This article is devoted to the issue of inclusion of linguistic units with ethnic and cultural component of meaning, especially metaphorical vocabulary and established collocations, in teaching Russian as a foreign language, which help to develop communicative and linguocultural competences of schoolchildren. During the
research process, the metaphorical vocabulary of the Russian language is considered from the perspective of its structural-semantic and linguistic properties in the interpretation of scientists; the classes of metaphorical linguistic layer, embodying both material and spiritual culture of people in living national language and seasoning the Russian language, are specified; the systemic, functional and anthropocentric principles for the identification or linguistic description of figurative words in the Russian language are analysed; the typology of figurative linguistic units from the perspective of their cultural characteristic is offered. From the methodological position, the metaphor is considered as basic means of speech developing, which forms in schoolchildren the ability to carry out the mental operations during the word formation and speech production, as creative capacity within the context of pedagogic, educational and developing purposes for the formation of the language individual with communicative and linguocultural competences in process of teaching Russian as a foreign language. The article confirms the hypothesis, that the involvement of classic texts of different styles and genres representing the certain national culture and peculiarities of the national mindset is necessary for achieving the research purpose; it is necessary to involve the tasks assigned to the work with terms from the Speech Studies and metaphorical units.
Keywords: Communicative and cultural competencedevelopmentfigurative wordsmetaphorRussian as a foreign language
Language as a multidimensional phenomenon, which has emerged in human society; it is a means of accumulation and storage of culture-significant information, which creates a specific reality, where people as native speakers live. A human being perceives the world through his/her self-perception and his/her activity in it. It is not a coincidence that such an eminent thinker as Heidegger (1993) called language the “house of Being”. That is why the language as a science takes leading methodological positions in the system of humanities knowledge and it is studied by the scientists from the point of view of the anthropocentrism, i.e. in view of relationship between human language and culture.
Linguistic science considers the language not only from the point of view of modern mentality, but also from the position of ancient people’ world vision, because nowadays the echoes of long-since-vanished days live in idioms, metaphors, cultural symbols, etc. This linguistic layer, that embodies the material and spiritual culture in living national language, is studied by the linguocultural studies. At the present stage of development, the linguistics is characterized by increased interest in metaphor functioning, resulting in the study of language in close connection with culture of people, who represent the native speakers.
A significant amount of linguistic literature shows that the semasiological theory of metaphor represents a topical trend for the development of Russian linguistic thought. Figurative vocabulary is studied using fragmented and piecemeal approaches. Probably, that is why this important corpus of vocabulary has not been given an adequate consideration in process of teaching schoolchildren the Russian language, although it is obvious that the metaphor is a significant tool for speech development in methodology of teaching the Russian language. Moreover, there are no metaphorical means in suggested textbooks on the Russian language, except for information about metaphorical vocabulary while clarifying the term “figurative meaning”. There has been little attention paid to this important layer of vocabulary during the process of teaching the Russian language: the language is studied as a semiotic system, and the inner shape of word, its figurative meaning remains unexplored, the meaning of word is not considered in connection with culture of people. Due to this, “the reason of inadequate perception of the situation is not a deficiency of language, the reason is a deficiency of culture, lack of information about history and culture of people, who represent the native speakers” (Davletbaeva et al., 2015, p. 159).
Due to the prevalence and undoubted pragmatic potential of metaphorical vocabulary, it seems important for us to analyse the aspects of metaphor usage and its role in development of communicative and linguocultural competences of schoolchildren in process of Russian language teaching.
The relevance (problem) of the study is determined by:
- a need to consider metaphors and metaphorical structures in the system of Speech Studies terms and its role in development of communicative and linguocultural competences of schoolchildren in process of Russian language teaching.
Purpose of the Study
Purpose of the study: identifying the most important aspects of metaphorization and metaphorical models, characterizing them as directed by the national-linguistic consciousness, as cognitive learning the reality, and definition of the metaphor role in the development of communicative and linguocultural competence of schoolchildren in process of Russian language teaching.
Linguists consider metaphor as the main means of secondary nomination, and as the main means of creating figurativeness. The figurativeness is viewed as the ability of a word to invoke some sensory image: visual, auditory, locomotor and other associations with the signified in human consciousness. Sensory and visual image is understood as a component of word lexical meaning, denotatum (direct meaning) of which is characterized by a feature that is conveyed by our senses. The lexicography considers metaphor as one of the ways to replenish the language vocabulary.
