SLAVIC ETHNOLINGUISTICS AND ANGLO-AMERICAN LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY: CONVERGENCES AND DIVERGENCES IN THE LANGUAGE-CULTURE NEXUS
The article is an attempt to determine the major convergences and divergences between Slavic ethnolinguistic research, represented by the Moscow and Lublin schools (Tolstaya and Bartminski, respectively), and American linguistic anthropology, deriving from the work of Sapir and Whorf. The juxtaposition is justified due to the common assumption of an inseparable link between language and culture. Both lines of research recognize a semiotic conception of culture as communication and a conception of language as a tool of coming to the knowledge of the world. Both, too, accept various degrees of isomorphism between language and other cultural codes. A common characteristic of both approaches is also a conception of the language of folklore as a particularly promising research area. The most important issues in both cases have to do with the strict relationships between culture and group identity, the analysis of ethnographic discourse, and language-encoded ideology. The most important difference, on the other hand, is that Slavic ethnolinguistics concentrates on lexis, whereas North-American studies focus on the pragmatic aspect of language. The most promising dimension of the research in both is the conception of language as an exponent of ideology and of a system of values.
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