Vol 21, No 4 (2017)



Senft G.


This paper provides a brief survey on various absolute frames of spatial reference that can be observed in a number of Austronesian languages - with an emphasis on languages of the Oceanic subgroup. It is based on research of conceptions of space and systems of spatial reference that was initiated by the “space project” of the Cognitive Anthropology Research Group (now the Department of Language and Cognition) at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and by my anthology “Referring to Space” (Senft 1997a; see Keller 2002: 250). The examples illustrating these different absolute frames of spatial refer-ence reveal once more that earlier generalizations within the domain of “SPACE” were strongly biased by research on Indo-European languages; they also reveal how complex some of these absolute frames of spatial reference found in these languages are. The paper ends with a summary of Wegener’s (2002) pre-liminary typology of these absolute frames of spatial reference.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):686-705
pages 686-705 views


Alefirenko N.F., Nurtazina M.B.


Various approaches to the necessity of semantic/taxis interpretation have been substantiated. The perspective of the current paper allows us to take into account the interpretative aspect of linguistic consciousness, where it is extremely important to rely on the speaker's language competence, and the degree to which s/he creatively modifies the language. All the proposed provisions are illustrated by concrete examples. The main aims of the paper are, firstly to demonstrate the necessity of carrying out semantic/taxis interpretation analysis, and analysis of the speaker and listener cognitive interaction mechanism, in the struc-ture of communication; secondly, to describe the structure of the cognitive characteristics of subject activity. Taxis/semantics modelling methodology allows for the exploration of basic cognitive features: 1) the dyna-mism and activity of the speaker’s point of view; 2) characteristic multidimensionality, and 3); the struc-ture of the relationship between thought and language. It is shown that the chronological relation expres-sion, in the sphere of taxis, is differentiated by a high degree of sub-categorization, and is transmitted through a branched system means of expression. Illustrative material from the fictional text clearly demon-strates the vagueness of the boundaries between the temporal correlations of the differentiated and un-differentiated types. It is suggested that the represented real actions and states can objectively exist in relations of simultaneity / diversity. However, in the linguistic interpretation of the relationship, there is an implication which can be difficult to distinguish from the vaguely temporal type of action combination, in a single period of time. The processes of action direction, and the distribution of character formation over time, are considered through the prism of such cognitive mechanisms as representation, interpretation, intention, metaphor, comparison, and explicitness / implicitness of expression. The results of the investigation have a lingua-methodic potential: they allow us to carry out the semantic compression of educational material by mastering pathways of compressed information presentation, through models and diagrams in the process of teaching languages.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):706-728
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Bogdanova L.I.


The article deals with the evaluative characteristics of lexis which denotes concepts which are culturally significant for society, and have been reflected in various ways in Russian dictionaries. Experi-ence of research in this area (Yu.D. Apresyan, N.D. Arutyunova, E. Bartminsky, A. Wierzbicka, E.M. Wolf, T.V. Larina, N.V. Ufimtseva, etc.) demonstrates that one effective direction is a communication-activity ap-proach which allows researchers to explore evaluation characteristics from the perspectives of both recipient and producer of the speech. This article represents the fruit of research into the receptive aspect of the study of values; its aim is to show how evaluation markers are dealt with in dictionaries, and describe the representation of evaluations and values in lexicographical sources. During the research, various methods and operational procedures were used, including the analysis of definitions, component analysis, context transformation, equivalent replacement, modelling, linguistic experiment, etc. While studying the ways of denoting estimations and values in Russian dictionaries, we found explicit and implicit means of express-ing the evaluative characteristics of lexical units, which affect the reception of estimates by users of dic-tionaries. Special attention is paid to research into the problems of cultures in contact situations. The structure of views about the same event cannot correspond across different cultural communities, which confirms the thesis on the existence of fundamental culture codes which manage linguistic and perceptual codes (Fou-cault). It was found that evaluative components are inconsistently reproduced, in explanatory dictionaries, and dictionary definitions frequently fail to clarify the question of evaluation of the content in question, which makes it difficult for users to process the evaluative significance of dictionary entries. The dictionary definition, therefore, often fails to reflect the actual use of the word in speech. The results obtained entail a reflec-tion on the optimisation of dictionary definitions, and argue for the creation of a special dictionary of Russian evaluation.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):729-748
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Chen Huan -.


