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Title: Contrastive semantics and cultural psychology: English 'heart' vs. Malay 'hati'
Contributor(s): Goddard, Cliff  (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: This is a contrastive analysis of two ethnopsychological constructs (English 'heart', Malay 'hati'), using the natural semantic metalanguage (NSM) approach to semantic description (Wierzbicka 1996). Rejecting the use of English-specific meta-terminology, such as 'mind, cognition, affect', etc., as both ethnocentric and inaccurate, the study seeks to articulate the conceptual content of the words under investigation in terms of simple universal concepts such as Feel, Think, Want Know, People, Someone, Part, Body, Happen, Good and Bad. For both words, the physical body-part meaning is first explicated, and then the ethnopsychological sense or senses (it is claimed that English 'heart' has two distinct ethnopsychological senses). The chapter also reviews the phraseology associated with each word, and in the case of English 'heart', proposes explications for a number of prominent collocations: 'a broken heart, listening to your heart, losing heart and having your heart in it'. The concluding discussion makes some suggestions about experiential/semantic principles whereby body-parts can come to be associated with cultural models of feeling, thinking, wanting and knowing. At a theoretical level, the study seeks to draw links between culturally-informed cognitive semantics, on the one hand, and the field of cultural psychology, as practised by Richard Shweder and associates.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Culture, Body, and Language: Conceptualizations of Internal Body Organs across Cultures and Languages, p. 75-102
Publisher: Mouton de Gruyter
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISBN: 9783110196221
Field of Research (FOR): 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics)
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Applications of Cognitive Linguistics
Series Number : 7
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