Linguo-Cultural Concept In Describing Linguo-Cultural Situation


The problem of the relationship and interaction of language and culture has become central in science emerged in the middle of the last century at the confluence of sociolinguistics, ethno-linguistics, linguistic country studies, cultural studies – cultural linguistics. Main tasks of modern cultural linguistics are reflecting national consciousness in the language, verbalizing cultural objects by means of the language, transmitting valuable cultural categories in lexical meanings of words. To describe problems of language system functioning in a certain historical period and on a certain territory, one should refer to the concepts of a language situation, a linguo-cultural situation that are constantly developing, therefore, they can be characterized as stable or dynamic and represent a static time period of a certain linguistic culture that forms next similar periods. In studying the linguo-cultural situation it is important to consider linguo-cultural concepts, i.e. multilayered, multidimensional structures, including ideas, emotive, historical, etymological components, specified by objectivity and historical conditionality. As Slyshkin reasonably points out, “not every real phenomenon of reality can form the basis of the concept, but only the phenomenon which becomes the object of evaluation”, therefore the axiological component is a significant component of the concept. The connotation of a concept is realized only in discourse, a wide context, since only under these conditions lexical units that verbalize the concept get an additional - connotative - component of their lexical meanings. The specifics of the linguo-cultural concept lies in the fact that it is recognized as a cultural object.

Keywords: Linguo-cultural conceptlinguo-cultural situationlinguistic situation


In describing a linguo-cultural situation, it is important to analyze linguo-cultural details and universals. The analysis of linguistic units verbalizing these formations is the essence of linguo-culturological analysis of an artistic text.

One of the methods of describing a linguo-cultural situation is modeling cultural thematic text fields. The method of cultural and thematic fields proposed by Shaklein (1997) flows organically from the field method in linguistics. This field has some characteristics similar to those of other fields: the words in the fields are linked by syntagmatic, paradigmatic and associative relations. More particular cultural meanings are actualized in cultural thematic microfields of the text.

Problem Statement

The problem of the study is to consider verbalization of the figurative component of the linguo-cultural concept in the linguo-cultural situation.

Research Questions

The subject of the research is the linguo-cultural concept in the linguo-cultural situation.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the article is to characterize verbalization of the figurative component of the linguo-cultural concept in the linguo-cultural situation.

Research Methods

During the study, the authors used a descriptive method (methods of observation, interpretation, generalization) and the method of theoretical analysis.

Main part

At present, research in the field of cultural linguistics remains relevant: «In the research on the basis of the theoretical analysis of scientific methodological literature, the content of the concept of a linguoculturology as sciences at the present stage of development of linguistics is open» (Zhumasheva, Zhumabaeva, Zhukenova, Ismagulova, & Ryspaeva, 2014). And "as a result, the interaction between culture and linguoculture emerges" (Tokarev, 2015, p. 285).

The concept of a linguistic situation was initially associated with a language or languages serving certain areas of society on a particular territory. This concept was developed in the works by Schweitzer (1978). He proposed a more detailed definition of the linguistic situation as “systems of socially and functionally distributed and hierarchically linguistic systems and subsystems that coexist and interact in a given ethnic community or in a given administrative-territorial association and in respect of which members of the corresponding linguistic and verbal collectives adhere to certain social attitudes” (Schweizer & Nikolsky, 1978, p. 145).

In accordance with Vinogradov (1990), a language situation is “a set of forms of existence (as well as styles) of a single language or a set of languages in their territorial and social interrelation and functional interaction within certain geographical regions or administrative-political entities” (p. 57).

In modern linguistics, the term “linguistic situation” refers, as a rule, to large linguistic communities, such as countries, regions. The linguistic situation unites all language formations (languages and language variants), providing communication in a particular ethnic group or polyethnic community within the boundaries of a particular region, political and territorial association or state.

The aspects of cultural linguistics and, in particular, linguistic situation as an actual problem of linguistics, have been continually considered on the material of the English language in the USA (Schweizer, 1983), the Russian language in Russia (Proshina, Rivlina, Ter-Minasova, Beloglazova, & Kabakchi, 2016; Samarina, Nezhelskaya, & Gubanova, 2017), several languages in West Africa (Vinogradov, Koval, & Porkhomovsky, 1984), Romanic languages (Stepanov, 1976).

We can also mention linguistic and cultural studies on the material of the Russian language in terms of other linguistic and cultural traditions: Vietnam (Shaklein & Nguyen, 2017; Lonskaia & Shaklein, 2018), the Republic of Kazakhstan (Koniratbaeva, Altaeva, & Koniratbaev, 2015; Zhaeva, 2013).

