Rules and regulations: is culture-learning like language -acquisition?

Kinga Williams (1)
(1) Mensana International, Intercultural Psychological Consultancy, UK, United Kingdom


The article attempts to tease apart Regulative, Constitutive, Prescriptive and Descriptive Rules, and pinpoints their respective role in First and Second Language Acquisition as well as in Culture Learning.
It is proposed that the proportion of Regulative Rules is generally under-estimated, while the incidence of Constitutive Rules tends to be over-estimated.
The paper puts forward the Rule Category Substitution Fallacy, a hypothesis suggested to be of use in exploring what fuels other-culture intolerance.
The Fallacy is demonstrated to be a practical manifestation of the Terror Management Theory (e.g. Greenberg et al 1997) and a compensation-strategy doomed to failure.
Finally, alternative terror-management strategies are proposed.

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Kinga Williams
(Primary Contact)
Williams, K. (2007). Rules and regulations: is culture-learning like language -acquisition?. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 7(2), 1–04.

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