The Info List - Ethnolinguistics

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ETHNOLINGUISTICS (sometimes called CULTURAL LINGUISTICS) is a field of linguistics which studies the relationship between language and culture, and the way different ethnic groups perceive the world. It is the combination between ethnology and linguistics. The former refers to the way of life of an entire community, i.e., all the characteristics which distinguish one community from the other. Those characteristics make the cultural aspects of a community or a society.

Ethnolinguists study the way perception and conceptualization influences language, and show how this is linked to different cultures and societies. An example is the way spatial orientation is expressed in various cultures. In many societies, words for the cardinal directions east and west are derived from terms for sunrise/sunset. The nomenclature for cardinal directions of Inuit speakers of Greenland
, however, is based on geographical landmarks such as the river system and one's position on the coast. Similarly, the Yurok lack the idea of cardinal directions; they orient themselves with respect to their principal geographic feature, the Klamath River .

CULTURAL LINGUISTICS (capitalized) refers to a related branch of linguistics that explores the relationship between language and cultural conceptualisations (Sharifian, 2011). Cultural Linguistics draws on and expands the theoretical and analytical advancements in cognitive science (including complexity science and distributed cognition) and anthropology. Cultural Linguistics
examines how various features of human languages encode cultural conceptualisations, including cultural schemas, cultural categories, and cultural metaphors. In Cultural Linguistics, language is viewed as deeply entrenched in the group-level, cultural cognition of communities of speakers. Thus far, the approach of Cultural Linguistics
has been adopted in several areas of applied linguistic research, including intercultural communication , second language learning , and World Englishes .


* Culture
portal * Linguistics

* Anthropological linguistics * Evolutionary psychology of language * Linguistic anthropology * Wilhelm von Humboldt
Wilhelm von Humboldt


* ^ Ferraro, Gary (2006). Cultural Anthropology: An Applied Perspective. Cengage Learning. ISBN 0-495-10008-0 . * ^ Heine, Bernd (1997) Cognitive Foundations of Grammar. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press. * ^ Tuan, Yi-Fu (1974) Topophilia: A study of environmental perception, attitudes, and values. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall. * ^ Sharifian, Farzad (2011). Cultural Conceptualisations and Language: Theoretical Framework and Applications. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. * ^ Sharifian, Farzad & Palmer, Gary B. (eds.) (2007) Applied cultural linguistics: Implications for second language learning and intercultural communication. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John