The Swedish seal-hunters' conceptual system for seal: A cognitive, cultural and ecological approach
2004 (English)In: Linguagem, cultura e cogniçao: Estudos de linguistíca cognitiva, Coimbra: Almedina , 2004, 215-229 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
The aim of this paper is to present a completed study of the Swedish-speaking seal-hunters’ conceptual system for seal in the North Scandinavian area (Edlund 2000). A cognitive perspective is applied in the analysis, in which focus is on the hunters' knowledge of the seal with the purpose of investigating the structure of the hunters' conceptual system for seal. The theoretical starting-point is taken in cognitive linguistics and cognitive anthropology (Lakoff 1987; Johnson 1987; Langacker 1987; Strauss & Quinn 1997; Palmer 1996; Geertz 1993). The investigated vocabulary contains 150 different words for seal, mostly found in oral recorded material.
The study emphasises the fact that lexical meaning comprises linguistic as well as cultural knowledge (Langacker 1997). The reconstruction of the conceptual system is therefore based on both a semantic analysis of the vocabulary for seal, and on an analysis of the cultural and ecological context of seal-hunting during the 20th century.
Only a few categories for seal are the same in the whole area of investigation and can be said to constitute a cognitive and communicative basic level. The structure of the hunters’ conceptual system in the area is otherwise characterised by breadth and variation. Variation occurs on three different levels: 1. Regional variation, partly explained by differing hunting methods in different areas. 2. Seasonal variation related to different needs of cultural knowledge. The summer and autumn hunt did not require a large amount of knowledge, and consequently there was no need to categorise the seal. The late winter hunt on ice required an immense amount of knowledge with regard to the ecology of the seal and the ice-environment, for that reason an extended conceptual system for seal was used. 3. Variation with regard to different actions during the late winter hunt.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Coimbra: Almedina , 2004. 215-229 p.
conceptual system, cultural model, knowledge system, categorization of seals
Research subject Scandinavian Languages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-25411OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-25411DiVA: diva2:231731