Context of Culture and Language

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					Context of Culture and
    Teaching objectives
• To get to know what’s context of
• To understand the relationship
  between context of culture and
• To understand how language is
  influenced by context of culture
   1. Two categories of

• Context of culture
• Context of situation
              ( Malinknowski, 1923)
   2.Context of Culture
• Context of culture means the total
  way of life of a people, which refers
  to the patterns of customs,
  traditions, social habits, values,
  beliefs and languages of a society
  (Dai Weidong, 1989)
3.Context of Culture and
• Context of culture influences
• Language reflects the environment in
  which people live
• Language is a mirror of culture
• Language is culture
• Eskimo--- three words for snow (falling
  snow, fallen snow, snow packed into ice)
• English--- one word (snow)
• Hopi--- one word for anything that flies
• English--- aeroplane, dragonfly, butterfly
• Navaho--- no distinction between horse
  and horses
• English--- horse/horses
4. The impact of context of
   culture on language at
       various levels
•   At lexical level
•   At pragmatic level
•   At discourse level
•   At stylistic level
  5. The denotation and
  connotation of words

• Denotation: dictionary definition
• Connotation: associative meanings
• How connotative meanings have
  developed: through use by people and
  esp. by poets and writers
  6. Chinese and English
     words compared
• 1) different context of culture, similar or
  same connotative meaning.
• Fox      狐狸
• Dove     鸽子
• Bee      蜜蜂
• White 白色
• Red      红色
• Rose     玫瑰
    2) different context of
    culture, different connotative
•   Owl      猫头鹰
•   Dragon 龙
•   Dog      狗
•   Green    绿色
•   Blue     蓝色
•   Fat meat 肥肉
    Compare the following
•   青天    blue sky
•   青山    green hills
•   青丝    black hair
•   红茶    black tea
•   红糖    brown sugar
•   黑啤    dark beer
3)connotative meaning is specific
for A context of culture and vacant
for B context of culture

• Turtle     乌龟
• Daffodil   黄水仙
7.Context of culture and
 pragmatic competence
• Greetings vary with contexts
  of culture
• 1) talking about eating
• 2) talking about weather
• 3) talking about actions
   Put the following into
1) –Do you like the new school?
   – Yes, I do.
2) –Please don’t say that.
   - Yes, I will.
3) –I know what he wants.
   - Money!
4) –Waiter!
   - Yes, sir.
5) – Yes?
   - I’d like two tickets, please.
6) –Everything will be all right soon, yes?

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