Saturday, March 31, 2012

Australian and New Zealand national worldview.

Worldviews can be thought of as a lens through which individuals see the world around them. Worldviews may include assumptions of cause and effect, notions of good and bad, and even what goals are desirable in life. These assumptions may also include ideas that cannot be proved but are nevertheless part of the individual’s belief system. This is demonstrated by how members of different groups may have varying concepts of how and why events occur, which they find to be valid and acceptable.
Culture and worldview are both dependant on each other. Not only are worldviews important in communication within a cultural group, but also they also help organise the way in which members perceive and think about various norms, symbols and behaviours. This influence of culture is observed in how individuals within a culture may hold a number of similar ideas or values. This might be something very specific, such as how one should treat a various individuals, or a larger, more general trend of behaviour. An example of this would be the concept of individualism/collectivism that refers to how individuals manage disparity between their own agenda and that of their group.

Religion usually serves a fundamental role in a national world view. The church has remained separated from the state, and also from the mainstream of ideas and culture in general. Australians, if active in religion, commonly affiliate with the Christian-based religions. Only about 25% of Australians consider religion to be "very important," in comparison to 58% of Americans. Twelve percent do not practice religion. Of those who do actively partake in religious practices, 25% practice Anglican religion, 25% Roman Catholicism, and 25% other Protestant religions. Fewer than 1% of those who practice consider themselves Jewish. The small number of people who consider religion to be important conveys a nation of little spiritual focus, and perhaps a diversely structured set of thoughts and life views.
Hall's High/Low Context:
We consider Australia to be a low-context culture. This implies that the population is less homogeneous and more diversified. The dominant communication style of Australians is very open. A low-context culture means that the communicative messages lie in the verbal messages opposed to the nonverbal. However, Australians tend to need a lot of background information on someone in order to communication with him/her.
Hofstede's Cultural Patterns:
Australia received a score of 29 on Hofstede's scale of POWER DISTANCE. A low power distance implies that power in Australia is spread out to everyone instead of being reserved to a few groups. This relatively low score implies that Australians believe that they are close to power, that they should have access to that power, that the powerful and the powerless should try to live in concert with each other, and that a hierarchy is an inequality of roles established for convenience (Samovar and Porter, 70).
Australia received a score of 27 on the scale of UNCERTAINTY AVOIDANCE. This score implies that Australians do not like uncertainty, that they want stability for members, they strive for consensus, follow many rules, and tend to have more stress and anxiety.
Australia received a score of 2 on the INDIVIDUALISM/COLLECTIVISM scale. This is a very low score and implies that Australians promote individualism, promote personal goals over allegiance to groups, and competition is encouraged.
Australia received a score of 14 on the MASCULINITY/FEMININITY scale. This score falls somewhat in the middle, yet leans toward the masculinity side. Australian characteristics on the masculinity side include ambition, differentiated sex roles, achievement, acquisition of money, and signs of manliness.
In general, the Australian culture is very human dominated, future-oriented, activity-oriented, and individualistic.
( Emirova F.)

New Zealand
New Zealand is a bi-cultural society with a well-developed environmental ethic. This ethic reflects deep connections of both cultures to nature and is expressed in such national symbols as the kiwi and silver fern. More significantly, the environmental ethic has given rise to a strong national conservation movement and ultimately to a consensus anti-nuclear policy. Polynesian peoples (now called Māori) migrated to New Zealand about 1000ybp and hold a genealogical view of their relationship to the unique indigenous animals, many of whom are held sacred (tapu) as ancestors. This understanding parallels the Darwinian evolutionary view that underpins the contemporary New Zealand conservation movement, arising from European science. The relatively recent settlement of New Zealand also makes apparent the ecological damage that both cultures have inflicted on the indigenous biota, leading both cultures to commit to ecological restoration programmes. Young New Zealanders develop this environmental ethic in many ways: subliminally, through identification with national symbols such as the kiwi; economically, as New Zealand’s primary sources of national wealth arise from healthy nature (farming, forestry, fishing, tourism); and formally, through a primary and secondary education system that includes strong components of environmental education. New Zealanders are proud of their emerging national identity as a ‘clean green’ country and of the unique natural history of their country.
(Zentsova A.)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cultural component of phraseology(The US and Canada)

