Vol 21, No 1 (2023): Functional description of the modern Russian language

Key Issues of Russian Language Research

Speech acts and Russian text-generating discourse

Abdelhamid S.A., Alefirenko N.F., Chumak-Zhun I.I.


The relevance of the study is determined by the hidden turbulence of such concepts often used in Russian studies as “speech activity”, “speech acts” and “discourse”. The aim of the work is to determine the genetic connections of this trinity and the functional purpose of each of the categories under consideration. The main research means is the authors’ method of discursive-modus analysis of artistic speech. The research materials were dictionary definitions from explanatory dictionaries of the Russian language, in particular from “Dictionary of expressive stable phrases of the Russian language” compiled by V.Ju. Melikyan, as well as utterances extracted from the Russian National Corpus. The authors found that the communicative-speech act is a synergistic combination of mental-psychic and speech activity. Mental-psychic activity involves mental acts - the thought processes of the communicant at the moment of his locative readiness to make a statement and psychic activity of searching for adequate ways to reflect a communicatively significant event in the discursive consciousness of the communicants. Mental-psychic activity encodes and decodes the semantic content of the author's intentions with the help of the means of the language system. Speech activity produces speech acts - functional units of speech communication embodying a purposeful speech action. In conclusion, the categorical essence of the speech act and discourse are generalized. The perspective of the research is the development of a cognitive-pragmatic theory of speech-thinking activity based on the material of the Russian language.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(1):7-17
pages 7-17 views

Russian lexical and syntactic hedges in dissertation reviews

Boginskaya O.A.


The author analyzes Russian lexical and syntactic hedges as a rhetorical strategy for mitigating the negative evaluation of the reviewed research. The relevance of the study is due to the ongoing attempts to reconceptualize the nature of academic discourse, which is increasingly viewed both as an interactive space and an information environment. This approach determines the need to study metadiscourse as an effective strategy for constructing a harmonious dialogue between the reviewer and the author of the dissertation under review. The purpose of the study is to identify lexical and grammatical categories of hedges and their rhetorical functions in the thesis reviews. A corpus of 90 dissertation reviews published on the websites of Russian dissertation councils in 2019-2022 was used as research materials. The object of the study was the genre of a dissertation review, where for the first time the linguistic means of mitigating negative evaluation on two linguistic levels were identified. This determines the scientific novelty of this study. To analyze the lexical and syntactic realizations of the hedging strategy, the methods of quantitative and interpretive analysis were used. The quantitative analysis revealed that the hedging strategy is mainly verbalized with the help of verbs, adverbs and introductory constructions. The interpretive analysis showed that hedges perform a wide range of communicative functions: shifting the communicative focus; modal mitigation of criticism; deintensification. The research contributes to linguistics disciplines such as pragmalinguistics, text theory and discourse analysis. The prospects of the research are an analysis of lexical and grammatical categories of other metadiscursive strategies.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(1):18-32
pages 18-32 views

Sebe and vpolne sebe: semantics, pragmatics, functions

Vorkachev S.G.


Linguists are particularly interested in observing lexical units, reflecting the picture of the world of a modern person. It allows to visually study fashionable words and expressions as indicators of the linguistic taste of the era. The relevance of the research is due to the need to study the trends in using colloquial lexical units as markers of cognitive and social development of personality at the present stage. The aim is to characterize the functions and pragmasemantic meanings of the particle sebe (to oneself) and the set expression vpolne sebe (quite) in modern Russian linguistic culture. The material was taken from the explanatory dictionaries of the Russian language and examples from the National Corpus of the Russian Language. The author used the methods of continuous sampling, contextual and interpretive analysis, elements of quantitative analysis, and semantic analysis of dictionary definitions. It was found that quite often the freedom and independence of actions of the statement protagonist, conveyed by this particle, his autonomy and sovereignty receive negative assessment of the subject of speech: they are considered as indifference to others, disregard for ethical norms and norms of social life and they are condemned, and this assessment is emphasized by the presence in the statement of the particle sebe (oneself). It was determined that the increase in the activity of the particle sebe (oneself) in modern speech is associated with changes in the modal type of the Russian personality. The semantic core, which focuses the basic meanings of the set expression vpolne sebe (quite), is concentrated in the lexeme vpolne (quite), while pragmatic meanings remain in the particle sebe (oneself). The author revealed that the main communicative purpose of the expression vpolne sebe (quite) is the function of taking off the responsibility for the statement's content, singling out the object of speech and identifying the speaker with the social group which is elite in his perception. Being a fashionable expression, the phrase is nowadays actively used in Runet, penetrates into public speech, reaches the peak of its popularity and then may give way to new indicators of linguistic fashion.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(1):33-48
pages 33-48 views

