Concepts SPIRIT and SOUL in Linguo-Semiotics of Theatricl Art


The study is devoted to the problem of the correlation of linguistic and extralinguistic operations in the creative workshop of an outstanding linguistic persona, the successor of the realistic traditions of Russian and world theater, the great reformer of theatrical art, actor, director, teacher, theatrical thinker K.S. Stanislavsky. We chose the iconic sign-words of his “system” - spirit and soul - for analysis in all the versatility of their meaning considered in compliance with the semiotic and semantic theory of L.A. Novikov. The study searches for the code content of words in the system and provides the practice of their use by K.S. Stanislavsky, conditioned, firstly, by censorship (an extralinguistic factor), secondly, by the lexicographic practice, and thirdly, by the author’s attitude to the value of the word-sign in the process of its sigmatic actual use. The analysis of the semantic structure of the words spirit and soul (as well as some of their derivatives) in the semiotics of theatrical language is based on the description of these constants as words of the cultural code, as signs of the Russian mentality based on the theory of external, internal sign and the meaning which makes it possible to correlate the word and image. In the paper we pay much attention to the characterization of the lexemes spirit and soul as pragmemes from the point of the value core contained in them. The paper describes the occurring and development of evaluative connotations in the lexemes spirit and soul as part of the concepts developing; the study makes attempts to prove the preferred use in the complex genre of presentation of the “system” by K.S. Stanislavsky. The study is based on a large empirical material collected from the works of K.S. Stanislavsky - “My life in art”, “The work of an actor on himself” (with various additions and various developments of the subject), which illustrates the multidimensionality and multilayeredness of the concepts of spirit and soul , as well as illustrates the values of the phraseological environment, their symbolic nature in the system of theatrical language, and therefore, the language of theatrical art, their relationship and, on the contrary, “rejection” from each other.

About the authors

Tatyana V. Markelova

Institute of Modern Arts

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4400-6175

Dr.Sc. (Philology), Professor, Professor of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications

Nikolay V. Popkov (Glinsky)

Institute of Modern Arts

Senior Lecturer of the Department of Theater Arts


  1. Kolesov, V.V. (2007). Russian mentality in language and text. St. Petersburg: Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie. (In Russ.).
  2. Stepanov, Yu.S. (2001). Constants: Dictionary of Russian Culture. Moscow: Academic Project. (In Russ.).
  3. Tovstonogov, G.A. (2003). The word of G.A. Tovstonogov. In: Vinogradskaya, I.N. The life and work of K.S. Stanislavsky: Chronicle: In 4 vols.: 1863–1938. Moscow: Moskovskiy Khudozhestvennyy teatr. Vol. 1. 1863–1905. (In Russ.).
  4. Novikov, L.A. (2001). Selected works. In 2 vols. Vol. 1. Problems of linguistic meaning. Moscow: RUDN publ. (In Russ.).
  5. Smelyansky, A.M. (2001). Profession — artist. Moscow: Iskusstvo. Vol. 2. h.1. 511 p. (In Russ.).
  6. Sepir, E. (1993). Selected works on linguistic and cultural studies. Moscow: Progress: Univers. (In Russ.).
  7. Karasik, V.I. (2010). Linguistic crystallization of meaning. Moscow: Gnosis. (In Russ.).
  8. Dyck, T.A. van (1989). Language. Cognition. Communication. Moscow: Progress. (In Russ.).
  9. Arutyunova, N.D. (1999). The language and the human world. Moscow: Languages of Russian culture. (In Russ.).
  10. Wierzbicka, A. (1991). Cross-Cultural Pragmatics: The Semantics of Human Interaction. Mounton; Berlin; New York.
  11. Antropova, V.V. (2021). The sphere of concept “spirituality” in journalistic discourse: features of representation [dissertation]. Yekaterinburg. (In Russ.).
  12. Shmelev, A.D. (2005). Spirit, soul and body in the light of the data of the Russian language (pp. 133–153), The Breadth of the Russian soul (pp. 51–64). In: Zaliznyak, A.A. et al. Key ideas of the Russian language picture of the world: Collection of Art. Moscow: Languages of Slavic culture. (In Russ.).
  13. Berdyaev, N.A. (1991). Self-consciousness. Leningrad. (In Russ.).
  14. Ilyin, I.A. (1996–1997). Collected works in 10 vols. Vol. 6. in 3 books. Moscow: Russkaya kniga. (In Russ.).
  15. Stanislavsky, K.S. (1988–1999). Collected works: In 9 volumes. Moscow: Iskusstvo. (In Russ.).
  16. Efremov, O.N. (2011). The real builder of the theater. Moscow. pp.17–18. (In Russ.).
  17. Stanislavsky, K.S. (1990). Collected works: In 9 volumes. Vol. 3. The actor’s work on himself. Part 2: Work on himself in the creative process of embodiment. Moscow: Iskusstvo. (In Russ.).
  18. Nemirovich-Danchenko, V.I. (1979). Selected letters: In 2 vol. Vol. 1. 1879–1909. Moscow: Iskusstvo. (In Russ.).
  19. Stanislavsky, K.S. (1989). Collected works: In 9 volumes. Vol. 2. The actor’s work on himself. Part 1: Work on himself in the creative process of experiencing: The diary of a student. Moscow: Iskusstvo. (In Russ.).
  20. Explanatory dictionary of the Russian language: in 4 volumes, D.N. Ushakov (Ed.). (2000). Moscow: Astrel, AST. (In Russ.).
  21. Stanislavsky, K.S. (1988). Collected works: In 9 volumes. Vol. 1. Moscow: Iskusstvo. (In Russ.).
  22. Novikov, L.A. (2003). Semiotics as the science of sign systems and general linguistics Russian Journal of Linguistics, 5, 21–35. (In Russ.).
  23. Dal, V.I. (1989). Explanatory dictionary of the living Great Russian language. Vol. 1. Moscow: Russkiy yazyk. pp. 504–505. (In Russ.).
  24. Ozhegov, S.I. & Shvedova, N.Y. (1998). Explanatory dictionary of the Russian language. Moscow: Azbukovnik. (In Russ.).
  25. Savina, A.P. (2014). Pragmema as a unit of evaluative vocabulary. RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics, 1, 29–39. (In Russ.).
  26. Stanislavsky, K.S. (1991). Collected works: In 9 volumes. Vol. 4. The actor’s work on the role: Materials for the book. Moscow: Iskusstvo. (In Russ.).
  27. Stanislavsky, K.S. (1954). The actor’s work on himself. Vol. 2. Part 1. Work on yourself in the creative process of experiencing. Diary of a student. Moscow: Iskusstvo. (In Russ.).
  28. The newest large explanatory dictionary of the Russian language (2008). S.A. Kuznetsov (Ed.). St. Petersburg: Norint. (In Russ.).
  29. Markelova, T.V. (2013). Pragmatics and semantics of evaluation means in the Russian language. Moscow: MGUP im. Ivana Fedorova. (In Russ.).
  30. Markelova, T.V. & Petrushina, M.V. (2019). Evaluative statements in the communicative space of the Russian language. Moscow: Institute of Contemporary Art. (In Russ.).
  31. Stanislavsky, K.S. (1999). Collected works: In 9 volumes. Vol. 9. Letters: 1918–1938. Moscow: Iskusstvo. (In Russ.).
  32. Abramov, N. (1994). Dictionary of Russian synonyms and expressions similar in meaning. Moscow: Russkie slovari. (In Russ.).

Copyright (c) 2022 Markelova T.V., Popkov (Glinsky) N.V.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies