Vol 24, No 4 (2020)


Online incivility in times of Covid-19: Social disunity and misperceptions of tourism industry in Poland

Kopytowska M., Krakowiak R.


Lockdowns and other counter-measures introduced by governments around the globe in the aftermath of the outbreak of coronavirus dealt a serious blow to tourism and the hospitality industry. Faced with bankruptcy and closure, tourism-related businesses raised the alarm and called for government support, which in turn triggered numerous comments from online audiences. Focusing on such online discourses and the incivility they abound with, the present article aims to address various aspects of the interface between the crisis, online communication and social polarization, as well as the constitutive and constituted nature of discourse. We bring under scrutiny the response of the online public to appeals from the tourism industry, working on the assumption that these Internet comments, in terms of content and form, have been considerably shaped by three factors, namely (1) public perception of the tourism industry, (2) culture-related emotionality patterns, as well as (3) techno-discursive design and the resulting dynamics of communication within cyberspace. Adopting the Media Proximization Approach (MPA), together with the CDA perspective on discourse and representation, and drawing on insights from studies on online communication we analyze and discuss the corpus of online comments (53,043 words) following 21 articles on the crisis within the tourism industry in Poland published between 6 March and 23 June 2020. Our findings show that the response of the online public, which is predominantly negative and at times hostile, reflects the socio-political polarization in Poland, enhanced by the sense of threat to life and health as well as the scarcity of resources. Cyberspace and its technological affordances considerably affect solidarity and disunity dynamics through representational and interpersonal proximization, enabling creation and perpetuation of stereotypes along with values and emotions. Acting as proximization triggers, nomination, predication and argumentation strategies both reflect and shape knowledge and axiological preferences, which constitute an integral part of the construction of social reality.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):743-773
pages 743-773 views

Towards a relevance-theoretic approach to the diminutive morpheme

Padilla Cruz M.


This paper intends to lay the foundations for a relevance-theoretic approach to the diminutive morpheme. In many languages, this morpheme is attached to nouns, adjectives, adverbs or verbs. It frequently nuances their referents by providing information concerning the smallness, littleness or scarcity of the size, amount or degree of their referents. However, the semantics of this morpheme cannot always be connected with such notions. In Spanish, for example, it is often used in order to intensify, express approximation or pejoration, show affection or modesty, suggest intimacy or mitigate verbal actions. This variety of functions renders its semantics fairly elusive and rules out a conceptual analysis. Relying on the relevance-theoretic distinction between conceptual and procedural meaning, this paper argues that the diminutive might possess a procedural semantics amounting to procedures or processing instructions. It also considers the output(s) of such procedures in Spanish and shows that in several cases the diminutive would clearly contribute to the lexical pragmatic processes taking place during mutual parallel adjustment . These yield highly idiosyncratic conceptual representations. In other cases, the instructions encoded by the diminutive could be thought to trigger a representation of the speaker’s psychological states or even contribute to what in relevance-theoretic pragmatics is known as the higher-level explicature of an utterance. Since this would involve admitting that the semantics of the diminutive could be poly-procedural , this paper concludes by wondering whether a unitary procedural approach would be preferable.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):774-795
pages 774-795 views

A comparative study of proximity in Iranian and American newspaper editorials

Alipour M., Jahanbin P.


The study is aimed at gaining further insight into the concept of proximity and its contribution to text development in general and newspaper editorials in particular. It also furthers our understanding of cross-linguistic differences in the use of metadiscourse. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate and compare proximity elements in Iranian and American newspaper editorials. Following Hyland's proximity model (2010a) which comprises five major elements, organization, argumentative structure, stance, engagement, and credibility , we focused on a detailed analysis of proximity features in two corpora, Iranian newspaper editorials and American newspaper editorials. To this aim, 240 newspaper editorials, including 120 editorials from each category, were collected. The outcomes revealed that there were significant differences in the use of proximity elements in the mentioned corpora. It was demonstrated that stance markers were considerably more recurrent in the American data than their Iranian counterpart. Unlike the American editorials, the Iranian ones contained a larger number of engagement markers. The key reasons behind such discrepancies are discussed in terms of differences in cultural, social, and political backgrounds. This study can be helpful for English for Specific/Academic Purposes (ES/AP) learners who study journalistic English to become familiar with proximity.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):796-815
pages 796-815 views

Literary words of foreign origin as social markers in Jeffrey Archer’s novels

Ivushkina T.A.


