Chapter published in:Cultural Keywords in Discourse
Edited by Carsten Levisen and Sophia Waters
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 277] 2017
► pp. 107–129
Talking about Livet ‘life’ in Golden Age Danish
Semantics, discourse and cultural models
This chapter explicates the word Livet, literally ‘the life’, a cultural keyword of the Danish Golden Age (1800–1850). With evidence from Golden Age Danish and its era-specific webs of words, we explore how “life and living” were construed discursively. We discuss how they relate to contemporary discourses of “the good life” in English and the related Danish calque det gode liv. We argue that era-specific cultural semantics should not be seen as being substantially different from other kinds of culture-specific discourses and that historical varieties such as Golden Age Danish can help us dismantle the hegemonic modern and Anglo take on “narratives of life” which dominate contemporary global discourse.
Keywords: Livet , discourses of life, historical semantics, cultural models, Golden Age Danish
Published online: 19 October 2017
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