The central focus of the book is the identification of the ways people engage in communicative encounters to (re)constitute personal and social identities. Its aim is to identify some principal themes that have emerged from the ample research on identity in a variety of contexts. A common thread of the articles is the role of language in the construction and performance of identities. It embraces an exploration of the sociocultural environments in which human communication takes place, the interplay between these environments, and the construction and display of identities through our communicative performances. Research located in a range of literary, sociological, psychological and linguistic perspectives is used to illustrate the potential of communication in establishing a sense of identity.
Stereotype-based representations of national identity in signed communication
Abstract Basing on the framework of the second generation cognitive linguistics, the paper discusses the concept of national identity in signed communication. It claims that signs for diverse countries and their inhabitants reflect stereotypes which function as vehicles of metonymy-based categories. Section 1 briefly introduces the methodological framework, emphasizing the role of motivation in linguistics and the function of metonymy in human conceptual system. Section 2 discusses motivation for proper names. Section 3 presents the concept of national identity, and Section 4 describes the role of metonymy-based stereotypes in the process of its creation. Section 5 offers a view of signed communication from the cognitive linguistic perspective. Section 6 goes on to discuss selected country name signs. It also advances a classification of stereotypes underlying them, which is based on the role of various experiential factors that motivate their structure. It is argued that all these signs involve complex metonymic models and that some signed stereotypes are similar to their phonic counterparts. Finally, Section 7 summarises the results of the analysis.
1. Introduction: the methodological framework
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