On linguoculturology and cultural linguistics
Few Western scholars are likely to be aware that behind the noun linguoculturology and the adjective linguoculturological lie realities they may not be entirely familiar with. Most will no doubt unhesitatingly assume that the labels in question are no more than a different way of referring to what, in Western Europe, the Americas, and Australia / New Zealand, is called cultural linguistics. Yet, what we are witnessing here is anything but terminological variation. It is terminological indifference of a kind that is common in most areas of scholarly activity, not in the least among linguists, many of whom use identical terms for different purposes, and different terms for identical purposes, thereby stifling progress instead of inviting dialogue, and promoting indifference rather than engaging in collaborative efforts. Mizin and Korostenski (2019) take the translators of two recent papers to task for the kind of terminological indifference referred to above. Both Sharifian (2015) and Peeters (2017) were originally written in English and then translated into Russian to draw the attention of post-Soviet scientists to developments in cultural linguistics in the Western world. I revisit each of these texts, before reaching the conclusion that we need to increase awareness in both directions. The ongoing translation of important programmatic texts from English into Russian and vice versa is crucial, and so is the publication of introductory materials, critical assessments, and terminological dictionaries. They will allow Western linguists to further familiarize themselves with the theoretical underpinnings and empirical findings of linguoculturology, and help post-Soviet science transcend the geographic and ideological area to which it is still largely confined. The publication, in different issues of the 2020 volume of this journal, of revised versions of the four introductory lectures on the Natural Semantic Metalanguage approach I had the pleasure of delivering at Novosibirsk State University in June 2019 will hopefully help achieve some of the cross-fertilization contemporary cultural linguistics so badly needs.
Keywords: Linguoculturology, Cultural Linguistics, Natural Semantic Metalanguage, terminological variation, terminological indifference, scientific synergies