This paper analyses the specifics of the implementation of the concept of
Keywords: Language consciousnesseveryday consciousnesspolitical correctnesseuphemism
Problems related to the lives of people with disabilities become particularly relevant in modern society, and tolerance towards them is currently one of the socio-cultural vectors of research in the humanitarian paradigm of knowledge. Attention to the chosen topic is conditioned by the peculiar linguistic and pragmatic character of the vocabulary, which refers to the category of persons whose feelings and dignity can be affected by language insensitivity and thus lead to the appearance of communicative conflicts. The study of the declared conceptual sphere is of special interest from the point of view of the all-European values, including human rights, as it helps to understand how the society treated people with disabilities in different historical periods, and provides access to the worldviews, worldviews, and preferences typical for the society in this or that period of its development. It is important to refer to normative legal documents, in which the analyzed vocabulary in its various textual uses can be considered as an indicator of the attitude of society towards people with disabilities.
Recently, the specificity of reflecting reality in the language consciousness, which is understood as "a set of mental mechanisms of generation, understanding of speech and keeping the language in the consciousness, i.e. mental mechanisms providing the process of human speech activity", has attracted more and more attention. It is language consciousness, being a kind of cognitive consciousness, that provides the operation of speech. The separation of professional and everyday consciousness is of fundamental importance for our research. Distinguishing these types of consciousness on several grounds, Adonina and Sadretdinova ( 2005) describe them in particular as follows: professional consciousness is theoretical in nature, is highly specialized, ordered, structured and systematized, and expresses an objective and evaluative attitude. Ordinary consciousness, in turn, is characterized by practical orientation, infinity and multi-dimensionality, lack of clear structure, fragmentation and episodicity, as well as the presence of subjective-evaluation attitude. For professional consciousness to appear, it is necessary to meet a number of conditions: the existence of a social demand for objective knowledge and the social possibility of identifying specialists capable of responding to this demand, as well as "the accumulation of knowledge, skills, cognitive techniques, methods of symbolic expression, and orientation in public consciousness, which prepare the revolutionary process of emergence and dissemination of a new type of knowledge" ( Nalivaiko, 1990, p. 72).
What matters to our work is the study of Boldyrev's (2016) possibility of structuring consciousness with the help of language, which the researcher reduces to three types: "The language model of the physical world, the language model of society and the language model of interpretation of knowledge about the world and society" (p. 36). It is the latter model that makes it possible to identify the possibilities of "conceptualization and categorization of objects and events, evaluative scales and benchmarks, ideals, stereotypes, metaphorical, metonymic, euphemistic models of content transmission, and metalanguage models of the language itself" ( Boldyrev, 2016, p. 42). These models contribute to the acquisition of secondary knowledge based on the assessment of already obtained knowledge about the world, and the materials we reviewed fully confirm this position.
Linguistic studies touching upon the problems of modifying semantics and pragmatics of lexical units nominating people with disabilities and recording changes in their status in society at different stages of its development are few (see, for example, the "Linguistic Studies on the Problems of Modifying the Semantics and Pragmatics of Lexical Units Nominating People with Disabilities" section): It should be noted, however, that lexical units indicating the presence of diseases, mental or physical disabilities were considered in different aspects when studying the problems of political correctness and euphemization ( Baylinson, 2017; Moskvin, 2007; Palazhchenko, 2004; Radünzel, 2015, 2018; Sinina, 2010; Ter-Minasova, 2004).
From our point of view, the most important subject of analysis is the specifics of the implementation of the concept of der/die Behinderte in the regulatory documents of the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as in the German language corpus DWDS-Corpus.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to identify the specifics of the implementation of the concept of der/die Behinderte in the linguistic consciousness of native German speakers. In order to carry out a comprehensive analysis and identify the scope of meaning in the professional language consciousness, the regulatory documents, namely the legislation of the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as the text of the "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The use of data from the German language corpus "Das Wortauskunftssystem zur deutschen Sprache in Geschichte und Gegenwart" (DWDS-Corpus) makes it possible to analyze the representation of
The research methodology is a complex of complementary methods of modern polyparadigmal anthropocentrically oriented linguistics. The methodological basis of the research was formed by the provisions on the interrelation and interdependence of language and consciousness, allowing to present the units under study through their verbalization in the language and speech. The main method of scientific research is a descriptive and analytical method that allows to study and systematize theoretical and practical work on the problems of domestic and foreign researchers, which is supplemented by methods of contextual and text analysis.
