Vilnius University Open Series
EISSN : 2669-0535
Current Publisher: Vilnius University Press (10.15388)
Total articles ≅ 75
Latest articles in this journal
Vilnius University Open Series pp 70-80; doi:10.15388/vllp.2020.4
Although the value system has been discussed since the antiquity, the list of underlying values has not been available yet. Socrates elaborated on virtue, courage and justice, Plato was concerned about truth, goodness, wisdom, determination and temperance. Aristotle analysed ethical norms. Thomas Aquinas considered values to be perfection, which exists as absolute good. He distinguished prudence, justice, volitional morality, faith, hope and love. Jeanas-Jacquesas Rousseau tended to exalt ideas of liberty, equality, fraternity, and humanism and considered happiness, reason, sympathy to be underlying values, encouraged development of volition, independence and pro-activeness. The most relevant values for Immanuel Kant included reason, liberty, self-respect, honour, duty, autonomy, volition and goodness. The philosophers of the 20th century, for example, Max Scheler, made attempts to classify values. The Italian philosopher Battista Mondina stated that values can be of different levels (from the perspective of values not all the things and behaviour patterns are equal: some of them possess more value, whereas the others – less) and comprise a certain hierarchy. He presents a more detailed classification of values, which better complies with life and attitudes of an individual in the 20th century.In the end of the 20th century the researchers got an idea of creating a hierarchy of values relevant to a separate nation. The description of the project “Polish Axiological Dictionary”, which distinguishes the values of importance to the Polish, can be considered an example.It is obvious that a unified conception of values did not exist: different authors treated values in a different way. The concept value is used in various meanings: as an aspect of world value, as attractive objects, life quality, valuable things or phenomena, behaviour norms which influence decisions. Values reflect what is most valuable for an individual from cultural, psychological, sociological, moral and esthetical perspectives. An individual is governed and guided by values; he/she lives for them.The values make up the core of every culture. However, the issue of values raises many questions. Firstly, does a canon of universal values exist? In fact, such values as motherland, patriotism, democracy and tolerance are important but are they equally important? Such daily life values as – work, career, and money – are conceptualised. The question arises if this has always and everywhere been like this? Are such values as family, marriage, child still relevant these days? Most likely for Lithuanians these values will hardly differ from common European or common human values but it is still interesting what is typical only of Lithuanians, what did they include into their value system adopting experience of neighbouring countries and what presupposed the meaning of words.Working on the book “Values in the Worldview of Lithuanians” an idea came to mind that following the concept analysis, attempts can be made to classify Lithuanian values.Various classification principles can be applied:• Societal values: state, nation, motherland, language, freedom, land, work, commitment, justice, duty, honour, morality, the good, the beautiful, morals, etc.• Personal values: happiness, family, home, personal liberty, health, loves, etc.They can also be related to the individual’s growth:• Values that build up the personality: home, family, nature, faith, work, morals, love – that is, everything, what a person gets in the family.• Values that improve the personality: state, nation, language, freedom, patriotism, empathy, tolerance, wisdom, etc. – that is, everything, what a person gets at school and in his/her further life.However, strict boundaries do not exist and cannot exist because a person functions as a member of society as well as a separate individual.
