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Article

Образ вечности в русской и японской лингвокультурах

Палкин А. Д.

In the article attitudes to eternity in Russian and Japanese linguocultures are traced on the basis of association experiments. The worldview of Russians of the early 1990s, as well as of Russians and the Japanese of the early 21st century, is under consideration. A series of free association experiments has been carried out to analyse the language consciousness of Russians and the Japanese respectively. Relevant association fields and their semantic components have been examined and juxtaposed. A conclusion is made that Russians and the Japanese share general human values, though cultural differences result in national-specific peculiarities of the image of eternity in language consciousness of Russian and Japanese native speakers.

Both Russians and the Japanese associate eternity with infiniteness, life and immortality. The experimental resources available shows that Russians tend to associate the image of eternity with astronomy, while the Japanese often refer it to philosophical categories. Semantically, the notion of eternity is broader in Japanese than in Russian. For this reason the Japanese, unlike Russians, emphasised the meaning of constancy in their reactions. Discrepancies in interpreting the image of time have also been discovered when comparing the association reactions of the two Russian samplings; these testify to the influence of a social-economic factor on the worldview of a person representing a certain linguoculture. The hardships of the turbulent 1990s resulted in Russians` loosing their value orientation. They regained their confidence and ability to analyse phenomena judiciously only with the establishment of comparative stability in the 2000s. In particular, it is only in the later Russian sampling that one can find the reactions “always” and “forever” that signify the eternity of time. In all instances, the representatives of all samplings perceive eternity as everlasting and boundless, thus manifesting their natural attitude to this phenomenon.