The processes of globalization and the rapid time both influence on the perception of basic conceptual notions. Fiction is a special repository of information, which contains ideas about various concepts, including the concept of "home", so our study was carried out on the basis of fiction from Russian and Kazakhstani Russian-language literature of the 21st century. The cultures of Russia and Kazakhstan have been in close interaction since ancient times, which is actively continuing in the modern world, so our study is comparative in nature. The results of the study are the consideration of the notion of “concept”, a generalization of the results of research of the concept of “home” in the Russian language picture of the world, as well as the study of representations of this concept in modern Russian-language literature of Russia and Kazakhstan based on the works of the Russian author M. Petrosyan “Dom, v kotorom…” [“The house in which…”], Kazakh Russian-language writer N. Verevochkin “Zub mamonta. Letopis mertvogo goroda” [Tooth of a mammoth. Chronicle of the Dead City]. These novels reflect the vision of the world of certain social and age groups, therefore, the representations of the concept “home” reflected in these works are enshrined in the Russian language picture of the world.
Keywords: Homethe concept of linguoculturologymodern literatureartistic concept
The study of the conceptosphere is an actively developing area in modern philological sciences. The concept of “home” is one of the most important concepts in the Russian language picture of the world, which is reflected in literature as well. The common historical past, the modern process of globalization could not but leave a trace on the vision of the world by the inhabitants of two neighboring countries – Russia and Kazakhstan. In order to confirm or refute this, our study is comparative in nature, namely, it is based on a comparison of the concept of “home” in the works of contemporary Russian-speaking authors who represent these countries.
Within the framework of the anthropocentric paradigm, information on the connection of language with culture, human thinking is important. Study of the concept allows you to get this information. Russia and Kazakhstan are multinational countries, in the first of which Russian is the state language, and in the second – the language of interethnic communication. A common understanding of the same concepts by the people of both countries is important for the successful implementation of intercultural communication.
Notion of “concept”.
To conduct the study, it was necessary to distinguish between cognitive, linguistic and cultural concepts. A cognitive concept is considered as “a discrete mental formation, which is the basic unit of a person’s mental code, has a relatively ordered internal structure, and is the result of cognitive activity of an individual and society” (Popova & Sternin, 2007, p. 34). Linguoculturological concepts – “clots of culture in the human mind, in the form of which culture enters the mental world of man; that’s whereby the person himself enters the culture or even influences it” (Stepanov, 2004, p. 43). Fiction concepts are dedicated to the study of the individual author’s picture of the world. At the same time, in the text of the fictional work there is a combination of linguistic and individual author’s concepts, since “in the text the concept continues to include both general linguistic and personal author’s meanings, as well as those that the reader can attach” (Burdin & Avvakumova, 2019, p. 99). The notion of fiction concept and its complex, multidimensional character were investigated in the works of Askoldov (1997, pp. 267-279), Burdin and Avvakumova (2019, pp. 97-100), Mileyko and Rus-Bryushinina (2016, pp. 128-130) and others.
The concept of "home" from the point of view of linguoculturology, literary criticism, cognitive linguistics
The issue of understanding the concept of home from the point of view of cognitive linguistics is well developed in science. The most significant works on this topic are summarized in the manual of Maslova “Cognitive Linguistics”, where the house is presented as “a building; double of man; the house has the functions of limitation and protection, opposed to the forest” (Maslova, 2005, p. 235). In an associative experiment conducted as part of the work on cognitive linguistics, home “was associated mainly with family, warmth, and comfort” (Zjang, 2016, p. 41). In the work of Stepanov's “Constants: Dictionary of russian culture” the concept of “home” is moving closer to the concept of “comfort” (Stepanov, 2004, pp. 826-827); in the study Ananyeva and Gabdullina (2019, p. 468) – with the concept of "homeland". From the point of view of linguoculturology, the house is considered as a dwelling, “your own” world; endowed with human properties (Mikhailova, 2015, p. 154-155).The English word "home" has a lot of meanings (such as place, family, comfort etc.), but the word "house" has only the meaning of "building". Whereas a Russian word "дом" reflects all these meanings. Taking into account the difficulty of translating the meanings of a given word into English, it should be remembered that the word "home" has a broader meaning, thus when using the word "house" the translator means "building". The word "home" is considered as a concept, and the word "house" as part of the concept.
When studying the concept, a comparative method is actively used. The materials of research in such works are often literature and folklore of different languages. This can be seen in the examples of the works of Sokolova (2018, pp. 209-215), Shakolo (2019, pp. 223-238), Tian and Gudkov (2018, pp. 40-47), Evdokimova, Lyapaeva, and Fedyay (2018, pp. 78-84) and other scientists.