Vilnius University Open Series pp 81-101; doi:10.15388/vllp.2020.5
In the article, the contemporary human being’s search for values is primarily linked to the folkloristic reflection of Lithuanian cultural landscape. Following the framework of hermeneutics and based on the folkloristic symbolism of landscape in Lithuanian folklore (mainly in the oldest layer of folk songs), the manifestations of a long-lasting solidarity between community and nature are discussed. The focus has been placed on the small community – the family and its immediate relationship with the surrounding nature. In the introductory part of the article, the notion of ritualism is discussed which is based on the universally acknowledged concept of the rites of passage (les rites de passage). Within the context of this concept, the depiction of the public events of family life (the rituals of marriage and death) constituted a solid premise for the investigation of the so-called common places (loci communes) in Lithuanian folk poetry, which in this regard are usually represented by landscape-related narrative segments and symbolism. Folkloristic interpretations of the prominent elements of Lithuanian landscape (trees, water, stones) have been selected for the investigation. The introduction also reveals the importance of a family over an individual in the exploration of a human being’s relationship with the surrounding nature. The first part of the article ‘The Reflections of Anthropomorphic Reception of Trees’ asserts that in the folk songs marked by archaic stylistics, the poetic narrative of trees contains abundant mythopoetic allusions to the constant identification of a human being (usually, a family member) with a tree, as well as other metamorphoses and motifs which attest their mutual dependence. This poetic tradition influences the poetry created by individual authors to this day. The article briefly introduces the meaning of a tree in the world of ancient Lithuanian beliefs and customs and notices the major changes in the purpose of the image of a tree in the late tradition of romances. The second part of the article analyses the long-term trajectories of mythopoetic depiction of water and stones in folklore. It is well known that any traditional culture has accumulated a wide range of meanings which pertain to different forms of water and connote rebirth, renewal, as well as fertility and life. Therefore when the article emphasizes the tropes of being near water, drowning in watery depths, which through the lens of myth and ritual embody the act of love (marriage) in Lithuanian singing folklore, it should be noted that this variation of meaning found in Lithuanian folklore constitutes an organic part of the whole of international aquatic symbolism. The mythicised story of a live stone as reflected in folklore could be partially associated with the folkloristic reception of trees and water. Animation of a stone is revealed through the attribution of the qualities of a live being to a stone (in the legends, they move, communicate with each other, live in families). Contrarily, the lifelessness (immobile state) of a stone is mythicised in cases where people who deviate from moral laws are turned into stones. The mythologem of a stone as the landmark signifying the boundary between this and the other world, as well as the association of stones with sacrality and sacred places visited by deities, is widespread. It is ascertained that the narrative of the sacrality of stones did not cease in the period of Christianity.Therefore, the landscape approach applied in this study provided a possibility to observe how, in folklore, the meanings of different components of landscape organically combine into a cohesive union which operates on the principles of synergy. A conclusion may be drawn that folklore unequivocally asserts the idea of a continuous coexistence of a human being and nature and exalts the perception of nature as an essential spiritual value.
Vilnius University Open Series pp 24-45; doi:10.15388/vllp.2020.2
The study consists of four parts. The first part is devoted to the beginnings of cultural linguistics in Poland, connected with the Wrocław-based programme for research on Polish national culture, the emergence of the “Language and Culture” research network (and a publication series with the same title), and the launch of the Lublin-based journal Etnolingwistyka in 1988. The second part contains examples of linguistic facts being viewed in cultural perspective, with a special role of the lexicon as the “mirror of culture”. Part three presents a repertoire of seven conceptual constructs proposed in Lublin cognitive ethnolinguistics (linguistic worldview, stereotypes as cultural concepts, cognitive definition, viewpoint and interpretive perspective, profiling of base images, values, and the experiencing, conceptualizing, and speaking subject). Finally, the fourth part illustrates the application of this theoretical framework in an analysis of the Polish cultural concept of PRACA ‘WORK’.
Vilnius University Open Series pp 189-208; doi:10.15388/vllp.2020.9
The current paper presents an overview of the poetic texts of Gabriel Jan Mincewicz (1938–2016) (PhD in the field of humanities, branch of theology). Merits of Gabriel Jan Mincewicz as the director of the song and dance ensemble “Wileńszczyzna” are emphasized. The poetic works of G. J. Mincewicz were divided into several thematic groups, among them the cultural determinants of the Polish identity and the linguistic image of the homeland were analyzed. The works were discussed in the sacred, historical, social, and linguistic contexts. The article emphasizes as well the social impact that G. J. Mincewicz’s songs have on the society of Vilnius region.