Functional paradigm in Russian studies: from the functioning of units to the regulatory concept of language

Dorofeev Y.V., Zhuravleva E.A.


Today the Russian language has gone beyond Russia and forms the planetary Russian-speaking world, so Russian language studies, whose subject matter is traditionally considered the literary form of the language, seeks to reach a new level of comprehension of both the language and individual facts. The relevance of the study is due to the fact that at the present stage ideas of synthesis come to the fore in linguistics, there are tendencies to develop a theory of language integrating the latest achievements of different areas of linguistics on a single basis. In accordance with this, the aim of the research is to compare the regulative concept of language in the works of A.N. Rudyakov with the works of other linguists in order to establish the key features and principles of a new linguistic paradigm and define language as a regulatory system based on linguistic functionalism. Deductive, analytical-theoretical and modeling methods describe the current state of the scientific linguistic paradigm and general linguistic problems associated with the concepts under study. The key features of the modern scientific linguistic paradigm are established, since without defining theoretical guidelines, modern language science loses its practical value. As a result, the authors substantiated that the new paradigm is not only an appeal to new material and new research methods, but the creation of a fundamentally new theory that will take into account the role of language in society, its ontological, functional essence. Based on the definition of the key features of the functional approach to the language and its units, the authors demonstrate that linguistics not only borders on other sciences, but is in some way an integral part of them, the basis of the human Universe. In the future, the presented material allows us to see that the change of the scientific paradigm, despite the objective difficulties, today is a prerequisite for the further development of linguistics. It also outlines a range of theoretical and practical tasks that modern linguistics faces and which can be solved within the framework of a new paradigm.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(1):49-63
pages 49-63 views

Aspect and tense forms of the Russian verb in describing the kinesic behaviour of the characters in A.P. Chekhov’s stories

Liu X., Xu M., Talybina E.V.


Non-verbal semiotics is one of the leading areas of modern communication research. The study is devoted to the topical interdisciplinary issue - the relationship between non-verbal semiotics and Russian grammar. The aim of the research is to characterize the representation of the temporal forms of the Russian verb in describing the kinesic behaviour of literary characters. The elements of nonverbal semiotics were analysed in the stories by A.P. Chekhov “Death of an Official”, “Chameleon”, “Thick and Thin”, “Horse Name”, “Surgery”. The following methods were used as the main ones: descriptive, semantic explication, differential, analytical. The methodological foundations of kinesics as an integrative science were considered, the correlation between the verbal realization of kinema and the temporal forms of the Russian verb was revealed. It has been proved that the most recurrent manifestations of non-verbal semiotics in Chekhov's stories are communicative emblems (in particular, etiquette and ritual), symptomatic emblems and dynamic descriptors, nominated with the help of aspect and tense forms of the Russian verb. Emblems-illustrators are quantitatively less represented in the analyzed stories. They are prospective for further research on the example of Russian literary classics.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(1):64-78
pages 64-78 views

The paradigmatics of a compound abbreviation as a means of predicting equivalence relations

Terkulov V.I.


