Vol 23, No 1 (2019)


Cultural bias and Sociolinguistics

Smakman D.


Peoples and individuals around the globe continuously develop their own communicative habits. With each generation, adjustments to changing circumstances are made - economic circumstances, natural circumstances, and, for instance, mobility circumstances. The outcome of such transitions is cultural variation, which is visible in hierarchical social systems, belief systems, legal systems, traditions, attire, and all kinds of rituals. Communicative systems are part of culture, and they deserve a role in research focussing on language and communication. However, applying culture as a variable is a challenge, not only because of the cultural variation between peoples and individuals but also because the effects of culture on actual language utterances are hard to measure. Another issue is the dominance of Anglowestern cultural patterns in many analyses. This paper explains these issues and critically reviews the various criteria that well-known cultural models - like the one by Hofstede (1980), Lewis (1969), and Hall (1959, 1976) - use to categorise cultures. Examples of such criteria are: region, relationship with uncertainty, femininity/masculinity, and power relations. The paper concludes by giving a number of practical solutions to the challenge of treating culture as a variable in sociolinguistic research. These solutions are related to, amongst others, the reviewing process for journals, widespread norms of ‘good academic language’, author/editor selection, cross-cultural academic cooperation, and sharing of funds.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):9-22
pages 9-22 views

Creativity in Metaphor Interpretation

Musolff A.


This paper looks at corpus- and survey-based evidence of innovative interpretative metaphor use that changes the default meaning of well-established figurative constructions. Specifically, we look at interpretation-induced changes in the meaning of corporeal metaphors, on the basis of a corpus of British political discourse and a questionnaire survey of more than 1000 respondents from 31 linguistic backgrounds in 10 countries. The corpus-based evidence consists of metaphor-production data that show how situational variation in metaphor use can over time create a semantic-pragmatic drift that changes the dominant meaning of a conventional metaphor expression. The questionnaire survey reveals four distinct models for body-focused readings (i.e. nation as geobody, as hierarchical functional whole, as part of speaker’s body, as part of larger body), plus a further set person-focused readings. The two most frequent body-focused interpretations, i.e. nation as geobody and nation as hierarchical functional whole, as well as the person-stereotypes versions show divergent frequency and elaboration patterns across the Chinese- vs. English-L1 respondent groups, which may be linked to specific cultural conceptual and discursive traditions. Both data sets indicate a strong creative element in metaphor interpretation, which accounts for a significant degree of variation in the creation of new metaphorical concepts.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):23-39
pages 23-39 views

Language Maintenance and Language Death: The Case of the Irish Language

Pecnikova J., Slatinska A.


According to the Constitution of Ireland (2018), the Irish language is the Republic’s national and first official language. In 2007 it was declared one of the official languages of the European Union, gaining a new status in comparison with the past when it was regarded as a Treaty language only. Since this adoption many changes have happened and many projects have been initiated in the field of maintenance and death prevention of the Irish language. The article analyses data gained from the qualitative research, the final part of which was carried out in the Republic of Ireland from February to March 2015 at the National University of Ireland in the city of Galway. The research sheds light on the future of the Irish language and reflects the opinions of informants on the topic of language death and language maintenance. Our aim was to obtain a most diverse sample of respondents with different attitudes towards the Irish language revitalization and its potential to be used as an effective tool within various spheres of life, ensuring the language´s vitality and protection from possible death. We highlight some of the most salient preventive measures, which seem to work in the area of language maintenance, including a huge role of particular organizations aimed at the Irish language revitalization. Last but not least, we pay attention to concerns about the language, which must be identified in order to find out which areas should be primarily addressed so as to protect the language for future generations.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):40-61
pages 40-61 views

How Not To Do Things with the Word: Barack Obama on the Armenian Genocide

Zolyan S.T.


