Языковое бытие человека и этноса: когнитивный и психолингвистический аспекты. Материалы Международной школы-семинара (VI Березинские чтения)
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.
A joint research project carried out by an interdisciplinary group of Russian and Swedish linguists, sociologists and educators-psychologists (the Swedish Institute grant), besides solving pragmatic tasks of finding out relative quantitative-qualitative specificity of national cognitive representations of values, first of all, had methodological goals. They were to check the efficiency of the linguistic methods developed in this study (and, thus, to prove the theoretical ideas that served the basis for it) of getting factual data that allow reconstructing and comparing of the corresponding areas of cognitive representations.
The paper is focused on the study of reaction of italian literature critics on the publication of the Boris Pasternak's novel "Doctor Jivago". The analysys of the book ""Doctor Jivago", Pasternak, 1958, Italy" (published in Russian language in "Reka vremen", 2012, in Moscow) is given. The papers of italian writers, critics and historians of literature, who reacted immediately upon the publication of the novel (A. Moravia, I. Calvino, F.Fortini, C. Cassola, C. Salinari ecc.) are studied and analised.
The Incongruity Theory of Humor in its different forms states that the cause of laughter is the perception of something that violates our mental patterns and expectations. It seems particularly true of comic absurdity which is based on a deadpan violation of established norms of logic and convention. The current paper explores linguistic mechanisms that underlie the comic effects in the works of Mikhail Zoshchenko, one of the great satirists of Soviet Russia. Zoshchenko is well-known for his simplified writing style which imitates the language and mentality of “the simple people” while at the same time mocking the nascent Soviet officialdom and its demands for the popular accessibility of art. The paper considers Zoshchenko’s narrative through the prism of conventional implicatures (Grice 1961, Karttunen and Peters 1979, Horn 2004, Potts 2005, 2007), or meanings that are not directly stated in the utterances, but implied by the speaker; e.g. Even John solved the problem implies that it was it was not expected of John to solve it. In successful communication, implicit meanings form the shared background of conversational partners; violation of these shared norms may be used to create comical effect. One of the most conventionalized societal norms and one Zoshchenko most frequently violates is the value of human life and, hence, solemn attitude to death. The narrator in Zoshchenko’s stories repeatedly implies otherwise, thus creating a comical portrait of the mentality of Homo Soveticus. Consider a quote from “The story about a greedy dairy woman”: “So, her husband died. At first she probably took it lightly. - A-a, she thought – no big deal… But then she realized – yes, this is a big deal!... Eligible bachelors are not running around in bunches. And then, of course, she started grieving” (shift in emphasis; the cause for grief is not the husband’s death but its inconvenience for the surviving wife). The story “A restless old man” (about an old man who lives in a communal flat and falls into lethargic stupor taken by his family and neighbors for death and then after waking up really dies) is based on violating the same conventional implicature. Throughout the story the narrator implicitly creates the image of death as an inconvenient occurrence and of a deceased person as an unwanted piece of waste. The harshly comic effect is achieved by implicatures about the shallow emotional impact of death (“And then of course there is aggravation: because the room is small and here is a superfluous element”, “If my husband, this surviving idiot, ordered the hearse right away, then the wait for it would have only been three days”; “The summoned doctor reassured everybody that now the old man is bona fide dead”); by violation of semantic compatibility rules whereby the seemingly dead old man is alternately referred to as an animate being (“The dead man is lying and demanding the last tribute to be paid to him”, “The babysitter is afraid to be in the room where a dead person is living”) or inanimate object (“There is so little space that there is even nowhere to pile up the old man”; “I am going to pile him up in the hall, let him wait for the hearse there”).
In the article the patterns of the realization of emotional utterances in dialogic and monologic speech are described. The author pays special attention to the characteristic features of the speech of a speaker feeling psychic tension and to the compositional-pragmatic peculiarities of dialogic and monologic text.