Anna Wierzbicka, language, culture and communication

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Abstract


The Introductory article to the second part of the Special Issue dedicated to Anna Wierzbicka’s anniversary focuses on her research in the domain of language and culture interchange. It overviews the fundamental concepts of Wierzbicka’s research program, those of cultural keywords and cultural scripts within the cultural semantics and ethnopragmatics paradigm. As is the case with other Wierzbicka’s linguistic studies, the analysis involves representation of meaning in terms of universal human concepts of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM). The article also discusses the concept of Minimal Language as a recent development in the NSM programme and associated research into various fields.

INTRODUCTION This article introduces the second part of the Special Issue of the Russian Journal of Linguistics dedicated to Anna Wierzbicka’s anniversary. In Gladkova and Larina (2018) we outlined the key points of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage approach developed by Anna Wierzbicka as an instrument of semantic analysis. In this article we will focus on Wierzbicka’s research primarily aimed at the analysis of cultural aspects of meaning and the notions of cultural keywords and cultural scripts. We will then overview work by Wierzbicka, her colleagues and followers offering various applications of the approach. Consequently, the articles in this volume primarily engage with issues relating to cultural semantic and pragmatic analysis, interface of language, culture and communication. CULTURAL ASPECTS OF MEANING IN WIERZBICKA’S RESEARCH PROGRAMME Cultural keywords Wierzbicka’s search for lexical universals in language went hand in hand with the agenda to identify and describe culture-specific elements of meaning. This kind of empirical research aimed at identifying cultural influence in language led to the under- standing that culture manifests itself in language in a variety of ways. “Cultural ideas” penetrate language and get encoded in the meanings of lexemes, morphemes and gram- matical constructions, as well as the level of speech practices. Cultural keywords are an illustration of such cultural meanings (Wierzbicka 1997a). Wierzbicka (1997a: 15-16) defines cultural keywords as “words which are particularly important and revealing in a given culture.” Cultural keywords are salient in the collective psyche of a society and their meanings resonate with meanings of other linguistic units and cultural practices. These words commonly denote values, attitudes, speech acts, social categories, among others. Wierzbicka (1997a: 16) argues that “there is no finite set of such words in a lan- guage, and there is no ‘objective discovery procedure’ for identifying them. To show that a particular word is of special importance in a given culture, one has to make a case for it.” According to Wierzbicka, a word might be claimed to be a keyword if it meets the following criteria: (1) it has a relatively high frequency in the semantic domain it belongs to, (2) it is at the centre of a phraseological cluster and (3) it might be part of common sayings or expressions. Wierzbicka (1997a: 16) sums up the procedure of identifying cultural key words as follows: But the question is not how to “prove” whether or not a particular word is one of the culture’s key words, but rather to be able to say something significant and revealing about that culture by undertaking an in-depth study of some of them. If our choice of words to focus on is not “inspired” we will simply not be able to demonstrate anything of interest. Therefore, there is no strict rule about the part of speech or lexical domain that a cultural keyword can belong to. In fact, it can be represented by almost any part of speech as long as it is shown to be revealing of important cultural attitudes. Observations suggest that most commonly such words are from domains of emotions, values, attitudes, social categories, among others. Some of Wierzbicka’s discoveries of cultural keywords in Anglo English include privacy, personal autonomy, fairness, mind, reasonable, sense, evidence, experience, among others (Wierzbicka 2006a, b, 2010a). In Australian English she identifies bloody, bullshit, whinge, dob in as keywords (Wierzbicka 1997a, 2002b). Wierzbicka is also widely known for identifying Russian keywords duša ‘soul’, sud’ba ‘fate’, toska ‘yearning’, iskrennost’ ‘sincerity’, pravda ‘truth’, obščenie ‘communication’ and avos’ ‘maybe’ (Wierzbicka 1990, 2002a, 2010b, see also Šmelev 2002, Zaliznjak, Levontina, Šmelev 2005, 2012, Gladkova 2010b, among others). In Polish, Wierzbicka has described as keywords przykro ‘unpleasantly’, rodzina ‘family’, wolność ‘freedom’, among others (Wierzbicka 1997a, 2001b). Importantly, the principles of semantic analysis advocated and practiced by Wierzbicka also apply to the analysis of cultural keywords. A thorough semantic investigation leads to the proposal of a semantic explication of the keyword in simple universal concepts as they are identified in the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) developed by Anna Wierzbicka and Cliff Goddard (for an overview of NSM see Gladkova and Larina 2018, Goddard 2010a). NSM is a mini-language that lies at the core of every language. The universal properties of the primes guarantee their translatability into all languages. Thus, when culture-specific meanings are formulated using primes, they can be understood by speakers of all languages of the world (Goddard and Wierzbicka eds. 1994, 2002). We will quote the semantic explication of the Russian keyword sud’ba proposed by Wierzbicka (2010b:13): sud’ba (someone’s sud’ba) something people can say what this something is with the word sud’ba people can say something with this word about someone when they think like this: ‘‘people live for some time when someone lives, many things happen to this someone during this time not because this someone wants it at the same time, if this someone very much wants something to happen during this time, often these things don’t happen this someone can’t know about many things that these things will happen to this someone during this time before they happen some of these things can be good things many of these things can be bad things it can’t be not like this all these things are parts of one thing’’ many people think about it like this: ‘‘all these things happen to people in this way because someone wants it this someone is not someone like people this someone is someone above people’’ Wierzbicka’s ideas about cultural keywords have received a lot of attention in the literature. Her methodology and approach have been successfully applied by researchers in various languages and cultures within the NSM framework. Goddard and Cramer (2017) describe laid back and irreverent as keywords of Australian English. Bromhead (2009) analyses English truth and faith in a historical perspective. Travis (2006) posits calor humano ‘human warmth’ as a cultural keyword of Spanish. Levisen names hygge ‘pleasant togetherness’, tryghed ‘security’ and janteloven ‘the Jante law’ cultural key- words of Danish (Levisen 2012). For Chinese, such concepts were shown to be shengren ‘stranger’ and shuren ‘an old acquaintance’ by Ye (2004). In Korean, Yoon (2004) claims noin ‘respected elderly people’ to be a cultural keyword. Peeters proposed to treat French râler ‘grumble’ (Peeters 2013), on va s’arranger ‘we will arrange’ and on s’arrangera ‘we will manage’ (Peeters 2014) as cultural keywords1. (See also Levisen and Waters 2018). 2.2. The cultural scripts approach Another important development of Wierzbicka’s approach to linguistic analysis in the area of pragmatics (or ethnopragmatics as its branch) is known as the theory of cultural scripts (e.g., Wierzbicka 2003/1991, Goddard and Wierzbicka eds. 2004, Goddard 2006). Goddard and Wierzbicka (2004: 153) refer to cultural scripts as a “powerful new technique for articulating cultural norms, values, and practices in terms which are clear, precise, and accessible to cultural insiders and to cultural outsiders alike”. The cultural scripts approach relies on the Natural Semantic Metalanguage to formulate cultural norms, ideas and understandings that are shared by speakers of a language and that are reflected in that language. It is consistent with the idea that language and culture are interconnected and that certain linguistic practices are reflective of culturally shared understandings. It is often possible to find a semantic correlation between dominant cultural scripts and cultural keywords (see, for example, Wierzbicka 2002а, 2006b, among others). The types of linguistic data that are most revealing when it comes to identifying cultural scripts are conversational routines, common sayings and proverbs, frequent collocations and varieties of formulaic and semi-formulaic speech. Discourse particles, interjections and terms of address and reference also commonly embody cultural attitudes. They can reflect communicative practices and capture specificity of a “commu- nicative style” (Goddard 2006). Evidence for cultural scripts can also come from data acquired from bilinguals. Wierzbicka has actively relied on such data and her own autobiographical narratives are extremely illuminating (Wierzbicka 1997b, 2007, Besemeres and Wierzbicka eds. 2007). The use of cultural scripts as a technique of formulating cultural norms has a