The paper is aimed at studying the use of literary words of foreign origin in modern fiction from a sociolinguistic point of view, which presupposes establishing a correlation between this category of words in a speech portrayal or narrative and a social status of the speaker, and verifying that they serve as indices of socially privileged identity in British literature of the XX1st century. This research is the continuation of the diachronic sociolinguistic study of the upper-class speech portrayals which has traced the distinctive features in their speech and has revealed that literary words of foreign origin unambiguously testify to the social position of a character/speaker and serve as social indices. The question arises then whether it holds true for modern upper-class speakers/speech portrayals, given all the transformations a new millennium has brought about. To this end we have selected 60 contexts from two novels by Jeffrey Archer - Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less (2004) and A Prisoner of Birth (2008) , and subjected them to a careful examination. A graduate from Oxford and representative of socially privileged classes, Archer gives a wide depiction of characters with different social backgrounds and statuses. The analysis of the novels based on the contextual and functional approaches to the study enabled us to categorize the selected words into four relevant groups. The first class represented by terms ( commodity, debenture, assets, luminescence, etc.) serves to unambiguously indicate education, occupation, and fields of knowledge or communicative situations in which a character is involved. The second class is formed of words used in conjunction with their Germanic counterparts ( perspiration - sweat, padre - priest, convivial - friendly ) to contrast the social position of the characters: literary words serving as social indices of upper class speakers, whereas their synonyms of Germanic origin characterize middle or lower class speech portrayals. The third class of words comprises socially marked words (verbs, nouns and adjectives), or U-words (the term first coined by Allan Ross and Nancy Mitford), the status acquired in the course of social history development (elegant, excellent, sophistication, authoritative, preposterous, etc .) . The fourth class includes words used in a humorous or ironic meaning to convey the narrator’s attitude to the characters or the situation itself ( ministrations, histrionic, etc.). Words of this group are perceived as stylistic “aliens”, as they create incongruity between style and subject matter. The social implication of the selected words is enhanced by French words and phrases often accompanying them.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):816-830
pages 816-830 views

Predictors of correct interpretation of English and Bulgarian idioms by Russian speakers

Lavrova N.A., Nikulina E.A.


During intercultural communication, it is crucial to interpret correctly and to use appropriately foreign idioms which are culturally marked and reflect linguistic and cultural identity of a speech community. Interlocutors should be aware of the cultural and historical precedents that gave rise to the primary image underlying idiomatic expressions and thus created their unique phraseological worldview. The aim of the research is to find out what is a better predictor of correct idiom interpretation - degree of proficiency in a foreign language or degree of genealogical kinship between the native and foreign languages. The topicality of the research is justified by the need for a deeper understanding of linguistic and cultural identity of native and foreign-language speakers, with a view to facilitate and enhance cross-cultural communication. The working hypothesis is that due to the close genealogical kinship between Russian and Bulgarian and the users’ advanced level of English, the number of correctly interpreted idioms may vary within a statistically significant medium range. The total sample comprises 5000 idioms (2500 English and 2500 Bulgarian ones). The subsample used in the experiment comprises 60 idioms (30 English and 30 Bulgarian ones) selected from ‘The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms’ and ‘Nov fraseologichen rechnik na bylgarskiya jezik’ (‘Нов фразеологичен речник на българския език’) by means of stratified systematic sampling. The main methods used in the research include (1) comparative linguistic and cultural analyses, (2) scientific experimentation, (3) systematic and stratified sampling, and (4) a paired t-test. The experimental research and the paired t-test have proved our hypothesis and demonstrated that Russian participants correctly decode more Bulgarian than English idioms, with intergroup variation being statistically significant. Research findings have implications for cultural linguistics. Since translation loans (calques), isomorphic idioms, and idioms dating back to a common source are interpreted more quickly and more accurately than idioms which contain unique or culturally-loaded elements, such as old-fashioned words or proper names, access to cultural precedents that served as prototypes of set expressions contributes to a more seamless code-switching and enables communicants to penetrate deeper the mentality of a specific linguacultural community and thus become aware of the variability of cultural cognition and conceptualisation.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):831-857
pages 831-857 views

Four lessons from Zaliznyak

Miloslavsky I.G.


