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Reflection in the language of socio-cultural factors of Russian language picture of the world

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Interest in the studyof socio-cultural factors in the linguistic picture of the world at the present stage is natural and socially conditioned. The researchers note that in recent times language policy became one of the most important factors in international relations in the context of globalization. It is known that one of the conditions for competitiveness in the labor market, increasing employment opportunities is the knowledge of foreign languages. On the other hand, in a situation of dynamic development of society and the interaction of industrial structures, movement of capital, goods, people, money, in an environment where it becomes uneconomical to live in isolation, the state also updated the problem of international communication, in which the most evident socio-cultural factors in the language picture of the world.

The study ofthe reflection of socio-cultural factors in the linguistic picture of the world is far from being solved, although they have been discussed for nearly two centuries. But this very phenomenon, that is, linguistic picture of the world, is as old as man himself. Almost since the formation of human society and people began to create the first picture of the world. And the active study of this phenomenon began with the XIX century. It was at this time the problem of the relationship, the interaction of language and socio-cultural factors has become one of the central problems in linguistics. It studied Y.Grimm, R.Raek, V.Gumboldt, A.A Potebnya and others. In the cultural aspect the concept of "world view" is based on the works of famous Russian cultural studies (A.Y. Gurevich, P.S. Gurevich, Y.M Lotman).

Linguistsrefer to the problem of linguistic world with the 60-ies of XX century. Made a significant contribution to the study of the concept of worldview Russian linguists (V.B. Kasevich, E.S Kubryakova, V.I. Postovalova, B.A. Serebrennikov, V.N. Axe, E.S.Yakovleva). They studied a variety of options linguistic world, a detailed study of the individual elements of the worldview of those or other nations. Analysis of the current state of a problem ratio linguistic world suggests that cultural and linguistic picture of the world are closely related, are in a state of continuous interaction and goes back to the real picture of the world, or rather, just the real world that surrounds man to reality.

The problemof this research is to try to explain the features of the reflection of socio-cultural factors in language.

The object of studyin the course of this work were the peculiarities of the Russian language picture of the world.

The subject of theresearch is the process of reflection of socio-cultural factors in language.

The authoraimed to study the example of Russian influence of culture and lifestyle to the semantic features of the language and the way in which language reflects the view of the world.

To achieve this goalthe author of the following tasks:

1.     Thestudy of the methodological foundations of reflection socio-cultural factors in the linguistic picture of the world;

2.     Analysisof reflection in the language of sociocultural factors of Russian language picture of the world.

Theoretical and methodologicalprinciples of systematic research began, traditional linguistic, cognitive and cultural approaches.

The structure of thework. Coursework consists of an introduction, two chapters, conclusion and bibliography.


The concept of "national picture of the world" and approaches to its study


The mainresearch approaches to the study of the interaction of socio-cultural factors and linguistic world are the following: a) descriptive-fixing approach. This reveals similarities and differences; b) psycholinguistic approach; c) literary analysis. From the point of view of our topic of interest is the psycholinguistic approach, when considering the elements of culture, wearing the national character, the first place is given to the language, which is reflected in the system of stereotypes, images, comparisons, text structure, forms of etiquette, psycholinguistic organization of speech or other activities.

All of theseareas (descriptive-fixing, psycholinguistic approach, literary analysis) have their own advantages, since they can be used to study various aspects of the phenomenon. That is, the analyzed subject should be studied using an integrated approach, involving various sciences.

Therefore, currently there are at least three points of view on the subject. Some experts think that the language and culture - they are different, not the same content and functionality essence. Thus, F. de Saussure believes that, if we consider the culture of human achievement, and achievement - is the result of conscious activity, the language is not. Others emphasize the continuity and unity of culture and language, arguing that it is possible to consider the relationship between culture and language as the ratio of the whole and its parts, that language - is a component of culture and gun culture (which is not the same thing), and that the language at the same time autonomy in relation to culture and can be studied separately from the culture or the culture as compared to equivalent and equal phenomenon. It should be noted that Linguocultural particular picture of the world and the problem of the relationship of language, culture and thought at first considered in terms of philosophy and logic. The term "world view" was introduced by Ludwig Wittgenstein in the "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus," who believed that thinking has a voice and character is essentially activities with signs.