number of advantages. Firstly, cultural scripts are capable of representing the cultural insiders’ perspective. Secondly, the use of simple and intelligible concepts creates a possibility for the scripts to be verified by cultural insiders. Thirdly, they are free from an ethnocentric bias which is present in some cultural research. The use of the same inventory of semantic primes in constructing explications and cultural scripts allows one to show explicitly the relation between the meaning of a word and cultural ideas and beliefs that it is related to. At the same time cultural scripts differ from semantic explications. While semantic explications represent meaning of a particular concept, cultural scripts reflect broader cultural norms. These norms concern ways of thinking, speaking and behaving that are salient in a particular culture. As it has been mentioned, cultural scripts have a linguistic grounding in cultural key words, proverbs and common sayings, terms of address, phraseological patterns, among others (Goddard 2006), but they formulate ideas that are broader than the meaning of one word or concept. 1 A full list of the NSM bibliography is available on the NSM Homepage and NSM-APPROACH.NET. We will illustrate the application of the cultural scripts approach with several Anglo English cultural scripts proposed by Anna Wierzbicka. Wierzbicka (2006a) relates a common use of ‘whimperatives’2 for wording requests, the cultural rules of using thank you and the avoidance of imperatives and phrases like you must in suggestions in English, with the prevalence of the value of ‘personal autonomy’. She argues that the idea that ‘it is not good to impose and force other people to do certain things’ is a cultural idea shared by English speakers and that it finds its realisation in language and communication. Wierzbicka (2006a: 52) formulates this cultural rule as follows: [people think like this:] no one can say to another person: “I want you to do this you have to do it because of this” [people think like this:] no one can say to another person: “I don’t want you to do this you can’t do it because of this” (Wierzbicka 2006a: 52) She explains these scripts as follows: “These scripts don’t say that people can do anything they want to do or that there can be no rules legitimately preventing people from doing what they want to do. Rather, they say that it cannot be another person’s expression of will that prevents me from doing what I want to do or forces me to do what I don’t want to do” (Wierzbicka 2006a: 52). Goddard and Wierzbicka (2004: 156) formulate a related cultural rule of valuing personal autonomy in Anglo society as follows: [people think like this:] when a person is doing something it is good if this person can think about it like this: ‘I am doing this because I want to do it not because someone else wants me to do it’ This script formulates an Anglo cultural norm which is closely associated with the English cultural key words freedom and free (see also Wierzbicka 1997a, Larina, Ozyumenko 2017). Wierzbicka further demonstrates that the value of personal autonomy in English is closely related to another cultural value, namely the inclination not to put undue pressure on other people, and that both are reflected in English (Wierzbicka 2006a, b). She notes that the expressions to put pressure and to act under pressure in contemporary English are highly revealing in this regard. Interestingly, they did not occur in Shakespeare’s language, which suggests modern salience of the value of ‘non- imposition’. The expression to put pressure and its negative cultural connotation 2 Whimperative (or wh-imperative) is a command or request which is worded as a question (e.g. Would you mind washing it out?, Could you just turn it down a bit?). The term consists of wh-, which stands for an interrogative word, and imperative. highlight the idea that there exists a cultural prohibition on imposing one’s will on other people and expecting them to act in accord with the will of other people. A related cultural script is formulated by Wierzbicka (2006a: 52) as follows: [people think like this:] when I do something it is good if I do it because I want to do it, not because someone else wants me to do it (Wierzbicka 2006a: 52) Importantly, these scripts proposed by Wierzbicka might not apply in all varieties of English due to differing cultural norms. In this regard, Wong (2004) argues that although English is widely spoken in Singapore, conversational strategies of Singapore English do not fully overlap with those of Anglo English. In particular, Wong shows that Singapore English lacks cultural scripts of Anglo-style personal autonomy in the style of scripts quoted above. He formulates a relevant cultural script