Addressing the German legislative texts has revealed an important component of the meaning of lexemes that refer to people with disabilities. Section 39 of the Federal Act on the Provision of Social Assistance (in force from 1962 to 2004) defined the circle of persons to whom social assistance was granted, i.e. the meaning of the legal term
Currently in Germany, the concept of
Ratified by Germany in 2009 "The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also applies the concept
In the documents analyzed above, reflecting professional consciousness, the concepts that nominate people with disabilities, –
The next step in our research is to turn to the German language corps «Das Wortauskunftssystem zur deutschen Sprache in Geschichte und Gegenwart» in order to establish the frequency of use of the above mentioned lexical units and to identify opportunities for the implementation of the concept in everyday language consciousness.
Analysis of lexeme value actualization
Let's turn to the most frequent synonym –
The total number of entries in the above lexical units indicates the importance of the social events evaluated in the corpus texts. The analysis of the data, i.e. the data of the combined main and newspaper corps, allows us to get an idea of the socio-cultural transformations in the German language: a significant increase in the frequency of the use of the lexeme is evident
Analysis of the scope of the concept
In view of the distinction between conceptual models of disability, namely, medical models that see the causes of disability, and social models that assume that problems are created by a society that does not include persons with disabilities in its life, the concept of der/die Behinderte can be classified as limited in scope, but the list of disabling diseases or conditions is open, due to the influence of time, society, historical stage and the associated transformation of language consciousness. In addition, each historical epoch has its own specific imprint on the meaning of words: during the period of National Socialist rule, the ideological component prevailed, and nowadays the axiological component dominates in its moral and ethical dimension. If earlier documents der/die Behinderte is interpreted primarily as a person incapable of working for health reasons, in modern sources it is a person with disabilities who cannot participate fully in society not only for health reasons, but also because of the lack of a barrier-free environment.
The history of lexemes that nominate people with disabilities in German shows a high degree of flexibility and adaptability of language and language consciousness to the morals of society, the values of the respective epoch and ideology, as well as the gradual deletion of explicit markers of stigmatization of people with disabilities and the emergence, along with euphemisms that mitigate racial and ethnic discrimination, of euphemisms that exclude discrimination against people with physical and mental disabilities ( Sinina, 2010). The conducted brief diachronic analysis testifies to the replacement of politically incorrect lexical units with more neutral ones with blurred semantics and confirms the determinacy of the semantics of lexical units by the pragmatic conditions of their implementation, the significance of the elements of the cultural-historical background, as well as psychological presumptions of the implementation of language semantics ( Rezanova et al., 2003).
The functional potential of lexemes that nominate people with disabilities is quite diverse: reflecting the specifics of linguistic consciousness, they perform a cognitive function, reflecting values and attitudes in society, as well as pragmatic, socio-marking, cultural outlook and world-modeling functions, the latter implies the use of ready-made structures depending on the conditions of generation and use. The conceptualization of attitudes towards weaker members of society allows "to diagnose the evaluative attitude in language and speech towards those in need of help and protection, to identify possible ways of correcting social imbalances, and to take these ways into account in the implementation of language policy" ( Baylinson, 2017, p. 105).
The analyzed situation on the material of the German language requires further theoretical understanding and practical attention, including the material of the Russian language. The research has a rich potential for further study. Addressing this topic from the point of view of intercultural communication is also seen as necessary, because, while learning the language, it is necessary to master and respect for the other.
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31 October 2020
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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, translation, interpretation
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Banman, P. P., Legler, A. A., & Matveicheva, T. V. (2020). Specifics Of Implementation Of The "Der/Die Behinderte" Concept In German Language Consciousness. In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism» Dedicated to the 80th Anniversary of Turkayev Hassan Vakhitovich, vol 92. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1399-1405). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.10.05.184