International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online)

Introducing Prime Reduction as a Method for Writing Cultural Scripts and Defining Abstract Concepts
Robert G. Lantin, PhD

This article proposes a method for writing cultural scripts and defining abstract concepts I call ‘prime reduction’. I am using Cliff Goddard and Anna Wierzbicka’s Natural Semantic Metalanguage Theory (NSM) as a starting point. I first sketch out the theory, along with the key notions of ‘semantic primes’ and ‘cultural scripts’. I also provide a list of semantic primes that uses their English and Chinese exponents. Several examples are then used to illustrate NSM. With the examples in place, I introduce the method of ‘prime reduction’ and apply it to several abstract concepts and cultural values. My claim is that prime reduction helps not only with the task of writing cultural scripts, but can also be used to define abstract concepts in the broader contexts of EFL learning.

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