Purpose of the Study
The aim of our study is to compare representations of the concept of “home” on the basis of the works of Russian and Kazakhstani authors of the 21st century. Modern literature reflects the state of culture of our days, presents the results of human thinking. That is why, in our opinion, the study of the concept on the basis of literature of the XXI century is the most relevant. The comparative aspect allows you to compare the world view of people living in different territories with different gender and national characteristics. To analyze the concept of “home”, we selected the novels by Petrosyan (2017) “Dom, v kotorom…” [“The house in which…”], Kazakh Russian-language writer Verevochkin (2010) “Zub mamonta. Letopis mertvogo goroda” [Tooth of a mammoth. Chronicle of the Dead City]. These works are valuable for literary criticism, which is confirmed by the research of Afanasyeva (2017, pp. 119-125), Sinegubova (2018, pp. 198-205) and others. Despite certain differences, both works are written in Russian, which allows us to say that both authors think in the same language, which defines their picture of the world.
To study the subject of research, we used the following methods: analysis, synthesis, comparative method, descriptive method, classification, generalization, conceptual analysis. Using these methods allowed us to obtain information about the concept under study.
6.1.The action in the novel “Dom, v kotorom…” [“The house in which…”] (Petrosyan, 2017) takes place in three locations: Дом (House), Изнанка (Inside) and Наружность (Outside), one way or another opposed to each other on the principle of belonging to the real or magical world; location in the real world: inside the territory of the House or outside it (Table
1. official names of the House:
2. representatives related to the habitat of animals:
3. representatives associated with the magical essence of the House:
4. representations related to the function of the House as a place of residence:
5. Representatives with dismissive, emotionally expressive coloring. These include:
A special group is formed by such representations that do not refer to the House as the building in which the heroes live, but to the house as a kind of place where the heroes could find comfort and peace (the meaning of the word “home”). Such a contrast is possible, for example, due to a quote: «
Sometimes, by this place, the heroes do not mean the House as a whole, but its parts, most often – their rooms, which are endowed with special nicknames. These representations include:
1. representatives indicating a state of destruction, abandonment: бетонный череп, недоскреб, незавершенка, бетонная пустота, убожище нищеты, развалины, руины, безмолвное пространств (concrete skull, nezavershenka – (a half-built house), concrete void, abode of poverty, ruins, silent space). This is the group most frequently encountered in the text;
2. representatives with a negative connotation of meaning, which are mainly closely related to the first group of this classification. These include the following words:
3. representatives synonymous with the word "house" in the meaning of a particular place intended for housing. This group includes words such as:
4. representatives related to animal habitat:
5. representatives, to some extent related to the function of protection, comfort:
6. representatives used in the text ironically:
7. representatives designating specialized agencies:
These groups do not include some representations: объект, многоэтажные грибы, родина, двор, мир, живое существо, государство бабы Нади (object, multi-story mushrooms, homeland, courtyard, world, living creature, the state of Baba Nadya). Each of them carries an important component in the description of the concept of "home".
So, for example, the representation of the
1. endowing it with the properties of a living being: mind, will, feelings, etc. This is confirmed by numerous quotes from the text, for example:
2. almost complete lack of connection with the concepts of "comfort" and "family". The lack of a sense of coziness and nepotism for most residents of the House is explained by the fact that the heroes of the book live in a boarding school, where they have certain difficulties, such as: lack of sympathetic attitude on the part of teachers and educators; beatings of pupils with each other, etc. This observation allows us to highlight the problem of boarding houses for children as places where children are not given the proper amount of attention. Therefore, often pupils feel unnecessary, lonely. This happens despite the fact that a lot of people live in the House and the House is a rather noisy place;
3. connection with magic parallel to the world. This is due to the features of the phenomenon of magical realism. In the text it is realized in the image of the Inside of the House;
4. contradictory perception of the House. Part of the inhabitants of the House (Сфинкс (Sphinx), Курильщик (Smoker), etc.) were afraid of the house for various reasons; other part (Слепой (Blind), Горбач (Humpback), Шакал Табаки (Shakal Tabaki) etc.) loved the house. Such a perception is characteristic of a concept in the fiction, but not linguistic, cultural understanding of the analyzed concept;
5. understanding of the inhabitants of the House as its main value, which can be confirmed by a quote
6. the presence in the House of traditions, laws, hierarchies that ensure order in the building. The owner of the House is always one of the teenagers, and not the principal of the school;
7. the connection of the House with the concept of "death", as the inhabitants of the House often died for natural or violent reasons (the death of the characters
In the course of the analysis of the novel by M. Petrosyan “Dom, v kotorom…” [The house in which ...] we highlighted the core and periphery of the “house” concept. The core of the concept are words
1. connection of the concept of "home" with death, destruction. A symbol of this connection is the skeleton of a mammoth, located under the city:
2. connection with the concept of "family", the inseparability of home from the place of birth. This can be seen in the example of Victor Mamontov, which is spoken of so:
3. perception of the house as a living being. This is realized in comparison with a child at home:
4. the connection of a large number of memories with the house. This fact causes a special, warm attitude towards home. This positive attitude is typical for most of the characters in the analyzed novel: Kozlov (Козлов), Baba Nadya (Баба Надя), the Mamontov family (семья Мамонтовых), etc. Negative connotations associated with home are realized in the speech of the characters Enko (Енко), Raya (Рая), etc.