The article refers to four most important features of Academician Andrei Zaliznyak’s (1935-2017) scholarly heritage, which include: 1) a clear statement of the activity goal and the understanding of its place in the scientific cognition of the world; 2) a logical sequence of work stages and their clear understanding; 3) comprehension of all the other obvious consequences arising from the work done.Within the framework of those requirements, the author of the article is trying, in particular, to evaluate such public initiatives relating to the Russian language as “the total dictation” and “the word of the year”. The paper discusses the degree to which modern research of the Russian language is compliant with those requirements, and emphasizes the inconsistency of the prevailing aspectological concepts, as well as the variety of rules dealing with the composition of semantic components in a wordform, sentence, or uttering. The author is skeptical about the prospects of the research of modern Russian word formation prioritising the inventory of word-formation types which cannot act as basic units for any kind of speech activity. The critical reflection on the notion of “postfix” allows the author to conclude that units regarded in terms of their semantic characteristics and not their position in a word form are clearly distributed among suffixes and endings (according to A.A. Zaliznyak). He also emphasises the complete incoherence of tasks set during the morphological analysis at school. In conclusion, the author writes about the reduction of moral standards within the professional community and recalls the fourth lesson of A.A. Zaliznyak - not to hope that colleagues will quickly recognise the research results.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):858-875
pages 858-875 views

System of deictic coordinates and intertextual deixis in academic discourse

Korovina I.V.


Until recently the deictic procedure in most research papers by Russian and foreign linguists has been discussed on the material of fiction texts and oral communication, where we deal with situational deixis, functioning within the framework of spatial-temporal coordinates. The system of these coordinates is not applicable to contextual deixis, whereas the system of deictic coordinates for contextual deixis has not been designed yet. Such a well-designed system of deictic coordinates for contextual deixis would allow scholars to analyze the functions of lexical units in speech in order to find out if they perform a deictic function. In other words, this system would enable researchers to define the scope of deictic elements, which at the moment is rather vague for the time being. In order to develop the system of deictic coordinates functioning within contextual deixis we have selected academic texts, where contextual deixis is especially vivid there, whereas situational deixis is not presented at all. The research is aimed at defining the main elements of the system of deictic coordinates functioning in academic texts. The material under analysis includes 1450 pages of linguistic research papers in English. The main methods of the research are contextual analysis and the constructive method, applied for designing the system of deictic coordinates and describing intertextual deixis. The research is yielded a system of deictic coordinates for contextual deixis which, designed throughout the research, consists of three elements: the deictic centre, the deictic vector, and the antecedent / subsequent element(s). The fact that the research is conducted on the English language material does not mean that this developed system of deictic coordinates can be applied only to texts written in English: this part of the research results is applicable to contextual deixis functioning in any text, regardless of its style, genre and the language it is written in. The proposed system of deictic coordinates is used to describe the new type of contextual deixis - the intertextual one, which is a peculiar feature of academic texts and not described in other researchers’ papers. Moreover, it provides the opportunity to define new deictic elements of intertextual deixis: intertextual references in brackets, and lexical units which, being full-fledged units of a local context, point at elements of vertical presupposition. Thus, the results of the research are relevant for defining the dimensions of the deictic procedure applied to contextual deixis.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):876-898
pages 876-898 views

Metaphor as the refection of culture determined cognition

Kozlova L.A.


The article belongs to the cognitive dimension of contemporary cognitive linguistics based on the idea that the processes of the world conceptualization take place in the context of a certain culture and language imparting culturally determined character to our cognition. The ethnocultural specificity of cognition has various forms of manifestation in language, the most explicit of which is metaphor because the very nature of our thinking is metaphorical and reflects the correspondence with experience which is also culture-specific. The study aims to investigate how culturally determined cognition finds its manifestation in metaphor. The main goal of the article is to point out and characterize the forms of manifestation of ethnocultural specificity of metaphor in the text. The analysis is based on a corpus of 860 metaphorical expressions obtained from 34 English-language fiction texts. The main methods of analysis are conceptual, comparative-culturological and contextual analyses. The introduction contains a short survey of theoretical works related to the interaction of language, cognition and culture and describes the way methods are applied. In the second part the author analyses the interrelations between three branches of linguistics: ethnolinguistics, linguoculturology, and cultural linguistics united on the basis of their interest in the study of language in the cultural aspect. The main body of the article presents the analysis of metaphor in the aspect of culture specific cognition which results in the identification of three forms of representing the culturally determined cognition in metaphor: 1) the degree of metaphorical density of the text and the manner of metaphorical representation from the perspective of explicitness/implicitness; 2) the specificity of conceptual spheres which serve as the source of metaphors; 3) the choice of objects of metaphorical description determined by the sociocultural conventions of a linguocultural society. By way of conclusion, the author outlines the prospects of metaphor studies in the aspect of culture specific cognition.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):899-925
pages 899-925 views

Cross-cultural communication - lost in translation: A corpus study (based on the material from the Russian-Polish corpus)

Kononenko I.V.