In anthropology,the term "world view" was seen in the works of the German scientist Leo Weisgerb, who tried to embody the philosophical ideas of Wilhelm von Humboldt and I.G. Herder in the concept of language, which also reflected the views of Ferdinand de Saussure. We note that Wilhelm von Humboldt introduced the interesting concept of the relationship between language and culture. He believed that the national character of culture is reflected in the language through a special vision of the world. In general, he makes the following provisions: 1) material and spiritual culture embodied in the language; 2) every nationality culture, its national character is expressed in the language by means of a special vision of the world; inherent language specific to each nation inner form; 3) The inner form of language - the expression "national spirit", its culture; 4) language is a mediating link between man and the world around him. According to Humboldt, the character of the nation affects the character of the language, and he, in turn, is a joint spiritual energy of the people and embodies the uniqueness of an entire people. Language expresses a certain vision of the world, not just the imprint of ideas people. Different languages, wrote Humboldt, inherently have different worldview.

About howinteract with language and socio-cultural factors will be discussed in the next section.


The interaction oflanguage and socio-cultural factors


We are moreinclined to believe that language is an integral part of the culture. Every nation sees the world in a special way. And this uniqueness is embodied in the language, introducing a national language picture of the world, which is passed from generation to generation. Among the main functions of language many linguists distinguish the so-called national-cultural function. A. Leontiev wrote about it: "Language reflects and reinforces the reality, abstract concepts, etc., used historical past of the nation, owe their existence to the specific conditions of employment, social and cultural life of the people."

Vision systemsof the world are different in different languages. In the words of A. Wierzbicka, "every language forms its semantic universe. Not only thoughts can be thought in one language, but feelings can be experienced within a single linguistic consciousness, but not the other"

In my opinion,all this is reflected in the fact that the nation, national culture is a way of positing the meaning of human activity. Consequent spiritual and peculiar behavior, the way of life of the ethno-social organism, some researchers (eg, L.A.Hummatov called ethnic way of life. It is believed that the purpose, the essence, the result of every culture is a way of positing meaning. Since culture is the "way", it determines the mentality of ethno-social organism, which is the "socio-psychological attitudes, ways of perceiving the world, attitude and outlook, the national perception of the world and the logic of world-assessment. That is the mentality and its reflection in the vocabulary, phraseology, speech etiquette ethical concepts in the nature of discursive activity of a certain culture media.

But, on the other hand, culture is "positing sense," it forms the results of this process ~ values of that culture. To do anything, one must first realize that for which this activity is carried out. And every nation has its own system of basic values, their subordination. Linguistic picture of the world is a reflection of the overall national conceptions of the world, including the configuration values - concepts are most closely related to the ideals of society, or the mental phenomena of the external world that have received the most positive assessment of the members of society. Universal spiritual values, of course, are the basis of human existence, determine the meaning and content of his life. The concept of value, which in the philosophy of culture is understood as "unshakable hidden life orientation" can not be considered in isolation from its linguistic aspect, embodied in the structure of the worldview and language identity.

This is howhe wrote the famous cultural scientist and scholar G.D.Gachev: "... People ... run into a limit of understanding. Uttered the same words, formulas, and is thought by them is very different - and the main problem is that this is often not suspected. To imaginary understanding closest to reality, it is necessary to make allowance for national historic system of concepts and values, ie, take into account that representatives of other nations can see the world a little differently than I do. But how? What he sees in the world of things that I do not see? And what does it depend? Here's the rub. If you were able to somehow clarify this issue at our disposal would have done if some "factor" which would facilitate contacts between peoples and cultures"

To the greatest extenton the formation of the unique linguistic world is influenced by: the natural environment, especially the work of logical and conceptual and moral-valuable components of the national language consciousness.

The nationalpicture of the world is reflected in the semantics of linguistic units through the system of values and associations. Words with special cultural-specific values reflect not only a way of life characteristic of the language community, but also a way of thinking.

So,national identity in the semantics of the language is the result of the influence of extralinguistic factors of cultural and historical features of the development of the people in general, Russian in particular. On peculiarities of Russian language picture of the worlds will be discussed in the next chapter.


Russianlanguage picture of the world as a reflection of sociocultural factors


     The relationship betweencultural (conceptual) and the linguistic world picture is extremely complicated and multileveledness. Its essence boils down to differences in refraction of reality in language and culture. The word reflects not the object or phenomenon of the world, and the way a person sees it through the prism of the picture of the world that exists in his mind and which is determined by its culture. The consciousness of each person is formed under the influence of his personal experience, and as a result of inculturation, during which he possessed the experience of previous generations. Thus, language is not a simple mirror, automatically reflecting everything around, and the prism through which to view the world and that every culture has its own. Language, thought and culture are so closely related to each other that they almost form a single whole and can not function without each other.