5. the need for a fence. The absence of a fence in this work is a symbol of decline, the destruction of the house, while its presence indicates the well-being of the house. So we can conclude that the fence is a necessary condition for the existence of the house, performing a protective function;
6. following the rules, laws. This is realized through the phrase of one of the characters in the novel.: «Еще чего не хватало, чтобы я дома на [миграционный] учет вставала» (“What else was missing for me to get up at the [migration] register”) (Verevochkin, 2010, p. 67).
In the course of the analysis, we determined the structure of the “home” concept in N. Verevochkin’s novel “Zub mamonta. Letopis mertvogo goroda” [Tooth of a mammoth. Chronicle of the Dead City]. The core of the concept are words
The results of our study are not only a definition of the structure of the concept of “home” in the analyzed works, but also a comparison of the concepts:
1. The concept of "home" in both novels is expressed in the names of the habitats of animals. Having analyzed the context, we can understand that this speaks of a sense of disorder in life, a comparison of a person with animals. This observation partially alienates the concept of "house" from the concept of "comfort";
2. Representation of the world is found in both novels, but contains a different meaning. In the novel “Dom, v kotorom…” [“The house in which…”] the house is called the world, because the heroes of the novel do not know another world but for their home. In the novel “Zub mamonta. Letopis mertvogo goroda” [Tooth of a mammoth. Chronicle of the Dead City] representation of the world is heterogeneous: Ruslan perceives the whole world as his house; the world of Kostya Shumny is limited only to the house; for a spider, the house is so huge that it is perceived as a world.
In addition to representations, in the studied novels there coincided a number of the most important features that make up the basis of the concept of “house”. These include the following characteristics:
the valuable core of the house is the people living in it. In this case, the inhabitants of the house may not be interconnected by family ties;
connection with the concept of "death". In the work of M. Petrosyan, human death is considered more; in the novel by N. Verevochkin - the destruction of the city;
isolation from the outside world. Implemented in the need to isolate the house from the outside world with the help of a fence, which additionally organizes the protection function. This includes the space of the yard in the concept of "home";
endowment of the house with the characteristics of a living creature. This feature is seen more in the work of M. Petrosyan;
the house must be associated with a lot of memories. The assessment of the house by various characters depends on the events experienced, therefore the attitude of the characters varies greatly and can be associated not only with positive, but also extremely negative connotations;
if in the work of M. Petrosyan the need to comply with laws and rules is an integral characteristic of the concept under study, in the work of N. Verevochkin the house is perceived as a place that the law does not apply to. Partially, this feature is implemented in the novel of the Kazakhstani author in compliance with traditions.
Thus, each of the concepts in the materials under study has a set of representatives that determine its essence and the defining features that make up its core and periphery. The reconstruction of the concept of “home” in both novels allows us to formulate the author’s position, the idea of the book. A large number of coinciding characteristics allows us to say that the place of writing of the novel practically did not affect the perception of the concept of “home” by the authors of the analyzed works. Some of these characteristics are signs of a linguistic and cultural concept (function of protection, isolation, humanization), the presence of which is explained by the same linguistic picture of the world of writers. But in both novels, the connection with some concepts, such as "comfort", "family", is weakened; the convergence of the concept of “home” with the concept of “death” is clearly seen, which is completely uncharacteristic of the linguistic and cultural concept of “home”. These signs are the characteristics of the concept in fiction, connecting two different novels on the subject and problems.
