Vol 19, No 2 (2021)

Cultural Linguistics: Theoretical and Applied Aspects

Spiritual energy of the Russian word as a scientific challenge of humanitarian thought

Maslova V.A., Danich O.V.


The authors consider faith as a direct way to form spirituality of an individual and nation on the whole, as our main moral wealth. This problem is especially relevant in the modern world, since the most important words for national consciousness are now devaluating. The purpose of the research is to prove that the language, namely the word , has resources for creating and accumulating the spiritual potential of the native speaker. The research has been carried on the material of the Bible and the National Corpus of the Russian language (a subcorpus of literary texts published after 1950). The authors used the following research methods: the traditional general scientific methods of analysis, comparison, generalization and the new one - discourse analysis. In the course of the research two aspects of the indicated problem have been considered: the language is a spiritual essence; the word is a barometer of our understanding of the world. The study resulted in the following conclusions: the primary and the most important function of the language is the function of communication with God; the spirituality of the Russian people is formed and preserved thanks to the language, because the language contains deep transcendental meanings, almost inaccessible for rational comprehension. These meanings create and retain spirituality in the society and the individual, form the spiritual code of the nation; fulfil the sacred function of communication with God; reveals the great mystery of the world and the human soul at the same time. These provisions allow to outline the prospects for the future research within the framework of a new stage of the anthropocentric paradigm, which brings it closer to the theo-anthropo-cosmic paradigm as the paradigm of the future. In it, an individual begins to realize his place not above the world, but inside it.

Russian Language Studies. 2021;19(2):125-137
pages 125-137 views

Key Issues of Russian Language Research

Legal and linguistic uncertainty of terms and norms of Russian laws

Batyushkina M.V.


The article presents the results of a study of de jure (modeled) and de facto (real) interpretation of the concept “legal and linguistic uncertainty”, which is relevant for modern Russian legal discourse, lawmaking, judicial, and expert practice. These features are typical for Russian legal discourse, lawmaking, judicial, expert practice, as well as the scientific sphere of communication. The article is aimed at studying the objective and subjective reasons for legal and linguistic uncertainty of legislative terms and legislative norms; analysing the conditions under which uncertainty is considered as an attribute of law language and a means of legal regulation or a defective formulating legal rules, falsa leclio. Legal and linguistic uncertainty is considered from different points of view: (a) the dichotomy “clarity/ uncertainty”; (b) the legislative definition; (c) attitude to the system of Russian legislation terms; (d) variability, disambiguate, double-meaning; (e) the basis for procedural decisions (expert assessment, adjustment of the norm of the draft law or the current law, rejection of the draft law). The subjective factors of legal and linguistic uncertainty are analyzed, on the one hand, from the position of professional competencies of law developers and specialists examining laws in different aspects - linguistic, legal, anti-corruption, legal and technical, pedagogical, etc. On the other hand, they are analysed from the point of view of legal and other knowledge of the addressees, those, who interpret the law. The research methodology is traditional for modern Russian studies and legal linguistics: analysis, comparison, deduction, induction, analogy, modeling, as well as contextual, interpretive, systemic, discursive, interdisciplinary, practice-oriented and other approaches. Due to interdisciplinary nature of the research, works on linguistics, jurisprudence, legal linguistics, documents of legislative, judicial, expert practice, texts of Russian (federal) laws, materials from the Dictionary of Terms of Russian Legislation were used. The prospects for the study are outlined: considering legal and linguistic uncertainty in the aspect of creating laws in two or more state languages, orthology, etc.

Russian Language Studies. 2021;19(2):138-154
pages 138-154 views

Diachronic model of the word “official” in the Russian language: semantic features and vectors of development

Zavarzina G.A.


The relevance of this article is determined by the demand for the stereotype of a civil servant in Russian public communication and the need for its regular research in order to form an objective public opinion and determine the dynamics of social processes. The purpose of the research was to identify and describe the changes in terms of the content of the language sign “official” in the Russian language in Pre-Soviet, Soviet and modern periods. The methods of synchronous, diachronic, component, lexicographic and contextual analysis are used in the paper. The study was carried out on the material of lexicographic sources and modern mass media discourse on government administration. For the first time, the main vectors for developing semantics of the key lexical unit of the administrative language in the modern period were identified and described. The changes were caused by the destruction of ideologized subject-conceptual semes of the Soviet era; by the expansion of paradigmatic and syntagmatic ties, reflecting the disappearance of geo-conditioned characteristics and consolidating the features of the hierarchy of the modern management, as well as by the actualization and unification of the verbal sign. It is concluded that, in terms of the semantics of the studied verbal signs, there is a traditionally stable pejorative-evaluative emotiveness due to the sociocultural context which is reflected in associative characteristics - stimuli indicating human weaknesses associated primarily with violated moral and ethical norms. The prospects of the research are seen in continuing the synchronous-diachronic study of the most important for the modern Russian language verbal signs “official”, “manager”, “bureaucrat”, “functionary” in the lexical-semantic field “bureaucracy”, which is actively developing, and in using the proposed methods of analysis to study other subsystems of the Russian language.