for Singapore English as follows (Wong 2004: 239): [people think like this:] when I say to someone about something “I want you to do it” I can think about it like this: if this person can do it, this person will do it [people think like this:] when someone says to me about something “I want you to do it” if I can do it, it is good if I do it The cultural scripts formulated by Wierzbicka (2006a) and Wong (2004) refer to cultural rules relating to making requests or asking people to do something in two different cultures. The use of the same set of simple and universal words makes the cultural differences between these rules transparent and easy to demonstrate. Using the cultural scripts approach Wierzbicka has described numerous communica- tive practices in different languages and cultures relating to different speech acts, speech genres and discourses, including religious discourse (see Wierzbicka 2003/1991, 2001a, 2002, among others). She has also demonstrated that cultural scripts can be applied to capture the display rules of emotions, their functions in communication and cultural specificity (Alba-Juez, Larina 2018, Ionova, Shakhovsky this issue, Wierzbicka 1999a, b, 2001b, 2018c). Wierzbicka’s cultural scripts and simple formulae of what is considered good and bad in a given culture have a great explanatory potential and can reduce negative stereo- typing. For example, the following cultural scripts (Wierzbicka 2002а) represent Russian cultural norms relating to iskrennost ‘sincerity’, the meaning of which differs signifi- cantly from its English translation equivalent (Gladkova 2017, Wierzbicka 2002a): it is good if a person wants to say to other people what this person thinks (feels) it is bad if a person says to other people that this person thinks (feels) something if it is not true it is good if a person wants other people to know what this person thinks (feels) These cultural rules explain salient characteristics of Russian communicative style which are often perceived as excessive openness, lack of tact, straightforwardness, dislike for formal communication and uncontrolled display of emotions from the point of view of representatives of many Western cultures (for details, see Larina 2009, 2013). The cultural scripts approach has been successfully applied by Wierzbicka’s colleagues to various languages and language varieties, such as Australian English and other varieties of English (Goddard 2012, 2015, 2016), African languages (Ameka 2006), Chinese (Ye 2004, 2013), Korean (Yoon 2004), Singapore English (Wong 2004, 2014), Russian (Gladkova 2010a, b, 2013a, b, 2017), Japanese (Asano-Cavanagh 2016, Hasada 2006), Danish (Levisen 2012, 2013), French (Peeters 2013, 2014), Italian (Farese 2018), among others. Wierzbicka’s approach to studying language through the prism of culture has inspired research of numerous scholars in Russia. In particular, there has been long and fruitful collaboration between Anna Wierzbicka and the Moscow School of Semantics under the leadership of Jurij Apresjan (e.g., Apresjan 1995, 2006, 2014, V. Apresjan 2018). In addition, numerous studies by the Moscow group of cultural semantics aimed at the reconstruction of the Russian linguistic worldview demonstrate shared views on language, culture and their interface (e.g., Zalizniak 2013, Zalizniak, Levontina, Shmelev 2005, 2012; Zalizniak, Paducheva 2018, Shmelev 2002, 2018, among others). Wierzbicka’s work has also influenced research of many Russian scholars in the areas of cultural linguistics (Bogdanova 2015, 2017; Dobrichev, Kozlova, Pshenkina 2013; Zykova 2017; Ivanova 2003, 2004, 2016, Ivanova, Chanysheva 2010; Karasik 2002, 2009, 2015, 2016; Kovshova 2013; Krasnykh 2002; Larina, Mustajoki, Protassova 2017; Larina, Ozyumenko, Kurteš 2017), anthropological linguistics (Karasik 2010), emotiology (Shakhovsky 2008, 2010, 2015, 2018; Panchenko, Volkova 2018), ethnogrammar (Kozlova 2009), communicative ethnostylistics (Larina 2007, 2009, 2015), intercultural communication (Klyukanov, Leontovich 2017, Leontovich 2005, 2007; Larina 2013, 2017; Privalova 2005, Ter-Minasova 2000), among others3. Wierzbicka’s theory of cultural key words and cultural scripts has a significant potential of being used in language teaching and learning. Cultural scripts can help students understand the relationship between language and culture and develop intercul- tural communicative competence. Cultural scripts can develop leaners’ understanding of why in different societies people speak differently and assist educators in explaining the pragmatic rules of language use with ease and clarity. Teaching language and culture through key words and cultural scripts can help students acquire a different cultural logic from the insider’s perspective and become reflective language learners and critical thinkers (e.g., Goddard 2010b, Goddard and Wierzbicka 2007, Kurtes et al. 2017, Ozyumenko, Larina 2018, Wong 2018). 3. FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS AND APPLICATIONS OF NSM: MINIMAL LANGUAGE In her 2014 book Imprisoned in English: The Hazards Of English As A Default Language (chapter 14) Wierzbicka introduces the concept of Minimal English, that is a “mini English”, which can provide “a common auxiliary inter-language for speakers of different languages”. This idea is further developed in Goddard and Wierzbicka (2018) 3 In this overview we do not include Anna Wierzbicka’s influence on Russian theoretical linguistics. in the form of Minimal Language (see also Goddard 2018, Wierzbicka 2018b). This inter- language is based on the results of the linguistic research put into the development of the NSM. It includes universal concepts along more complex vocabulary, such as semantic molecules. It is expected that, as it is the case with NSM, the versions of this metalanguage can be developed for other languages (e.g., Minimal Russian, Minimal Spanish, etc.). Goddard (ed. 2018) is an edited volume which contains examples of application of Minimal English in various fields. Wierzbicka is an active developer of the idea of Minimal English and in this book she exemplifies application of Minimal English in teaching science to children and wording the principles of the Charter of Global Ethic (Wierzbicka 2018a, b). Anna Wierzbicka demonstrates the power of Minimal Language in her new book W co wierzą chrześcijanie? Opowieści o Bogu i o ludziach (What Christians Believe: The Story of God and People) published in 2017 by Znak in Cracow, Poland, in Polish. An expanded English version is to be published by Oxford University Press in 2019 (Wierzbicka in press). The book retells and re-thinks the basics of Christian faith in simple words and sentences which can be understood by anyone and which are cross-translatable into any language. The book is a semantic and theological experiment, and at the same time, it is an experiment in cross-cultural communication through a minimal language. Minimal Polish and Minimal English match, word for word and phrase by phrase. The Minimal English has gained momentum across various disciplines and there are several studies conducted by Wierzbicka’s colleagues in which Minimal English is successfully implemented in fields like narrative medicine (Peeters and Marini 2018), disability and mental health issues (Jordan 2017), diplomacy (Maley 2018; Farrelly and Wesley 2018), human rights discourse (Mooney 2018), among others. 4. ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE The first author of the issue is Jerzy Bartminsky (Lublin, Poland). He is well known to the Russian reader due to his book Yazykovoy obraz mira: ocherki po etnolingvistike (Language Image of the World: Essays on Ethnolinguistics) (Bartminsky 2005). Wierzbicka has long-standing cooperation with the community of linguists centered around the journal Ethnolinguistics published in Lublin and Maria Curie-Skłodowska University. In his article, Jerzy Bartminski demonstrates similarities between Wierzbicka’s and Lublin ethnolinguists’ approaches to language, their oppo- sition to taxonomic approaches to the study of meaning and adoption of the subjective reconstruction principle, which derives from Wilhelm Humboldt’s philosophy of language. Both scientific schools proceed from the fact that it is necessary to study the meaning of words in the context of social life, history and culture. The author focuses on the concept of cognitive definition, discusses its genesis, principles of construction and the most important ideas. Although the concept itself was created as an extension of the research of the language of folklore, independently of Anna Wierzbicka’s works and her method of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage, the author traces clear parallels between them, paying attention to some differences as well. Using the example of the concept of HOME/HOUSE, the article considers new perspectives of the use of cognitive definitions in comparative studies Anna Zalizniak (Moscow, Russia) presents in her article the Catalogue of sematic shifts (CSSh) and sets out its current state. The main notions of this framework are a semantic shift, which is understood as a relation of cognitive proximity between two linguistic meanings, and a realization of a semantic shift. The author states that the typology of semantic shifts occupies a position at the crossroad of semantic, lexical and grammatical typologies, however, the domain of CSSh does not coincide with any of them. She convincingly demonstrates that this framework