Lingvosemiotic Characteristics Of Relation In Kalmyk, Russian And English Language Consciousness


In modern linguistics a study of cultural concepts can be viewed from different perspectives. In cognitive linguistics, the concept is interpreted as a unit of operational consciousness, reflection of the content of knowledge, experience, the result of all human activity in the form of certain units,. In linguoculturology, the concept is considered as a complex mental formation. The linguo-semiotic description of the linguo-cultural concept implies the description of its three components. The emblematic description of the concept is aimed at its identification; it is manifested in its verbal designation. The symbolic description of the concept lies in its signality and interpretative depth. In this article, the emblematic features of the linguistic-cultural concept "kinship" are considered on the material of culturally marked lexico-phraseological units of the Kalmyk, Russian and English languages. The study showed that this concept has different semantic content. In the Kalmyk language, the emblematic evaluation is given to the designations of relatives on the paternal and maternal lines. In the Russian and English languages, the emblem of kinship is noted in the metaphorical manifestation of this phenomenon in dialect and slang vocabulary. The allegory of the concept is manifested in everyday Proverbs and sayings. The study of the allegorical embodiment of this concept has shown that in the Kalmyk linguistic culture mainly positive assessment of the related model prevails, while in the Russian and English linguistic cultures dual interpretation is allowed. Symbolic characteristics of kinship are reduced to the values of unity, family hearth and kinship duty.

Keywords: Cultural linguisticsconceptsemiotic characteristicskinship


In modern linguistics the study of cultural concepts is conducted in several scientific areas.

From the perspective of linguocognitivistics concept is a unit of "mental or mental resources of our consciousness and the information structure that reflects the knowledge and experience of man; operational meaningful unit of memory, mental lexicon, conceptual system and language of the brain (lingua mentalis), the whole picture of the world, reflected in the human psyche" (Kubryakova, 1996, p. 38). The concept is understood as a substitute for the concept, as a "hint at a possible meaning" (Likhachev, 1997), as an individual experience in contrast to the collective.

From the perspective of psycholinguistics the concept is considered as an integral and inseparable part of the image of the world, corresponding to the meaning of the word, which can exist only in the individual consciousness, and is formed in the process of perception of the world under the influence of language, thinking and culture. In the psycholinguistic understanding, attention is paid not so much to the conceptual content as to the totality of knowledge and ideas about concrete-figurative (for example, auditory, visual) elements in the human psyche.

From the perspective of linguo-Culturology a concept is a fundamental category of culture. Stepanov (2001) notes that "the structure of the concept includes everything that makes it a fact of culture – the original form (etymology); history compressed to the main features of the content; modern associations; estimates" (p. 54).

From the perspective of linguisitic is considered the iconic essence of the concept, "presentation of the conceptual, figurative and value dimension quantum experience knowledge in the form of sequential complexity of encoded information" (Karasik, 2015, p. 6).

Problem Statement

The work is based on the following hypothesis.

Linguistic and cultural concept the concept of "kinship" in many languages is one of the most important multidimensional entities. This concept can be called a universal conceptual category, but a meaningful structure of the observed ethnic-specific characteristics, receiving a special reflection in the language.

Linguistic and semiotic approach to the study of the cultural concept in the language consciousness and communicative behavior involves the description of its emblematic, allegoric and symbolic characteristics.

The emblematic manifestation of this concept is considered on the material of the marked lexical and phraseological units and their genre and stylistic features as well as culturally and socially determined behavioral manifestations.

The allegorical interpretation of this phenomenon is implemented in its expanded metaphorical interpretation on the material of everyday Proverbs and sayings.

A symbolic description of the concept lies in its signification, interpretative depth. The symbolic description of the characteristics revealed in the artistic discourse.

Research Questions

Research of emblematic, allegoric and symbolic signs of концепта a “relation” over in compared lingvocultures brought to the next conclusions.

In the Kalmuck language the designation of patrilineal and matrilineal connections seems to be representative. Relatives on the line of father are named by ‘ тѳрл ’ and ‘ тохм’ . The relatives of seven generations are included in “тѳрлмүд”. Four first generations are ‘ өөрх төрл ’ [close relatives], next generations are ‘хол төрл’ [distant relatives]. Every generation of ‘ тѳрл ’ has the names. The nearest relatives ‘ үйнр’ are considered are cousins and sisters on the paternal line (Purbeev, 1998).