The overarching premise of the paper is the idea that Barack Obama’s discursive strategies used in connection with the Armenian genocide in the annual commemoratory Statements could be considered “evasionist” because of the omission of the term ‘genocide’ and its substitution with the semi-official neologism of ‘Meds Yeghern’, transliteration of the Armenian name of the 1915 genocide. Such evasionist discourse in presidential statements avoids unambiguous assessments and expressions, thereby catering to recipients with different political attitudes and expectations. By analyzing different connotative and meta-linguistic mechanisms of taboo in modern political discourse, we show how Obama radically transforms the semantic principles of his predecessors’ discourse, maintaining identical goal-setting characteristics. It is argued that the transliteration of the Armenian name of the genocide can mean “everything and nothing” - for the Armenian audience, it implies full validation of their viewpoint and language, while for the rest of the world, it is only a meaningless sign. The paper demonstrates that the linguistic and semiotic resources that make up Barack Obama’s discourse on the Armenian genocide are based on intentional ambiguity and ambivalent interpretational strategies where intertextual linkages replace referential semantics. A hermeneutic approach appears to be the most adequate instrument for interpretation of such types of discourse, i.e. an interpreter is authorized to explicate inter-textual meanings and messages, which are implicitly incorporated within the text.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):62-82
pages 62-82 views


The Realization of Impoliteness in Arguments between the Democrats and Republicans over the Government Shutdown Issue in the US

Alemi M., Latifi A.


The present research is intended to illustrate how linguistic features of impoliteness are manifested in the debates between two of the main American political parties, Republicans and Democrats, in 2013 government shutdown issue. The research questions sought to analyze the impoliteness strategies each party employed to aggravate or attack the face of the opposing party. The study was conducted by performing qualitative discourse analysis based upon the theoretical framework of Culpeper’s (1996) super strategies and Bousfield’s (2008) off-record impoliteness . The data consisted of the transcripts of the speeches of the two parties’ members all through September, 20, to October, 16, 2013. The study primarily managed to elicit eight major impoliteness strategies in this corpus. The analysis chiefly revealed that both parties used all the strategies in relatively similar frequencies to induce their opponents to act upon their preferences. Challenges , dissociating from the other , sarcasm/mock politeness, and seeking disagreement/avoid agreement were among the most commonly used impoliteness strategies in the debates. In addition, as the Chi-Square test disclosed, the two parties did not differ from one another in a statistically meaningful way in their total use of impoliteness strategies. In conclusion, our study showed that there seems to be a relatively similar pattern of use of impoliteness strategies by these two parties over the aforementioned issue which can be attributed to the demands of political discourse.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):83-97
pages 83-97 views

Pragmatics among Linguistic Disciplines: Problems of Definition and Classification

Kotorova E.G.


Until the mid-20th century, the term “pragmatics” was employed by different fields of research (such as semiotics, philosophy, sociology, psychology), which made the content of the term very wide and ambiguous. Due to the emergence and development of linguistically oriented pragmatics, it became necessary to define the place of pragmatics in relation to linguistics and to determine the range of tasks it serves to accomplish. There are three ways to interpret the relationship between pragmatics and linguistics: 1) pragmatics is a separate discipline closely related to linguistics; 2) pragmatics is a branch of linguistics; 3) pragmatics belongs to a certain branch of linguistics. The article discusses these three possibilities with reference to the existing literature. Pragmatics is postulated as a discipline of its own, if it is developed as a cross-disciplinary theoretical approach (Habermas 1998, Mey 2001). When considered among other branches of linguistics, it is referred to as pragmalinguistics or linguistic pragmatics. Nowadays, this is the most widespread point of view found in many linguistic dictionaries and handbooks (Akhmanova 1966, Norman 2009, Bußmann 1990, Ernst 2002, etc.). Those who view pragmatics as part of a certain branch of linguistics, usually attribute it to text linguistics or semantics (Lyons 2003, Heinemann and Viehweger 1991). In conclusion, the author proposes another interpretation: in addition to core linguistics, applied linguistics, interdisciplinary linguistics and other possible subdivisions, it is expedient to distinguish communicational linguistics. Pragmatics makes part of it, alongside with phonetics.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):98-115
pages 98-115 views

Salience Criteria of Indirect Non-Entrenched Textual Names in Russian: Corpus-Based Research

Kiose M.I.


