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International Journal of Language and Culture

image of International Journal of Language and Culture
ISSN 2214-3157
E-ISSN 2214-3165

<p>The aim of the International Journal of Language and Culture (IJoLC) is to disseminate cutting-edge research that explores the interrelationship between language and culture. The journal is multidisciplinary in scope and seeks to provide a forum for researchers interested in the interaction between language and culture across several disciplines, including linguistics, anthropology, applied linguistics, psychology and cognitive science. The journal publishes high-quality, original and state-of-the-art articles that may be theoretical or empirical in orientation and that advance our understanding of the intricate relationship between language and culture. IJoLC is a peer-reviewed journal published twice a year.</p> <p>Topics of interest to IJoLC include, but are not limited to the following: Culture and the structure of language; Language, culture, and conceptualisation; Language, culture, and politeness; Language, culture, and emotion; Culture and language development; Language, culture, and communication.</p>

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  • “Pain” and “suffering” in cross-linguistic perspective
    • Author: Anna Wierzbicka
    • Source: International Journal of Language and Culture, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2014, pages: 149 –173
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    • This paper builds on findings of the author’s 1999 book Emotions Across Languages and Cultures: Diversity and Universals, which tentatively identified eleven universals pertaining to human emotions. The paper probes some of those “emotional universals” further, especially in relation to ‘laughing’, ‘crying’, and ‘pain’. At the same time, the author continues her campaign against pseudo-universals, focussing in particular on the anthropological and philosophical discourse of “suffering”. The paper argues for the Christian origins of the concept of “suffering” lexically embodied in European languages, and contrasts it with the Buddhist concept of ‘dukkha’, usually rendered in Anglophone discussions of Buddhism with the word suffering.
  • Emotion recognition ability in English among L1 and LX users of English
    • Authors: Pernelle Lorette, and Jean-Marc Dewaele
    • Source: International Journal of Language and Culture, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2015, pages: 62 –86
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    • This article focuses on individual differences in emotion recognition ability among 356 first language (L1) and 564 foreign language (LX) users of English. Recognizing emotions can be particularly challenging in LX contexts. Depending on their linguistic profile, individuals may interpret input very differently, and LX learners and users have been found to perform significantly worse than native control groups (Rintell 1984) in tests of emotion recognition ability. In the present article, we investigate the effect of three independent variables, namely, L1 versus LX status, proficiency in English, and cultural background, on emotion recognition ability. We used an online survey in which participants had to identify the emotion portrayed by a native English-speaking actress in six audiovisual clips. Despite LX users having lower proficiency scores, English L1 users and LX users’ emotion recognition ability scores were broadly similar. A significant positive relationship was found between LX proficiency and emotion recognition ability. A similar but only marginally significant relationship emerged among L1 users. A significant effect of L1 culture was found on emotion recognition ability scores, with Asian LX users scoring significantly lower than European LX users. It thus seems that audiovisual input allows advanced LX users to recognize emotions in LX as well as L1 users. That said, LX proficiency and L1 culture do have an effect on emotion recognition ability.
  • The story of “Danish Happiness”: Global discourse and local semantics
    • Author: Carsten Levisen
    • Source: International Journal of Language and Culture, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2014, pages: 174 –193
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    • According to a new global narrative, the Danes are the happiest people in the world. This paper takes a critical look at the international media discourse of “happiness”, tracing its roots and underlying assumptions. Equipped with the Natural Semantic Metalanguage approach to linguistic and cultural analysis, a new in-depth semantic analysis of the story of “Danish happiness” is developed. It turns out that the allegedly happiest people on earth do not (usually) talk and think about life in terms of ”happiness”, but rather through a different set of cultural concepts and scripts, all guided by the Danish cultural keyword lykke. The semantics of lykke is explicated along with two related concepts livsglæde, roughly, ‘life joy’ and livslyst ‘life pleasure’, and based on semantic and ethnopragmatic analysis, a set of lykke-related cultural scripts is provided. With new evidence from Danish, it is argued that global Anglo-International “happiness discourse” misrepresents local meanings and values, and that the one-sided focus on “happiness across nations” in the social sciences is in dire need of cross-linguistic confrontation. The paper calls for a post-happiness turn in the study of words and values across languages, and for a new critical awareness of linguistic and conceptual biases in Anglo-international discourse.
  • Tall poppies in the land down under: An applied ethnolinguistic approach
    • Author: Bert Peeters
    • Source: International Journal of Language and Culture, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2015, pages: 219 –243
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    • Most EFL curricula, irrespective of the variety of English they seek to impart, have little time for cultural values, focusing instead on “Culture with a capital C,” i.e., history, geography, cultural heritage, folklore, etc. Applied ethnolinguistics is a relatively new framework that has been developed to curb the trend. It consists of a number of pathways that can be replicated by advanced language students eager to increase their awareness of potentially unfamiliar cultural values. One of the pathways, ethnorhetorics (the study of culturally salient figures of speech), will be illustrated here with data drawn from Australian English. The focus will be on the tall poppy metaphor. A few hints at its cultural salience and a brief look at where tall poppies are typically found will be followed by a more linguistically oriented analysis. On the basis of the evidence gathered, we will formulate a hypothesis about cultural values which (at least from the students’ point of view) is in need of further corroboration. This requires a different pathway, known as ethnoaxiology, which will not be illustrated in this paper; a few pointers will be provided instead.
  • Conceptualizing mindfulness–mindlessness in intercultural interaction
    • Authors: Vladimir Zegarac, Helen Spencer-Oatey, and Ema Ushioda
    • Source: International Journal of Language and Culture, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2014, pages: 75 –97
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    • The concept of ‘mindfulness’ is increasingly used in the intercultural literature and yet so far it is largely just a heterogeneous construct with underspecified theoretical content. In this paper we draw on multidisciplinary perspectives to address this shortcoming and develop an integrated analysis of this important construct. We relate ‘mindfulness’ explicitly to the Relevance-theoretic concept of “manifestness”, and we incorporate insights from the psychology of motivation. We use extracts of authentic intercultural interactions to help explain and illustrate our arguments.
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