The author describes the methods of finding and predicting compound word correlates in its equivalence nest on the basis of paradigmatic relations between the abbreviation and its decoding stimuli. The relevance of the study is determined by the fact that it established the principles of dictionary entries formation for the Exploratory Dictionary of Russian Word Abbreviations compiled by Exploratory Laboratory of Abbreviation Trends Research at the Russian Language Department of Donetsk National University. The paper gives general idea of the multiple motivation possibilities of abbreviated words in the modern language. The aim of the study is to generally represent the dictionary methods of finding and predicting the content of compound abbreviation equivalence nests. The author considered pure search models in existing dictionaries of abbreviations and texts, where abbreviations and their equivalents are presented as absolute synonyms, as well as extrapolation prediction methods by decoding matrices models of word equivalence nests, connected with the described abbreviations and their decoding stimuli through their paradigmatic relations. The latter led to forming compound abbreviations paradigmatic associations typology, including an abbreviation nest, an abbreviation-onomasiologic field, an abbreviation group and an abbreviation paradigm. The novelty of the study has been determined by the fact that for the first it provides a set of methods for finding and predicting the equivalence nest of abbreviated words; the methodology of the obtained results verification is also described. The results have provided the possibility of a full-fledged comprehensive dictionary description of compound abbreviated appellatives. In the future, the author is planning to develop methods of searching for equivalents of other formal onomasicologic abbreviation types - initial abbreviations and onym compound abbreviations.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(1):79-96
pages 79-96 views

Cultural Linguistics: Theoretical and Applied Aspects

Axiology of power in the Russian language and culture

Karasik V.I., Kitanina E.A.


The relevance of linguocultural modeling of power is due to the high importance of this phenomenon in institutional and personal communication and the multidimensionality of its evaluative characteristics. The aim of the study is to identify and describe linguistically relevant norms of behavior encoded in the concept of “power”. The data from dictionaries and reference books, examples from the National Corpus of the Russian Language, poetic and prose texts in Russian were used as material for the analysis. Methods of semantic, contextual, interpretative and associative analysis were applied. It has been established that power in the conceptual plane represents coercion and includes: (1) the condition (force, authority, tradition or law); (2) struggle for getting and keeping power; (3) manifestation of power (persons or organizations vested with power, the sphere of power application and the degree of coercion); (4) power assessment (fair/unfair, cruel/merciful, effective/ineffective). In figurative terms, the situational characteristics of power manifestation, verbalized in texts and reactions of the informants, were highlighted. The conceptualization of power is discursively specific. The authors revealed that the most vivid situational characteristics of power implementation in relation to its representatives are noted in journalistic texts. In fiction texts (mainly in poetry), power is shown as an irresistible force. In evaluative terms, it is possible to identify norms of behavior associated with the understanding of power - its acceptance as the most important condition of social order and condemnation of excessive striving for power and its abuse. These norms expressed in proverbs, jokes and aphorisms largely coincide, differing in that proverbs recommend to stay away from power, jokes sharply criticize corruption in power, aphorisms give a holistic picture of the proper behavior of the power holders and their subordinates. Prospects for the study consist in defining linguistically relevant personal typological evaluations of power.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(1):97-110
pages 97-110 views

Methods of Teaching Russian as a Native, Non-Native, Foreign Language

Teaching Russian to foreign master’s students of non-humanitarian profile in modern educational conditions

Pugachev I.A., Iarkina L.P., Din T.T.


The relevance of the study is due to the lack of a methodological concept and training program for foreigners entering the Russian magistracy after completing bachelor's degree in their home country. As a rule, these students are not well-trained in Russian. This negatively influences the formation of their professional and communicative skills and abilities necessary for mastering the subject competence in the university. The aim of the study is to propose a methodology of professional language education of foreign non-humanitarian undergraduates in the conditions of linguistic educational situation with reduced teaching time, weak general language preparation of students and/or lack of understanding of the language of the specialty. The authors used the methods of direct and indirect observation of teaching and communicative activity of undergraduates while studying the teaching material according to the proposed methodology, accompanied with the analysis, fixation, description and generalization of accompanying changes, as well as the analysis of students’ communicative needs and mistakes. The research is based on practice of teaching scientific speech to non-philological first-year bachelor and master foreign students of the Academy of Engineering, Institute of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Science of RUDN University, and also conducting entrance, intermediate and final tests. As a result of the research, the teaching program with the system of text and lexical-grammatical tasks for both classroom and independent work adapted for the students, was developed. The given technology allows to form and improve not only linguistic but also cognitive and metacognitive skills of undergraduates, extending possibilities of self-education, abilities to take independent decisions. It seems promising to use the obtained results to create a full-fledged textbook on scientific speech not only for undergraduates, but also for PhD students who have completed the previous stage of professional training in their home country.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(1):111-125
pages 111-125 views

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