“Us-them” concept as a linguocultural category reflects a basic cultural and psychological opposition that shapes cognitive evaluative value system of knowledge and reflects unique perceptions and interpretations of the real world rooted in the identity of a particular culture. This issue has gained increasing relevance in our days provoked by extensive implementation of anthropology-oriented approaches in modern linguistics. “Us-them” opposition plays an essential role in shaping intergroup relations and group identification, which is reflected by the language mind, expressed through speech behaviour of an individual in general and an English speaker in particular. This paper studies the usage of pronominal forms for “us” and “them” and combinations “us and them”, “us versus them” to mark group identification. The study demonstrates that every time the “us”-form is not within “standard” usage (e.g. in identification statements), native speakers of English use it to refer to “us” as an ingroup or denote a close emotional bond between them and the others. In contrast, the pronominal form for “them” in a “non-standard” position for a subjective form often acquires negative connotation and is used by native English speakers to refer to “a foe” – i.e. a group of people who violate common norms and therefore are a potential threat or danger. Combinations “us and them”, “them and us”, “us-them”, and especially “us versus them” encountered in analyzed material, as a rule, have a negative connotation and refer to a conflicting situation or a confrontation between the two social groups of “friends” and “foes”.
Translated title of the contributionЛингвокультурологическая категория "свой-чужой" и маркеры групповой идентификации
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Religion, Culture and Art (ICRCA 2019)
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019
EventInternational Conference on Religion, Culture and Art (ICRCA 2019) (21-22.09.2019, Китай) - г. Сиань
Duration: 21 Sep 201922 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Arts and Humanities


ConferenceInternational Conference on Religion, Culture and Art (ICRCA 2019) (21-22.09.2019, Китай)
Cityг. Сиань

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