On the Cognitive-semantic Approach to the Study of Modern Chinese Language

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Abstract


The article makes an attempt to comprehend the cognitive-semantic approach to the Chinese language in the framework of its teaching and study in higher education, taking into account features contrasting to the Russian language. The main theoretical postulates of the Chinese language-study were formulated by the Russian sinologists in line with formal structural paradigms based on materials of Western languages and their level of language organization. This approach is reflected in most Chinese language textbooks. In this regard, the Chinese language is taught according to the patterns of teaching Western languages. This approach does not allow to fully master the language, as it does not take into account the semantic and cognitive disproportion of the basic units of languages. The basic unit of the Russian language is the word as its nominative and at the same time the main speech unit. In the Chinese language, according to our observations and analysis of the relevant literature, this role belongs mainly to a more fractional substantive unit, which in the dictionary, in the nomination, acts as the main unit of the language division of the world, and in speech can also act as a simple word and as part of more complex formation - words or phrases. In writing, this unit is presented in the form of a «zi» hieroglyph, figuratively or otherwise denoting certain objects of reality and conceptualizing them, which allows us to consider these «zi» as expressors of minimal concepts of Chinese linguistic thinking. For the first time in Russian linguistics, the article addresses issues related to these basic units in connection with teaching issues. At the present stage, there are practically no textbooks or techniques aimed at mastering these specific Chinese language units. The authors make an attempt to attract the attention of sinologists to this problem and to reconsider the existing views in a new cognitive-semantic vein. In this context, the necessity of reorienting teaching that reproduces the methodological and linguistic orientations applied in relation to the study of Indo-European languages to methodological orientations corresponding to the essential characteristics of the Chinese language as consistently isolated in type and specifically orientational in terms of mental and cultural grounds is substantiated. In this regard, there marked relevant issues are there proposed some ways to resolve them.


About the authors

Tatyana V. Demidova

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.
Email: demidova_tv@pfur.ru
6, Miklukho-Maklaya street, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Tatyana M. Soloveva

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Email: soloveva_tm@pfur.ru
6, Miklukho-Maklaya street, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Sergey A. Barov

Financial University

Email: SABarov@fa.ru
Leningradskiy prospekt, 49, Moscow, Russia, 125993

Candidate of Political Sciences, Associate Professor, the Department of Language Training

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