Exploring the “Enemy” in the Russian, English and Chinese Languages and Cultures
AbstractThe goal of the article is to examine the meaning potential of the lexeme “enemy” which occupies one of the first places in any language due to its long standing, high stability and abundance. Nevertheless, it is relatively seldom investigated from the perspective of cognitive linguistics which opens up new prospects for its research through the use of language as a reliable tool for studying the content and structure of mental units. To this end, the authors collected and analyzed direct and derivative nominations of “enemy”, phraseological units and proverbs with them and set of associations provided by modern representatives of the Russian, Chinese and English linguocultures. The received data reveal vis-à-vis universality or cultural specificity in the perception of “enemy” which can have historical, geographical, social, political or economic explanation. Despite coinciding in many aspects, the connotations and interpretations of the lexeme “enemy” in different languages and cultures are sometimes worlds apart and misunderstanding their meaning may lead to disagreements and conflicts. The authors hope to promote better understanding among contacting parties by contributing to comprehension of the intricate language-culture relationship.
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