Варшавские мелодии. Сборник научных статей, посвященных 80-летию профессора кафедры английской филологии и лингвокультурологии СПбГУ А.И. Варшавской
The results of the interrogative psycholinguistic experiment described in this article is part of a broader research of how soci-ocultural knowledge influences communication in the Internet discussions by readers of American press. The experiment allows obtaining a complex model of positively/negatively evaluated events in the American society, paying special attention to the value-evaluation component. This model can further be a basis for explanation of the communicative strategies of argumentation and manipulation used in verbal description of events. The type of sociocultural mental structures described in the article is viewed as a dynamic cognitive gestalt that can be potentially split into a number of parameters, but is not reducible to their sum, which is characterized by both individual existence in the mind of a native speaker and distributed existence in a sociocultural community as an abstract social invariant. The article discusses advantages of psycholinguistic approach to modeling the fragments of this background knowledge compared to using exclusively introspective text analysis, as it allows to separate methodologically the research of mental structures and particular instances of verbal communication that are based on those structures and gives an opportunity to avoid the vicious circle of studying communicative strategies used in the text exclusively modeled from the same text material.
The paper discusses sociolinguistic implementations of statistical analysis of the spoken subcorpus of the Russian National Corpus. Given the considerable size of the corpus (about 10 mln tokens), an analysis of co-variation of various linguistic parameters with one of the few sociolinguistic parameters available – the speaker’s gender – may give rich and interesting results. One specific example of co-variation is considered in detail: the mean length of the utterance (in tokens). Comparing this parameter in public communication shows statistically significant difference between the speech of men and women (men talk more), while the same difference is absent in private communication. Another important parameter is the gender of the addressee. Again, co-variation is quite different in public and private discourse. In private communication, the utterances are longer when addressing someone of the same sex, the difference between men and women is not statistically significant. In public communication, the utterances are longer when addressing a woman, whether the speaker herself is a man or woman. These conclusions are consistent with the results of sociolinguistic gender studies obtained elsewhere and by other methods. Linguistic difference between men and women are not absolute but depend on the communicative situation (public vs. private). Public discourse is a playground for linguistic competition in which men are the winning party. In private discourse, competition dissolves.