Text, Contextuality and Culture Cover Image

Tekst, kontekstuaalsus ja kultuur
Text, Contextuality and Culture

Author(s): Hille Pajupuu, Rene Altrov, Krista Kerge
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: SA Kultuurileht
Keywords: Estonian; gender; contextuality; communication; culture; parts of speech

Summary/Abstract: Any communication is more or less contextual. The more contextual the communication (text), the more ambiguous it is, and the higher the risk of misinterpretation. The article is focused on contextual differences between certain Estonian texts (written essay, oral dialogue and oral monologue) and the influence of culture and gender on text contextuality. The used measure of text contextuality comes from Heylighen and Dewaele (2002) and is based on the assumption that a higher concentration of certain parts of speech (pronouns, verbs, adverbs, interjections) will make a text more contextual and thus also more ambiguous, whereas that of some other parts of speech (nouns, adjectives, particles, articles) has an opposite effect of lowering text contextuality, which makes the text less ambiguous and, thus, more formal. The subjects of the experiment in cluded 8 native speakers of Estonian (4 male,4 female) and 8 native speakers of Russian highly competent in Estonian (4 male, 4 female). According to the results, the written text is considerably more formal than the oral one, while the oral dialogue is more contextual than the oral monologue. There was no significant difference between the text formality of Estonians and of Russians with a high-level Estonian competence. At the same time, the dialogue of the Estonian women proved to be significantly more formal than that of Estonian men as well as that of Russian men and that of Russian women.

  • Issue Year: L/2007
  • Issue No: 08
  • Page Range: 624-637
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Estonian