To describe linguistic phenomena in their interaction with cultural ones, we suggested the term of the linguo-cultural situation, understood as “all manifestations of human spiritual activity, as well as socio-ideological and ideological processes reflected in the language” (Chapaeva, 2007, p. 58).

Professor Yamuna Kachru, the researcher of Anglophone linguistic culture, draws attention to such arguments as “the relationship between language and culture”; cultural specifics of text types” (Proshina, 2015). The paper by Zhumasheva, Sametova, Muktarova, Batyrkhan, and Sultaniyazova (2014) is devoted to the study of “a linguo-cultural interference in the dialogue of cultures”.

Highlighting pure linguistic phenomena in their inseparable connection with the culture of the community at a certain historical period gave birth to the term of the linguo-cultural situation. This term, as well as the methodology of studying the linguo-cultural situation, was proposed by Shaklein (1997) in his monograph "Linguo-cultural situation and the study of the text." The text is recognized as the material for studying the linguo-cultural situation, and the degree of the analysis objectivity depends on the number of texts studied by the researcher.

When characterizing the linguo-cultural situation, two factors are important:

1) temporary: the linguo-cultural situation is understood as a constantly changing process, prepared by previous periods and preparing the basis for subsequent periods;

2) structural: the linguo-cultural situation contains a certain number of social formations, languages, and cultures.

All above-mentioned characteristics make it possible to formulate the following definition of the linguo-cultural situation: “A linguo-cultural situation is a dynamic and wavelike process of interaction between languages and cultures in historically established cultural regions and social environments” (Shaklein, 1997, p. 111). The linguo-cultural situation is complex; it incorporates a linguistic, cultural, social, and ethnic situation.

The essence of each linguo-cultural situation is a complex of nationwide, group and individual features in the language of the period. Even relatively individual language of artistic texts reflects linguo-cultural situation to a certain degree. Therefore, in order to obtain an objective view of a linguo-cultural situation, it is necessary to involve as many texts of different writers as possible. That is why linguo-culturological analysis is complex, it includes a general philological analysis, involving techniques of genre assessment of language means and analysis of the ideological content of the text, and conceptual analysis aimed at recreating a specific fragment of the linguistic worldview. Consequently, a linguo-culturological analysis of a text considers three aspects - cultural and ideological content, composition, and language.

In this regard, in order to adequately describe the linguo-cultural situation, we should analyse compositional, plot, ideological, and thematic levels of the text. But the main thing is “considering the speech 'fabric' of the text from the point of view of its details that constitute the lexical basis of linguo-cultural universals significant for the time when the text was written” (Shaklein, 1997, p. 98). Such lexical elements, as a rule, are intensively used in the text and determine its semantic richness. They are found in the micro- and macrocontext (from a phrase to the literary language of the epoch overall).

In addition to linguo-cultural universals, in linguo-cultural texts one can distinguish singular linguo-cultural details. These are the functions that linguo-cultural details perform in the text:

- creating a visual image of the time;

- making the situation of the text specific;

- actualizing the anthropocentricity of the text;

- acting as leitmotifs.

The significance of each linguo-cultural detail is determined by the number of the signs of the time setting or historical era contained in it but does not depend on the volume of the speech segment by which it is expressed (word, phrase, sentence or a larger speech segment). These linguo-cultural details create a visual image of the epoch in different ways. A more stable visual image is created by purely significative linguo-cultural details, while figurative linguo-cultural details do not always create this image, but often actualize an abstract quality associated with the visual image.

Linguistic and cultural components of a concept should be considered, according to A.A. Grigoriev, in their interrelation with philosophy, culture and society (Grigoriev, 2006). The linguo-cultural understanding of the concept is distinguished, first of all, by the fact that it is recognized as a cultural object, as Stepanov (2001) defines, “a slot of culture in the human mind” (p. 732). A concept in cultural linguistics is a multilayered, multidimensional structure that includes ideas, emotive, historical, etymological components, characterized by objectivity and historical conditionality (Tokarev, 2000). All the above-mentioned definitions indicate two components, two plans of a concept - a plan of expression and a plan of content.

A detailed description of the linguo-cultural concept is presented by Slyshkin (2004). The scientist points out basic characteristics of the concept: “its complex presence in language, consciousness and culture, mental nature, limitedness by the speaker’s consciousness, worthiness, conventionality and vagueness, cognitive and generalizing orientation, poly-appealability, variability, three-level linguistic embodiment, including levels of systemic potential, subject potential and textual implementation” (Slyshkin, 2004, p. 78). At the same time, a significant difference between linguo-cultural and other concepts lies in its localization in consciousness, and not simultaneously in consciousness and in language, like in logo-epistemology, linguo-culture, and culture. At the same time, linguo-cultural concept differs from other mental units (frame, script, stereotype, image, etc.) because it always has a certain value at its centre. Thus, the concept “belongs to consciousness, is determined by culture and objectified in the language” (Slyshkin, 2004, p. 83).

