REECAS Quarterly Course Lists
Spring 2021: SLAVIC 425 Universal and Culture Specific Aspects of Meaning
Meeting Time: MW 12:30 pm – 2:20 pm
Joint Sections: N/A
Instructors: Katarzyna A Dziwirek
The focus of the course is the social and cultural conditioning of everyday language use. Its goal is to examine what is universal and what culture/language specific in linguistic expression of key human concepts: friendship, kinship, homeland/fatherland as well as linguistic expression of politeness/rudeness and prejudice, and to take a closer look at linguistic expression of gender differences in different cultures. The underlying premise is that language is a mirror of culture and national character, as well as means of communication. Students will be introduced to research methods in semantics, pragmatics and discourse and, hopefully, gain an appreciation of the social and cultural underpinnings of their own language and other languages. This is a comparative course, with enough Slavic content for it to be relevant for our majors and graduate students, yet appealing to people interested in other languages or language in general. Students can choose any language/culture for their projects.