Fashion exists in all aspects of human life, including language. In this context, we refer to the phenomenon of language fashion, which became an object of linguistic study in Russia at the turn of the 20th/21st centuries. This article is concerned with the phenomenon of buzzwords in modern Russian and Chinese newspaper texts, from the perspective of comparative analysis. In the article, we clarify the meanings of language fashion and buzzwords, discuss the essential features of this linguistic phenomenon, present a classification of buzzwords, characterise the main ways of enlarging this group of lexical units, and analyse the semantic and functional features of these units. The material for analysis is drawn from newspaper texts in online versions of Russian and Chinese mass media resources, for the period 2016-2017. The results of the research show that there are common features between the buzzwords of the two languages. Firstly, from the point of view of origin, the form or meaning of the buzzwords is associated with novelty and a break with tradition. Secondly, in a semantic sense, there are lexical coincidences in the buzzwords of the two languages. Thirdly, in a functional sense, a buzzword in one or another language can act as a pro-ductive model for creating new words, and a stimulus for the realization of new ideas. The conclusion dis-cusses the prospects of studying buzzwords and language fashion in general.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):749-766
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Cremona M., Assimakopoulos S., Vella A.


Single-moment studies have traditionally been carried out with the aim of investigating the pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic skills of non-native speakers compared to those of native speakers of a particular language. The present study aims to investigate the parallel skills in expressing politeness of Maltese bilingual speakers rather than differences between native and non-native speakers in this respect. Since the variety of English spoken in Malta has often been characterised as distinct from British English, we used a small-scale spoken discourse completion task to examine the extent to which British English and Maltese affect the expression of politeness in Maltese English, in the context of requests and apologies. To this end, we compared the responses provided by three distinct groups of participants in terms of the use of particular politeness strategies, as well as the frequency and intonation of politeness markers. The re-sults obtained remain largely inconclusive partly due to certain limitations arising from use of the discourse completion task methodology. They nevertheless do provide preliminary evidence, which is, to our mind, worth exploring further, of a close similarity between Maltese English and Maltese in terms of the into-nation that accompanies markers of politeness.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):767-788
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Leontovich O.A., Simonenko N.


The purpose of this paper is to examine the cultural and linguistic features of Chinese narrative songs of the 20th - early 21st centuries. They are explored through the theoretical frameworks and research instruments of narratology, cultural anthropology and linguistics (M. Bakhtin, R. Barthes, G. Genette, V. Propp, T. Todorov, etc.). The paper highlights the most important changes of narrative songs determined by historical events in China during the period under investigation: a) dynamics of themes, plots and attitudes towards related events - from ideological praise of the Communist party and Chair-man Mao - to a more personalized narration about people’s life and love in a globalized world; b) evo-lution of characters from selfless fighters for communism with clearly defined social identity - to general-ized lyrical personalities motivated by love, suffering, kinship and loyalty to their country; c) growth of genre variability due to the relaxation of ideological pressure and the influence of Western musical culture; d) return to the values of ancient Chinese culture and restoration of traditional national identity, implemented in background knowledge, binary oppositions and intertextual connections; e) new forms of linguistic expression.The findings indicate that the algorithm of text analysis developed in the course of the research may be used to investigate other types of Chinese narratives, as well as narratives from other cultures.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):789-804
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Sinelnikova L.N.


Rhizomaticity is a strategy and a regularity of text creation in a lot of modern commu-nicative discourse practices. What remains urgent is the problem of the systematic interdisciplinary de-scription of texts whose structure and language qualities are determined by the signs of the rhizome - a concept of post-modern philosophy introduced into the scientific field by the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and the psychotherapist Félix Guattari (Deleuze, Guattari 1996). The rhizome (Fr. rhizome - rootstock, tuber, bulb, mycelium) possesses the following qualities: it is non-linear, open and directed towards the unpredictability of discourse transformations through the possibilities of structure development in any direction; there is no centre or periphery in the rhizome, and any discourse element can become ‘a vital structure’ for text-creation. The rhizome does not have non-intersecting boundaries; and in the space of the rhizomatic discourse environment, an increase of reality facets takes place, non-standard associative con-nections appear, multiplication effects are formed, which create new meanings. Rhizomaticity is the quality of texts being organised by the laws of rhizomatic logic (V.F. Sharkov 2007), by the terms of which ‘su-perposition’ of discourses can take place, a transition from one semiotic system to another. The article makes an attempt to correlate the qualities of the rhizome with the signs of the intermedia discourse, which is built on the semiotic interaction of different media. The moving lines of the rhizome, its ‘branch-ing’ qualities can be found in poetic texts, in the evaluating segments of political discourse, in advertising discourse, in internet communications, which represent rhizomorphic environments. An analysis of examples from these spheres has shown that the rhizomatic approach opens new facets of intermediality. The author uses the methods of discourse analysis to prove that the openness and non-linearity of intermedial discourse, the movement along the multiple ways of creating sense, ensures unlimited possibilities for semiosis. The results of the research indicate that rhizome-analysis can become an important part of discourse analysis as a humanitarian project.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):805-821
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Chanysheva Z.Z.


