Publication details [#59603]

Cramer, Rahel. 2015. German Ordnung. A semantic and ethnopragmatic analysis of a core cultural value. International Journal of Language and Culture 2 (2) : 269–293.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This study aims to illustrate the intricate connections that exist between features of a certain language and underlying culture-specific conceptualizations. The analysis sheds new light on a German cultural core value, namely, Ordnung “order,” its relationship to other cultural themes, and the influence it exerts on German interpersonal style. To reach a better understanding of the German core value Ordnung “order” as it relates to other German cultural themes, this paper first provides an analysis of the common expressions alles (ist) in Ordnung “everything [is] in order” and Ordnung muss sein “there has to be order.” This will be followed by an analysis of the social descriptor term locker “loose.” The paper seeks to illustrate the merits of a perspective in language and culture studies that is truly culture-internal and can thus facilitate cross-cultural understanding, and it do so by applying the principles of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) approach to semantic and ethnopragmatic description.