In linguistics, phraseology describes the context in which a word is used. This often includes typical usages/sequences, such as idioms, phrasal verbs, and multi-word units. Phraseological units are stable word-groups with partially or fully transferred meanings, e.g. to kick the bucket.
Phraseological unit is a lexicalized, reproducible bilexemic or polylexemic word group in common use, which has relative syntactic and semantic stability, may be idiomatized, may carry connotations, and may have an emphatic or intensifying function in a text.
    Specialized phraseological expressions are common in these cases of interference. The criteria for their identification include the common features for the simple phraseological units: these units are institutionalized and stable expressions formed by various words, whose elements have some syntactic or semantic peculiarity. In the case of specialised phraseological units, at least one terminological unit is added, as well as its usage in a specific scope and a relevant frequency in specific texts.

    Phraseology is a scholarly approach to language which developed in the twentieth century. It took its start when Charles Bally's notion of locutions phraseologiques entered Russian lexicology and lexicography in the 1930s and 1940s and was subsequently developed in the former Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries.
Bibliographies of recent studies on English and general phraseology are included in Welte (1990) and specially collected in Cowie/Howarth (1996) whose bibliography is reproduced and continued on the internet and provides a rich source of the most recent publications in the field.
In Great Britain as well as other Western European countries, phraseology has steadily been developed over the last twenty years.
(Khatidzhe Baitullaieva)

The process of accumulation of cultural information in a word.(The US and Canada) the incarnation of the religion of a people. If Christianity goes, then the whole of our culture goes. Then you must start painfully again, and you cannot put on a new culture ready-made. You must wait for the grass to grow to feed the sheep to give the wool out of which your new coat will be made. You must pass through many years of barbarism.(T.S.Eliot)
At the beginning of the 21st century, cross-cultural communication is becoming more and more important. However, the knowledge of the foreign language alone is not enough to effectively communicate with representatives of other cultures. As we know, one of the most significant functions of the language is the cumulative function, which means that the language is a link connecting generations; it is the storage and a means of transmitting the extra-linguistic collective experience, as the language not only reflects the contemporary culture, but preserves all its previous stages.
Linguo-cultural studies, as follows from the name, is a subject that, on the one hand, includes learning the language, and, on the other hand, gives certain knowledge about the country of the studied language. The main objective of linguo-cultural studies is to provide communicative competence for cross-cultural communication. The main task of the subject is to study those units of the language and extra-linguistic phenomena which most vividly reflect the national peculiarities of the foreign cultureive o thestudies e country of the studies ubject thart. That is, our main task is to obtain background knowledgenecessary for successful cross-cultural communication. Here belong:
-historical and cultural background, which includes not only knowledge of history, but also knowledge of culture of the language community in the process of its historical development;
-socio-cultural background – peculiarities of communication within the society, social behaviour, social values, conversation formulae, non-verbal communication;
-ethno-cultural background, which includes information about the way of life, traditions, holidays, etc;
-semiotic background, which contains information on symbols, connotations, realia and other language units bearing specific national colouring.

The culture of the United States is a Western culture originally influenced by European cultures. It has been developing since long before the United States became a country with its own unique social and cultural characteristics such as dialect, music, arts, social habits, cuisine, and folklore. Today, the United States of America is an ethnically and racially diverse country as a result of large-scale immigration from many different countries throughout its history.
Its chief early influences came from English, Scottish and Irish settlers of colonial America. British culture, due to colonial ties with Britain that spread the English language, legal system and other cultural inheritances, had a formative influence. Other important influences came from other parts of western Europe, especially Germany, France, and Italy.
Original elements also play a strong role, such as the invention of Jeffersonian Democracy. Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia was perhaps the first influential domestic cultural critique by an American and a reactionary piece to the prevailing European consensus that America's domestic originality was degenerate.[3] Prevalent ideas and ideals which evolved domestically such as national holidays, uniquely American sports, military tradition, and innovations in the arts and entertainment give a strong sense of national pride among the population as a whole.
American culture includes both conservative and liberal elements, military and scientific competitiveness, political structures, risk taking and free expression, materialist and moral elements. Despite certain consistent ideological principles (e.g. individualism, egalitarianism, and faith in freedom and democracy), American culture has a variety of expressions due to its geographical scale and demographic diversity. The flexibility of U.S. culture and its highly symbolic nature lead some researchers to categorize American culture as a mythic identity; others see it as American exceptionalism.
(Khatidzhe Baitullaieva)

Language and literature masterpieces of Great Britain.

For more than 1,500 years, the literature of this tiny island has taught, nurtured, thrilled, outraged, and humbled readers both inside and outside its borders. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, Swift, Conrad, Wilde—the roster of British writers who have made a lasting impact on literature is remarkable. More importantly, Britain's writers have long challenged readers with new ways of understanding an ever-changing world.

The 48 fascinating lectures in Classics of British Literature provide you with a rare opportunity to step beyond the surface of Britain's grand literary masterpieces and experience the times and conditions they came from and the diverse issues with which their writers grappled.

British-born Professor John Sutherland, the Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English at University College London and Visiting Professor of Literature at the California Institute of Technology, has spent a lifetime exploring these rich works. The unique insights he shares into how and why these works succeed as both literature and documents of Britain's social and political history can forever alter the way you experience a novel, poem, or play.
Britain's Literary Mosaic

More than just a survey course, Classics of British Literature shows you how Britain's cultural landscape acted upon its literature—and how, in turn, literature affected the cultural landscape. Professor Sutherland takes a historical approach to the wealth of works explored in these lectures, grounding them in specific contexts and, oftentimes, connecting them with one another.

While it is vital that we appreciate the universal and transcendent quality of literature, according to Professor Sutherland, we also need to appreciate "as fully as one can, the conditions that gave birth to these works of literature; to reinsert them, that is, back into history."

The end result is not a laundry list of famous works but instead a mosaic of Britain's history as revealed through the individual threads of its most revered literary masterpieces. Throughout the course, you discover how each work is linked to others that have come before it—whether building on its predecessors' work or casting it aside to challenge readers and audiences with new ways of understanding a changing world. For example:
The King James Bible of 1611 paved the way for succeeding literature, including an entire generation of dramatists whose success depended on an understanding of the spoken word by a largely illiterate audience. The language of the King James Bible, read aloud in church weekly, became the English language familiar to an entire population.
Graham Greene's The Heart of the Matter, set in Sierra Leone during World War II, echoes themes about the British colonization of Africa cemented almost 50 years earlier in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
James Joyce's highly experimental fiction—including Ulysses and Finnegans Wake—shocked the British literary establishment of the early 20th century. By opposing conventional thinking and morality, he helped create a new climate for future writers.

Monday, March 26, 2012


In recent  years , phraseology in the broad sense has become a unifying  theme for an increasing number of theoretical and practical linguistic studies. Among this broad palette of investigations into the meaning, structure or use of set-phrases, cross-linguistic research is one of the major and fascinating  topics.
An Englishman may sleep like a dog, but Frenchman  will, among other possibilities, sleep like marmot(dormer comme une marmotte), a Dutchman like a rose, a German like a stone. This list might be extended to all  the languages of the world and would reveal  the amazing richness and diversity of language.
Is the no rhyme or reason to the unbridled imagination underlying set phrases in different languages or is it possible to discover  some universal principles? Will set phrases enable researchers to gain information about the cultural patterns and ways of life prevailing in other parts of the world?
Set phrases in the broad sense  have been identified in many languages. It’s well known that phraseological tradition originated in Russia and Germany. As a result, Russian and German were among the first languages to be fully described from the point of view of phraseology, although the movement later extended  to English, French and most European languages.
There is a close link between culture and phraseology. This is best revealed by proverbs and fully idiomatic set phrases, because they tend to rely heavily on images, traditions or habits, that are characteristic of a given culture. It’s no easy matter, however,  to draw a line between images that are related to more or less universal aspects of the human mind, and features of the specific culture. There is also a common idiomatic heritage to all European languages, originated from biblical, Latin and Greek expressions.
The assumption that phrasemes, particularly idioms and proverbs allow access to a collective way of thinking of a language community belongs to the more general  and highly complex issues of the relation between language, cognition, and  culture. The idea that the world is principally perceived through the medium of language, which determines the speaker’s world view can be found in several directions of phraseological research.  This conception postulates, that the analysis of phraseology allows insight into the speech  community’s own culture and mentality, if not into its national character.