is a tool for identifying and describing semantic shifts reproduced in the languages in the form of synchronous polysemy and/or diachronic semantic evolution. The article outlines the prospects for research and the scope of its possible results. It notes that linguistic data contained in the Database of Semantic Shifts can be used in all these areas, in order to provide semantic plausibility criteria for linguistic reconstruction, to act as empirical evidence for cognitive mechanisms of linguistic conceptualization, to aid in identifying specific features of the semantic system of a given language or group of languages. At the centre of attention of the article by Alain Polguère (Nancy, France) is the notion of copolysemy, which is closely associated with regular polysemy. The author adopts an approach where polysemy is defined as a property of vocables (roughly, entries in dictionary word lists) to regroup several word senses, while monosemy being the opposite property. Polysemy is the consequence of a more basic fact: the relation that holds between lexical units grouped within the same vocable. This relation is termed copolysemy. The article presents the current results of an exploration of copolysemy in French, which makes it possible to systematically retrieve patterns of copolysemy and achieve formal description of the polysemy structure of several thousand French vocables. The descriptive work is embedded in a large-scale lexicographic project, namely the construction of the French Lexical Network (fr-LN). Svetlana Ivanova (St. Petersburg, Russia) and Zulfira Chanysheva (Ufa, Russia) analyse the cultural semantics of lexical units in political discourse through the prism of Anna Wierzbicka’s views. Using the example of English lexical units such as whistle- blower, kangaroo ticket, log cabin president, Camelot presidency, redneck, etc., the authors show how, along with the lexical meaning recorded in dictionaries, the lexemes are able to generate various cultural meanings in discourse. The analysis is based on different levels of organization of culture as a whole, taking into account the dynamics of cultural universe (Ivanova 2016). This approach makes it possible to identify those semantic stratifications in the meaning of the considered lexical units, which reflect the consolida- tion of new values in the society. The procedure of meaning interpretation makes it possible to single out core cultural practices and to reveal their dynamics. This approach could be of interest to linguists working in the field of cultural and interpretative semantics, cultural linguistics and discourse analysis. Liudmila Bogdanova (Moscow, Russia) continues the theme of identifying evaluative meanings in language (see Bogdanova 2017), but this time on the material of grammar. Her article in this issue shows how the idea of semantic basis of grammar, created and developed by Anna Wierzbicka, has a continuation in the study of role and place of evaluative meanings in productive grammar of the Russian language. The author aims to identify evaluative meanings that are important for grammar and show how the subjective component of the meaning of a verb affects the way in which its actant positions are expressed. The article identifies the co-relation between intellectual and emotional evaluative characteristics of a verb, which have an output in the grammatical space of the language. The author demonstrates that evaluation (both positive and negative), which verbal semantics contains, affects the syntagmatic behavior of the verb selectively, requires additional efforts in establishing those semantic zones where the role of evaluative component in the grammatical formulation of actant position is the most significant. The author outlines further prospects for studying verb semantics, which make it possible to define a new perspective for disclosure of a culture specific worldview that could contribute to the development of comparative axiology. Lyubov Kozlova (Barnaul, Russia), author of the monograph “Ethnocultural potential of the grammatical structure of language and its realization in a speaker’s grammar” published in Russian (Kozlova 2009) develops the topic of ethnocultural potential of grammar. Her article relates to the field of ethnogrammar, which engages with the reconstruction of cultural specificity on the basis of grammatical analysis and the identification of culture specific semantic components in the grammar of a language. As the author rightly points out, it was Anna Wierzbicka who expressed the idea that lexicon, as well as grammar, embody concepts that are of particular importance for a certain language and culture. In her study the author analyses the category of voice in the English language