“Pedagogical” Agression in Russian Everyday Communication

Cover Page

Cite item


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
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) Ac. Volgin str., 6 (ulitsa Akademika Volgina, 6), Moscow, 117485, Russia; Miusskaya sq. 6, Moscow, GSP-3, 125993, Russia

Igor Alekseevich Sharonov

Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH)

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


  1. Арутюнова Н.Д. Диалогическая цитация (К проблеме чужой речи) // Вопросы языкознания. 1986. № 1. С. 50-64. [Arutjunova N.D. (1986). Quotations in dialogue (problems of reported speech). Voprosy yazykoznaniya, 1, 50-64. (In Russ.)]
  2. Баранов А.Н., Добровольский Д.О. Аспекты теории фразеологии. М.: Знак, 2008. 656 с. [Baranov A.N., Dobrovol'skii D.O. (2008). Aspekty teorii frazeologii. (Phraseology Theory Aspects). Moscow: Znak. (In Russ.)]
  3. Бондаренко В.Т. Ответные фразеореплики в русской диалогической речи // Русский язык в школе. 2004. № 6. С. 75-77. [Bondarenko V.T. (2004). Otvetnye frazeorepliki v russkoi dialogicheskoi rechi (Idiomatic replies in Russian dialogue). Russkii yazyk v shkole, 6, 75-77. (In Russ.)]
  4. Брагина Н.Г. Невежливость как ритуал (речевые формулы антикоммуникативного поведения) // Ритуал в языке и коммуникации. М.: Знак; РГГУ, 2013. С. 45-55. [Bragina N.G. (2013). Impoliteness as a ritual (colloquial cliché of a non-communicative behavior). In Ritual v yazyke i kommunikatsii (Ritual in Language and in Communication). Moscow: Znak. 45-55. (In Russ.)]
  5. Брагина Н.Г. Вежливость как невежливость: на стыке разных культурных норм и правил // Вежливость и антивежливость в языке и коммуникации / отв. ред. И.А. Шаронов. М.: РОССПЭН, 2018. С. 38-44. [Bragina N.G. (2018). Politeness as impoliteness: on the junction of the different cultural norms and rules. In I.A. Sharonov (ed.) (2018). Vezhlivost' i antivezh­livost' v yazyke i kommunikatsii (Politeness and Impoliteness in Language and Communication). Moscow: ROSSPEN, 38-44. (In Russ.)]
  6. Булыгина Т.В., Шмелев А.Д. Упрек: два вида оценки при вторичной коммуникации // Языковая концептуализация мира. М.: Школа «Языки русской культуры», 1997а. С. 418-426. [Bulygina T.V., Shmelev A.D. (1997a). Uprek: dva vida otsenki pri vtorichnoi kommunikatsii. In Yazykovaya kontseptualizatsiya mira. (Reproach: Two Types of assessment in secondary communication. Language conceptualization of the World). Moscow: Shkola “Yazyki russkoi kul'tury”. (In Russ.)]
  7. Булыгина Т.В., Шмелев А.Д. Диалогические функции вопросительных предложений // Языко­вая концептуализация мира. М.: Школа «Языки русской культуры», 1997б. С. 263-270. [Bulygina T.V., Shmelev A.D. (1997b). Dialogicheskie funktsii voprositel'nykh predlozhenii. In Yazykovaya kontseptualizatsiya mira (Dialogue functions of questions. Language conceptualization of the World). Moscow: Shkola “Yazyki russkoi kul'tury”. (In Russ.)]
  8. Вежливость и антивежливость в языке и коммуникации / cост. и отв. ред. И.А. Шаронов. М.: РОССПЭН, 2018. [I.A. Sharonov (еd.) (2018). Vezhlivost' i antivezhlivost' v yazyke i kommu­nikatsii. (Politeness and Impoliteness in Language and Communication). Moscow: ROSSPEN. (In Russ.)]
  9. Голев Н.Д. Обыгрывание табуизмов в русском лингвистическом фольклоре // Злая лая матерная. М.: Ладомир, 2005. С. 305-333. [Golev N.D. (2005). Obygryvanie tabuizmov v russkom lingvisticheskom fol'klore. In Zlaya laya maternaya (Figurative Usage of Taboo Words in Rus­sian Folklore. Evil obscene swearing). Moscow: Ladomir. 305-333. (In Russ.)]
  10. Земская Е.А. Категория вежливости в контексте речевых воздействий // Логический анализ языка. Язык речевых действий / отв. ред. Н.Д. Арутюнова, Н.К. Рябцева. М.: Наука, 1994. С. 130-137. [Zemskaya E.A. (1994). Kategoriya vezhlivosti v kontekste rechevykh vozdeistvii. In Logicheskii analiz yazyka. Yazyk rechevykh deistvii (Politeness in context of Speech Impact. Logic Analysis of Language. Language Instruments of Speech Acts). Ed. by N.D. Arutyunova, N.K. Ryabtseva. Moscow: Nauka. (In Russ.)]