Cousins call themselves ‘ һал-үй’ , i.e. the generation at the hearth. These relatives included in the related Khotons (a settlement of a few caravans that roamed together). They are successors of family, heirs and successors of the ‘ һулмт-үй ’ [hearth keepers].

Fourth-degree cousins were called ‘ зел-үй’ [generation on a leash – zel (a long rope for tying young animals)]. They included were great-grandchildren of brothers who lived independently, but their cattle were kept with the previous ‘ һал-үй ’. All the young of livestock generation ‘ зел-үй’ and ‘ һал-үй ’ tied to a common leash – green.

Fifth-degree cousins called ‘ әәл үй’ [the generation of auls]. They lived in Khotons (auls) of their relatives. It is believed that әәл үй took an intermediate position between close and distant relatives. To distant relatives (" хол төр ”) treated “ элгн үй is sixth-degree cousins”, “ садн үй is seventh-degree cousins”, “ төрл үй is eight-degree cousins and төрсн үй is ninth-degree cousins.” In contrast to the тѳрл the concept of тохм has a narrower meaning. Relatives on the maternal side are referred to as “ тѳркн is parents, relatives, married women (from the verb “тѳрx, which means to be born”)”.

Among the synonyms denoting the concept of kinship are also the lexemes ‘садн’, ‘элгн’. These synonyms have the most general and neutral characteristics. Emblematism of these lexemes is that they do not indicate the degree of closeness of kinship. To this series belong lexemes denoting as blood and nekrovnymi, direct and indirect kinship, and kinship, belonging and the father and mother, “ цусн садн – blood relation”, “ ѳѳрхн садн is a close relative”, “ хол садн – a distant relative”, “ экин элгн – a cognation relative”, “ эцкин элгн is an agnation relative (Sarangaeva, 2017).

In Russian language the word ‘rodstvennost’[kinship] is understand according to the adjective ‘rodstvennyi’ [kin] as “inherent to relatives; warm and cordial” (to have experience related to feelings anyone, a family lunch) and “similar in its main properties, indications, related by common descent” (related languages, related science; related persons).

The closest synonyms of kinship are the lexemes ‘family’, ‘relatives’. Apresyan (2003) distinguishes such signs as “the degree of proximity of kinship” (the word suggests a close family relationship, relatives may be distant and close), the “degree of intimacy” (as in the case of relatives), “relative abundance of this group of people” (relatives of the subject are generally smaller than Rodney), “the ability to label one person” (the word is relative in contrast to relatives), “the attitude of the speaker to the people” (native implies some kind of anonymity), “the ability to be used in classifying (predicative) status, denoting the attitude of kinship” (missing the word native).

In the English language the idea of kinship is transferred by the lexeme’s ‘kinship’, ‘real kinship’, ‘kinship family’, ‘kinship relationship’, ‘to claim kinship with smb’, ‘spiritual kinship’ (Galperin & Mednikova, 1987). The closest synonyms with the general meaning ‘consanguinity’ are the lexemes ‘kindred’, ‘blood’, with the general meaning ‘parentage’ are the lexemes ‘affiliation’, ‘relationship’, ‘affinity’, ‘propinquity’, with the general meaning ‘genealogy’ are the lexemes ‘connection’, ‘alliance’, ‘family', ‘clanship’, ‘tribalism’ (Roget's Thesaurus of English words and phrases, 2000).

A general emblematic and semantic basis for the three cultures is that for kinship in the languages somatisms are used. For example, the word ‘blood’ is used to mean “kinship, ancestral ties, a common origin”; kalm. нег цуста means ‘consanguineous’, the saying “ѳсрсн цусн, тасрсн махн” [splattered drop of blood] means ‘distant relatives’; rus. ‘Rodnaia svoia krov’ [own blood] means close relatives; eng. “be in one's blood is to be inherited”.

The degree of kinship in the Russian language are described by a somatism ‘knee’ in the meaning of “sort branching generation in the pedigree”: Rus. dial. the first elbow 'next of kin', the second, third knee 'cousins and more distant' Brother in the third lap. Relatives to the seventh knee. To know the pedigree up to the fourth knee. Category of kinship in Russian and English languages is expressed by the lexeme “flesh”: eng. “one single flesh”, eng. “flesh and blood.” In Russian, the concept of affinity is expressed by the words ‘seed’ (the seed of the tribe (the offspring), “lived” (dial. Kargopol. lived 'family, clan': That such a merchant lived over) (Stout, 2009).

