Academic Journal of Modern Philology vol. 3 (2014)
Akademia Humanistyczno-Ekonomiczna w Łodzi
Języki i kultury etniczne w Zjednoczonej Europie z historią Dyirbala w tle. Rozważania językoznawcy kognitywnego
Ethnic Cultures and Their Languages in United Europe through the Story of Dyirbal: A Cognitive Linguist’s Perspective
In view of the growing interest in the nature of culture – language interface, on the one hand, and the socio-political developments inherent in European integration processes, on the other, three issues are perhaps worth addressing for linguists and cultural studies specialists: (i) whether the evolutionary processes of cultural integration can influence the structures of ethnic/national languages; (ii) the extent to which changes in language structure may result in a loss of certain elements characteristic of the culture related to the language; (iii) what that long-term (socio-political) consequences may be as an effect of the remarkable weakening and subsequent disappearance of the elements of ethnic cultures that function as determinants of ethnic/national identity. Considering the size of this article, none of the aforementioned issues will be solved. Nevertheless, some aspects of language–culture interface are identified, while the problem of ecological interdependence between language and culture is illustrated in the case of the death of Dyirbal. Changes in Dyirbal and examples of language expressions from English and Polish illustrating the cultural imprints in language structure are discussed from the perspective of cognitive methodologies.
Keywords: ethnic cultures, cognitive linguistics, cultural integration, ethnic/national language.