A cognitive semantics analysis of Alam (Nature) in Malay

Bangi Ho-Abdullah, Ruzy Suliza Hashim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines the semantics of the word alam 'nature' and provides an insight into the concept of nature in Malay. Using a cognitive semantics framework, an ICM for alam is proposed and compared to Schroeder's (1999) ICM for nature. In essence, the ICM for alam has its focus on the Creator and the multiple alams of His creation. In contrast, the modern day ICM for nature stresses on the intrinsic characteristic of nature and their relations to external agents. The paper argues that in the context of discourse on science education, nature and environment, it is important to realize that the notions of nature from a predominantly English language perspective based on the empirical logical positivistic notions might be imposing a view of nature which is incommensurate with the local language and perhaps be 'adding unnecessary confusion to the indigenous associative relations' formed in the other languages and culture. (cf. Kawasaki 1996). This is especially important since the concepts of nature, universe and environment appears to be a major concern and predominates much discussion in the world we live in today. The conception of nature and our different interpretations of the concept of nature affect the way we deal with these issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-151
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Sciences
Volume8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

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semantics
language
English language
interpretation
discourse
science
education

Keywords

  • Alam
  • Cognitive semantics
  • Cross-cultural semantics
  • Environment
  • Nature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

A cognitive semantics analysis of Alam (Nature) in Malay. / Ho-Abdullah, Bangi; Hashim, Ruzy Suliza.

In: European Journal of Social Sciences, Vol. 8, No. 1, 03.2009, p. 140-151.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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