From the point of view of cognitive science, metaphor is considered as “an inevitable phenomenon of human thought and human language, which has the most important function in cognition of world and its description” (Gak, 1988, p.13).
The figurative-metaphorical vocabulary in linguocultural studies is represented by two semantic varieties: language metaphors (
According to the authors of this project, figurative linguistic units represent the ethnospecific vision of the world through certain figurative and estimative representation. There are stable figurative phrases in the language of each nation, which are well represented in colloquial speech due to their salient expressiveness. Image or system of images often promotes better perception of information received for the recipient, but most often namely the reality objects, which have universal features and which are characterized by permanent presence of this feature and high level of its concentration, take part in sensory and visual creation of the associative links. The authors believe that there are two groups of the associative links:
- association by similarity: by shape (baranka (Russian: bread ring) – steering wheel, baranka – bakery food); by colour (zolotye sergi (Russian: gold earrings) – zolotye kudri (Russian: golden hair); by function (kamin (Russian: fireplace) – room stove, kamin (Russian: fireplace) – electric gauge for room heating); by feature (sobaka (Russian: dog) – mean person, volk (Russian: wolf) – hungry; cherny platok (Russian: black napkin) – black deed, etc.);
- associations by co-occurrence (sobaka (Russian: dog) – to bark, zoloto (Russian: gold) – to glisten, solntse (Russian: sun) – to shine, etc.) (Davletbaeva, 2017).
Yurina (2005) considers the figurativeness, in terms of lexicology, as a feature of word, which is characterized by the two-plane semantics, expressed through the inner shape, for example, the word
It was Aristotle (1957) who paid serious consideration on metaphor for the first time, and who considered it as a main tool of cognition, meaningful tool of language that has a positive effect on a listener and intensifies the line of argument. Later, Nietzsche (1990) noted that metaphors are “...the most effective, natural, accurate and simple means of language” (p. 390). Thereafter, when the problem of metaphor had come to be seen as an object of linguistics, the comparative concept of metaphor appeared, the essence of which is that the metaphor represents visual rethinking of usual name
related to comparison of two or more objects.
Only in the late 1970s such scientists as A. Richards, M. Black, M. Erickson and others considered the metaphor from the point of view of the phenomenon of thought metaphoricity (Richards, 1990).
Modern science considers metaphor from linguistic and cultural points of view. Even Cicero in his early writings defined metaphors as “such words that due to their similarity can be transferred from one object to the other (Cicero, 1996, p.231). Metaphor helps to define the features of specific object, phenomenon or action, to individualize it by distinguishing from the class to which it belongs.
There are a lot of definitions of the term “metaphor” in modern linguistics. The definition of metaphor from the Lingvisticheskiy entsiklopedicheskiy slovar (Linguistic encyclopaedical dictionary (LED)) (1990) is the following:
The metaphor is a trope or speech mechanism, which is to use the word specifying a certain class of items, phenomena, etc. for characterization or designation of object from the other class, or designation of another class of objects, similarly to this one in some way. (p.29)
Let’s get focused on the problem of metaphor correlation with different semantic types of words. According to Kozhina (1977), it could be argued that there is no such a language where each word would have only one meaning, and universality of the metaphor covers all types of human activity.
Linguists have developed several classifications, where the metaphors are distributed on the basis of various principles. Moskvin (2006), taking into account the diversity principle of plane of content and expression, heavy dependence on context and functional specifics of metaphorical unit, distinguishes three main types of classifications:
Arutyunova (1990) distinguishes the following types of metaphors:
- nominative metaphor, used to name some class of items, and formed by replacing one lexical meaning with another one (zhuravl (Russian: Grus) – a bird, zhuravl (Russian: a swipe) – pole for raising water from the well).
The figurative-metaphorical vocabulary actively participates in development of linguistic view of the world.
