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Cognitive Concepts in Czech Language and Culture

Class at Faculty of Arts |

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* Syllabus (suggested topics for analysis and discussion; the topics and their order may be adjusted to the needs of the participants):

Week 1: Introduction; basic principles of a cognitive and anthropological approach to language.

Week 2: Categorization; "animals", colours.

Week 3: Metaphor, metonymy, blending; verbal and nonverbal communication (gestures).

Week 4: Image schema; time, motion

Week 5: Space.

Week 6: Linguistic image of the world; cognitive definition.

Week 7: Cultural key words, cultural scripts; abstract notions (“home”, “freedom”, "family" etc.)

Week 8: Emotions.

Week 9: Selected characters from Czech culture (e.g. Božena Němcová and her Grandmother), places (e.g. Říp).

Week 10: Folk theories, folk linguistics.

Weeks 11 + 12 (+ 13): Presentations and discussion (depending on the number of participants, some presentations may be scheduled for earlier weeks of the semester). Summary, concluding discussion.

This text is not available in the current language. Showing version "cs".Annotation

The aim of the course is to study theories of cognitive linguistics and anthropolinguistics which allow comparisons of various types of concepts in different languages and cultures, and to apply these theories to analyses that compare Czech data with other languages.

The following theories and concepts are discussed: theories of conceptual metaphor and metonymy; blending

(conceptual integration); image schema; categorisation and prototypes; theories of linguistic image of the world

(worldview) and cognitive ethnolinguistics; cultural key words and cultural scripts; folk theories and folk linguistics.

Suggested topics for analysis and discussion are: concepts of space and spatial dimensions, time, and motion; selected abstract notions (e.g., domov “home”, štěstí “happiness”); selected animals; colours; emotions (e.g., fear, anger, love); linguistic pictures and/or stereotypes of selected body parts (e.g., the hand, the head); figures from Czech culture (e.g.,Božena Němcová, literary characters such as Babička “Grandmother”) or places (e.g.,


The analyses focus on Czech data and compare them with English or other languages, especially languages spoken by course participants.

Activities in the seminar include critical reading and discussion of selected scientific texts and practical analyses of data samples. Students will be asked to choose a topic for their own analysis and to present the results to other course participants.