At the present stage of scientific development is becoming increasingly clear the need for a comprehensive study of linguistic and sociocultural processes in their functional interaction in the course of historical development of society. Appropriateness of this approach is due, in particular, to the inability to deal with a number of important linguistic phenomena without particular study of the society and development of its culture. Accordingly, the linguistic context is essential for adequate coverage of issues within the field of view of related scientific disciplines such as cultural studies, sociology, history, etc.
The study of the phenomena of “language” and “culture” is largely hampered by the absence of clear and consistent definition of “culture”, and developed conceptual and terminological apparatus. It is worth noting that the culture is often identified as the whole spiritual and material values created by man. Accordingly, the range and understanding of the role of language in the cultural process varies: on the one hand, the language is called an integral part of the culture, on the other hand, a direct relationship of both phenomena is denied.
From a wide range of issues covered by the problem of “Language and Culture”, the most developed at present are only some aspects, such as the role of language in art, as well as “reflective” or “cognitive” function of language. Since culture is understood as a set of material and spiritual values created by man, the language is regarded as a historically variable set of symbols fixing cultural progress of society, its historical evolution. In other words, the language captures the strata of civilization, many of which are subject to special etymological research. (Kramsch 2003)
In our view, both phenomena – language and culture – are autonomous, closely interacting sign systems, correlated with thinking and communication. However, it is necessary to point few important points:
”¢ Both systems are complex because they use a set of sign systems;
”¢ sign systems, that are characteristic of the language, are homogeneous. They appear as different forms of existence of the ethnic language (standard language, everyday-speaking, and so on). For this reason, we can speak about the homogeneity of language as a system as a whole;
”¢ sign systems used in the culture are very diverse and heterogeneous, they differ significantly from each other. Diversity of these “languages” suggests the heterogeneity of culture as a phenomenon;
”¢ Both phenomena are closely related with thinking and communication, but the communicative function certainly prevails in the language, it is the dominant functional purpose. In culture, in contrast, dominate an aesthetic function, primarily an aesthetic expression of personality of the creator.