War in the Young Russians Language Consciousness: An Associative Experiment

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Abstract


The article is focused on the analysis of the stimulus “The Great Patriotic War” based on the data of both directed and free associative experiments, held among the young Russians aged 18-23, the students of the Philological faculty of RUDN University. The aim of this research is to study the ordinary language consciousness of common speakers of the Russian linguoculture through the prism of their attitude to the Great Patriotic War as a cultural phenomenon. The scientific novelty of the work lies in the fact that the experimental data allow us conclude about the mediated perception of the Great Patriotic War by young Russians, who have knowledge about the war from secondary sources: fiction and documentary films, history and literature textbooks. On the material of these associative experiments, the experimental associative fields are formed, which could potentially become a part of the associative dictionary of the contemporary Russian younger generation. In the course of the study, semantic crossings are revealed between the lexical units of the formed associative fields and the data from Russian associative dictionaries. A comparative analysis of the data from RAD and the two experiments is conducted, demonstrating minimal matching of reactions (12.5%) in the RAD and the experiments, with a higher percentage of matching reactions in the directed and free experiments (56.6%). The reactions to the stimulus “Great Patriotic War” obtained as a result of the experiment are semantically grouped, and their further interpretation represents a fragment of the young Russian's language consciousness regarding the events of the Great Patriotic War. Thus, semantic analysis allows us to distribute the received reactions into several semantic groups: evaluation of the events of the past; WWII as part of family history; WWII as the distant past; WWII as a reason for pride; WWII as a joint social phenomenon in the cultural context; the events and realities of that war.


About the authors

Olga N. Kolysheva

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

Author for correspondence.
Email: kolysheva-on@rusdn.ru
SPIN-code: 2567-2573
6, Miklukho-Maklaya street, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

PhD, Assistant of the General and Russian Linguistics Department, Philological Faculty

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