Rivers, forests, trees, and wind: How cultural metaphors of NATURE unveil traditional worldviews in folk songs
Judit Baranyiné Kóczy
University of Pannonia, Veszprém, Hungary
Abstract of the Workshop talk
People from diverse cultures across the globe cultivate their folklore as a means to share, preserve and perpetuate their worldviews, encompassing wisdom, moral truths, customs, and the collective knowledge of how to lead a virtuous life, which is then passed down through generations. A significant portion of this knowledge continues to resonate either overtly or implicitly within the fabric of contemporary modern societies, with discernible traces of it often observable in their language and cultural artifacts. Cultural Linguistics posits that these cultural conceptualizations can be apprehended through the key notions of cultural categories, cultural schemas, and cultural metaphors. The presentation provides an overview of Hungarian folk songs, a significant repository of cultural insights from traditional peasant communities. These songs have been meticulously gathered from their practitioners for nearly two centuries. The discussion delves into how folk songs convey the emotions of community members through natural phenomena, assigning culture-specific meanings to various elements of the natural environment. The presentation concentrates on four pivotal concepts prevalent in these folk songs: river, forest, wind, and tree. By elucidating the primary cultural metaphors associated with these foundational concepts, we reveal the traditional worldview of peasant communities, shedding light on their moral foundations, social principles, and the key aspects of individual life.