The article approaches textual foreground specifics of indirect non-entrenched names and nominal groups in the Russian language. These constructions reveal the results of particular focus shifts with both identifying and characterizing or classifying components as part of their referent representation. To foreground them, the author uses a group of linguistic markers or means of expression with the intention of bringing forward their relevant character and helping the reader recognize the referent. The research is corpus-based, featuring Russian narrative prose texts, which serve to define the linguistic (lexical and syntactic) means of expressing indirect non-entrenched textual names and nominal groups. The data help reveal the salience criteria where salience is defined through significantly higher frequency of expression means. It also uncovers some resonance dependencies of these salience criteria (with graphical criteria role considered as well), which are manifested to foreground indirect non-entrenched names. The work shows that apart from general salience markers (rhematic position of names, mononuclear syntactic phrase, featuring the author’s perspective, etc.), which have become the research issue in the works of T. Givón, B. Wårwik, A. Siewierska, M. Ariel, O. Iriskhanova and some other linguists, there may be distinguished the salience criteria specific for the textual indirect non-entrenched names and nominal groups. Relative frequency analysis of 28 test parameters values revealed the group of these salience criteria, among which are the textual markers of embodied construal, the presence of a direct name in pre-position, a discreet or single referent marking, null propositional distance between direct and indirect names, coordinative chain of direct and indirect names, predicative position and position in mononuclear sentences, the presence of identifying attributes and rhematic markers in co-referent indirect names.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):116-130
pages 116-130 views

Imitation, Informational Value and Phatic Communication in the Genres of Academic Discourse

Brusenskaya L.A., Kulikova E.G.


The article deals with the current state of academic discourse in the sphere of social sciences and its description as a multifaceted communication phenomenon. The analysis allows the authors to classify the features of numerous academic genres and to define the extra-linguistic nature of their origin. The key features include the prevalence of phatic utterances over informative ones, imitation, and desemantization, as well as deintellectualization as a new feature introduced by the authors. The contextual interpretation of the linguistic features of modern academic discourse in this study is based on its sociolinguistic analysis and employs the method of correlation of social and linguistic phenomena, as well as pragmalinguistic analysis encompassing a wide “context of the situation”. Transformational “socio-traumatic” processes of modernity have influenced the sphere of social sciences. Academic discourse (as well as discourse in general) is dependent on the social, cultural and temporal context, which triggers a change in the proportion of its cognitive and manipulative functions. Dissertations and dissertation synopses as predominantly and increasingly formalized genres of academic discourse display features of imitation. In such papers, researchers discover an ‘imitation explosion’. We argue that the leveling of negative signs in academic discourse can be achieved only if society changes its attitude towards professional discourses, especially concerning their form and content, as well as the researchers’ responsibility. Therefore, the possibility of improvement of academic discourse is determined by both linguistic and extralinguistic (socio-cultural) factors. It is essential that society gradually develops a positive reputation and responsibility of a scholar as a subject of academic discourse.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):131-148
pages 131-148 views

Representation of the Verbal Image of Aggression in the Informational Universe of the English-Language Mass Media

Komalova L.R.


This contribution explores the representation of the verbal image of aggression in the texts of the English-language digital mass media. The research is based on the quantitative and qualitative semantic analyses of 174 authentic English texts (journalistic reports and newspaper articles) produced during the period of 2013-2015 and selected on the basis of special criteria, which were elaborated in our previous works on detecting descriptors of aggression in written texts. The aim of the research is to reveal the structural components of the verbal image of aggression reproduced in the worldview of Russian native speakers after reading English texts (British and American digital newspapers articles) and to find out if the resulting cognitive model refers to the real act of aggression. The paper contributes to the research field of psycholinguistics, emphasizing the need to support people’s psychological health in the context of an aggressive media environment, which produces high psychological tension. The research methodology is based on a modified associative experiment procedure, which involves 98 native speakers of Russian (university students majoring in linguistics and translation). The obtained results demonstrate a great variability of the structural elements of aggression verbalized in mass media texts. They also indicate that the focus of the reader’s attention is deliberately shifted towards the formation of a hostile cognitive model of the world, with the aggressor and the third party involved in the aggressive act in the center of the battlefield, and the victim of aggression on the periphery. The findings are illustrated by textual examples from authentic British and American newspaper articles and supplied with the author’s commentaries.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):149-164
pages 149-164 views

Sense-Forming Function of Context in Publicistic Texts

Kozlovskaya E.S., Kobylko J., Medvedev Y.Y.


