Integrating Role of the Conception of Language Personality in the Development of the Theory of Language

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The article discusses the psycholinguistic explication of the phenomenon of the Russian language personality (RLP) on the experimentally obtained associative-verbal-network (AVN) model at the end of the XXth century and the methodological contribution of the RLP conception, proposed by Yu.N. Karaulov, to the development of a general theory of language. As a human-species-specific universal, LP can be studied within an interdisciplinary approach which suggests a complementary synthesis of the latest methodological and factological achievements in different branches of human sciences. All the facets of language functioning (systemic-structural, historical-cultural, psychological, and socio-communicative), that were highlighted earlier by Yu.N. Karaulov, are subject of interdisciplinary consideration, integrated within the conception of LP. Thus, conditions are created for a complementary use of the structural theory of language (whereby the language is viewed as an external object ) and a current theory of language within a person . Network approaches, widely used in a number of human sciences, help to identify different aspects of human formation. Yu.N. Karaulov proved that LP can be explicated only as a culturally-specific variety on the AVN model. This allows the author of the article to refer to the notion of intentional personality , that has been proposed by ethnologists and cultural anthropologists for their studies of the motivational aspects in socio-communicative interactions within a single cultural community. The author finds it appropriate to extrapolate the concept intentionality to the LP as a sense-generating and sense-organizing entity setting more-or-less flexible systematic stability to the person’s internal image of the world and projecting this, often illogically organized, systematicity to the AVN. The advantages of using AVN model, in contrast to other network approaches, consist in its being capable to reflect the dominant socio-communicative attitudes which developed spontaneously by a natural order of emergence as the result of socialization of the studied community members. The author proceeds from an assumption about semantic accentuations of the LP as the units of analysis which are represented by fluctuations of associative dominants at the macrostructure and microlevels of the AVN; the empirical findings collected in the AVN may be regarded as initial data encouraging investigators to build hypotheses about the psychodynamic processes reflecting variability in socio-communicative environment. The range of fluctuations of the associative dominants at the turn of the century is shown as the statistic dimensions of the RLP in the network from the newest Russian regional associative database СИБАС1 [2008-2013] and СИБАС2 [2014-2020] in comparison with the Russian associative thesaurus (RAS) previously obtained by Russian psycholinguists, with Yu.N. Karaulov’s active participation, in the years of perestroika [1988-1997].

About the authors

Irina V. Shaposhnikova

Institute of Philology of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3519-1209

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor, Chief Researcher

8, St. Nikolayeva, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation, 630090


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