Allegorical understanding of concepts is evident in Proverbs and sayings. Kalmyk, Russian and English paremii about affinity include a significant number of images that reflect the specific vision of the world.

In the linguistic cultural concept ‘kinshi’" is correlated with the image of a tree, symbolizing support, unity, safety: садта күн җирhдг, салата модн бүрчлдг – “a man with numerous relatives thrives, the tree is densely branched forks”, садта күн – салата модн – “a man with numerous relatives that green tree”, “ салата модн бүрчлдг, садта күн ѳгтмндг – a luxuriantly branching tree, a man whose many relatives, behaving arrogantly" (Todeva, 2007, p. 31) Rus ; "the tree holds roots, and the man of the family", "a man without a family, a tree without fruit" (Dahl, 2005). In the English language through phytomorphs ‘bark’ and ‘tree’ the prohibition on intervention in a family matter is expressed: “put not your hand between the bark and the tree” (Vasiliev, 2004).

In the Kalmyk language, the concept of affinity allegorically contrasted with sand: “ элсн yлyддг, элгн yлyддго – sand may be unnecessary, and relatives”, “ элгн ацан болдго, элсн кезәд чигн ацан – pogov. relatives are never a burden, sand – always unnecessary burden". In this proverb the token ‘ элгн’ [relative] and ‘ элсн’ [sand] have audible similarities. For expressiveness and figurativeness of thinking is used as a stylistic device "paronomasia attraction, or paronomasia" (from para "beside" and onomazo "call) – contextual semantic convergence of unrelated but phonetically similar words (Sarangadeva, 2017).

Older relatives (brothers, grandparents) as the most authoritative group compared with the detail of the clothes – collar: kalm. “ күн ахта, девл захта – man – older relatives, the fur collar (the Mongolian equivalent of " хун ахтай, дэгэл захтай – man – older relatives, the main fur – collar’). The allegory is obvious: the high status of the older compared with the location of the collar at the top of the clothes. The beliefs of the Kalmyks, the collar (Dell) was considered a symbol of vitality of a person (“ки мѳрн”), especially men (Bordzhanova, 1999). There are certain rules and prohibitions relative to the collar. For example, the Kalmyks were allowed to step on the collar, cut it with scissors, hang the clothes with the collar down. It was considered dangerous for the owner of the clothes (Dzhagdaeva, 2018).

The presence of kinship is obligatory for the Russian people: “what counts is that we be considered? Your numbered". However, in some Proverbs and sayings mention of unreliability, fragility of family ties ("family a lot, and the head alone", "brother against brother the forest of the foe (i.e. enmity)", forced to communicate with them (“sick together, and together apart”).

In Russian consciousness distant kinship is comprehended through the motif of clothing (“na odnom solnyshke onuchi sushili” [we dry putties together under the sun]), names of food (“sedmaia desiataia voda na kisele na kvasine” [cousin seven (several) times removed), attributes of the work (“semero toporov pod lavkoi lezhat a dve prialki vroz” [Two wives in one house never agree in one] – about a livable husband, and foolishness of his wife), vehicles (“piatoe koleso v telege”, “piataia spitsa v kolesnitse” [an odd man out.] – about someone, something completely unnecessary), buildings (“nashemu zaboru dvoiurodnyi pleten” [A twice-removed cousin to our fence]) etc.

No blood ties can be transmitted with metonymically (“svekor groza a svekrov vyest glaza” [a father-in-law – storm, a mother-in-law will eat eyes away”), somatic (“liub chto svekrovin kulak” [love that mother-in-law fist]), mythological (“odin chert eto chert sto chertei eto teshcha” [one devil is a devil, a hundred of devils is a mother-in-law]) vocabularies. In proverbs about distant relatives used an onmic component: “Nasha Marina vashei Katerine dvoiurodnaia Praskovia” [Our Marina for your Caterina is a cousin Praskovya] (a playfully ironic designation distant), “Ivan, ne pomniashchii rodstva” [Ivan who does not remember relative ties” (the so-called all escaped convicts, hiding their origin in the past) (Shanskii, 2001).

There is a difference of the first and second degrees of kinship in English proverbs. The difference primarily is reflected in their lexical designation. In the circle of close relatives (close relatives) are members of the nuclear family (parents – children), distant relative – cousins, aunts, uncle. In the proverbs about the relationship featured geographic realities: “a father's goodness is higher than the mountains, a mother's goodness is deeper than the sea”. A meaningful comparison of kinship with the structure of a building: “a chip off the old block” (Dahl, 2005).

