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Patrick Seriot criticizes psycholinguistic determinism in Russia

According to the criticism of the famous Suisse linguist (University of Lausanne), Patrick Seriot, since the end of «perestroika», in linguistics in Russia, a new form of discourse has taken place, which stresses a very tight determinism of thought by language. New objects of knowledge come to light: «the Russian linguistic image of the world », «linguistic identity», «culturology». This kind of discourse builds up an imaginary comforting collective identity. It relies on the principle that 1) all the people who speak the same language think the same way; 2) languages, hence collective kinds of thought, are hermetically closed to each other, and untranslatable.

P. Seroit supposes that this «neo-humboldtian» trend in contemporary Russian linguistics has no knowledge of its historical origins: German Romanticism in its Anti-Enlightenment trend, evolutionist positivism of Auguste Comte, and deterministic linguistics in Germany in the 1930s.



One thought on “Patrick Seriot criticizes psycholinguistic determinism in Russia

  1. And how does P. Seriot, with all due respect for the renowned scholar, know what Russian linguists have no knowledge of?

    And is an idea less true because people who have come up with it don’t know who has suggested it before?

    And is collective identity so imaginary in a collectivist culture, which the Russian culture has always been?

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