- Afanasyeva, A. S. (2017). Arkhetip doma v sovremennoy russkoyazychnoy kazakhstanskoy proze [The archetype of the house in modern Kazakhstani Russian-language prose]. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://www.kaznu.kz/
- Ananyeva, S. V., & Gabdullina, V. I. (2019). Ot kontsepta doma – k kontseptu rodiny [From the concept of ‘home’ – to the concept of ‘homeland’]. World of science, culture & education, 2(75), 468-470.
- Askoldov, S. A. (1997). Kontsept i slovo [The concept and the word]. In V.V. Neroznak (Eds.), Russian literature. From theory of literature to text structure (267-279). Moscow: Akademia.
- Burdin, I. V., & Avvakumova, N. V. (2019). Ponyatie “kontsept” v literaturovedenii [“Concept” notion in literary criticism]. Philological sciences. Questions of theory and practice, 7, 97-100. https://doi.org/10.30853/filnauki.2019.7.21
- Evdokimova, O. K., Lyapaeva, L. V., & Fedyay, S. V. (2018). Kontsept “dom”: tvorcheskaya pereklichka v vekakh (M. Lermontov, M. Tsvetaeva, G. Ayghi) [Concept “home”: creative interpretation in centuries (M. Lermontov, M. Tsvetaeva, G. Ayghi)]. Bulletin of I.Ya. Yakovlev ChSPU, 2(98), 78-84.
- Maslova, V. A. (2005). Kognitivnaya lingvistika [Cognitive linguistics]. Minsk: TetraSistems.
- Mikhailova, E. M. (2015). Ponyatie “dom” – “home”/ “house” v russkoy i angliyskoy kartinakh mira [The concept “дом” – “home”/ “house” in Russian and English pictures of the world]. Bulletin of Moscow University. Series 19. Linguistics and intercultural communication, 3, 151-163.
- Mileyko, E. V., & Rus-Bryushinina, I. V. (2016). Khudozhestvennyy kontsept kak obyekt lingvisticheskogo issledovaniya. [Artistic concept as an object of linguistic research]. Philological sciences. Questions of theory and practice, 11-3(65), 128-130.
- Petrosyan, M. (2017). Dom, v kotorom… [The house in which…]. Moscow: Livebook.
- Popova, Z. D., & Sternin, I. A. (2007). Kognitivnaya lingvistika [Cognitive linguistics]. Moscow: AST: Vostok-Zapad.
- Shakolo, A. V. (2019). Kontsepty “dom” i “les” v krymskikh i nemetsskikh skazkakh [Concepts “house” and “forest” in crimean and german fairy tales]. Scientific notes of the Crimean Federal University named after V.I. Vernadsky. Philological sciences, 2, 223-238.
- Sinegubova, K. V. (2018). Skazki G.Kh. Andersena v romane M. Petrosyan “Dom, v kotorom…”. [H.C. Andersen’s Fairy Tales in the Novel “The House Where...” by M. Petrosyan]. New Philological Bulletin, 3(46), 198-205.
- Sokolova, E. N. (2018). O kontsepte “dom” v russkoy i angliyskoy kulturakh [On concept “home” in Russian and English cultures]. Bulletin of Moscow State Linguistic University. Humanitarian sciences, 3(792), 209-215.
- Stepanov, Yu. S. (2004). Konstanty: Slovar russkoy kultury [Constants: Dictionary of Russian culture]. Moscow: Akademicheskiy proekt.
- Tian, G., & Gudkov, D. B. (2018). Kontsepty “rodina” i “dom” v russkom i kitayskom patrioticheskom diskurse [Concepts “motherland” and “home” in Russian and Chinese patriotic discourse]. World of Russian word, 1, 40-47.
- Verevochkin, N. (2010). Zub mamonta. Letopis mertvogo goroda [Tooth of a mammoth. Chronicle of the dead city]. Retrieved from https://www.rulit.me/
- Zjang, Ya. (2016). Assotsiativnoe pole kontsepta “dom” v russkom yazykovom soznanii [Associative field of the concept “дом” in the Russian language consciousness]. Bulletin of NSU. Series: Linguistics and Intercultural Communication, 4, 39-42.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
About this article
03 August 2020
Print ISBN (optional)
Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, translation, interpretation
Cite this article as:
Polonskaya, A. O., & Fatkieva, G. T. (2020). The Concept Of “Home” In Russian-Language Literature Of Russia And Kazakhstan. In & N. L. Amiryanovna (Ed.), Word, Utterance, Text: Cognitive, Pragmatic and Cultural Aspects, vol 86. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1466-1475). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.08.170