The general image of the world of which the linguistic image of the world constitutes an integral part is a collective construct of the given communicational community, representing a second reality in addition to the first (objective, physical) reality. This means that the first reality serves as a basis for the creation of the second that is manifested in various semiotic phenomena, including linguistic texts, messages, etc. In that sense, the second reality is a meta-image of the first, given that it has been created by humans according to their world view and that it never reflects an isomorphic and full image of the first reality. The second reality includes the linguistic, scientific, and cultural images of the world. Natural language forms its image of the world according to its own regularities. The scientific and cultural images of the world can only come into being after the linguistic image of the world has taken shape, that is, after some language has been acquired. This means that language is primary and basic compared to any construct that human intellect may create, and also that it makes it possible for various other phenomena having to do with learning about the world, referring to a subjective interpretation of the world, to be superposed on it. The main issue is in what ways the linguistic image of the world is manifested in concrete linguistic utterances or texts and what linguistic items carry it. Above all, the following things may be involved: grammatical structures, word stock and phraseology, syntax and text structure, semantics, etymology, stylistics, onomastics, and linguistic etiquette. In this paper, the author makes certain remarks concerning the mutual untranslatability of the linguistic and cultural images of the world, that is, the lack of equivalence between those two types of images. By way of illustration, the image of the world that certain groups of American Indians have created is discussed.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.