Vilnius University Open Series pp 404-415; doi:10.15388/vllp.2020.20
Linguistic and cultural research of concepts of emotional states and values finds its place among the most frequently chosen research directions in contemporary linguistics. Such popularity could be determined, on the one hand, by the desire to penetrate the complicated mental structure of human consciousness and its cognitive and cultural determinants. On the other hand, it is due to the belief in close links between language, human cognitive abilities and culture, resulting from cognitive sciences, as well as treating the research on linguistic structures and semantics of language as a tool for reaching the way of understanding and evaluating the world (cf. Bartmiński 2007; Geeraerts 2006, Evans, Green 2006). This conviction is of particular importance in the study of the lexicalization of objects and abstracts invisible to the naked eye, including emotional states.One of the main goals of the analysis of the names of emotions is revealing the way of understanding and evaluating the underlying emotional states and the experiences associated with them. In order to achieve this goal, conceptual representations of individual categories of feelings are reconstructed on the basis of the American cognitive models proposed by cognitive scientists or the base image profiles proposed by J. Bartmiński. The aim of this article is to present cognitive models and lexical units related to them, which constitute a specific borderline of emotional states of SHAME and FEAR, e. g. shame as fear of rejection, fear as a consequence of shame, etc. Thus, these are cases of linguistically certified transmissions of certain aspects of the feeling of shame and fear and their mutual convergence. The analysis presents a linguistic image of the areas of emotional experiences that constitute the periphery of the category of feelings from the family of SHAME, but not yet included in the category of feelings of FEAR in its basic sense.
Vilnius University Open Series pp 416-432; doi:10.15388/vllp.2020.21
The article presents Lithuanian linguistic cultural image of truth reconstructed from textual data. Textual data consists of contemporary and archaic (folklore and paremia) texts. The picture of truth distinguished from the textual data is highly philosophical, what proves the opinion that language is the reflection of a nation’s philosophy and worldview. Contemporary Lithuanian language reflects two main semantic aspects of truth: absolutism and relativism. Absolutism views truth as eternal and unique, forming the background of peoples’ lives. This type of truth usually has its source in religion. Subjectivism views truth as subjective and relative, depending on time, circumstances and opinions. The boundary between subjective truth and lie is very vague. This type of truth is never unique and has a pragmatic aspect which is either collective or individual. However, the dialogue of different sides is very important as it can help to achieve the final, objective truth. Epistemological aspect of truth is also salient. Two main aspects concerning truth cognition are scepticism and dogmatism. Cognition and knowledge is seen as the way to achieve the truth; however, sceptical question is raised whether truth cognition is possible at all. Dogmatism accepts certain facts or dogmas as naturally true. Truth is usually presented as unpleasant, painful, dangerous and unclear; however, it is highly important. Textual data also reflect a lot of opposites of truth: lie, unknown, myth, bluff, artificiality, half-truth, benefit.
Vilnius University Open Series pp 389-403; doi:10.15388/vllp.2020.19
The issue of national stereotypes requires, in the situation of dynamic changes in Europe and in the world, to update and consider new sources. A new area for tracking changes in the mutual perception of neighbouring nations are the texts of media culture, combining verbal and visual code. In the article, I elaborate on the legitimacy of using such intersemiotic messages, such as memes, demotivators, posters, advertisements, to study stereotypes. The Internet stereotype of a Pole functions on two levels, language and imagination, therefore it is a continuation of the national stereotype in a changed form.
Vilnius University Open Series pp 433-445; doi:10.15388/vllp.2020.22
In my article, I analyze the way people in their middle adulthood (35–65 years old) talk about their own biographical experience. By comparing the relations selected from my own collection, I try to indicate what the ways of linguistic expression are used to build a biographical narrative and a conversation with the researcher. The aim of the article is to show how non-linguistic factors (profession, social status, education, experience or gender) influence the structure of the story, the choice of the narrative schemes and the ways of linguistic expression. In the analyzed texts clearly shows the structuring of the narrative by means of images, scenes and narrative sequences. They allow for the reconstruction of the narrative schemes in the mostly statements related to the talking about maturation.