Therefore,the surrounding human world can be represented in three forms: the real world; cultural (conceptual) picture of the world; linguistic picture of the world.

The real world- it is an objective reality existing independently of the human world around him.

Cultural(conceptual) picture of the world - a reflection of the real world through the prism of concepts formed in the process of learning about the world as a person on the basis of the collective and individual experience. Cultural picture of the world is specific and differs in different nations. This is due to several factors: geography, climate, natural environment, history, social systems, beliefs, traditions and way of life, and so on.

Linguistic picture ofthe world reflects the reality through the cultural landscape of the world. Language subordinates, organizes his perception of the world media. This picture of the world is closely linked to the cultural view of the world is in constant interaction with her and goes back to the real world that surrounds man. Language as an ideal, objectively existing structure of subordinates, organizes his perception of the world media. And secondly, that the language - system cleaner importance - forms its own world, as if glued to the world of reality".

In the book "The Human Factor in the language" states that the conceptual and linguistic picture of the world relate to each other as a whole and a part. Linguistic picture of the world - it is part of the cultural (conceptual) pattern, although the most significant. However, the linguistic picture of poorer cultural, as in the creation of the latter are involved, along with the language, and other forms of mental activity, as well as due to the fact that the sign is always inaccurate and based on any one criterion.

Mostlinguists are unanimous that the conceptual picture of the world broader concept than language, because, as rightly pointed E.S. Kubryakova: "The picture of the world - the way in which the world currently draws people in his imagination, the phenomenon is more complex than the linguistic picture of the world, ie, that part of the conceptual world of man, which is tied to language and refraction through the linguistic forms. Not all perceived and conceived by man, not all past and passing through different senses and comes from outside through various channels in the human mind has or acquires a verbal form”That is a conceptual picture of the world - a system of representations of human knowledge about the world, it is the mental reflection of the cultural experience of the nation, the language the same picture of the world - its verbal incarnation. In the picture of the world recognized the naive view of the inner world of man, it condenses the experience of many generations of introspection and therefore it serves as a reliable guide to the world. A man looks at the world through the prism not only their individual experience, but primarily through the prism of social experience

Apparentlystill not correct to speak about the relationship part - whole, language - part of the culture and of interpenetration, relationship and interaction. Language - part of the culture, but also the culture - only a part of the language. This means that linguistic picture of the world is not fully absorbed the cultural, if by the latter to understand the image of the world, refracted in human consciousness, that is, a person's world, created as a result of his physical experience and spiritual activities.

The pathfrom the real world to the concept and expression of this concept in the word (that word is the basic unit of language) is different in different people. This is due to different natural, climatic conditions, as well as with different social environment. For this reason, every nation, including in Russian, its history, its cultural and linguistic picture of the world.

Of course, thecultural picture of the world is always richer than language. But it is in the language is implemented, verbalized cultural world view, stored and transmitted from generation to generation. It is a picture, but not a picture of the world, which would be the same for different people.
Russian language, like any other natural language reflects a certain way of perceiving the world. Proficiency assumes ownership conceptualization of the world, as reflected in the language. A set of beliefs about the world, concluded within the meaning of different words and expressions of the Russian language, is in a certain unifying framework and regulations, which to some extent shared by all speaking in Russian.

It is essentialthat the ideas that form the picture of the world, are included in the meaning of words in an implicit form. Using words that contain implicit, "background" meaning man, without knowing it, and takes them prisoner in the view of the world. On the contrary, the semantic components that are included in the meaning of words and expressions in the form of direct statements and make them meaningful core, can be (and often are) consciously challenged by native speakers. Therefore, they are not included in the language picture of the world that is common to all speakers of a given language.

Sincethe configuration of the ideas embodied in the meaning of the words of the native language, speaking perceived as a matter of course, he has the illusion that so all the way life is. But when comparing the different linguistic world are found significant differences between them.