The article aims at tracing means of corporeal semantics employed to create a nonverbal discourse-portrait of the subject of political discourse. Complexity of semantic corporeal pragmatics interpretation of participants in political communication by members of other linguacultures is determined by national and cultural specificity of nonverbal behavioral signs as well as by individual preferences. The article shows dependence of body language signals on the character and conditions of social interaction in institutional sphere, psycho-emotional type and state of a politician, the aim to produce a certain effect on the interlocutor and the audience. The material includes theoretical resources, body language dictionaries, descriptions of Barack Obama’s corporeal discourse-portrait by American nonverbal experts with detailed interpretation of significance of such cues. The examples selected from descriptions are subjected to componential, contextual, pragmatic, comparative and linguacultural methods of analysis. The research testifies to the prospects of efficient use of various representations of corporeal semantics and pragmatics related to participants in political communication. The data obtained confirm the importance of body language in creating individual nonverbal behavior models of the subject of political discourse reflecting ethnic, national and socio-cultural peculiarities and personal features.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):822-832
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Ulanova S.B.


The article discusses an excerpt from the song « A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall» by Bob Dylan, an American rock musician and a Nobel Prize laureate, and views song lyrics as a type of poetry. The author pays special attention to semantic potential of different word classes (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, numerals, prepositions) and examines the way they contribute to the creation of personal and spatial deixis, narrative dynamics, the correlation between the individual and the universal, definiteness and indefiniteness. The paper analyses the grammatical framing of the lyrics and the violation of morpho-syn-tactic combinability. The author investigates the semantic features of «a-gonna» verb form and draws some conclusions about the discursive nature of A-prefixation. Grammatical features are studied in their close connection with stylistic devices (rhythmic and morpho-syntactic repetition, assonance and alliteration, allusion, symbols, etc). The conclusions drawn touch upon the fields of grammatical semantics and lin-guopoetics.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):833-843
pages 833-843 views


Khabibullina F.Y., Ivanova I.G.


The article is devoted to the study of the category of future in French, Russian, Tatar and Mari aphorisms. The data were taken from international and regional mass media. We compared proverbs, sayings, appeals, mottoes, slogans, cliches, symbol phrases, and quotations. The special attention was paid to functioning of aphorisms expressing the concepts “power” and “politician”. The conducted analysis showed that the most frequent aphorisms in mass media of the languages under the study relate to the following lexico-semantic fields: foreign/domestic policy, state/country, state structures / services, establish-ments, governing bodies, political system, authorities, heads of political structures, parties, movements, and their members. The analyzed languages aphorisms are based on precedent texts and intertextuality. The use of internal resources of language prevails in the Russian, French and Tatar political discourses while the regional languages tend to calque aphorisms from Russian and have a relatively small number of occa-sional aphorisms. Besides the grammar means of expression of future, which is typical of all the languages analyzed, Russian, Tatar, and French contain lexical and grammatical means. The Russian language demonstrates semantic transformation in political aphorisms expressing the future. The article revealed the predominance of aphorisms in political discourse relating to the core area of functional semantic field of futurity, over the periphery and border zone. The results of the study show that aphorisms with the meaning of future are more typical of the Russian political discourse in comparison with the French, Tatar and Mari political discourses.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):844-857
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Abdulkhamidova P.S., Yusufbekov S.P.