In our essay we  have attempted  to approach the complex of  figurative phraseology  and culture. A look at entire conceptual domains has then shown that cultural phenomena are determinable at the levels of complete source concepts and semantic  fields. Finally, the possibility of capturing aspects of a cultural world-view by means of the analysis of cultural components  and cross-linguistic  comparisons has been touched upon briefly, as have etymology and historical phraseology. To summarise, phrasemes  as conventional  figurative multi-word units that are passed on from generation to generation through continual repetition turn out to be especially suitable for revealing cultural relevant concepts. 

(Emirova F/ Zentsova A.)

The process of accumulation of cultural information in a word. Australian and New Zealand language and literature masterpieces.

One of the oldest terminological wrangles in anthropology is term culture.  The term has a sense both as a process (“ the passing on” of what has been learned before to succeeding generations) and as  a particular class of things (“ shared knowledge”). One might think that these two aspects of the terms could coexist quite neatly if the process were used to define content. In such a definition, culture would be whatever it is that is passed on through learning to succeeding generations. The difficulty  with this solution is that many things are passed on, not all of which most anthropologists would want to consider culture. A second strategy is to define culture as giving a particular content. The problem with these solution is that there are different kind of content – which should get to be called culture?
There are, at present, at least three major  views  about  the nature of culture. One is a notion of culture  as  knowledge,  as the accumulation of information. According to this view can and does accumulate and does not need to be shared if the distribution of knowledge is such that the proper  “ linking understandings ”  are maintained.  The amount of  information in the total cultural pool of knowledge is very large – even for simple societies  my estimate is that there are between several hundred thousand  and several million “chunks”  of information of the total pool. Furthermore,  in this view culture is not integrated: the knowledge concerning  what to do about illness has no particular connection or relation to the knowledge needed to build houses, for example.
But we know that cultural information in a word  affects  the language and the literature masterpieces in any country, because the process of accumulation puts together  the languages and it’s world popular literature.
 ( Emirova F.)

So, let’s talk about Australian and New Zealand  literature masterpieces!
 "The basic Australian literary tradition is a compound of sound learning, rebelliousness, ardent faith in the common man, and an even more ardent faith in the Australian future. What better tradition could any nation want?" ~ C. Hartley Grattan, in Introducing Australia (New York, 1942)
The origins of Australian poetry lay in the prison systems. As Convict etiquette strictly prescribed that one "suffer in silence" whatever emotional turmoil the Convicts were suffering, they were unable to talk about it with their friends. Poetry acted as cathartic outburst of emotion which allowed the Convicts to address those feelings that they could not openly discuss. The most notable of these early poets included the likes of Michael Massey Robinson, George Barrington and Frank the Poet.
A sense of nationalism is also found in poems about the Australian land. In "My Country", Dorothy Mackellar tells why she has turned her back on the ordered landscape of Europe to embrace the rugged, pitiless country of Australia. To her, the reasons for her love can't be communicated, they can only be understood by those who have shared the Australian experience.Although many poems glorify the country, some also contain themes of rebellion; not against authorities but against the culture of stoicism and the land itself.
New Zealand literature is essentially literature in English that is either written by New Zealanders, or migrants, dealing with New Zealand themes or places and is primarily a 20th Century creation. New Zealand literature is almost exclusively literature in the English language and as such a sub-type of English literature.
The Māori were a pre-literate stone-aged culture until contact with Europeans in the early 19th Century. New Zealand acknowledges the presence of its indigenous Māori and the special place they have in New Zealand culture. Oratory and recitation of quasi historical / hagiographical ancestral blood lines has a special place in Māori culture, eurocentric notions of 'literature' may fail to describe the Māori cultural forms in the oral tradition.
New Zealand poetry, like all poetry, is influenced by time and place and has been through a number of changes. Poetry has been part of New Zealand culture since before European settlement in the form of Māori sung poems or waiata. Novelists Patricia Grace, Albert Wendt, Maurice Gee and children’s author Margaret Mahy, are prominent in New Zealand.
Keri Hulme gained prominence when her novel, The Bone People, won the Booker Prize. Witi Ihimaera wrote the novel that became the critically acclaimed movie Whale Rider, directed by Nikki Caro. His works deal with Māori life in the modern world, often incorporating fantastic elements.
New Zealand has a lively community of playwrights in theatre. One of the country's most significant and successful playwrights is Roger Hall. Support for playwrights and plays in New Zealand is provided by Playmarket, a national organisation which also publishes and sells plays and scripts. Playmarket also represents Māori and Pacific Island playwrights.
 (Zentsova A.)