The article is devoted to cross-cultural communication and its implementation in Polish translations of Russian fiction. Nowadays, both the study of national specifics relating to the worldviews of speakers of different languages, and the analysis of the way those worldviews are reflected in translation, are becoming more relevant. This article aims to study the properties of cross-cultural dialogue, which is mirrored in parallel fictional texts. The research material came from the Russian-Polish corpus. The analysis indicates that nationally specific features can manifest themselves on different levels of the language system - in vocabulary, phraseology, word formation, morphology, and syntax. The translation of sentences which include units representative of the Russian linguistic worldview demonstrates both cross-cultural successes and failures (omission of elements symbolic of Russian culture, their inaccurate interpretation or replacement with items typical of the Polish worldview). The existing printed and electronic dictionaries, as well as online translators, do not fully meet current requirements, including those related to conveying Russian cultural and linguistic senses by means of the Polish language. The practice of translating literary works from Russian into Polish demonstrates the need for further investigation of the worldviews of both nations.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):926-944
pages 926-944 views

Difficulties in translating Russian classics: Pushkin’s novel “Eugene Onegin” in English and French

Remchukova E.N., Nedopekina E.M.


A translator of classical literature is faced with the task of identifying the goal and methods of conveying the national originality of a generally recognized literary masterpiece. The article considers this problem in the context of translations of the novel in verse Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin into English and French. At the same time, it raises the questions of the translators’ attitude to their own work, the depth of interpretation of the original, the degree of adaptation of the original text for a foreign reader. In addition, a matter of great importance is the translators’ assessment of the result of their own work, which is reflected in their comments and preface to the translated text. The goal of this research is to substantiate the importance of the linguistic and cultural function of comments and prefaces, which also made it possible to identify the features of the translations themselves and emphasize their continuity. When translating works of classical literature, translators do not limit their task to the translation itself. In this regard, the “preface-commentary” complex is viewed in the article as an important part of the translator’s work. The research material includes about 40 English and over 10 French translations made in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and presented in chronological order. Mainly those that are accompanied by prefaces and comments were selected for the analysis. The research helps to present the translations of the novel not only in terms of continuity, but also in terms of their authors’ critical attitude to each other, thus bringing these components of translation into the focus of a professional discussion. As a result of comparing various translations, it is possible to identify the difficulties of literary translation of the novel Eugene Onegin , which include the preservation of its poetic form, the panoramic nature of its composition, including scenes of life of the 19th century Russian nobility, and the national spirit associated with the translation of national and cultural vocabulary. The research confirms that the very fact of numerous translations of this novel, which is paradigmatic for the Russian culture, can be viewed as a form of its worldwide recognition, regardless of the professional and reader's assessment of these translations. This enables us to speak of the existence of a strong tradition that has developed in European translation studies around this particular work.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):945-968
pages 945-968 views

Gourmandise in the hierarchy of values: A case study of French and Belgian proverbs and sayings

Nelyubova N.U., Syomina P.S., Kazlauskiene V.


The paremiological stock of a language is an important source of axiological information that helps to identify the features of a culture, people’s mentality, and their worldview. The paper is devoted to the study of gourmandise as a component of the French and Belgian worldviews reflected in the French language paremias. The aim of the research is to determine its place in the hierarchy of values of the native speakers of French and its Belgian variant. The research material includes 202 units obtained from “Dictionnaire de proverbes et dictons” (121 units) and from “Proverbes et dictons de Belgique francophonie” (81 units). The research methods include semantic, axiological, quantitative, and comparative analyses. The results of the study indicate that 5,9% of French and 6,6% of Belgian units of the total number presented in the dictionaries are devoted to food and gourmandize, which proves that they occupy an important place in the hierarchy of values in both cultures. More than half of the gastronomic proverbs and sayings have a positive connotation. Some types of food, such as bread, butter, and eggs, are symbolic for both ethnic groups. The analysis of gastronomic realities has revealed similar French and Belgian values (such as wealth, prosperity, happiness, health, pleasure, life) and antivalues (poverty, hunger, misery, disease, death, etc.). The obtained data contribute to the axiological studies of the worldview of the native speakers of various variants of the French language and can serve as a starting point for conducting similar research of other values, including those based on the material of other languages and cultures.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):969-990
pages 969-990 views

What makes a text interesting? Interest-evoking strategies in expository text from Russian school textbooks

Piotrovskaya L.A., Trushchelev P.N.


