Alice from the Tales of L. Carroll as a Character and Linguistic Personality

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The relevance of this work is determined by the importance of studying the problem of the child’s linguistic personality as a fiction character in a linguistic-pragmatic manner, from the writer’s linguistic personality intentions and characteristics perspective, and insufficient linguistic aspect knowledge of Lewis Carroll’s works about Alice’s adventures. The work substantiates the following: as opposed to the fact that, due to ontological characteristics, individual mental, psychological and physical development and personality growth, the degree of their language acquisition and communicative skills, primary school age children are usually weak or average linguistic personalities, while fiction characters of this age are able to meet the parameters of a strong linguistic personality. It has been established that the preferred, highly appreciated by L. Carroll qualities of a seven-year-old English girl are as follows: high level of cognitive-speech development, speech-cognitive processes, vocabulary, ability to communicate, reflect, draw conclusions, evaluate and express one's opinion in words, intelligence superior to the development of an average child of this age, as well as Alice’s internal qualities, manifested in her speech activity, taking into account not only speech peculiarities, but also themes and stylistics, communicational strategies and tactics, pragmatics, perception adequacy and the interlocutor’s speech understanding, influencing the opponent with the paralinguistic methods, psycho-emotional background of communication. These qualities make it possible to characterize a given linguistic personality of a literary character as strong. A number of Alice's qualities allow her to be considered as a national-cultural English type of personality.