  11. Иссерс О.С. Коммуникативные стратегии и тактики русской речи. М.: Едиториал УРСС, 2002. 284 с. [Issers O.S. (2002). Kommunikativnye strategii i taktiki russkoi rechi. (Russian Commu­nicative Strategies and Tactics. Moscow: Editorial URSS. (In Russ.)]
  12. Кронгауз М.А. Русский язык на грани нервного срыва. М.: Языки славянских культур, 2008. [Krongauz M.A. (2008). Russkii yazyk na grani nervnogo sryva (Russian Language on the verge of a breakdown). Moscow: Yazyki slavyanskikh kul'tur. (In Russ.)]
  13. Кустова Г.И. Косвенный речевой акт вопроса как средство речевой агрессии и негативной оценки в русской разговорной речи // Вопросы культуры речи / отв. ред. А.Д. Шмелев. Вып. 10. М.: АСТ, 2011. С. 229-235. [Kustova G.I. (2011). Kosvennyi rechevoi akt voprosa kak sredstvo rechevoi agressii i negativnoi otsenki v russkoi razgovornoi rechi. In A.D. Shmelev (ed.) Voprosy kul'tury rechi. (Indirect Speech Act as the means of Speech Aggression and Nega­tive Evaluation in Colloquial Russian) Moscow: AST. 229-235. (In Russ.)]
  14. Ларина Т.В. Категория вежливости и стиль коммуникации: Сопоставление английских и рус­ских лингвокультурных традиций. М.: Рукописные памятники Древней Руси, 2009. 512 с. [Larina T.V. (2009). Kategoriya vezhlivosti i stil' kommunikatsii: Sopostavlenie angliiskikh i russkikh lingvokul'turnykh traditsii. (Politeness and Communicative Styles: Comparative Analyses of English and Russian Communicative Traditions). Moscow: Rukopisnye pamyatniki Drevnei Rusi. (In Russ.)]
  15. Ларина Т.В. Англичане и русские: язык, культура, коммуникация. М.: Языки славянских культур, 2013. 360 с. [Larina T.V. (2013). Anglichane i russkie: yazyk, kul'tura, kommuni­katsiya (The English and the Russians: Language, Culture and Communication). Moscow: Yazyki slavyanskikh kul'tur. (In Russ.)]
  16. Мечковская Н.Б. Отказ: что определяет диктум и модус в отрицательных реакциях на побуж­дение? // Логический анализ языка. Ассерция и негация / отв. ред. Н.Д. Арутюнова. М.: Индрик, 2009. С. 230-245. [Mechkovskaya N.B. (2009). Otkaz: chto opredelyaet diktum i modus v otritsatel'nykh reaktsiyakh na pobuzhdenie? In N.D. Arutyunova (ed.) Logicheskii analiz yazyka. Assertsiya i negatsiya (Renouncement: Modus and Dictum in Negative Reactions to the Encourage. Logic Analysis of Language. Assertion and Negation). Moscow: Indrik. 230-245. (In Russ.)]
  17. Николаева Т.М. О принципе «некооперации» и/или о категориях социолингвистического воздействия // Логический анализ языка. Противоречивость и аномальность текста / отв. ред. Н.Д. Арутюнова. М.: Наука, 1990. С. 225-235. [Nikolaeva T.M. (1990). O printsipe “nekooperatsii” i/ili o kategoriyakh sotsiolingvisticheskogo vozdeistviya. In N.D. Arutyunova (ed.) Logicheskii analiz yazyka. Protivorechivost' i anomal'nost' teksta. (About Noncooperative Principle or about Sociolinguistic Impact Categories. Logic Analysis of Language. Inconsistency and Abnormality of a Text). Moscow: Nauka. 225-235. (In Russ.)]
  18. Новый Завет, Гл. 14. [Novyi Zavet (New Testament), Chapt. 14. (In Russ.)]
  19. Ратмайр Р. Русская речь и рынок: традиции и инновации в деловом и повседневном общении. М.: Языки славянской культуры, 2013. 456 с. [Rathmayr, R. (2013). Russkaya rech' i rynok: traditsii i innovatsii v delovom i povsednevnom obshchenii. (Russian Speech and Market: Traditions and Innovations in Everyday communication). Moscow: Yazyki slavyanskoi kul'tury. (In Russ.)]
  20. Формановская Н.И. Речевой этикет и культура общения. М.: Высшая школа, 1989. 159 с. [Formanovskaya N.I. (1989). Rechevoi etiket i kul'tura obshcheniya (Speech Etiquette and Communicative Culture) Moscow: Vysshaya shkola. (In Russ.)]
  21. Формановская Н.И. Речевой этикет в русском общении: теория и практика. М.: ВК, 2009. 333 с. [Formanovskaya N.I. (2009). Rechevoi etiket v russkom obshchenii: teoriya i praktika (Speech Etiquette in Russian Communication: Theory and Practice) Moscow: VK. (In Russ.)]
  22. Шаронов И.А. Коммуникативы и методы их описания // Компьютерная лингвистика и интел­лектуальные технологии. Вып. 8 (15). М.: РГГУ, 2009. С. 543-548. [Sharonov I.A. (2009). Kommunikativy i metody ikh opisaniya In Komp'yuternaya lingvistika i intellektual'nye tekhno­logii. (Communicatives and Methods of Its Description. In Computer Linguistics and Intellectual Tecnologies) Vyp. 8 (15). Moscow: RGGU. 543-548. (In Russ.)]
