By Aleksandr D. Švejcer
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Additional info for Contemporary sociolinguistics : theory, problems, methods
Whorf who, following E. Sapir, assigned an important role to language in the cognition of reality and believed that the linguistic norms of society presuppose a certain form of expressing reality, thus modelling it in a certain way. Hence the con clusion concerning the determination of human behaviour by purely linguistic factors and the leading role of language in the clarification of cultural and be haviourial norms (Brutjan 1968; Ermolaeva 1960). 24 CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLINGUISTICS There is an impressive array of writings, criticizing Whorf s idealistic views and similar ideas of the Neo-Humboldtians (Panfilov 1975,11—13;Neubert 1962).
What is here and now the cause becomes there and then the effect, and vice versa" (Engels 1957, 22). In a study of these interacting factors, science cannot fail to take into account their unequal importance, while seeking to find the determinant forces and factors in a system of interacting ones. What is wrong with the "co-determination" theory is, in our view, that it actually equates the impact of social processes on language and the influence of language on social processes. It is the goal of Marxist-oriented sociolinguistics to reveal among these interacting forces the determinant ones.
In sociolinguistic analysis this sociological principle is extremely important for it makes it possible to reveal the influence of social factors on the individual. Therefore, what is wrong with the ethnomethodological theory is not the in tention it proclaims to distinguish between the researcher's categories, reflecting objective reality, and the subjective categories of the actor, but the reduction of social categories to the categories of perception, the isolation of social categories from the class structure of society and from the system of productive relations.