A human being perceives the world through his/her self-perception and his/her activity in it. As a result, such metaphorical expressions as
Classification of Gak (1988) has the principle of complete metaphorical transfer:
- two-sided metaphor, which entails both polysemy of source and synonymy of object metaphorization (
- one-sided semasiological metaphor performs the nominative function in the language, and it is the only denomination of one or other realia (
-one-sided onomaseological metaphor, which is used only if the source of metaphorization is disambiguated (
- partial metaphorical transfer, when the forming of a new meaning is connected to the morphological changes of a word with addition of affixes (
According to Gak (1988), the process of formal metaphorization can occur on the level of morphology (word formation) and syntax (phrases). This demonstrates that the metaphor is directly related to the human cognitive activity. The results of subjective cognition of the world view are reflected in words and phrases. Which means that the process of metaphorization starts from the level of word (about people:
Sklyarevskaya (1993) distinguishes
Thus, by analysing the works of scientists, the following conclusion can be made. First of all, the metaphorization comes down to the replacing of one descriptive (with many features) meaning by another:
Figurative metaphor has a hidden comparison, a characterizing feature, and it arises as a result of understanding (vision) of objects belonging to reality by a person. The metaphor can be derived from the comparative phrase. Lines from Pushkin’s poem can be performed as an example:
(Burya) … to kak zver ona zavoyet, to zaplachet kak ditya ((Russian: (Storm) … Now they are like beasts a-growling, Now a-wailing like a child. Storm is wailing, growling. The metaphorical expression eliminates the identifying of the alive subject and is used as an established collocation, designating the features of noises of winter: ston, plach, ukanye, ropot, svist (Russian: groaning, wailing, hooting, grumbling, hissing). According to the conclusion of Bessarabova (1987), such metaphor’s conformation happens due to one specific explicated feature. The effect of similarity extends the area of application for predicative words: on the one side, the notion of the feature extends and depletes semantically, and on the other side, a much more subtle differentiation of features of another realia category occurs.
The action words, verb of motions are used to characterize non-subject entities. For example, in characteristic of the mental activity:
The figurative metaphor performs an aesthetic function, however, the combining in it is irrational, but allowable – the combining creates the psychological tension, causes pleasure or disgust.
So, the metaphor is not only the means of language, seasoning the speech and giving the opportunity to make an image more understandable, but also it is a form of thinking, thinking figuratively, abstractly.
The metaphor in language education relates to the terms from the Speech Studies, consideration of which is an essential condition for the development of communicative and linguocultural competences of schoolchildren in process of teaching Russian as a foreign language. Metaphor, as a result of thinking, language and speech in general, has a limitless potential to be included in the linguistic view of the world of people, who represent the native speakers. Metaphor is functioning at different language levels studied at school: vocabulary, morphology, syntax, stylistics. Acquisition of the diversity of metaphor meanings helps schoolchildren to understand the unity of language and culture of people, who represent the native speakers, to ensure that there are many variants to create figurativeness. Metaphorized units with their illogical combination become clear for schoolchildren when they use them consciously in direct and figurative meanings while communicating. Conscious using of figurative units in speech will give the opportunity to form the new ones on the basis of initial understanding of semantics and grammar norms, which will undoubtedly help schoolchildren to develop their creativity.
The process of metaphorization by transfer of meanings requires seeking and defining of general essential features of objects, phenomena, actions, characterized by unusual perception. In order to define the essential features, it is necessary to understand the logics of similarity correlation in reality and determination of similarity, essential for it (subject) in creation of personally seasoned metaphor. The process of metaphorization of word, phrase intensifies the work of memory, imagination, logics, figurative thinking and perception. The metaphor seasons the speech, helps to instil caring attitude to a word, a language, it helps to develop communicative and linguocultural competences and develops the creative abilities of the language individual.
The creative potential of metaphor is particularly significant in the context of pedagogic and developing goals for the formation of the competent language individual, whose speech fully reflects his/her vision and feeling of linguistic and conceptual view of the world of people, who represent the native speakers.
From the methodological point of view, first of all the metaphor should be considered as basic means of speech development, forming the ability to conduct mental operation during cognition and familiarization with the world around and inside, as a result allowing the individual idea for specific situation to happen in the speech. The metaphor due to its figurativeness also acts as expressive means of speech for schoolchildren. It is well known that the expressiveness is determined by logic, accuracy and figurativeness.