The article provides the linguistics approach to the study of text-based interest. The purpose of the article is to identify the means and strategies used in expository texts from Russian school textbooks for the creation of text emotiveness. This characteristic of “an interesting text” has been repeatedly pointed out in the psychological research (Schiefele 2009). The article uses the linguistics methods of communicative and functional analysis and, in particular, the method of semantic modeling of emotive situations (Filimonova 2007). The authors’ intention “to evoke the reader’s interest” is the basis for forming an emotional-evoking type of expository discourse. The implementation of this intention is carried out through special discourse strategies called interest-evoking rhetorical strategies. Some of these strategies are based on the transmission of emotions as a special type of information in verbal interaction. In a text, this type of information is represented by emotiveness, that is, a component of text content through which the emotional states of participants of communication or characters are manifested. The article provides a description of four primary ways to create expository text emotiveness: 1) the usage of emotive insertions - commentaries made by the participant of communication acting as the subject who feels emotions; 2) the verbalization of the emotional scenario of interest for its projection to the reader; 3) the description of the characters’ emotional states; 4) the representation of “abnormal” situations (a disruption of normal and expected relations between components of a situation in the real world described in a text). The first two ways are related to the strategies of the text dialogization aimed at creating the dialogue form of an expository text, and the thematization of interest. The third way enhances the text vividness and the fourth increases its dynamics and unexpectedness for the reader.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):991-1016
pages 991-1016 views

Demonyms in the Pacific Alliance countries: morphological and semantic variation

Chesnokova O.S., Radović M.


The existing research on onomastics does not sufficiently reflect upon the relation between cultural codes and demonyms, having in mind that demonyms universally represent linguistic devices for expressing territorial and regional identity. The article focuses on the complex polyparadigmal analysis of the system of demonyms related to the macrotoponymy of the four founding countries of the Pacific Alliance: Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. Each of the four founding countries of the Pacific Alliance is characterised by the uniqueness of its culture, historical development, the specifics of the national variant of Spanish that reflects the indigenous influence of substrates and the collective values of the society. The research tasks of the article consist in systemising the morphological devices and the cultural layers of demonyms connected with the administrative division of given countries, detecting the variation parameters, comparing them from the linguacultural point of view. The main material of the research have been 100 official demonyms of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, and 31 variative denominations. The materials for the research are based on the official websites of the administrative units of the four countries, dictionaries data, diverse types of texts and discourse, as well as the notes of the informants’ speech. The research uses such methods as the continuous sampling method based on Internet sources, the analysis of dictionary definitions, the method of semantic interpretation, the morphological analysis, combined with interviews with informants whose interaction is made possible by the complex polyparadigmal analysis of the material. The authors have determined a series of lexemes that function as demonyms, analysed their form and content from the linguistic point of view. It has been revealed that the main tendency in the formation of suppletive demonyms for macrotoponyms are the terrain features and the assessment of ethnic background or mentality. The analysed demonyms manifest the relations of intralingual, intervariant homonymy, as well as hypo-hyperonymic relations. The complex analysis of the material has provided an opportunity to represent the demonym systems of Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru as multidimensional and at the same time inherent to the unified functional continuum of entity in Spanish-speaking countries. The research results have led to the conclusion that demonyms act as independent notions and generators of new meanings and allusions. It is recommended to use transliteration when translating suppletive demonyms, while their decoding amplifies the linguacultural competence of Spanish-language students and harmonises the intercultural dialogue with the native speakers of Chilean, Colombian, Mexican and Peruvian national variants of Spanish in the areas of education and business.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):1017-1048
pages 1017-1048 views


Review of Sadow, Lauren, Bert Peeters, and Kerry Mullan (eds.). 2020. Studies in Ethnopragmatics, Cultural Semantics, and Intercultural Communication: Vol. 3. Minimal English (and beyond). Singapore: Springer. ISBN 978-981-329-978-8

Gladkova A.



Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):1049-1054
pages 1049-1054 views

Review of O.A. Leontovich, M.A. Gulyaeva, O.V. Lunyova, M.S. Sokolova. 2019. Positive communication. Moscow: Gnosis. 295 p. ISBN 978-5-94244-072-5

Karasik V.I.



Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(4):1055-1061
pages 1055-1061 views

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