Reviews of “Sharifian, Farzad (2011), Cultural Conceptualisations and

Language: Theoretical Framework and Applications. Philadelphia/Amsterdam: John
Benjamins.”
Review 1) “By drawing on and expanding the theoretical advancements and
analytical tools of a number of disciplines and research paradigms, including
cognitive linguistics, anthropological linguistics, distributed cognition, complexity
science, cognitive psychology, and cognitive anthropology, Sharifian lays solid
theoretical and analytical grounds for what can be recognised as Cultural
Linguistics. Sharifian successfully navigates the reader through a multiplicity of
premises, findings and models of numerous fields of research and analytical
paradigms. These are used as the foundation on which his coherent multidisciplinary
approach builds, utilizing the apparatus of cognitive linguistics in the study of core
areas of/in human communication.[…] The basic merit of the book is that the author,
in his capacity as both an insider (emic) and an objective analyst (etic), takes the
reader on a fascinating journey across a multiplicity of patterns of human interaction
(from responding to compliments to translating highly sensitive political
discourses). Sharifian convincingly illustrates that successful communication
depends, to a very large extent, on the enhanced metacultural competence of the
participants.[…] The volume successfully promotes the development of Cultural
Linguistics as a multidisciplinary theoretical and applied paradigm of linguistic
research. The novelty of the offered approach lies in the comprehensive
harmonization which the author accomplishes in the treatment of problems and
issues that have long haunted the fields of ecolinguistics (Crystal 2000),
ethnolinguistics (Mathiot 1979), anthropological linguistics (Foley 1997; Duranti
2004),cultural linguistics (Palmer 1996), studying cultures through their key words
(Wierbicka 1997) and research on the Sapir-Whorf relativity principle. […] The reader
will spend a few pleasant days delving into the intricacies of a “new linguistic
world opened up by the cultural linguistic perspective. This is not a world to be
exploited so much as it is a world to be appreciated, and, since it is our everyday
world, it is a world desperately in need of mending and healing by greater crosscultural understanding and tolerance” (Palmer 1996: 296). Sharifian’s book Cultural
conceptualizations and language is a major step in this direction.” — Alexandra
Bagasheva, in Language and Cognition, Vol. 4:3 (2012), pp. 243-249.

Review 2) “This monograph presents a new theoretical framework for the
explanation and study of cultural conceptualisations and their intimate relationship
with language, and discusses its applications. […] In developing and illustrating his
framework, the author also draws upon disciplines ranging from anthropological
linguistics through to complexity science and cognitive psychology, opening some
intriguing perspectives and implications for the study of linguistic and pragmatic
phenomena within and across cultures […] Sharifian’s approach is impressive as it is
innovative, both in terms of weaving together cutting edge concepts from diverse but
complementary disciplines and its relevance to areas as wide-ranging as Cross
Cultural Pragmatics, Anthropological Linguistics and Cognitive Psychology.[…] This
is an accomplished work that draws upon several exciting and dynamic disciplines to
present new perspectives on the intersection between culture, cognition and
language, with wide-ranging implications.” —Chris Tang, King’s College London, in
Journal of Pragmatics, Vol. 66 (2014), pp. 32-34.
Review 3) “This book develops an exciting and highly innovative theoretical model
that is long overdue. By drawing on what are cutting-edge theoretical concepts in
several disciplines, including cognitive linguistics, it builds a model that successfully
melds together various complementary approaches such as “language as a complex
adaptive system” (LCAS), distributed cognition, and multi-agent systems theory. The
result is a framework that has significant implications for those working in a multitude
of theoretical and applied domains such as cognitive linguistics, cognitive
psychology, cognitive anthropology, anthropological linguistics, intercultural
communication, intercultural pragmatics, and political discourse analysis. The
manuscript is a pioneering work in many senses. It sets forth a valuable new
research initiative which draws on a highly nuanced multi-disciplinarily informed
approach that, in turn, is particularly sensitive to the role of culture in linguistic
choices and perceptions. I highly recommend the book and believe that it is an
excellent way to initiate the series “Cognitive Linguistic Studies in Cultural Contexts”,
for it clearly “demonstrates how language as a subsystem of culture transformatively
interacts with cognition and how cognition at a cultural level is manifested in
language”, as indicated in the description of the book series.” — Roslyn M.
Frank, The University of Iowa.

Review 4) “The volume under discussion brings together a stimulating collection of
articles and book chapters Farzad Sharifian has produced over a period of about
eleven years. This is already a contribution on its own as it offers the readers a fully
developed theoretical background on cultural conceptualisations, cultural cognition
and language, and its application on areas such as intercultural communication,
cross-cultural pragmatics, English as an international language, and World
Englishes.[…] In this monograph Farzad Sharifian has developed a theoretical model
of cultural conceptualisations and language which constitutes an advancement in
this emerging area of Cultural Linguistics. […] He starts from the premise that
cultural cognition is transmitted through language and is instantiated in the content
and use of language; it is reflected in categories, schemas and metaphors.
Language (morphosyntax, semantic meaning, pragmatic meaning, discourse
features) is entrenched in cultural conceptualisations. […] The application of the
model to such case studies constitutes an invaluable tool for different investigations,
both theoretical and applied, a central one being that of universality vs. culturespecificity. Overall, the book offers an interesting account of an emerging area of
investigation, that of cultural cognition. It is of relevance to scholars interested in the
interface of language, culture and mind.” – Angeliki Athanasiadou, in Cognitive
Linguistics, vol 24(3) (2013), pp. 579-588.