UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL VALUES AND ATTITUDES THROUGH CULTURAL SEMANTICS: TOLERANCE VS. TOLERANTNOST'
As numerous studies have shown a lot of words which seem to be semantic equivalents and are given as such in bilingual dictionaries have certain semantic differences (Gladkova, 2010, Goddard and Wierzbicka, 1995, 2014; Karasik, 2012; Wierzbicka, 1992, 2014; Zaliznyak, Levontina and Shmelev 2012, to name but a few). This is not surprising, as language is an essential part of culture and reflects its values and attitudes. These partial equivalents may create difficulties in communication and translation since their similarities are deceptive, and their culture specific elements are not obvious. The cultural components can be revealed through meticulous semantic, functional, and discourse analysis which can give important information about the differences between cultures and societies. We believe that the lexemes that contain information about the 'deep culture' (Guirdham 1999: 50), i.e. cultural values and attitudes, worldview, and social organization are of particular importance for understanding contemporary societies. The study explores the words dealing with social relations, namely the words expressing (in) tolerance in English (BrE and AmE) and Russian focusing on their similarities and differences. The data were taken from English and Russian bilingual dictionaries, definition dictionaries, British National Corpus (BNC), and Russian National Corpus (RNC), as well as British, American and Russian newspapers. The study implemented contrastive semantic, definitive, discourse and cultural analyses. The results show that the semantics of these words contain cultural components which reflect different types of cultures that which vary in power and ideology. The study confirms that it is increasingly important to consider the axiological, psychological, and social aspects of language in an intercultural perspective as the results of such interdisciplinary linguistic studies supplement the data of the social and cultural sciences.