results of cognition, knowledge. The sum of these knowledges fixed in language represents itself what we call “language intervening world”, “language model of the world», or at last “language world picture”. According to wide usage we mostly choose the last term.

For native speaker the mother tongue represents a form of the conceptualization of the world, characteristic for the given culture. The system of values, created within the culture, has its reflection in the language. Moreover, according to W. von Humboldt, each language reflects some definite worldview. Consequently ‘to the extent perception and activities of a person depend on his views’; person’s attitude towards “objects” is completely defined by the language. The same can be said about the famous statement of H. G. Gadamer ‘the tradition in which we live’, as it comes from the correspondence of Gadamer with V. Malakhov, implies, first of all ‘linguistic tradition’. Namely V. Malakhov comments the thesis in the following way: ‘Our reasoning and superstitions are determined by the language we think at. That means that, firstly, our thoughts – at pre-predication level – are defined by the inner structures of the native language. Secondly, our reasoning – ‘the experience of reasoning’ is determined by ‘the experience of the language’ – by the history of the culture created in that language’. Similarly, according to the so called Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, language and mode of thinking are closely interconnected. As ‘there are no symbols before the speaking man, though the symbol itself has much deeper roots; and the language is the instrument where the universe, desires, imagination find their expression; we inevitably need a word to reproduce the world and make it sacred’, the cultural values, ideals, guidelines, the opinion of a man about the universe and its role in this universe find their realization in the language: the language reflects the fundamental values of the given culture and at the same time forms them. Thus, for the native speaker the mother language represents a form for the conceptualization of the world, characteristic for that given culture.

For understanding this aspect of the human culture, some lexical unites represent ‘Priceless clues’as A. Wierzbicka puts it. ‘Key words –the words which are extremely important and meaningful for the given culture’. From this we may conclude that the accumulated experience somehow is encoded in the language. For example, C. Geertz gives to the notion of ‘culture’ the following definition ‘historically transferred model of notions, put in symbols, as a system of inherited conceptions, that are expressed by means of symbols, through which people communicate with each other and based on which their knowledge about life and their attitudes are formed.

The concept of World picture (including language) basis on the studies of person’s view of the World. If the world is the interaction between man and environment, world picture is a result of the processed information about the person and environment. Thus, the representatives of cognate linguistics fairly asserted that our conceptual system, reflected in the form of language picture of the world, depends on physical and cultural experience and ingenuously connected with it.

The phenomena and external world subjects are presented in human consciousness in the form of an internal image. In opinion of A.N. Leontiev, there is a special “fifth quasi world” which represents to people surrounding reality: it is a “semantic field”, system of meanings. At that time, world picture is a system of forms.

M. Haidegger wrote, that hearing word “picture” first of all we think about imagery of something, “Essentially understood world picture is not the picture representing the world, but the world understood as picture”. There are difficulties between real world reflection and language world picture as fixation of that reflexion. World’s picture can be represented with the help of spatial (up-down, left-right, east-west, near-far), temporal (day-night, summer-winter), quantitative, ethical and other characteristics. Language, traditions, nature and landscape, upbringing, teaching and other social factors also influence in its formation.

Language world picture doesn’t comparable with other special world pictures (chemical, physical and ext.), it precedes them all and forms them, because person can understand surrounded world and himself grace to language, which fixes social- historical experience of common human beings and national. The last one defines the specifics of the language in all its levels. Under specifics of language in consciousness of its speakers defined language world picture, though which prism person perceive the world.

J.D. Apersyan underlined prescientific character of language world picture, calling it naïve. Language world picture as though supplements the objective knowledges about reality, often distorting them (words as atom, dot, light, heat and ext.). Studying semantics of these words, we can reveal the specificity of cognate models, which determines the originality of naïve world picture. As cognition of the world is not free from mistakes and delusions, its conceptual world picture always changing, “drawing again”, whereas language world picture keeps for long the tracks of these mistakes and delusions.

In the opinion of V.B.Kasaevich, world picture, encoded by the means of semantics, by the time can find itself remained, relict, which serves as old materials for new semantics creation. In other words, there are divergences between archaic both semantic system of language and that actual mental model which is valid for the given language collective and is shown in texts generated by it, and also in laws of its behaviour.

Language world picture forms the type of persons treat to the world (nature, animals, to him as the element of the world). It sets the norms of people behavior in the world and defines their relations to the world. Every natural language reflects the defined way of perception and organization (conceptualization) of the world. Expressed their senses take shape of some united system of visions, like collective philosophy, which binds as obligatory to the whole bearers of the language.

Hereby, the role of the language is not only sending messages, but first of all in internal organization of that which is liable to send. It arises some kind of “space of meanings” (in Leontievs’ terminology), that is knowledges about the world fixed in language, where certainly enters the national-cultural experience of the concrete language community. It forms the world of speakers who spoke the given language; there is language world picture as totality of knowledge about the world, imprinted in vocabulary, phraseology, grammar.

Interest to the language picture of the world is also can be found in works of W. Humboldt, who wrote that “different languages serve for nation as organs of their original thinking and perception”. In the end of the 20th century many works concerning language picture were appeared; works of G.A.Brutyan, S.A.Vasiliev, G.K.Kolshanskyi, M.Black, D.Hime, collective monograph “Human factor in language. Language and picture of the world” and others increased interest to that problem is connected with the cognate researches of the last years, in the networks of which attempts to bind together the theory of Gestalts with the theory of Frames. Theory of the Gestalt concerning language displays in several aspects. Thus, on the superficial language level the same Gestalt can be realized in different meanings, and only special survey can place their unity. J.Lacoff have shown war and argument are described by the same terms, that is, equally thought, contact with the same gestalt.

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