It isthrough the motives of the linguistic world and constitute the main difficulty for translation and intercultural communication. This is understandable. Translator usually tends to accurately convey the meaning of those components, which are the focus of attention. Background components, it often does not notice, and if they notice something is often willing to donate them. It should be borne in mind that, trying to pass them by means of another language, it is almost inevitably draw attention to them, translate them from almost imperceptible "background" in focus, but it will also be a distortion of the original semantic task. Similarly, when dealing with the people of other cultures, speaking in a foreign language, faces a choice: to use the model of language for communication, overloading his statement meanings alien to the original communicative intent or to attract attention unconventional verbal behavior and undue emphasis on meanings that the native language would remain "in the shadows." The solution in each case depends on a number of parameters. But we need to study and awareness of all that, without falling into the focus statements is cross-cutting theme of discourse in this language. It is necessary, but not limited general maxims about the features of the national "mentality" or "national character", based on a thorough semantic analysis using all the achievements of modern linguistics.


Features ofRussianlanguage picture ofthe world


In thissection we consider the features of the Russian language picture of the world. Thus, native speakers of Russian, it seems obvious that mental life can be distinguished intellectual and emotional sphere, and intellectual life is connected with the head, and emotional - the heart. We say that someone has a good head and a good heart; think and remember (so thoughtfully, we sometimes "scratching in occiput," and suddenly remembering something, we can hit ourselves on the forehead), and feel with the heart and, alarmed, lacking precisely for the heart. We understand that sometimes it happens that "the mind with the heart are out of tune." It seems to us that otherwise could not be, and we were surprised to learn that such a world view is not universal. In Hebrew conceptualization of the world the heart is an organ of understanding, so that is used in the Russian translation of Scripture phrase indicates hardness of heart in the first place on the dullness, rather than insensitivity and cruelty, as it may seem to the modern Russian reader. Of course, this is not due to the anatomy of the carriers of different languages, and the fact that the conceptualization of the world in different languages is different.

The truth ofthe implicit meaning of the components that form the linguistic conceptualization of the world, native speakers usually perceived as a matter of course, as long as someone does not put it into question.

Compare the followingpresentation, characteristic for Russian language conceptualization of the world: "There's always something unexpected can happen" (if that, if anything, suddenly), but "just still can not foresee" (maybe); "To make something happen, you must first mobilize domestic resources, and it is not always easy" (reluctance to meet / gather, to get out), but "the man who managed to mobilize domestic resources, can do a great deal" (at the same time); "A person needs a lot of space to feel safe and well" (space, distance, expanse, freedom, expanse), but the "uninhabited space can lead to mental discomfort" (restless, toil). For Russian language conceptualization of the world is also characterized by the perception of the world on the basis of the opposition "mountain" and "partite" (for example, life - being, goodness - the good, joy - pleasure). In this case, too much attention to everyday life, to the little things of life not approved. The fact that from the point of view of Russian language conceptualization of the world is good, when a person is disinterested and even uncalculated, shows, in particular, positively stained words breadth and scope and sharply negative assessment of pettiness. For the same reason ethically questionable for native speakers of Russian category is pleasure (unlike unselfish joy). The only kind of pleasure or enjoyment, not only does not condemn, but even encouraged by public opinion - is aesthetically pleasing, expressed, in particular, characteristic of Russian verb admire. Disinterested admiration is reflected in the positive staining of linguo-specific units, such as hard to translate the word "prowess".

Asindicative for the linguistic conceptualization of the world are implicit meanings, their detection usually requires a detailed semantic analysis. Sometimes made superficial or inaccurate judgments about the features of Russian language conceptualization of the world, such as the following: "Russian peculiar lazy carelessness, which is reflected in one of the most characteristic of Russian words - the word maybe"; "The fact that Russian syntax characterized by impersonal sentences indicates that Russian peculiar idea of some kind of fatal unfathomable force, which has no name"; "The frequency of the word in the fate of the Russian language speaks Russian fatalism." Such judgments are a simplified or directly the wrong idea about the specifics of the world picture given by the Russian language.

Moreover, such judgment is often contradict one another. Thus, a positive colored word "intimacy" is sometimes seen as evidence of propensity to Russian informal communication, when they are ready to tell each other their innermost thoughts and feelings. On the other hand, one could assume that the estimated negative effect "to climb into the soul," says the rejection of intrusive familiarity and demonstrates idea of privacy sphere. Plenty of room in the descriptions of Russian language conceptualization of the world can be referenced as a great value (nothing presses, doesn't hesitate), but can communicate with the dangers and discomfort; in the first case, large spaces contrasted with distress, in the second - comfort. Installation "at random" seem to contradict the desire to hedge against any possible surprises underlying such expressions as "just in case", "who knows what", "what if."

