The article deals with the features of linguo-pragmatical contents and ways of its expression in the text of the professional ethics code. It is described the main linguo-pragmatical categories of the ethical code and come to light modal meanings and means of their expression. The ethical code represents the specific genre establishing norms and rules of the office (professional) behavior based on the conventional system of moral ideals. The main objective of the ethical code creation is prevention of conflict situations and an illegal behavior. Standard code of ethics is considered as the coherent text representing a dichotomizing division of a speech product into the dynamic process of the language activity and result of this activity. The significant elements of pragmatics of Standard code of ethics are some categories of a modality and an appraisal as they form pragmatical contents of texts of the similar genres. Means of expression of the modality are the verbs with the meaning of need, the lexical and phraseological means being based on the modal meaning of approval / disapproval. It is allocated the values which became a basis for formation of a certain corporate picture of the world of public servants of the Russian Federation and municipal employees, for example,
Keywords: Ethical codepragmaticsspeech activitymodalityappraisal
One of the main conditions of the successful performance of the professional tasks is a respect for the ethical aspect of communication based on the general system of social culture knowledge. Traditionally, ethical standards of due (professionally obligatory) behavior were being developed for representatives of the certain professions which object of activity was the person. The modern social and economic situation is not an exception and ethical principles practically of all spheres of the person’s professional activity are transferred to a standard and binding form and are ensealed in some ethical codes or regulations. As a result the systematized moral standards in the concentrated kind are reflected and ensealed in texts of the ethical codes.
The ethical code represents the document which establishes norms and rules of office (professional) behavior based on the conventional system of moral ideals (Akimova, 2014; Efimova, Balakhonova, & Mirsaidov, 2016; Mukhametzhanova, 2017; Safonov, 2013; Sarkisyan, 2014; Shipitsyna & Polyakova, 2011; Zabuzov, 2016 etc.)
The ethical codes have received rather extended scientific coverage in the works of historians, lawyers, sociologists, philosophers, linguists. In their researches it was emphased on studying of various aspects, for example, it was paid attention to a research of the foreign experience (Safonov, 2013) and carrying out the comparative analysis (Filimonov, 2018; Khoroshkevich, 2018 etc.); it was given the correlative characteristic of professional ethics and professional culture (Kuptsova, 2018a; Petrovsky, 2012), professional ethics and professional communication (Akimova, 2014); it was submitted the analysis of tendencies of development of modern moral codification (Irkhin, 2016; Kazantsev, 2016); it was comprehended the legal nature of ethical standards of the code (Chernogor, Zaloilo, & Ivanyuk, 2017; Truntsevsky, 2019); it was described corporate ethics and the system of its execution as a basic element of ethical management; it was defined the communication of the ethical code with professional standards and spheres of professional activity (Akhmetshina, 2018; Andreyev, 2017; Apresyan, 2015; Dekkert, 2019; Efimova, Vdovenko, & Mirsaidov, 2016; Frolova & Ryabova, 2018; Irkhin, 2016; Isaeva, 2019; Kuptsova, 2018b; Obolonsky, 2015; Shmatova, & Zolotareva, 2018; Shuvalova, 2018; Smirnov, 2016 etc.); it was studied the ways of expression of a thought, the main signs of the code as the genre of business speech, the pragmatical potential and features of reflection of a corporate picture of the world in the ethical codes (Shipitsyna & Polyakova, 2011); it was considered the documental and linguistic and information aspect of the ethical code (Sarkisyan, 2014); etc.
The analysis of scientific literature demonstrates that it has been conducted the considerable work on understanding of different parameters of the ethical code. However, it should be noted that in these researches it is paid not enough attention to the linguistic aspect. Therefore, it is necessary of a research the text space of the ethical code from the linguo-pragmatical point of view. Let us pay attention that in the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation Standard code of ethics makes the base of professional activity of police officers. Observance of the provisions of the ethical code is a basis of the criteria estimation of their office behavior.
The article deals with the features of linguo-pragmatical contents and ways of its expression in the text of the professional ethics code. It is described the main linguo-pragmatical categories of the ethical code and come to light modal meanings and means of their expression.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the work consists in studying of means of the expression of linguo-pragmatical contents in the text of the ethical code.