Russian Language Studies. 2021;19(2):155-166
pages 155-166 views

Models of rhetorical relations in Russian blogging as an indicator of interlocutors’ information behavior

Shaklein V.M., Kovtunenko I.V.


Russian blog texts are characterized by the fact that the respondent expresses opinions in order to convince the author of the effectiveness of certain ideas that cover his/her private life and professional activities. The respondent presents arguments in favor of his/her opinion, introduces the rationale for it, and at the same time indicates that the point of view previously expressed by the blogger is also relevant in the contextual situation under discussion. Rhetorical relations project conflict-free development of easy communication. As a result, the points of view put forward by the blogger and the respondent complement each other. It turns out that the same situation potentially generates both positive and negative emotions, and this is emphasized in the virtual communication based on the implementation of the phatic function of language. Rhetorical relations within the blog text help to combine different epistemic positions expressed by the interlocutors. In this regard, an urgent problem of linguistic research of Russian blog texts is to determine whether the interlocutors who exchange opinions and assessments form integral models of dialogic communication, based on which means of linking the stimulating and reacting messages are connected. This problem has not yet received proper empirical analysis in Russian studies and general language theory, although its solution, as we believe, contains significant implications for detailing the pragmatic specifics of blog communication. The aim of the study is to implement a structural and pragmatic analysis of rhetorical relations in blog texts, which involves identifying the dominant markers of these relations, their basic model and its variants. The goal stated in the article is realized through the following research methods: (1) the method of observation and interpretation of blogging while analyzing the peculiarities of the linguistic means of implementing connectivity; (2) descriptive-analytical (contextual) method-direct analysis of blog text fragments as a linear sequence; (3) a method for modeling rhetorical cause-and-effect relationships between segments of a single replica and at the level of integral dialogic unity in the blog text. It is concluded that rhetorical relations fix national and cultural stereotypes, which, in turn, determine the material and ideal scope of the degree of relevance of the addressee’s evaluation activity. When implementing such speech actions, the interlocutors take into rigid consideration not only the frequent and dominant cultural scripts of dialogic axiological performance, but also the relevant stereotypes of such activities that are set by the language system. The rhetorical relations between stimulating and reacting messages in the context of computer-mediated communication generate facilitate the processes of decoding the informative and emotional content of the jointly generated text and its implications.

Russian Language Studies. 2021;19(2):167-179
pages 167-179 views

Ethnomethodics and Intercultural Communication

A study of the speech of bilingual children of Russian Germans living in Germany

Licari C., Perotto M.


The article presents the relevant issue of analysing the common features of the “grammar” of Russian as language inherited by the second or third generation of migrant children in Europe and in the world. The novelty of the study is in the fact that it compares the speech of children with different dominant languages and, in particular, studies the speech of a group of children from families of Russian Germans living in Germany under dual language inheritance. Their parents have a very rich migration history, as they are, in turn, also heritage speakers of German, the language, which they spoke in their family. In the present paper, the main task will be to identify the common features determined by the contact between Russian as a heritage language and other languages, especially at morphological and lexical levels. For this purpose, a field research project was conducted at the Learning and Integration Centre “Dialog e. V.” in Reutlingen. The analysis of oral and written works of bilingual children of the last generation of Russian Germans showed not only the common elements of erosion identified in the “heritage grammar”, but also the special linguistic features caused by the transition from German-Russian to Russian-German inheritance. The influence of their parents’ language distinguishes them from other groups of Russian students, emphasizes the importance of studying not only children’s, but also their parents’ speech, as well as teaching standard Russian in the framework of non-formal education.

Russian Language Studies. 2021;19(2):180-190
pages 180-190 views

Teaching Russian in a closely-related Slovak environment

Markova E.M., Kvapil R.


