4th LCSR International Workshop
Social and Cultural Changes in Cross-National Perspective: Values and Modernization

28 March – 4 April 2014, Moscow, Russia
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The Deep Structure of Values: How Grammar Determines Attitude

ABSTRACT

Inglehart’s syndrome of Self-Expression Values shows robust correlations with a bundle of grammar features that emerged in European vernaculars over the Middle Ages. This finding implies that Self-Expression basically represents a contemporary version of Western subjecti­vism, which predated Industrialism by several centuries. Generalised Trust, however, shows a negative correlation with Linguistic Subjectivism, except for those languages which use quasi-argumental subject pronouns to convey a universalist cognitive scope of awareness (e.g., English). Quasi-argumental pronouns integrate the speaker’s and hearer’s perspectives into a new, overarching kind of discourse subjectivity, which facilitates respect and cooperation among speakers. In a nutshell, grammar constitutes social capital.