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EnglishMeaning and Culture$
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Anna Wierzbicka

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195174748

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195174748.001.0001

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Anglo Cultural Scripts Seen through Middle Eastern Eyes

Anglo Cultural Scripts Seen through Middle Eastern Eyes

(p.20) Chapter 2 Anglo Cultural Scripts Seen through Middle Eastern Eyes

Anna Wierzbicka (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the theory of “cultural scripts” and shows how it can help to explain miscommunication between “Anglos” and people from other cultural backgrounds. The notion of “cultural script” refers to a technique for articulating culture-specific norms, values, and communication practices using the metalanguage of universal human concepts. The use of this technique allows cultural scripts to be clear and precise, and accessible to both insiders and outsiders. The chapter approaches Anglo cultural scripts from the point of view of the subjective experience of immigrants to English-speaking countries — specifically Middle Eastern immigrants. The analysis of Anglo cultural scripts is based on linguistic evidence, but it is enriched by the testimony of immigrants, based on their cross-cultural experience.

Keywords:   cultural scripts, Anglo cultural scrips, Middle Eastern cultural scripts, understatement vs. hyperbole, value of accuracy, cool reason, autonomy, discourse marker, I think, respect for facts, intercultural communication

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