Methods of concept description
New scientific paradigm in linguistics. Problem of correlation between peoples and their languages. Correlation between languages, cultural picularities and national mentalities. The Method of conceptual analysis. Methodology of Cognitive Linguistics.
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Methods of concept description
linguistic correlation language national
By the end of the 20th century a new scientific paradigm had apeared in linguistics. Scientists focused their attention on the speaking person instead of just isolated language forms, thus the problem of correlation between peoples and their languages was regarded of crucial importance.
The new paradigm, based on a multidimentional character of a phenomenon known as language, rose new aims in language investigation, demanded new methods of its description and analysis of its forms.
Special attention was paid to correlation between languages, cultural picularities and national mentalities. This idea became a foundation for a new direction of linguistics - lingvo-culturology, with concept as its main category. The appearance of this new term, mostly interprited as a mental lump marked with lingvocultural specificity, became an appropriate step to the developing of the antropocentric paradigm in linguistics.
Though, being used pretty often, like all complicated social phenomena, concept has no exact definition, but we understand it as a multidimentional lump which actually is the foundation of any language, creating abstract images of words, projecting models from human consciousness. The more scientists study the problem of concept definition, the more opinions appear on this topic, and the more approaches to investigating concept are being developed day by day.
Describing a concept is not an easy task as lots of aspects should be taken into consideration such as:
· Lingvocultural aspect (bearing in mind linguistic picularities of a certain nationality);
· Cultural aspect (taking into account cultural picularities of different nations);
· Historical aspect (considering historical picularities of the development of national consciousness, ethnic experience);
· Social aspect ( reflecting some social realms, moulding public ideology);
· Psychological aspect (taking into account individual character features, human thoughts and individual experience).
According to all these aspects it becomes possible to single out three most popular methodologies of concept description:
1) The Method of conceptual analysis. It is based on lingvocultural, historical and cultural aspects and directed to studying concepts through the semantic structure of words, regarded as cultural phenomena with their history. This principle is built up upon the idea that creating a full image of a concept demands not just description of its ethimology. We should also compare its historical meanings to the semantic ones, in order to open all the hidden metamorphosis going on within the word, thus it becomes possible to observe the history of human thinking through time. This method includes: Structuring of concepts and cultural description of each its element.
2) Methodology of Cognitive Linguistics. Being based upon psychological and social aspects mostly, this method is directed to studying the words in their connection with human thoughts, reflecting people's mentality and ideology. Its aim is to study meanings of the words and word combinations, reflecting this or that concept in the national language, also presenting parts of the language system representing a particular concept. The main means of this very methology are:
- defining the word, conveing the concept;
- analysis of its semantic meaning throug dictionary articles
- analysis of its lexical combinatory with other words
- creating a phraseological field of the word
- contextual analysis of the word
- Analysis of its verbal usage
3) Methodology of Contrast linguistics. This methodology is based on lingvocultural aspect and built up on a principle that only; looking into a mirror of another language one can notice such features of the mother language concept, which could slip away from his attention; to reveal exactly the national specificity of the native language, and as a result to see the difference between the concept and the meaning of the word. All these differences are interprited as cognitive differences of the concepts they express in different national concept-spheres. This methodology can be briefly described in the folowing way:
· The FIRST STEP - Singling out a lexical group in the initial language
· The SECOND STEP - Discovering interlingual equivalents
· The THIRD STEP - Describing contrast pares
· The FOURTH STEP - Pointing nationally inimitable meanings out
· The FIFTH STEP - Differenciation and systematization of contrast pares
To summ all this information up , we can come to the conclusion that all of these methodologies are applicable for investigating and describing concepts. However to my mind the most appropriate methodology should be based upon all the necessary aspects (lingvocultural, cultural, social, historical and psychological), that is why it should be admitted that there doesn't exist an ideal methodology of discription of concepts, as none of the annumerated methodologies corresponds the necessary aspects. Thus the problem remains unsolved, giving the scientists a vast field to explore.
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