Vilnius University Open Series pp 246-276; doi:10.15388/vllp.2020.12
The article examines the expression of a person living in the area of the Southern South Aukštaitian, describing the appearance and physical characteristics, features of the character and temper, social status and relationships based on the material in the two-volume Comprehensive Dictionary of the Southern South Aukštaitian Subdialects (Vol I published in 2016, Vol II in 2019).To begin with, the study includes all sentences that use the word man. It is also based on the examples where it is replaced by pronouns (I, you, he, she etc.), kinship terms (mother, father, brother, sister, grandson, granddaughter, aunt, uncle etc.), nouns that designate individuals by the gender (boy, girl, woman, woman, man etc.) and other. All the sentences in the dictionary that speak of man are analysed.The lexicographic data show that a person (man, woman, child) is an individual living in the Southern South Aukštaitian area. He/she is a kind-hearted, sincere, open, tolerant, cheerful and witty, hardworking and creative representative of the people and dialect; also energetic and persevering, though not always physically strong and capable.The analysis carried out reveals the genesis of the concept of man, and shows the attitude of several generations to man. The illustrative sentences highlight the stereotypical image of a person living in the Southern South Aukštaitian area (cheerful, generous, and hardworking, believes in God and is superstitious, values the family etc.) and show the new emerging traits (laziness, drinking, stealing, disobeying, immoral and dishonest etc.). The analysis of the dialectical discourse reveals the difference between the archaic and contemporary approaches; the ongoing changes in material and spiritual life are revealed.The material in the dictionary reveals the wonderful harmony of man and nature, which has been formed over several centuries, with the community living in a relatively isolated, closed environment. The worldview of man living in the area of the Southern South Aukštaitian area is interwoven with the old mythological world, the mysteries of the Catholic faith, and the realities of the present. Although the world is changing, old values and customs are disappearing and villages are abandoned, people are optimistic about the world. Work, family, faith in God and man are their greatest values.
Vilnius University Open Series pp 326-336; doi:10.15388/vllp.2020.16
The article performs the analysis of the concept of mother through the cognitive questionnaire methodology developed by Jerzy Bartmiński, pioneer of Polish ethnolinguistics. According to the methodology only one open question is asked to respondents: „What do you think is the essence of the true X?“ The modifier „true“ included in the question directs respondents’ attention specifically to subjective imaginations, rather than to the actual (objectively) existing typical object. Mentioning the „essence“ directs focus to the most important rather than subordinate features.During the study, the students of Vilnius University were questioned – Philology, Philosophy, History, Law, Economics and Business Administration, Medical, Physics, International Relations and Science, Mathematics and Informatics Bachelors and Masters, as well as students from Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Antanas Gustaitis’ Aviation Institute. A total of 100 questionnaires were selected for the study: 48 questionnaires of Science dysciplines (male – 18, female – 30) and 52 questionnaires of the Humanities dysciplines (male – 20, female – 32).As the results of the analysis show, the „true mother“ is characterised in particular by psychosocial and social aspects, less often by mental, biological, household aspects. The least often the mother is characterised by physical, ethnic, religious, ethical and ideological aspects. The most common were descriptions such as: Raises, educates (S); 77, 9.2 %; Loves (A); 70, 8.4 %; Cares about (A); 65, 7.8 %; Sacrifises (A); 38, 4.5 %; Gives birth (G); 28/3.3 %; Childbirth (alone) does not constitute the presence of the mother (G); 26/3.1 %. According to the students’ opinion, it can be said that the maternity still remains a value, and its core consists of a public duty of a mother to bring up a virtuous and worthy citizen. Quite a private link between a mother and a child, which manifests in a provision of warmth and love to one another, remains important, a purely humane relationship is highly valued. Human attention does not deviate completely into sociality, his own hapiness and the happiness of his closest people is important to him.