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Cultural specificity of focusing verbalisation

Functionally re-oriented language units the semantics of which comprises a background knowledge meaning component have a rather strong pragmatic charge. Native speakers’ background knowledge is usually associated with language units which are a depository of national experience (Wierzbicka 1992, Sperber and Wilson 2005). They help pass the experience from generation to generation. The background knowledge has cultural roots and includes the aspects of ethnic psychology, cultural studies, history of nation and linguistics, in particular, pragmalinguistics, directly correlated with the notion of presupposition. Alike presupposition, background knowledge is related to the activity of language effort saving. Presupposition embraces the whole scope of extra-linguistic knowledge based on individual and public experience, logical deductions and, finally, on background knowledge as a cultural property of the whole nation. In this respect, background knowledge facilitates the communication process and forms a ground for adequate mutual understanding between people.

National and cultural singularity is very distinct in the focusing strategy applied by the speakers: Boy! (Eng.)=o це так! (Ukr.)=eow это да (Russ.); rabbit! (Ещ.)=дзусъки! (Ukr.)=dydKu! (Russ.); go fly a kite! (Ещ.)=провалюи! (Ukr.)=nornea вон! (Russ.).

Connotative vocabulary also presents a form of background lexis

(advance man, advance party, apple-pie, ASP, Aunt Jemima, beetle- crusher, blah, box-bed, brain-drain, brown drain, Charlie, fancy Dan, Feebie, high-muck-a-muck, jasper). It should be noted that connotative realia words have a peculiar national and cultural colouring due to specific native associations: between the devil and the deep sea (Ещ.)=между молотом и наковальней (Russ.); Can the leopard change his spots? (Eng.) =горбатого могила исправит (Russ.).

 
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