Means of concept expression can be very different: from one lexeme to a precedent text.

In terms of concept content, non-uniform features are highlighted. Karasik (2005) identifies the following groups of features in the concept structure: 1) conceptual and substantive (based on dictionary definitions), a kind of meaningful minimum; 2) associative-shaped (determined by lexical compatibility, metaphorical uses, phraseological units); 3) evaluative and behavioural signs, or an axiological component. The signs of the second and third groups constitute the periphery of the concept structure.

The concept structure is organised by ethno-specific characteristics, which are most clearly manifested in comparative studies on the material of two or more linguo-cultures. The linguo-cultural specificity of the concept lies in different means of its linguistic representation in different linguistic cultures, the degree of detailization or generalization of this representation, notional and figurative content of the concept, etc.

In addition to the concept structure, cultural linguistics investigates methods for studying and describing linguo-cultural concepts.

Tokarev (2000) offers a special method of linguo-cultural analysis of concepts: 1. Taxonomic modeling concept. 2. Determining the place of the concept in the idiosphere, its connections with other concepts. 3. Explication of artifacts, mental facts, myths, stereotypes, cultural attitudes, ideologies, symbols, standards, representing this concept in the sign system of culture, ethnographic and historical data. 4. Ascertaining the means of linguistic representation of the concept. 5. The study of the means of keeping cultural connotations: figurative basis, spheres of nomination, historical dynamics of semantic structures, keywords, paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations, quasi-models. 6. Discursive study of the concept”.

In the aspect of applied linguo-culturology, the following methodology is proposed for linguo-culturological analysis: 1) a complete sample of linguistic units that actualize a particular concept or linguistic culture; 2) parametrization of these units; 3) constructing conceptual framework; 4) identifying the base unit and its correlation with the cultural stereotype (Vasilyuk, 2009).

Scientists describe different types of concepts. For example, Karasik (2005) divides linguo-cultural concepts into parametric (space, time, etc.) and non-parametric (with subjective content, such as happiness, travel, gift, health, etc.). The parametric concept "frost" is considered by Selemenova (2018). Non-parametric concepts have been widely reflected in modern research: “Some heroes in Turkic (Kazakh) heroic epos” (Yergubekova et al., 2013), “Fate as a concept in language and culture” (Chupryna, Baranova, & Merkulova, 2018), “Concepts work and laziness in the Archin linguistic worldview” (Samedov & Hasanova, 2017).

Concepts appear to be comprehensive, complex units that are located in the sphere of consciousness but verbalized by linguistic means. The main components in the concept structure are notional, figurative and axiological, the first being in its nuclear zone, and the other two in the peripheral one. Features of the discourse, verbalizing the concept, affect its structure. In the peripheral zone of the artistic concept, there are additional components that are not distinguished by other native speakers.


Thus, the goal of a linguo-cultural analysis should be “determining the uniqueness of linguo-cultural universals, understanding ... the cultural value of the text, the uniqueness of the linguo-cultural situation reflected in it” (Shaklein, 1997, p. 56). In describing the linguo-cultural situation, linguo-cultural details and universals play the most important role. The analysis of linguistic units that verbalize these formations constitutes the essence of linguo-culturological analysis of an artistic text. The linguo-cultural situation and its various aspects are continued to be investigated by scientists refining and expanding this concept.


The linguo-cultural situation, which is a static time sample of a certain linguo-culture, is characterized by a temporary factor. It incorporates several cultures and languages. It is studied on the material of texts, and the objectivity of its assessment depends on the number of these texts.

Analysing texts in terms of the linguo-cultural situation implies characterization of linguistic fragments that actualize linguo-cultural universals, linguo-cultural details and linguo-cultural concepts.

Ideological and thematic content, plot features, text composition are also of interest to the researcher. The essential difference between the linguo-cultural concept and other concepts lies in its localization in consciousness, and not simultaneously in consciousness and in language. The linguo-cultural concept differs from other mental units in that it always has a certain value in its centre. It is a unit of consciousness, it is determined by culture and expressed by language units. A significant component in the structure of the linguo-cultural concept is axiological that conveys various types of assessments.


The article is published within the initiative theme “Learning and teaching Russian in foreign linguistic environment”.


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28 December 2019

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Mitrofanova, I., Deryabina, S., Mikova, S., Karelova*, M., & Shaklein, V. (2019). Linguo-Cultural Concept In Describing Linguo-Cultural Situation. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1462-1468). Future Academy.