Publication details [#18543]

Temirgazina, Zifa, Kanat Rakhimzhanov, Marzhan Akosheva, Malgorzata Luczyk, Nurzhan Kulumzhanov, Aigerim Shaharman and Razida Zyuldubayeva. 2022. The semiotics of family in Kazakh wedding toasts from the perspective of intercultural communication. Metaphor and the Social World 12 (2) : 270–291.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


This article explores the specifics of the semiosis of family in the Kazakh culture. The approaches of Halliday and Malinovsky were used to analyze the semiotics of wedding toasts, as well as the method of analyzing the “cultural metaphor” in Sharifyan’s linguistics. Language units in the texts of Kazakh wedding toasts demonstrate the specific understanding of marriage and family by the Kazakhs. The language contains “traces” of archaic, sacral, mythological ideas, rituals and traditions of the Kazakhs. In particular, the semiotics of marriage reflect the idea of a young family as a new home. The semiotic parts of the Kazakh yurt (shanyrak, kerege, and bosaga) are also sacred signs of marriage, symbolizing happiness, well-being, wealth, and family safety. This is evidenced by the frequent use of names of the yurt – ak otau and its components in the speech of the wedding party guests. The cosmogonic concepts ak jaryk, nur (‘light’, ‘shine’) are important for understanding the semiotics of family. The difficulties in interpreting wedding toasts arise in the intercultural communication due to Kazakh specific ideas about marriage and family presented in the non-equivalent units of the language.