However, there are examples of the opposite reaction concerning marriage and kinship: “marry in haste and repent at leisure marry”, “no garden without its weeds”, “there is no rose without a thorn”.

Characteristics of the concept are disclosed in the art discourse. The theme of kinship and family is one of the leading in the literature.

In Kalmyk literature the concept of kinship and family is most often associated with life of tribal villages. The world of Haughton consists of dombra sounds, folk songs, bitter wormwood smell, smell of symbolizing the Motherland and smell of freshly cooked lamb and a favorite beverage Dzhomba (Kalmyk tea): “Ulan zuukh holyn ѳmnk zoohin dyevsңd bas nyeg khǝtn büürlsn bǝǝnǝ. Khotna zün ar zakhd shitmd eerchksn khѳd, hazani – kyesg uls zogsҗana. Endr ik bair: khuts tǝvlhn, khurhd chimkkh, agt surhkh” [Hearthes are burning in one tent, and in the other, and in the third. Somebody threw dry dung fuel into the fire for the light - and how else, it is a festive day. Dombra sounds are already heard in the middle of hoton; boys and girls gathered at their party] (Normae, 1984).

In Russian works of art, the concepts “family” and “house” symbolize sustainability and permanence of social and spiritual: “Chetyre podporki u cheloveka v zhizni dom s semei rabota liudi s kem vmeste pravish prazdniki i budni i zemlia na kotoroi stoit tvoi dom I vse chetyre odna vazhnei drugoi Zakhromaet kakaia - ves svet vnaklon” [Four props of human life: family, work, people, who together ruled by holidays and weekdays, and the land on which your house is. All four are important to one another. What gets lame, all tilts] (Rasputin, 1988).

The British treats home well too. Finding home and family helps a person in life and makes it persistent in a variety of tests: “Probably, if I had lately left a good home and kind parents, this would have been the hour when I should most keenly have regretted the separation ; that wind would then have saddened rated my heart” (Bronte, 2012, p. 27).

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to describe linguistic and semiotic signs of the concept “kinship” in Kalmyk, Russian and English linguistic cultures; to identify its emblematic, allegoric and symbolic manifestation in language consciousness and communicative behavior of Kalmyk, Russian and English peoples.

Research Methods

In the study the following research methods are used: conceptual, introspective and interpretative analysis.

The conceptual method involves the study of the lexical realization of the considered phenomenon in these languages, the allocation of denotative and connotative meanings of words nominated for representing this concept. This method is aimed at obtaining the fullest possible description of the meaning of the analyzed words in the language system on the basis of the encyclopedic, explanatory, etymological, synonymic dictionaries. The analysis of definitions involves the differentiation of the modern and obsolete meanings in the semantic structure of words-of the nominees, calling this concept.

Introspective and interpretative methods aimed at identifying its underlying meaning, explicative and implicative content. Description of associative activities are carried out in the form of a continuous sample of lexical and phraseological units, as well as precedent texts from dictionaries, collections of Proverbs and sayings, texts of fiction. Such methods allow to consider the different value judgments about this concept on the material of dictionary definitions, Proverbs and literary texts.


The study of the emblematic characteristics of the concept "kinship" to compare cultures showed that in many Kalmyk names reflected ideas about economic activities of people associated with the nomadic way of life in the past. Emblematic assessment in the Kalmyk language get names of relatives on the father and mother. In Russian and English languages emblematical affinity can be traced in the metaphorical understanding of this phenomenon in the dialect and slang vocabulary.

Allegorical concept embodiment is expressed by the various realities of the subject and the natural world – the everyday, onomastic, etc. In the Kalmyk linguistic culture is dominated by positive features of the related models, while in Russian and English linguistic cultures allowed ambivalent evaluative connotation.

The symbolic understanding of this concept is related to the key concepts of home, hearth, family, feelings of nepotism.


Combinatorics of linguistic and semiotic-symbolic, allegorical, symbolic characteristics persists in many universal and national-specific values of the lexical, phraseological units, in certain recipeide as tactics, text fragments, indicating a high degree of understanding of the phenomenon by native speakers of Kalmyk, Russian and English linguistic cultures.


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28 December 2019

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Sarangaeva*, Z., Daldinova, E., Kekeeva, T., & Boktaeva, V. (2019). Lingvosemiotic Characteristics Of Relation In Kalmyk, Russian And English Language Consciousness. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 2790-2796). Future Academy.