from an ethnocultural perspective with the aim to elucidate ethnological factors which determine the choice of voice forms in various types of dis- course. The author shows the evolution of views on the essence of the category of voice in the context of changing paradigms of scientific knowledge, presents the essence of voice relations viewed from the functional and cognitive-discursive points of view and attempts to elucidate ethnocultural factors which determine the choice of both categorical and noncategorial voice forms in various types of discourse. Vladimir Karasik (Moscow, Russia), who is well known to the Russian linguistic community for his research in the field of interface of language and culture (Karasik 2002, 2009, 2010, 2016 among others), devotes his article to semiotic characteristics of comic texts construction. As the author rightly points out, since the desire to joke is universal, the humorous intention is less characterized by language and culture specific charac- teristics and depends mostly on individual characteristics of a person. However under- standing the joke is woven into the general context of culture. The aim of the study is to analyse semantic, pragmatic and syntactic properties of jokes and to identify models of comic texts comprehension. Using Russian jokes as data, the article discusses models of laughter behavior, describes semantic and pragmatic mechanisms of comic texts, distinguishes two models of creating and understanding comic texts: the first one is dictal in its essence and is based on disagreement between the planes of reality as shown in the text, whereas the second one is modal and it reflects an incongruity between reality and the view of it. All theoretical positions are illustrated with linguistic examples that will certainly make the reader smile. Vadim Dementiev (Saratov, Russia), discusses in his article specificity of Russian indirect communication. The author bases his research on the opposition of per- sonality~impersonality, which, in his opinion, is a language and speech category which covers most levels and spheres of the Russian language and speech. The article discusses a number of current processes of modern Russian speech. In this issue, we start a new rubric in our journal called “Lectures” with an invited lecture by Professor Alexander Zholkovsky (Los Angeles, USA) entitled “Listomania, or catalogue as technique (with examples from poetry and prose, classical and modern, Western and Russian)”. It was presented by him at the University of California, Berkeley on March 31, 2014. The issue finishes with two review articles on the topics that are in the focus of Anna Wierzbicka’s research paradigm. Svetlana Ionova (Moscow, Russia) and Victor Shakhovsky (Volgograd, Russia) overview Anna Wierzbicka’s approach to the study of emotions. Natalia Naidenova (Moscow, Russia) analyzes in her review article the research on the interface of language and religion in modern, mainly Russian, linguistics. CONCLUDING REMARKS This article attempted to summarise Anna Wierzbicka’s contribution to linguistic analysis in the area of language and culture interface. It mainly focused on the concepts of cultural keywords and cultural scripts which have a broad theoretical and practical application in cross-cultural pragmatics, text and discourse analysis, intercultural communication, second and foreign language teaching, etc. It also overviewed recent developments in Wierzbicka’s approach to linguistic analysis such as Minimal English. We must admit that this is a very brief overview with the aim of introducing the main concepts of the approach to Russian and international readers. The scope of Wierzbicka’s oeuvre is vast and it would be impossible to represent it in this article. The diversity of her approach allows multiple interpretations (as articles of this volume vividly demonstrate) and different readers are often inspired by different aspects of her research. Once again, we conclude with wishing Anna many more years of joy, happiness and creativity!

Anna N Gladkova

Monash University; Australian National University

Email: angladkova@gmail.com
Clayton Campus, Melbourne, VIC 3800, Australia; Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia Lecturer in English as an International Language at Monash University and an Honorary Lecturer in Linguistics at the Australian National University. She received her PhD in Linguistics from the Australian National University

Tatiana Viktorovna Larina

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Email: larina_tv@rudn.university
Full Professor at RUDN University, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Russian Journal of Linguistics.

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