Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words English, Russian, Polish, German, and Japanese


Wierzbicka demonstrates that every language has its "key concepts" (expressed in key words) and that these concepts reflect the core values of the culture in question. Examining empirical evidence from five languages, and using her own "natural semantic metalanguage" to provide an analytical framework, she shows that cultures can be revealingly studied, compared and explained to outsiders through their key concepts.

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