The article discusses features of studying Russian as a foreign language in schools in Slovakia. The relevance of the research is determined by the fact that the new socio-political conditions in which Russian is studied as a second foreign language competing with other languages have brought about changes in the status, goals, motives for study, content, approaches to selecting, grouping and presenting material, the methodological concept of teaching. The aim of the work is to identify the features of teaching Russian as a second foreign language in a closely related Slovak language environment. The authors drew on the method of comparison and collation, the method of application (overlaying fragments of language systems), method of component analysis, method of word-formation analysis, methods of analysis of official statistical, sociolinguistic data. In the course of the study, the data of the State Institute for Education Statistics and Forecasts of the Slovak Republic, the peculiarities of Slovak students’ motivation for learning the Russian language were analyzed, a comparative analysis of the main lexical and grammatical phenomena of the Russian and Slovak languages was carried out. The research resulted in identifying the specifics of Russian as a Slavic language in the status of a second foreign language, the extent of its demand in school practice in Slovakia, reviewing the motives for studying it, and, on the basis of this, developing requirements for selecting, grouping, and studying lexical and grammatical material. The authors see the prospects for teaching the Russian language in Slovakia in combining the system-structural and linguoculturological approaches.

Russian Language Studies. 2021;19(2):191-206
pages 191-206 views

Modern Linguodidactics

Modern principles of developing the subtest “Reading and Use of Language” of the TORFL-II

Erofeeva I.N., Popova T.I.


The article is devoted to the topical problem of modern principles of developing tests of Russian as a foreign language (RFL), taking into account the world experience. The purpose of the article is to summarize the modern principles of language test development and to show how they are implemented in the new tests of Russian as a foreign language. The materials of the article include the research papers of Russian and foreign authors in the sphere of methodology over the past 20 years, as well as modern formats of testing in foreign languages. At the first stage of the study, general scientific methods of generalization, systematization and structuring were used. At the second phase, a new format of the RFL test “Reading and Use of Language” (B2) was modelled, combining language and communication competence testing. At the third stage, an experiment was conducted to test the new format. 48 foreign master students studying the program “Russian Language and Russian Culture in the Aspect of Russian as a Foreign Language” in Saint Petersburg State University took part in the experiment. It was concluded that the modern language test, in accordance with the basic cognitive and communicative principle of learning and control, should be based on the following principles: testing skills in different types of speech activities mainly on the text material; interdependence between the type of the task and the speech genre of the text being created/used in the task; basing on a linguistic and didactic description of the communicative competence level; integrative approach; using different types of test tasks within one subtest; the principle of increasing complexity of tasks; taking into account the complexity of each task in its assessment; task feasibility according to students’ educational level; taking into account the values of the multicultural world; taking into account international experience; basing on reliability and validity criteria of test tasks. These principles implemented in the new TORFL-II subtest format “Reading and Use of Language” are presented in the article. The implementation of modern test principles should ensure that all speech control facilities are systematically allocated to the appropriate level and parameters for their assessment. The above-mentioned principles of test creation and the example of their implementation can be taken as the basis of a full-fledged system of control and measurement materials based on linguistic and didactical descriptions of each level.

Russian Language Studies. 2021;19(2):207-221
pages 207-221 views

Levels of tests of Russian as a foreign language in terms of school age characteristics

Dubinina N.A., Ptiushkin D.V.


The current paper discusses possibilities for school students to successfully pass TORFL-I/B1, TORFL-II/B2 and TORFL-III/C1. The relevance of this article is determined by the fact that despite Russian as a foreign (second) language has been taught within the framework of the TORFL system for more than two decades, there is a shortage of methodological material aimed at preparing school students for TORFL. In addition, the issue of choosing the level of testing in accordance with the level of Russian language proficiency and taking into account age specifics is not sufficiently covered in Russian academic literature. The aim of this paper is to define age reference marks for school students who plan to pass TORFL. The materials to review and analyse were the works of Russian and foreign researchers in the field of foreign (second) language proficiency, language development of children and adolescents, assessment of school students’ communicative competence, language assessment, and correlation of these data with the requirements for completing tasks of the TORFL-I/B1, TORFL-II/B2, TORFL-III/C1 “Writing” subtests selected as an example. The paper has resulted in providing recommendations on the choice of examination level for senior and junior school students, within the framework of TORFL-I/B1, TORFL-II/B2, TORFL-III/C1, which can also be used in the development of training courses in Russian as a foreign language for schools. The authors concluded that there is need to develop a new methodological area in testing of Russian as a foreign language system capable to provide guidelines and recommendations for preparing school students for examinations, and designing TORFL training courses and teaching materials according to the school students’ age.

Russian Language Studies. 2021;19(2):222-234
pages 222-234 views

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