The effect-producing function of publicistic texts is realized within the framework of moral values existing in society; therefore, axiological value is an obligatory characteristic of a publicistic text. Since current moral values in society and public consciousness are not static and change due to events in political, economic, scientific, cultural and other areas of human life, we believe that publicistic texts reflect the condition of mentality of a particular society during a particular historical period. The main goal of this research is to study the impact of the social and cultural context on the semantic structure of publicistic texts and elucidate in what way this influence is relevant to the changes in social consciousness. The material of the study includes current Russian and Polish publicistic texts from mass media sources (“Regnum”, “Izvestia”, “Kommersant”, “PT”, “W polityce”, “Newsweek”, “dziennik.pl”, etc.), as well as Russian and Polish political lexicography (Mustafin 2012; Sanxharevskij 2010; Wasiluk, Zmarzer 2012, etc.), and the results of an associative experiment conducted among 170 Russian and Polish participants, The findings demonstate possible connections and further tendencies of the actualization of words, which deviate from dictionary meanings, The results of the investigation carried out with the help of contextual analysis also allowed us to conclude that the attention to the sense-forming function of the context is methodologically essential for the study of publicistic texts and their translation into a foreign language because the changes in people’s mentality under the influence of social and cultural contexts are materialized in the contextual meanings. They are also reflected in the transformation of word meanings: a word can acquire additional connotations or meanings which in some cases may fully replace the dictionary meanings. The results of the research can be used in sociolinguistics, lexicography and translation of publicistic texts.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):165-184
pages 165-184 views

Analysis of Lexical Features of the Russian and English Languages in the Sphere of Information Technologies

Kameneva N.A.


The aim of the article is the analysis of the language of information technologies, the identification and description of its main features and its formation process. Lexical units of the language of information technologies and computer terms are studied on the basis of academic, technical and popular Russian and English scientific texts. Unlike the language of mass media, business, scientific, advertising, political, pedagogical, artistic, domestic and other discourses, the language of information technologies has not been sufficiently researched. There are practically no systematic and consistent works devoted to its formation. The relevance of the research topic is determined by the focus on the study of modern language tools that reflect the development of information and communication technologies for the effective implementation of professional communication in the context of globalization. The research employs general scientific methods of analysis, synthesis and generalization, as well as the method of electronic search in multimedia dictionaries and Internet resources. The article reveals the process of the formation of the language of information technologies: the emergence of the English neologisms and the adaptation of English-language borrowings in the Russian language. It also analyses the general use of modern computer terminology and its functioning in scientific discourse. The author concludes that the language in the field of information technology is constantly contributing to the lexical and phraseological systems of Russian and other languages, borrowing and accumulating English terms through replication, transliteration, transcription and other means of translation. In the process of the formation of the IT language, the appearance of numerous slang and jargon terms is observed.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):185-199
pages 185-199 views


A Value System through the Perspective of Culturally Oriented Lexicography

Mamontov A.S., Cjedjendorzhijn J., Boguslavskaya V.V.


The article focuses on the analysis of the Value System which constitutes part of a cultural code from the perspective of culturally oriented lexicography. The analysis is based on the comparison of the Russian and Mongolian languages. The authors of the article discuss a number of closely connected theoretical and practical issues, which include: the essence of the Value System from the point of view of linguistics, culture studies and psychology; the functioning of this system; its influence on the formation of speech behavior and communicative competences; the possibility of using the knowledge about the Value System in the teaching of foreign languages and cultures. The article also touches upon the issues of linguistic lexicography aimed at compiling dictionaries, which explain the culture-specific meanings of its units. The authors give a survey of a culturally-oriented dictionary of Russian language and culture for the citizens of Mongolia where the material will be presented on a comparative basis. The core of dictionaries of this kind will be the Value System as a linguocognitive phenomenon. The idea is illustrated by the analysis of the semantics of three basic human values: health, family and education. The research provides an opportunity to state both similarities and differences in the meaning of the verbalized value orientations in the Russian and Mongolian languages and cultures. The analysis allows us to emphasize the significance of mapping the dynamics of the linguistic worldview as part of the ethnic mentality, which reflects both its cognitive and emotional components. The research develops basic postulates of cognitive linguistics, cultural linguistics, intercultural communication and culture studies.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):200-222
pages 200-222 views

The Reflection of the Hierarchy of Values in the Proverbial Fund of the Russian and French languages

Nelyubova N.Y., Hiltbrunner V.I., Ershov V.I.


