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Imprisoned in EnglishThe Hazards of English as a Default Language$
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Anna Wierzbicka

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199321490

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199321490.001.0001

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Linguistics: Cognitive and Cultural Approaches

Linguistics: Cognitive and Cultural Approaches

(p.224) 17 Linguistics: Cognitive and Cultural Approaches
Imprisoned in English

Anna Wierzbicka

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines cognitive and cultural approaches in linguistics, focusing on the work of British linguists Vivian Cook and James Underhill, and the Russian linguistics Jurij Apresjan and Aleksey Shmelev. Cook discusses conceptual Anglocentrism in human sciences from the point of view of cognitive linguistics, and Underhill from the perspective of ethnolinguistics; and they both recognize NSM’s importance in the necessary battle against such Anglocentrism. Apresjan, the leader of the Moscow semantic schools, is regarded by many as the world’s foremost lexicographer. Shmelev represents the Moscow School of Cultural Semantics. Both Apresjan and Shmelev see the NSM work as closely related to their own, which focuses on the “naïve picture of the world” reflected in every natural language. As this chapter illustrates, their thinking is clearly convergent with that underlying Imprisoned in English.

Keywords:   Cognitive linguistics, ethnolinguistics, lexicography, cultural semantics, “naïve picture of the world”, Russian culture

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