Acasă Articole RTR Dumitru Tucan, A înţelege şi a interpreta (II)

Dumitru Tucan, A înţelege şi a interpreta (II)

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Understanding and interpretation (II)

This two-part study aims to analyze the complex linguistic, pragmatic and cultural mechanisms involved in the act of text (discourse) understanding. The fundamental questions concerning this issue are as follows: How do we understand texts and what specific competences are involved in understanding? What exactly causes differences in understanding? And then, what are the causes of misunderstanding? Why, despite differences in understanding, can we find dominant ways of understanding texts? In short, what is understanding? Is there a relation between understanding and interpretation? And finally, what is interpretation?

The previous part of the study is concerned with the definitions of the three competences required in the process of understanding, i.e. linguistic, interdiscursive, and cultural competences. Now, this second part focuses on the analysis of both dominants and differences in understanding. The cause of this paradox in understanding is our world-based experience, which is the nucleus of our cultural competence. By means of frame theories borrowed from cognitive linguistics, we demonstrate that our understanding mechanisms are influenced by our embodied cognitive patterns that affect our individual and cultural experience. Therefore, our conceptual system and conceptual categories that define our experiences are quite similar, and thus they represent the basis of our cultural construals, which can differ across cultures and communities. This fact could explain both similarities and differences in understanding. In essence, understanding means building contextual bridges between differently determined world -based experiences. But, in this process, differences will always remain, at least as finer nuances, because understanding is interpretation. The only difference between understanding and interpretation is represented by their dynamics: while understanding is static and contextual, interpretation is trans-contextual and versatile.

Keywords: understanding process, understanding mechanisms, interpretation, linguistic competence, interdiscursive competence, cultural competence, frames, cognitive linguistics.

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