However,a detailed analysis of the semantics of Russian language expressions in their actual functioning allows us to refine the wording of the key ideas of the Russian language conceptualization of the world. Thus, the Russian impersonal constructions as such is not necessarily carry idea of spontaneous, fatal and incomprehensible force. But, really, in the semantics of some Russian designs (and not only impersonal) includes notion that what happened to the man, even if as a result of his own actions, as it happened by itself (this is the view expressed in the famous and oft-quoted aphorism: "They wanted the best, but it turned out as always", can be attributed to the number of cross-cutting motives Russian language picture of the world). The emphasis in this case is not on the subjective will of the acting person, and on the objectivity of the results of his actions. Instead of saying: "I will not come to work tomorrow - the carrier of the Russian language rather say:" I will not be at work tomorrow "; instead of saying, "We bought a washing machine" - Russian speakers often say something like: "We have a washing machine."

Thoroughsemantic analysis shows that in most cases "contradictions" in the submissions form Russian language conceptualization of the world, are imaginary: it turns out that they reflect different sides of the same view of the subject. Thus, the positive emotive distance, width, spaciousness, expanse does not contradict the craving for comfort: far from the bustle of the city, you can enjoy spacious and comfortable spaces to live in. And in fact, and in another case, the key is craving for peace, which can be achieved as the fact that around a large space, which did not invade any external stimuli (peace and space), and isolation from the outside world full of dangers characteristic comfort.

Particular interests arethose configurations of meanings that are repeated as a background in a number of linguistic units. Analysis of the Russian vocabulary reveals a number of reasons, steadily repeated within the meaning of many Russian lexical units and collocations, and many of these "cross-cutting motives" are especially typical for Russian language picture of the world. As indicative for the linguistic world are implicit meanings, their detection usually requires a detailed semantic analysis.

Russianproverbs and sayings have a cultural identity. As a basis for the identification of cultural identity were chosen realities (anthroponomy, toponyms, the names of objects and phenomena of spiritual culture, the names of phenomena and artifacts), things and events images, connotations, lexical units of the Russian language and rhyme.

Indicator ofnational peculiarities picture of the world is also the connotation. The mechanism of occurrence connotations associated with increased values of certain aspects, often at the expense of the bright inner form of the word, on the basis of which arises stable association.

National specificitymarkedly manifested in the symbolism. Disclosure of character value comes in the form of denotation and connotation. Reflected in the picture of the world the proximity of humans and animals, as the only animated inhabitants in nature, allows to attribute human qualities last, so proverbs of Russian are rich with the symbols, names of animals. For example, the symbols of stupidity in the mind of Russian are cow, ox, sheep.

Inthe dialect picture of the world plays a special role to use rhyme. Rhythmic organization of utterances often dictates the choice of image and certain lexical units of several possibilities. Representants of anger in Russian language picture of the world are blood, eyes, heart, bile. In Russian, the liver has a symbolic meaning "anger."




1.     Gachev G. D.  Cosmo-Psycho-Logo: National images of the world - M.: Academic Project, 2007. - 511 p.

2.      Humbol'dt V. fon.  Language and philosophy of culture.  M., 1985.

3.     Hummatova  L.A. Ethnic peculiarities of social-cultural image of identity and interethnic communication: Dis. . Kida. filos.Sciences.SPb.,1991.

4.     Kubryakova E.S.  Ensuring  the  spreech activity  and problems of internal lexicon:  The  Human Factor in the Language and generation of spreech. Moscow, 1991.

5.     Kubrakova  E.S. Language and  knowledge. - M.: Languages of Slavonic culture, 2004.

6.     Postovalova V. I. Picture of the world in human// The role of the human factor in language. Language and world picture.  M.: Nauka, 1988.

7.     Wierzbicka, A. (2004). Preface: bilingual lives, bilingual experience. Journal ofMultilingual and Multicultural Development, 25(2-3), 94-104;

8.     Wierzbicka, A. (2005). In defenseof 'culture'. Theory & Psychology, 15(4), 575-597.

9.     Weisgerber L. Native language and the formation of the spirit. - M.: URSS, 2004.

10.Weisgerber Th.L. Language and philosophy.//Questions of linguistics,1993. 

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