A textbook is the primary means of teaching the Russian language. It is a model for implementation of one or other methodological system of teaching the second language. The textbook has the fundamental role in teaching of any discipline due to the fact that it regulates the content of studied discipline, outlines the ways of its digestion and usage in practical activities, guides joint work of the teacher and the taught. Any educational methodological system has its implementation in the textbook. The degree of knowledge depth and its firmness among schoolchildren, their manners depend also on their textbooks quality.
The content of textbook should help to develop schoolchildren’s skills to compare, analyse, compile language facts and phenomena; it should teach how to understand, analyse and create texts, to be mobile in different social groups; it should teach how to process information. The textbook should be focused on a new system of cultural values put forward by a new thinking and modern life of society on a complete objective interpretation of facts and phenomena, and on information on different areas of cultural life of people, who represent the native speakers. Classic texts of different styles and genres will play a positive role in achieving these goals, they provide not only the factual information, but also certain national culture, peculiarities of national world view, national mindset, in which the elements of national way of life, material and spiritual culture of a nation in its specific historical era are reflected; tasks assigned to the work with terms from the Speech Studies, with metaphorical linguistic units which are the basis for the development of communicative and linguocultural competences. A schoolchild with the textbook should get a systemic view of the nation culture in its language, of their dialectical interaction and development, which will help to form a modern cultural thought of schoolchildren.
The analysis of modern Russian language textbooks for the fifth grade
1. Authors T. Ladyzhenskaya, M. Baranov, L. Trostintsova et al. under the editorship of N. Shanskiy; 2. Authors M. Razumovskaya, S. Lvov, V. Kaspinos et al.; 3. Authors S. Lvova, V. Lvov has shown that mentioned textbooks do not quite correspond to the requirements of the Russian Federal Educational Standard (RFSS), the ethnicity of children is not taken into account. The development of modern language individual with tolerant mindset and respectful attitude towards languages and cultures of all nations living in the Russian Federation should become a strategic aspect of educational and methodological course for teaching Russian language starting from the first form. It is impossible to form a tolerant modern language individual without texts on national customs, traditions of Russians and the schoolchild’s own nation and representatives of other nationalities, integration of lessons on the Russian and native languages which help to understand the existing differences not only in language systems, but also in national cultures.
To enhance the implementation of communicative and linguocultural trends in teaching Russian language at school, it is necessary to make significant changes in human resources training, to develop general and special courses focused on culture, although this problem was partially solved when preparing learning kits for students.
The improvement and further development of linguocultural trends in Russian language, creation of complete and well-founded methodological system of interrelated study of language and culture, dialogue of cultures in order to form a modern language individual involve all stages of education including primary school and preschool education.
For the purposes of the study, we have developed the methodological system for teaching Russian as a foreign language and the educational and methodological course in linguocultural paradigm providing for the inclusion of culturally marked linguistic units, including metaphorical vocabulary, which help schoolchildren to understand ethnopsychological peculiarities and behavioural patterns of people, who represent the native speakers, to avoid intercultural misunderstanding.
To sum up, teaching Russian as a foreign language, development of communicative and linguocultural competences of schoolchildren involves the following:
- both digestion of lexical, grammatical and other peculiarities of the language, and revealing of national world image based on the comparison of different languages, different national world views and spiritual values;
- changing the point of view to the nature of teaching the second language is not just a thorough and long, but also dynamic process with the latest technologies for achieving the educational purposes in all fields of study; it is an involvement of vast culturally marked language material including figurative units; we note the important role of metaphor in process of development of communicative and linguocultural competences.
- studying language and culture together helps to develop not only the language competence, but also communicative and cultural competences, which becomes the main requirement for achieving the strategic purpose – to form the secondary language individual;
- using of culturally marked linguistic units, including metaphorical ones, which help to develop a tolerant attitude in schoolchildren to the languages and cultures of other nations. It is particularly important for multinational regions of Russia, including the Republic of Bashkortostan.
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15 November 2020
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Teacher, teacher training, teaching skills, teaching techniques, special education, children with special needs, computer-aided learning (CAL)
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Davletbaeva, R., Ermekbaeva, G., Jinyu, S., & Levanova, L. (2020). Role Of Metaphors In Development Of Communicative And Cultural Competence Of Schoolchildren. In & I. Murzina (Ed.), Humanistic Practice in Education in a Postmodern Age, vol 93. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 362-371). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.11.38