The authors have used the following methods and research modes: descriptive, experimental, generalization, interpretation, classification of the language material, content analysis of theses, monographs, educational publications, etc.
Standard code of ethics is interpreted as a specialized option of the principles of professional behavior of police officers on the basis of common sense. Standard code of ethics orders need of performance of the certain actions for the sphere of official duties according to the standards regulating the professional activity of police officers. The success of implementation of their law-enforcement activity depends on the observance of recommendations and rules of the police officers’ conduct.
The ethical code represents the specific genre defining norms and rules of the office behavior of the police officers promoting worthy performance of the professional activity by them.
The main task of the ethical code consists in the exact formulation and distribution in the professional environment of the moral principles and standards of professional ethics, in prevention of conflict situations and prevention of illegal behavior. Nevertheless, the ethical codes do not contain moral recommendations for all cases of vital functions.
Standard code of ethics is the coherent text representing the dichotomizing division of a speech product into a dynamic process of language activity and result of this activity. The fundamental features of the ethical code as a discursive product define its characteristics: pragmatical loading; semantic multidimensionality of the text; orientation of the addressee to the respect for the principles of moral behavior; using the means of expression of semantics and the pragmatics of the text caused by a valuable aspect of the public consciousness, features of a national picture of the world, background knowledge of communicants, etc.
By drawing up the similar texts the author has to have a communicative ability that is productively to use lexical and grammatical units in various situations.
Let us note that the text of Standard code of ethics as the semantic and pragmatically loaded system of signs is a specific generation of a certain type of the speech activity which is motivated with non-verbal tasks (regulation of a social role executed by a person). Moreover, for this professional group the (police) ethical code is a kind of an institutional discourse, it has obligatory components: standard, legal, valuable, and traditional.
When forming pragmatical contents of the text of Standard code of ethics the objective reality becomes the base of background knowledge of its creator. Accounting of community of background knowledge during creation and interpretation of the text of the ethical code not only provides communicative cooperation in this sphere, but also promotes achievement of understanding of sense of a statement by its addressee.
The defining factor influencing linguo-pragmatical contents of Standard code of ethics is the statement communicative purpose which is formed as a result of knowledge of objective reality and is caused by a corporate picture of the world of the creator of the text.
Key categories of pragmatics of Standard code of ethics are a modality and appraisal as they form the base of pragmatical contents of texts of similar genres.
Means of expression of a modality in the text of Standard code of ethics are:
1. The modal verbs and their equivalents emphasizing orientation on realization actions, for example, have to take; urge to execute, urge to proceed, urge to carry out, urge to exclude, urge to notify, urge to observe, urge to show, urge to abstain; oblige to observe, oblige to counteract, oblige to declare, oblige to notify, oblige to accept. The dominating modal component have to, oblige, urge in combination with an infinitive allows to transfer various shades of the meaning of oughtness and need: obligation of commission, voluntarism, compulsoriness, readiness, forcedness, etc. The sentences with modal significant words express the objective and modal meanings close to a lexical semantics of words have to, oblige, urge. The similar constructions have an ability to represent the language of ethical standards as they are peculiar to express a modality of desire, oughtness, need, ban, obligation, compulsoriness, and imperativeness.
Existence of denial in the constructions, for example,
The characteristic modal feature of Standard code of ethics is a categoriality, an explicit degree of resolution, confidence of the creator of the text. Let us note that the modal meaning of obligation in the ethical codes is guided with requirements of moral standards, rules of the subject’s behavior caused by social purposes.
2. The lexical and phraseological means which are based on the modal meaning of approval (good, correct, preferable) / disapproval (badly, incorrectly), for example,
The lexical units possessing a positive connotation express the standard of behavior, the relation to an ideal and represent the approved qualities, virtues, and characteristics of the subject. Lexemes with a negative connotation show the negative appraisal of an act (behavior) of the subject: disapproval, condemnation, and censure.
The appraisal in the text of the ethical code is fixed being put in the semantic structure of a concrete lexical unit. The feature of the appraisal in the ethical code consists in its normativity, it attaches the moral picture of the world which corner-stone is standard and valuable representations of reality. Other words, the estimation in the text of the ethical code is an explicit aspiration of the author to create the subject’s opinion about positive or negative essence of the designated phenomenon or situation based on knowledge of norms of a valuable picture of native speakers, the systems of moral ideals of the society.