The paper deals with the research focused on the reflection of Russian and French basic values in proverbs - language units that most clearly demonstrate the value systems. Based on the fact that each nation has a certain hierarchically organized set of values, which partially coincide with other cultures but can have their own characteristics, it is important to identify both their universal and culture-specific features. This will allow us not only to build the hierarchy of values of a certain nation but also to conduct a comparative analysis of different languages and cultures from an axiological perspective. To get a general idea of the reflection of values and their hierarchy in proverbs, we have conducted our research on the basis of Russian and French lexicographical material. According to our hypothesis, the thematic classification of proverbs in dictionaries and the corresponding category titles enable us to reveal directly or indirectly the values of a particular nation, and the quantitative correlation of proverbs within each theme can give us an idea of the hierarchy of values: a bigger or smaller number of proverbs on a certain topic indicates the degree of their importance in the consciousness of native speakers of a corresponding linguistic community. The paper presents the preliminary data of the research carried out on a limited material in order to test the methodology chosen by the authors. The research was based on the card index of 2400 Russian and French proverbs elicited from specialized lexicographic sources by means of continuous sampling. The emphasis was made on the French practical material, and the Russian material served as a background for comparative analysis. The paper presents the number of proverbs within each topic, the data giving a general picture of the hierarchy of values (the topics are listed in the descending order of the quantitative indicator). It also contains the results of the comparative analysis. The research has confirmed the possibility of identifying basic values, building their hierarchy and determining the dominant value based on the analysis of the proverbial bank, in particular, the headings of the thematic classification indicated in the lexicographical sources, and the number of units in each topic. The results make it possible to clarify the understanding of the Russian and French linguistic worldviews and can be used in the process of the linguistic and axiological analyses of different languages.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):223-243
pages 223-243 views


Review of Andreas Musolff. 2016. Political metaphor analysis. Discourse and scenarios. Bloomsbury, 194 p

Gornostaeva A.A.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):244-246
pages 244-246 views
pages 247-253 views

Review of Rakhimov G.H. 2017. Ingliz tili O’zbekistonda: sociolingvistik va pragmatik kursatkichlar (The English language in Uzbekistan: sociolinguistic and pragmatic aspects). Tashkent: TAMADDUN

Dzhusupov M.


The review deals with the spread of the English language in the Turkic-speaking states of Eurasia (e.g. Uzbekistan) and is based on G.H. Rakhimov’s monograph and the author's personal observations. The spread of English in the Turkic-speaking world is studied in comparison with the spread of the Russian language and culture in Central Asia (e.g. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan). The Turkic world of Eurasia is characterized by centuries-old traditions of bilingualism and multilingualism. Contacts with the Arabic, Persian, Russian languages and cultures influenced the development of local languages and cultures. In G.H. Rakhimov’s monograph the spread of English in the spheres of social life (e.g. education, science, business, trade, diplomacy, etc.) is seen as a positive phenomenon with favourable effects on the further realization of the country’s potential in the international community. An ethnic language is a constant category in the past, present and future; therefore the influences of other languages and cultures have to be regulated by the government, because language and culture contact has both positive and negative effects, which have been proved by the history of human development. The English language in the Turkic world of Eurasia (e.g. Uzbekistan) as well as the Russian language might have a positive tendency for contacts with the local language. The Uzbek and Kazakh languages and cultures are formed within the status of constant categories characterized by positive dynamics of their development.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):254-266
pages 254-266 views


K yubileyu V.I. Shakhovskogo

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Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):267-276
pages 267-276 views

K yubileyu L.A. Kozlovoy

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Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(1):277-285
pages 277-285 views

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