  23. Шаронов И.А. Поиск и описание коммуникативов на основе национального корпуса русского языка. // Методы когнитивного анализа семантики слова: компьютерно-корпусный подход / под общ. ред. В.И. Заботкиной. М.: Языки славянской культуры, 2015. С. 145-187. [Sharonov I.A. (2015). Poisk i opisanie kommunikativov na osnove natsional'nogo korpusa russkogo yazyka. In V.I. Zabotkina (ed.) Metody kognitivnogo analiza semantiki slova: komp'yu­terno-korpusnyi podkhod (Collecting and Analysis of Communicatives on the Base of Russian National Corpus. Cognitive Analysis Methods of Semantics of Word: Corpus approach). Moscow: Yazyki slavyanskikh kul'tur. 145-187. (In Russ.)]
  24. Шатуновский И.Б. Речевые действия и действия мысли в русском языке. М.: Языки славянской культуры, 2016. 480 с. [Shatunovskii I.B. (2016). Rechevye deistviya i deistviya mysli v rus­skom yazyke (Speech Acts and Mental Acts in Russian Language). Moscow: Yazyki slavyanskoi kul'tury. (In Russ.)]
  25. Щербинина Ю.В. Речевая агрессия. Территория вражды. М.: Форум, 2013. 400 с. [Shcherbi­nina Yu.V. (2013). Rechevaya agressiya. Territoriya vrazhdy (Speech Agression. Territory of Animosity) Moscow: Forum. (In Russ.)]
  26. Bousfield, Derek, and Locher, Miriam eds. (2008). Impoliteness in language: Studies on its interplay with power in theory and practice. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1017/S0047404509990674.
  27. Brown, Penelope (2015). Politeness and Language. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed.). Elsevier Ltd., 326-330. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.53072-4.
  28. Brown, Penelope, and Levinson, Stephen (1987). Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  29. Culpeper, Jonathan (1996). Towards an anatomy of impoliteness. Journal of Pragmatics, 25, 349-367.
  30. Culpeper, Jonathan (2011). Impoliteness. Using Language to Cause Offence. Cambridge University Press.
  31. Culpeper, Jonathan, Bousfield Derek, and Wichmann Anne (2003). Impoliteness revisited: With special reference to dynamic and prosodic aspects. Journal of Pragmatics, 35, 1545-1579.
  32. Eelen, Gino (2001). A critique of politeness theories. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing.
  33. Lakoff, Robin (1989). The limits of politeness: Therapeutic and courtroom discourse. Multilingua, 8, 101-129.
  34. Larina, Tatiana (2015). Culture-Specific Communicative Styles as a Framework for Interpreting Linguistic and Cultural Idiosyncrasies. International Review of Pragmatics, 7 (5) Special Issue: Communicative Styles and Genres, 195-215.
  35. Larina, Tatiana V., Vladimir I. Ozyumenko & Svetlana, Kurteš (2017). I-identity vs we-identity in language and discourse: Anglo-Slavonic perspectives. Lodz Papers in Pragmatics, 13 (1), 195-215.
  36. Leech, Geoffrey (1983). Principles of Pragmatics. London: Longman.
  37. Leech, Geoffrey (2014). The Pragmatics of Politeness. Oxford University Press.
  38. Leech, Geoffrey & Tatiana Larina (2014). Politeness: West and East. Russian Journal of Linguistics, 4, 9-34.
  39. Locher, Miriam & Richard J. Watts, (2005). Politeness theory and relational work. Journal of Polite­ness Research. Language, Behavior, Culture, 1 (1), 9-33. doi: 10.1515/jplr.2005.1.1.9.
  40. Locher, Miriam (2015). Interpersonal pragmatics and its link to (im)politeness research. Journal of pragmatics, 86, 5-10.
  41. Mills, Sara (2003). Gender and politeness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  42. Spencer-Oatey, Helen (2005) (Im)Politeness, face and perceptions of rapport: Unpackaging their bases and interrelationships. Journal of Politeness Research, Language, Behaviour, Culture 1 (1): 95-119.
  43. Watts, Richard J. (2003). Politeness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  44. Yokoyama, Olga (1990). Responding with a question in Colloquial Russian. In Yokoyama, O. (ed.). Harvard Studies in Slavic Linguistics, vol. I, 175-194. Harvard University Slavic Linguistics Colloquium: Cambridge, MA.

Copyright (c) 2019 Bragina N.G., Sharonov I.A.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies