Teleuts' Family and Kinship Ties: Socio-Demographic Background and Linguistic Analysis

Teleuts' Family and Kinship Ties: Socio-Demographic Background and Linguistic Analysis

Stanislav Vladimirovich Olenev (Kemerovo State University, Russia), Liudmila Alexeyevna Araeva (Kemerovo State University, Russia) and Olga Anatolyevna Bulgakova (Kemerovo State University, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7853-6.ch018
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The chapter is devoted to the description of current state of the Teleut language and culture (the indigenous minority of the North) in terms of contemporary socio-demographic processes, taking place in this ethnos, as well as in the aspect of reflecting of the Teleut language with the help of polysemantic units, understanding about family and kinship ties. Extralinguistic factors affecting the specificity of the bilingual linguistic personality of modern Teleuts are analyzed. The linguocultural conceptions about kinship ties, recorded in the Teleut linguistic worldview, are studied. The specificity of polysemy in the Teleut language is determined, based on the material of linguistic units, which call different types of kinship ties. The chapter consists of three sections, written by the project executors “Language and culture of Teleuts,” who were supported by grant RHSF/RFBR Nº 17-04-00252 ONG/18.
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At present time, the study of the Teleut language has actual importance: Teleuts are the small indigenous minorities of the North, whose language is on the verge of extinction. The rich cultural potential of the Teleut language is revealed as part of the solution to the problem of language preserving: the significance of its comprehensive study is shown against the background of the danger of early loss.

Teleuts (self-name – Telengetter, Tadar, Bayat-pachat) are the indigenous minorities in the Russian Federation, one of the smallest nations of the South of Western Siberia (only about 2600 people). The preservation of the features of the Teleuts` worldview, their original linguistic worldview are promoted by the Linguistic-Cultural Teleut-Russian dictionary and Electronic propositional frame-based Teleut dictionary that are developed by scientists of Kemerovo Derivational School. The conception of the Propositional frame-based dictionary is to present the material in a frame form, which allows concentrate lexical units on a certain topic within one frame in order to make its integral perception and comparative study with the lexemes of other frames. All of this helps to preserve the bright color of Teleuts` worldview, to preserve their identity. Along with lexemes, contexts in the Linguistic-Cultural dictionary videos are also presented.

The study of the Teleut language is carried out within the framework of the propositional frame-based approach to the signs of verbal and non-verbal semiotic codes, revealing and explaining the propositional determination of the semantics of words and gestures.

The study of the Teleut language in this direction is relevant; it includes the modern paradigm of comparative description of various sign systems. Anthropological study of the language and physical signs is a problem of fundamental importance. In the course of linguistic and semiotic study, it is assumed that a number of thematic fields of everyday vocabulary and Teleuts` gestures will be further fixed and systemically described, as well as the completion of frames, which are important for Teleuts, representing discursively related names of culturally significant objects and phenomena. It determines the scientific novelty of the study.

In the process of studying the Teleuts` language and culture in the field conditions, databases containing video- and audio materials, as well as handwritten texts are formed. The work is carried out within the scope of Kemerovo Derivational School, which has existed for more than 26 years. The conception of propositional frame-based modeling is used by members of School in analysis of derived vocabulary of the Russian folk dialects, the Russian, Chinese, Kyrgyz and Teleut languages (over 1000 publications). Description of the Teleut language is made from cognitive positions, as it reveals the structures of different types of knowledge reflected in this language. Propositional connectedness of words and gestures reveals naive-linguistic and, more broadly, Teleuts` semiotic worldview. In order to identify cultural concepts, psycholinguistic experiments are carried out that is directed to elimination gaps in the long-term memory of Teleuts within the propositionally organized frames, representing Teleuts` pre-existing cultural life, the relics of which have survived to the present time. Description of Teleuts` verbal and sign language in the aspect of propositional frame-based modeling gives a full picture of the worldview, culture, manifested in the language and stored in long – term memory of the indigenous minorities of the North – Teleuts.

The global scientific problem of the research is the preservation of Teleuts` language and culture. Therefore, it becomes important to search for cultural foundations for the preservation of the endangered Teleut language.

Now, not only linguists, but also the global public organizations discuss the question about factors of certain language vitality, as well as about the undoubted importance of the preservation and, at least, the description of endangered languages of minorities (see, for example [UNESCO, 2003]).

In this way, the formulated scientific task includes the research, carried out in the context of significant ecology problems, in particular, linguistic ecology, which, among other things, solves the problem of the preservation of endangered languages – by analogy with endangered species (Vakhtin, Golovko, 2004, p. 112-113).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Metaphor: One of cognitive mechanisms of knowledge of the world by the human by means of language through comparison of one subject to another based on similarity in a form, attributes, actions, etc.

Linguistic Worldview (LWV): Recorded inside the language units, specific to concrete language and cultural tradition, it is proposition-like organized scheme of representation of reality: a worldview through a language prism. In every language LWV is implemented in specific complex of frames (fragments of LWV) forming frame network within LWV.

Teleuts: The indigenous small Turkic-speaking people of Russia (the self-name Telennet, Tadar, Bayat-pachat) living in the Southwest Siberia (generally on the territory of the Kemerovo region); Shamanism is a historical religion of Teleuts.

Nomination: Process of correlation of language units with the designated objects (objects, signs, events, etc.), leading to creation of new nominative unit.

Categorization: The cognitive activity of the person directed to classification of diverse forms of matter and forms of its movement.

Polysemy: From the Greek polysemos “multiple meaning”; the capacity for a sign (such as a word, phrase, or symbol) to have multiple meanings (that is, multiple semes or sememes and thus multiple senses), usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field.

Metonymy: One of cognitive mechanisms of knowledge of the world by the human by means of language. Unlike a metaphor, the metonymy doesn't provide any similarity between the designated objects or the phenomena. It is based on the close and easily understood contiguity, adjacency in space or in time, the involvements of predicatively connected subjects, objects, results, etc. into one situation (proposition).

Conceptualization: One of the most important processes of cognitive activity of the human consisting in judgment of information arriving to him and leading to formation of conceptual structures in a brain of the person.

Propositional Structure: Abstract minimum judgment within which the predicative coherence of subject and object is shown.

Frame: Stereotypic and proposition-like organized situation within the LWV of a certain culture of a language, allowing the person to be guided freely in the universe.

Proposition: The verbalized minimum judgment (Leo Veisgerber's term), which is implemented in limits of propositional structure; the mental and language unit of storage of information organizing semantics of lexemes.

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