“Pedagogical” Agression in Russian Everyday Communication

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The article is devoted to speakers’ responses to inappropriate communicative behavior in Russian everyday communication. The analytic part of the article presents a short review of both classical and modern works on (im)politeness theories, which show that communicative strategies in response to the wrong communicative behavior in a particular context have not been investigated and described sufficiently in modern Politeness theories, investigating face-aggravating communication. The aim of this work is to describe a strategy that we define as “pedagogical aggression”, which manifests itself in a variation of impolite answers whose purpose is to “punish” the interlocutor for a communicative error. This strategy is in contrast to what we call “empathy” strategy since - instead of trying to neutralize the interlocutor’s error - “pedagogical aggression” emphasizes it by “teaching” the addressee to be more considerate in adhering to norms. The material for the research was collected in the Russian National Corpus and analysed by drawing on discourse analysis, pragmatics and (im)politeness theories. The study showed that “pedagogical aggression” is realized in three face-aggravating communicative tactics: (1) a pseudo-question (rhetorical question or a question to the assumptions of an interlocutor), 2) mocking citations from interlocutor’s speech, 3) rhymed pseudo-answers. The last tactic was given special attention in the study. We grouped the pseudo-answers in four types corresponding to typical discourse situation. This tactic is based on an unspoken rule, according to which it is permissible to point out in a playful way a communicative error made by the interlocutor. In response to an inappropriate question with this or that interrogative pronoun (where, who, why, etc.), the speaker can allow himself or herself to “punish” the interlocutor with a pseudo-answer, so that he or she will be more careful, more attentive and will not repeat such mistakes. The considered tactic of rhymed pseudo-response is rooted in language with the help of formulaic phrases. The research contributes to (im)politeness theory and the study of communicative interaction.

About the authors

Natalia Georgievna Bragina

Pushkin State Russian Language Institute; Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH)

Email: NGBragina@pushkin.institute
Ac. Volgin str., 6 (ulitsa Akademika Volgina, 6), Moscow, 117485, Russia; Miusskaya sq. 6, Moscow, GSP-3, 125993, Russia
Full Professor, Doctor of Philology, Professor at the Department of Russian language arts and intercultural communication at Pushkin Russian Language Institute / Professor of Russian Department, Institute of Linguistics, Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH)

Igor Alekseevich Sharonov

Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH)

Email: igor_sharonov@mail.ru
Miusskaya sq. 6, Moscow, GSP-3, 125993, Russia
Doctor of Philology, Chair of the Russian Department, Institute of Linguistics, Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH)


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