As a result of the analysis of the text of Standard code of ethics we have allocated appraisals which became a base for formation a certain, in something a specific, corporate picture of the world of the subjects (police officers), for example, the faultless reputation, official style, impartiality, honesty, justice, conscientiousness, correctness, tolerance, respect, officiality, restraint, traditional character, accuracy, and professionalism.
It should be noted that the ethical code is characterized with phrases such as: to exert impact, to bear responsibility, an office meeting, to take measures, the public servant, public authority, the budgetary system, an official journey, office information, public association, a hospitality event, disciplinary punishment, etc. which on their role in the text approach phraseological units and specifically reflect significant elements of the professional activity (name actions, precisely qualify these or those phenomena, etc.).
For the purpose of clarification of degree of understanding of the lexical units meanings making valuable and semantic space of the text of the ethical code and reflecting moral guidelines concerning the due / inadequate behavior we have made a linguistic experiment in which 60 police officers training at the Belgorod Law Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation named after I.D. Putilin were participating. It was offered to informants to define the meanings of the following words: tolerance, respect, valid, honor, advantage, reputation, conscientious, impartial, polite, normal, scornful, arrogant, rough.
The results of this poll allow drawing the following conclusions:
The most part of the informants knows and understands the meanings of the offered words. However, the meanings of the lexemes
At an explanation of the meanings of the lexemes
About the semantic contents of the lexical units
During the experiment we have made an interesting observation, the informants when they misunderstood (or did not know) the words meanings, we will highlight, making a basis of their professional activity, had no desire to use the dictionary for making up for a language lacuna.
Most respondents noted that they use Standard code of ethics as it creates the general reference points of behavior caused by the specifics of the practical activity.
The data of the experiment make clear a presence of the informative and cultural breaking-off between the creator and the recipients of the text. The informants consider that
The given examples show a non-standard form of the expression of the meaning and presence of inaccuracy at the substantial aspect of words, as a result it is formed the distorted idea of a key concepts of the professional activity. In similar cases, the understanding of a lexical meaning of a word and its pragmatical opportunities are defined with an individual picture of the world and do not coincide with nationwide.
Standard code of ethics has the standardized, prescriptive character as it contains the norms and rules of behavior corresponding to the ordered ideals in order to bring the professional activity of a subject into line with the standard and valuable, moral, social, functional, and other aspects. In Standard code of ethics the valuable reference points and purposes being a part of the national culture are defined.
The peculiar feature of the ethical code of police officers is the focus on the standard (legal) restrictions and the recommendations of the profession, orientation on a certain way of action as the code not only regulates a behavior option, but also orders an activity of the expert in the field of law-enforcement activity.
One of the main conditions for a creation of the ethical code text becomes using a maximum of the language potential at the minimum volume of the text that is reflected in the structural-semantic organization of the text and a selection of the language means.
In the ethical code there are difficult objective and subjective meanings which in a complex express the desirable, due, demanded and comprise a designation of the relation to these characteristics of the reported. The presence of an objective and subjective modality is defined by an author’s perception of reality, a purpose and a genre originality of the ethical code text.
The components of pragmatics of the text of the ethical code are the category of the modality and appraisal. In Standard code of ethics the appraisal shows the valuable relation of the creator of the text (as a representative of the language community) to the professional behavior, as a result it is impacted on emotional and intellectual spheres of the subject, thereby the pragmatical effect is created. Linguo-pragmatical potential of the text space of Standard code of ethics consists in the system of the meanings influencing a subject which are actualized by means of the semantic category of the modality having a lexical and grammatical character.
This article was prepared with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) №19-011-00345.
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03 August 2020
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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, translation, interpretation
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Vorontsova, J. A., & Gaidukova, G. N. (2020). Features Of Linguo-Pragmatical Contents Of The Text Of The Professional Ethics Code. In & N. L. Amiryanovna (Ed.), Word, Utterance, Text: Cognitive, Pragmatic and Cultural Aspects, vol 86. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 211-219). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.08.26