Shughnani, one of the Pamiri languages of Tajikistan, is a minority language, and has no written script. Socio-economic and political changes in the lives of language speakers have affected the functioning of this small language, which was previously devoid of social significance. In the late 1980s, ideas began to emerge about the expansion of its functions, and attempts were made to use it in print media, television and radio. Observation of the functional development of Shugnani in these media led to the hypothesis of the emergence of a public sphere discourse, where it is possible to raise problems of social importance, and discuss them to search for eventual solutions. The main purpose of the article is to study attempts to create a discourse of the public sphere for Shugnani, in media and on the Facebook social network. The theoretical and methodological approaches of the study are based on the concept of the pub-lic sphere of Habermas, using the Critical Discourse Analysis paradigm (Fairclough). The data for the study were taken from Shughnani print media, from speeches on television and radio, and from postings by members of Shughnani Facebook groups. The findings reveal that the Shughnani presence in the media is limited, and construction of public opinion is more successfully carried out via Shughnani groups on Facebook. Analysis of the discursive practices involved shows that, despite the slow development of a media presence, the establishment of public discourse occurs through the creation of verbal units which have a journalistic character. Shugnani-speaking groups on Facebook contribute to the strengthening of the posi-tion of the language, through the formulation and discussion of issues relevant to members of the language community and the creation of language units that enhance confidence in the use of non-written Shugnani in the public sphere.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):858-869
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Cranmer R.


This article focuses on types of challenge to intercultural communicators arising during communication between those with a good level of intercultural competence and those with a lower level and which relate to communicative style. Those with weaker intercultural competence tend to have limited awareness of variation in communicative style and its link to language and culture. As a result, they often continue using aspects of the communicative style of their first language when using a for-eign language. They may even criticise ethnocentrically aspects of the communicative style associated with that foreign language. This can create specific challenges for a more interculturally competent communicator who may well understand the behaviour in question but find it hard to deal with. The key aim of this article is to analyse these challenges prior to hypothesising what underlying skills and prac-tical strategies might help communicators to deal with them. Relevant skills are sought in existing lit-erature and the further processes used in generating hypotheses are described. Skills are identified which include the capacities to deal with negative comments on your own communicative style, to per-suade your fellow communicator of its validity, to negotiate compromises and to steer the communica-tion towards a mutually satisfactory dynamic. Besides outlining the forms further research needs to take, the article concludes by stressing the importance of better understanding these challenges and of incorporating the development of skills for dealing with them into a variety of teaching programmes containing an intercultural component.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):870-884
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Hinner M.B.


Intercultural misunderstandings involve a number of complex causes which can easily escalate into conflicts. Since conflicts are also complex, it is not easy to find solutions because there is no one solution for all problems. Systems Theory, transdisciplinarity, and the social ecological model take a holistic approach in investigating complex phenomena. They permit the creation of a theoretical framework based on previous empirical research and theories across scientific disciplines to identify the relevant elements of complex phenomena and to understand the interrelationship of these elements. Intercultural misunderstandings and conflicts are very complex phenomena because they include culture, perception, identity, ethnocentrism, relationships, trust building and conflict management as well as intercultural commu-nication competence which entails cognition, metacognition, and social metacognition. Since most em-pirical studies focus on isolated, individual elements in specific contexts, this article describes the theoretical framework of how the various findings and theories developed in different scientific disciplines can be used to form a cohesive framework to help circumvent intercultural misunderstandings and conflicts. In so doing, it follows the general principles of Systems Theory, transdisciplinarity, and the social ecological model.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):885-909
pages 885-909 views


Remkhe I.N., Nefedova L.A., Gillespie D.C.


Over the last few decades the scope of the translator’s role has extended from being a me-diator between source and target texts and is now seen within a purely linguistic approach to establishing his/her own integrated dynamic reality of digital texts and virtual database. Within an integrated approach, we propose that equivalence can be considered from the neutralized position of a translator who needs to conform with translational norms as well as render the communicative purpose of the sender; the text content includes stylistic peculiarities and non-verbal information. In terms of the localization industry, the leading factor should be translational norms incorporated into the system with the help of special software to determine certain modes of translation, the foreignizing mode, domesticating mode, internationalizing mode, and localization mode. With the GILT paradigm the translation model is developing into a new concept that consolidates complex integrated solutions for the translation process.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):910-926
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Nedopekina E.M.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(4):947-950
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