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Despite the importance of both speech abilities and their scientific studies in order to create a full-fledged image of a linguistic personality, «there are no thoroughly developed general theoretical concepts neither in linguistics, nor in psychology or pedagogy, in particular, no study is devoted to speech portrait of a child» [1. P. 172]; linguistic personality characteristics that can be distinguished «considering agerelated characteristics of a native speaker, are described in science only fragmentarily» [2], although, as states K.F. Sedov, it is quite natural to allocate and study the generalized image of the linguistic personality of a child of a certain age (preschooler, primary school student, teenager, etc.), since all such groups have «similar discursive activity and speech thinking characteristics serving this activity» [3. P. 16]. Despite of the fact that text linguistics refers to various styles and genres, researchers are bound to note the fact that «the text of children's literature or the text of literature for children (also called children's text) is just beginning to be mastered by it. Many different linguistic problems have to be solved on the basis of this text, including those which are at the intersection of text linguistics and cognitive linguistics» [4. P. 250]. One of them is the study of child characters as linguistic personalities. Tales of Alice’s adventures published by Lewis Carroll (pseudonym Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) more than 150 years ago (in 1864, «lice in Wonderland» and in 1871, «Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There»), became not only English, but also world classics until recent times, and cause keen interest in both children and adults due to both amusing clashes of narration and being languagespecific. As it is known, there is an extensive scientific literature, and not only humanitarian devoted to L. Carroll’s language and his language experiments. The enormous importance of fairy tales about Alice in world culture and science made it possible for Tina Bilan to consider Alice outside the Land of Miracles and the Land Through the Looking Glass - in the Country of science, including logic, mathematics, physics [5]. However, Alice as she is, being the main character and linguistic personality of fairy tales, has not received an explicit comprehensive linguistic study yet. Y.N. Karaulov believes that the very term «linguistic personality» contains (based on the language of texts analysis) the idea of generalized knowledge on personality: a) as an individual and author of these texts, with his character, interests, social and psychological preferences and attitudes; b) as a typical representative of a given linguistic community and a narrower linguistic environment included in it, as an average carrier of a given language; c) as a representative of the human race with an integral property to use sign systems and natural language [6. P. 4]. It is known that human speech, including that represented in fiction, is a reflection of one’s intellect, education, mentality. According to the statements revealing the worldview of the person speaking, realized in the form of maxims, sententiae and other mental formulas, one can form an essential idea of the linguistic personality as, for example, Z.K. Derbisheva regarding the writer Chingiz Aitmatov linguistic personaity, represented in the texts of his works [7]. T.A. Tripolskaya and E.A. Goncharova, summarizing the criteria search to describe a linguistic personality and to name such parameters as the type of speech culture, the level of linguistic / communicative development, the used speech genres, the person’s social role, the level of linguistic creativity, behavior in conflict situations, psychological type, focus attention on such characteristics as the level of speech development of a linguistic personality in relation to linguistic creativity, the ability to learn and change your vocabulary, self-reflexion abilities [8]. Studying the organization of a linguistic personality as a linguisticcommunicative phenomenon has allowed us to recognize classification of linguistic personalities as the most accurate, which includes three components: 1) weak linguistic personality; 2) average linguistic personality; 3) strong (elite) linguistic personality. Speech, even delivered on the same subject and on the same topic, will differ in the lips of a strong, average and weak linguistic personality. A strong linguistic personality is characterized by the basic knowledge of the language and rhetoric rules, mutual understanding principles, rules of etiquette - behavioral, including service and conversational etiquette; understanding of the essence of persuasion techniques, the ability to qualify (as acceptable and unacceptable) and correctly apply tricks in a dispute and measures against them, knowledge of techniques to counter difficult interlocutors; skillful and timely identification of positive and negative in communication psychology, the patterns which lead to psychological barriers in communication; avoidance of speech errors; the art of compiling normative documents, preparation in written and spoken language, knowing the reasons for unsuccessful argumentation, etc. [9; 10]. V.V. Vinogradov in the book «On Artistic Prose» presented two ways of considering linguistic personality issue - the study of the author’s personality and the one of the character [11]. Y.N. Karaulov was the first to introduce the experience of describing characters in literary works as linguistic personalities. According to Karaulov, the approach to the character as a linguistic personality implies, ultimately, the reconstruction of integral spiritual appearance, when a certain “correlate of traits” is a set of character’s speech utterances, as well as it implies the analysis of text fragments related to the character due to various subject relatedness [6]. Further research undertaken by other scholars confirmed the legitimacy «linguistic personality» term usage in relation to images of people represented in literary texts, because their authors somehow manifest themselves through the idiostyle of characters, which is determined by the writer’s individual picture of the world, motivational and pragmatic attitudes. Our study is based on the fact that the concept of «linguistic personality of a character in a literary text» requires the following points to be taken into account: the first necessary convention is the identification of an image with a real person. Another convention when considering the language of a particular character is to distract from the very personality of the author, the actual creator of this text. Linguists note that the very possibility of such an approach lies in the reader’s perception of the work: «We are far from always aware that the artistic image reaches its greatest impact only when it is perceived as a fact, that is, reflects reality» [Karaulov 2010, from. 76]» [19. P. 3]. We fully support the position of A.A. Smirnova, who convincingly proves in her dissertation research that «the concept of LP is applicable not only to determine the author of a literary text, but also to a character of this literary text, whose speech has a number of individual stylistic features» [12. P. 5]. The researcher shows that it is the character’s speech behavior, the process of communication in the literary text makes it possible to consider the literary hero as a linguistic personality [12. P. 7], and substantiates the conclusion that, “analyzing linguistic personality of the fiction character, we, firstly, perceive the hero as a real linguistic personality, and secondly, we do not correlate linguistic personality of an individual character with the one of the author” [12. P. 15]. L.N. Churilina, based on the works of M.M. Bakhtin on character and author’s speech, justifies and proves that there are three components that can be distinguished from the text as a system and allow the character to be represented as linguistic personality: 1) the direct and internal forms of the character’s speech - the discourse («Character subjective speech»); 2) fragments of the «non-character environment» that represent the character’s physical and spiritual appearance, his behavior, contain the author’s assessment of the character and have a better grasp on the real world; 3) fragments representing the assessment of the character being investigated by other characters in certain textual situations [13. P. 10-11]. Of course, it is impossible to consider Alice as a detailed living child copy - as it is known, in any work of art, linguistic personality is primarily reflected not only in the linguistic personality of their own, but in their authors, poets and writers’. So Carroll's Alice, despite the fact that she had at least four real prototypes, should be considered more like an imitation, stylization, the way the author figures an English child and his mode of speech. Therefore, in fact, we examine the author’s linguistic personality, which is represented in the image of a child character created by him. In addition, modern researchers note that the concept of linguistic personality as applied to characters in a work of art has not been studied enough, since linguistic personality studies are related to the category of the author or to the literary text; while «the concept of linguistic personality is applicable not only to determine the author of a literary text, but also a character in this literary text, whose speech has a number of individual stylistic features» [12. P. 3]. Although the images of the authors and literary characters as well as their linguistic personalities are not the same thing, «thanks to the features of the character’s image in the literary text and the reader’s perception of him as a real person, we can talk about linguistic personality of the fiction hero» [12. P. 8], and when analyzing linguistic personality of a character in a literary text, we perceive the hero as a real linguistic personality, which is why «we do not correlate the character’s linguistic personality with the one of the author» [12. P. 15]. Obviously, it is the language that allows identifying a linguistic personality as such and a linguistic personality of a character, because «language is the only means that can help us penetrate mentality spheres hidden from us, because it determines the way the world is divided in different cultures. The person is totally unaware of how the language defines personality» [14. P. 20]. For the foregoing reasons we studied Alice’s linguistic personality characteristics - the heroine of Lewis Carroll's fiction - aiming to reveal as much knowledge about her personality as possible, including linguistic, expressed through her internal and external speech, to give her an assessment from the standpoint of linguistics, linguoaxiology. We conducted level analysis of cognitive-speech development, speech-cognitive processes, vocabulary, communication skills, internal qualities, and Alice’s intelligence in speech activity process. Studying Alice’s linguistic personality as a character in Lewis Carroll’s works «Alice in Wonderland» and «Through The Looking-Glass And What Alice Found There» in the process of communication allows you to explore Alice’s linguistic personality, taking into account not only her speech characteristics (the use of certain language units, syntactic constructions), but also the subject of communication, communication strategies and tactics, the adequacy of perception and understanding the interlocutor’s speech, as well as paralinguistic methods to influence the interlocutor, the psycho-emotional background of communication. In the preface to the Russian translation, B. Zakhoder notes that «... the most important thing in the book about Alice is not riddles, not tricks, not puzzles, not a pun, not even a brilliant play of the mind, but ... Alice herself. Yes, little Alice, whom the author loves so much (although sometimes chuckles at her) ... » [15. P. 11]. In order to convey this love to readers, to interest them, to force them to unravel the identity of a little girl for more than a hundred years («... although this fairy tale for children is perhaps more loved by adults, and most of all by adults, scientists! » [15. P. 7]), Carroll masterfully depicts Alice's speech characteristics, her excellent ability to communicate almost like an adult, shows rather high mental abilities, excellent personal qualities, educational and cultural characteristics of a well-educated English girl from a decent family. The author presents the fairy-tale Alice in his fiction as an idealized character with a set of highly appreciated internal values and at the same time endows her with some realistic features and shortcomings characterizing a real child of her age. The following communicative-linguistic characteristics testify in favor of the fact that seven-year-old Alice can be described as a strong linguistic personality: the girl’s sophisticated vocabulary, her ability to use verbal means correctly in accordance with the rules of style, grammar, her imaginary use, comparisons, phraseological units, sayings; Alice’s ability to create words, her excellent feeling for language. Alice carefully works on her speech, clarifies the wording even mentally. One of the most characteristic features of Alice’s speech is emphasized English politeness, which she expresses not only with special words («please», «kindly», «sorry», «thank you», «if possible», «here you are», etc.), but also with mitigating expressions («I didn’t quite understand you», «I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I can’t explain better»), as well as with kinetic means - curtsies, smile, shaking hands and prosodic - this is “secular” or touching tone, lowering the voice to a whisper, etc. Alice maintains courtesy in speech even in situations demanding stressful activity, in fatigue, suggesting that a good breeding has managed to become part of the sevenyear-old girl personality. She is characterized by a word-play, comic nature of the situation assessments, understanding and use of humor, irony, when the rules of decency allow it and do not harm communication. Among Alice’s most illustrative characteristics are her openness to the world, joy, sociability, talkativeness, desire and ability to communicate in any situation with any interlocutors, freely establish contact, the habit to reflect on the topic of communication. Alice is characterized by empathy, sympathy, ability to feel interlocutors, penetrate the essence of their experiences, grasp personality traits, evaluate communication situation, including from its perspective, adjust to communicants in order to improve communication, awareness of the relevance or inappropriateness of a certain style of communicative behavior, desire to calm irritated interlocutor, make a good impression, maintain their dignity and be in harmony with others; she values the opinion of any interlocutor, even the imaginary, she believes that it is better not to communicate in any way than to give reason to think badly about her; a little girl strives to «save her face», her dignity, for example: «- But I shall have to ask them what the name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma’am, is this New Zealand? Or Australia? »... « And what an ignorant little girl she’ll think me for asking! No, it will never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere”» (« Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland» by Lewis Carroll). She is an excellent communicator, with the knowledge and passion for communication, it is important for her to make a good impression on the interlocutors, she is perfectly aware of conversational rules, adheres to them and teaches others. Alice's speech is filled with diplomatic niceties; she does not like to refuse requests, and if necessary does it gently. The girl appears to be communicatively flexible: on the one hand, she can change the topic of conversation at the right time to avoid conflict, to veil possible awkwardness (including accepting lies for salvation, silence) or not to receive negative emotions; she knows how to specify interlocutor’s mood and reaction by voice and gives immediate response. Thus, in the dialogue process, the girl is capable of taking care of both the interlocutor and herself, for example: «Alice curtseyed again, as she was afraid from the Queen’s tone that she was a little offended…» («Through The Looking-Glass And What Alice Found There» by Lewis Carroll). On the other hand, the child can be persistent in upholding his opinion (even in conversation with status adults), make speech very convincing, accurate, and focused. Thus, Alice is well aware that when it comes to life and death issues, it is no use being polite: one can interrupt, reproach, and upset - even addressing the Queen, who is going to chop heads for no reason: «That proves his guilt, of course,» said the Queen: «so, off with -» «It doesn’t prove anything of the sort! » said Alice. «Why, you don’t even know what they’re about!» («Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland» by Lewis Carroll). The girl communicates freely, easily, with pleasure, enjoys any opportunity to talk, experiencing a communicative hunger, although she is scrupulous about choosing an interlocutor; she experiences some communication difficulties only in those cases when she is afraid to violate the rules of communication. If there is no real interlocutor nearby, she often talks to herself or to an imaginary opponent. The process of communication affects the girl in such a powerful and fascinating way that even helps to overcome childhood fears. As a developed communicative personality, Alice knows how to manipulate her speech, changing communication tactics aiming to influence the addressee needed, often applying such paralinguistic methods of influence as a smiling, nods, soft touches. Alice’s politeness, determined moral principles of verbal communication compel a girl - though not to offend her interlocutor - even exploit some cunning: think one thing and say another (this technique can be called white lie), for example: «A cheap sort of present!» thought Alice. I’m glad people don’t give birthdaypresents like that!» But she didn’t venture to say it out loud» («Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland» by Lewis Carroll). Maintaining speech etiquette (by any person, especially being so young) is one of the signs of a strong linguistic personality (see, for example, [16]). Alice sometimes confronts her desires and aspirations, restrains herself, adjusting her speech to the mood of the interlocutor and the general mood of the conversation. Despite her age, Alice already knows how to hide her emotions in order to achieve further favorable communication. She usually expresses resentment not in words but in intonation, hoping that this will be quite enough for her interlocutor to be understood and not to offend him in turn. Seven-year-old Alice can justifiably be described as a speech stylist; sometimes she takes on educator’s role, obviously imitating adults, behaving this way for the purpose of self-education. Her communicative leadership is usually expressed in simple and harsh phrases, strict warnings and orders appropriate according to the situation. However, leadership per se, is not Alice’s aim: if she unwillingly offends someone, she understands this and tries to improve immediately, not even considering it shameful, indeed. Both Alice’s speech and the author’s description of the girl represent a number of her characteristics, where the main area of focus is taken by quiet a developed intellect that exceeds the one of an average seven-year-old child. Her intelligence reveals itself in passion to accumulate knowledge and to apply it successfully in reading, good memory and ingenuity, in ability to think through her actions and find a way out of a difficult situation, to reflect and draw conclusions, to infer cause-and-effect relationships, to develop and express her own attitude to what is happening, give assessments; in the ability to plan and anticipate the situation, in creativity and non-standard thinking, in learning ability and thirst for knowledge; in prioritizing rational overcoming of obstacles but not emotions and feelings. Probably, the girl developed the ability to understand the peculiarities of punishments and situations requiring them, in the process of educating herself. This process turned out to be so successful that a seven-year-old child, who perfectly understood the principles of upbringing by adults, was already used to educating herself, and quite strictly. Here comes an example: «…and when she had tired herself out with trying, the poor little thing sat down and cried. «Come, there's no use in crying like that!» said Alice to herself, rather sharply; 'I advise you to leave off this minute!' She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it), and sometimes she scolded herself so severely as to bring tears into her eyes; and once she remembered trying to box her own ears for having cheated herself in a game of croquet she was playing against herself…» («Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland» by Lewis Carroll). Alice has developed not only observation, curiosity, open-mindedness, but also imagination; it is prone to both reflection and fantasy. The little girl is vividly occupied with the problems of self-identification, the duality of self-awareness. She is able to observe herself as if from the outside and compare the "norm" and "abnormality", to evaluate her reasoning: «And yesterday things went on just as usual, I wonder if I’ve changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different» («Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland» by Lewis Carroll). The girl is kind, polite, smiling, without seeking to profit, never talks with a forked tongue, truthful, has a wide palette of emotions, she is active, creative, fair, caring, has a strong commitment to generous help, empathy, she is self-critical and flexible, not only well-mannered, but also engaged in self-education, in different situations shows either determination or shyness, caution, courage, decisiveness, the desire for communicative leadership and advocating for her rights, as well as stubbornness, perseverance, obstinacy. It is interesting that the child experiences resentment, frustration and irritation mainly when politeness rules are violated, for example: «Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. «I don’t see any wine, » she remarked». «There isn’t any,» said the March Hare. «Then it wasn’t very civil of you to offer it,» said Alice angrily » («Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland» by Lewis Carroll). From the linguistics point of view, Alice's linguistic personality is a nationalspecific English type according to the main characteristics of the most common linguistic personality models. These are: a) language and speech (grammar constructions for expressing permission or request, emphasized courtesy, modes of speech activity, keeping a straight face in front of the interlocutor whatever it take, silence, avoiding conversation); b) value dominants, attitudes, motivating speech (Alice is well aware of the English way of life, she participates in traditional rituals, supports the English system of values); c) Alice's intellectual abilities also fall under the category of national-specific. For example, deprived of the usual opportunity to ask traditional English question “how do you do?” or “how are you?”, usually starting a conversation, Alice is confused: «Then they let go of Alice’s hands, and stood looking at her for a minute: there was a rather awkward pause, as Alice didn’t know how to begin a conversation with people she had just been dancing with. «It would never do to say «How d’ye do?’ now, » she said to herself: «we seem to have got beyond that, somehow!». «I hope you’re not much tired» she said at last» («Through the Looking Glass» by Lewis Carroll). In another case, during "mad tea drinking" when Dummy cut her mind off, Alice, as the author claims, "could not endure such rudeness." However she did not cry or shout, was not rude in reverse: she stood up silently and walked away, as befits a person brought up in British traditions. As it is known, fabulous Alice had several prototypes, real English girls, but most of the traits were borrowed from Alice Pleasance Liddell, whose family Carroll was very well acquainted to. In the collisions occurring with the girl, Carroll interweaves into Alice’s adventures national English stories, elements of national culture. For example, when Alice talks to her legs and intends to send them a package with shoes, the author uses the «alienation» technique which is common in English folklore, when some properties of a person or body part are separated from their owner and begin to function independently, regardless of their master [17. P. 301]. We consider the grammatical, lexical, semantic, articulatory, prosodic features of speech, extralinguistic, cognitive and communicative factors as the most striking national-specific linguistic-cultural parameters of a linguistic personality, among which etiquette, emphasized politeness, in particular, indirect language designation are in the first place for an English-speaking linguistic personality requests, formulas of phatic communication, as well as paralinguistic phenomena, stereotypical representations, myths [18]. According to some studies (A. Vezhbitskaya, D. Carnegie, N.G. Tyrnikova, T.V. Abramova, S.G. Nezgovorova, E.V. Slepushkina, O.A. Kadilina, L.A. Kozlova, Yu.L. Yusupova, A.G. Bent, T.M. Grigorenko, N.V. Ovsyannikova), exclusively English cognitive-communicative caracteristics include language restraint, selfcontrol, demonstration and protection of self-esteem, stance of distance, privacy, reticence, specific English humor, language game, aimed mainly at forms, at paradoxical and unexpected combination of things that cannot be combined. It is known that the English, even uttering threat, anyway strive to «save face» before the interlocutor and try not to show the extent of malice. Alice does the same: «If you are going to turn into a pig, my dear, » said Alice seriously, «I’ll have nothing more to do with you. Mind now!» («Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland» by Lewis Carroll). Emphasized English courtesy is one of the national specific characteristics: «The mode of speech can also have a strong influence on English speaking audience» [19. P. 107]. This is exactly what Alice uses, enouncing such a very elegant turn of speech to the Duchess: «I think I should understand that better, » Alice said very politely, «If I had it written down: but I can`t quite follow it as you say it» («Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland» by Lewis Carroll). In addition to universal, there are also gender grounds for a positive assessment of British women, one of the main among them is independence. These qualities begin to be brought up in good families from an early age; Lewis Carroll endowed his heroine Alice with almost all of these features [18; 20]. Alice can be characterized as a national cultural personality according to her speech and author’s descriptions as all parameters mentioned are displayed. The main methodology for studying a linguistic personality is the study of its functions, the basic of which are as follows: linguistic game, knowledge about reality accumulation by the linguistic personality, accumulation of grammatical, phonetic, and communicative skills. The study of such functions and their speech manifestations allows to create a model of a linguistic personality, which, in turn, contributes to a more accurate comprehension of a linguistic personality. When creating linguistic personality models, first and foremost language should be taken into account (a lexicon, a thesaurus that reflects knowledge of the world, sense of language and creative approach), speech, communicative and mental abilities, its dominants, goals, internal motivating values, social and interactive and communicative-pragmatic abilities and skills. Values, priorities, behavioral standards of the English-speaking character, Alice, are manifested on different levels of linguistic personality; i.e. linguistic (verbalsemantic, lexico-grammatical), mental (linguo-cognitive, pragmatic) and communicative-speech (socially-interpretive). The representation of these levels reflects the model of linguistic personality as a literary and fiction character.

About the authors

Elena Nikolaevna Ryadchikova

Kuban State University

Author for correspondence.
Stavropolskaya Street, 149, Krasnodar, Russian Federation, 350040

Doctor of Philology, Professor, Professor of the General and Slavic-Russian Linguistics Department, Faculty of Russian Philology

Olga Aleksandrovna Kadilina

Kutafin Moscow State Law University

Sadovaya-Kudrunskaya Street, 9, Moscow, Russian Federation, 125993

Candidate of Philological Sciences, Senior Lecturer

Ashhen Muradovna Balian

Kuban State Medical University of the Russian Ministry of Health

Sedina Street, 4, Krasnodar, Russian Federation, 350063

Senior Lecturer


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