THE CULTURAL AND LINGUISTIC EXPLORATION OF LAND IN AMERICAN CAMPFIRE STORIES
Being transported to the New World, the English language underwent significant modifications to get adapted to the new environment. Linguistic innovations that developed in parallel to cognitive changes were to reflect transformations in the worldview of the speech community. The purpose of this article is to describe some peculiarities of American worldview and define linguistic means that express the concept of ‘land/space’. It is hypothethized that cultural and linguistic exploration of the land was determined by socio-historical conditions and cognitive preferences of the community. In American campfire stories, ‘land’ is a contamination of geographical and cultural space represented by means of oppositions (‘familiar - unfamiliar’, ‘beautiful – ugly’, ‘friendly – hostile’, etc.) achieved through the application of the cooperative ‘us’ strategy and competitive ‘them’ strategy. The research employs a complex of methods including contextual, structural, componential, and conceptual analyses. The findings support the hypothesis and reveal that the concept of ‘land’ has evolved and expressed due to a particular set of social practices leading to community consolidation, cultivation of patriotism, trust, endurance and ability to survive, feeling of social belonging and pride.
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