The article focuses on diachronic status of the ethnic concept "obedience" within conceptual and legal system of Russian official communication. The hypothesis about the contradiction between professional lawfulness and national mentality was tested. The researchers used an integrated technology: nominative features of the “obedience” concept were selected from the text documents, the materials were analyzed considering the context and valence. Definitional and component analysis, lingual and cognitive interpretation, intent-analysis of the documents were also used. A number of word-forms of the "obedience" concept was selected out of the documentary texts of XVII-XVIII centuries. Crucial legal acts were adopted at that time. They were the signs of law's move from medieval period to the new age. Several types of official situations which represented the "obedience" concept were distinguished. It is stated that nuclear categories of the "obedience" conceptual field had been used for several centuries to speak about lawful behaviour and to assess a governmental, criminal, civil offence. It is concluded that the "obedience" ethnic concept is very important as it forms the "legality (legitimacy)/ illegality (illegitimacy)" conceptual field in professional law awareness. It is proved that the legal interpretation of the "obedience" concept corresponded to its national model: a family model "a child - a parent" was a basis for a social and legal model of "employee (subject) – an employer (ruler)".
Keywords: Legislative document"legality (legitimacy)" concept"obedience" ethnic conceptofficial Russian languagepetitionpleas
Modern humane sciences including linguistics study the concept of Russian legal nihilism which opposes moral and law in national mentality. It should be noted that the idea of Russian mentality to reject legal norms is represented in unofficial speech which reflects ordinary law awareness: oral lore literature, fiction, mass communication texts, etc. A priori acceptance of this concept helps to conclude that there is an eternal confrontation between professional law awareness and national mentality. Professional law awareness and all the legal system is actually outside the ethnic culture. In addition, a paradoxical statement occurs: national law system supporting social hierarchy with highly respected authorities was established while legal regulation is eternally rejected.
National law awareness development is possible to be studied objectively only taking into consideration historical documents which contain both law norms, situations when they were applied and the categories of legal thinking. The speech representation of juridical concepts should be compared with the components of the linguistic world-image in Russia. Then it would be possible to conclude if professional and ordinary law awareness are close or different, and if there is ethnic and cultural identity of legal thinking.
Our previous research shows that the forms of the “legal norm” and “misdemeanor” concepts representation throughout the history of Russian official communication are various and connected with the initial concept of moral system. One of the most relevant for professional law awareness was specific ethnic concept field - "obedience". Its role in national law awareness is not studied in linguistic, historic and law researches. However this field represents ethnic and cultural stereotype determining national identity of the subject of legal relationship. The subject of this research is the forms of "obedience" concept explication in the history of Russian official communication.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the research is to find the status of the "obedience" ethnic concept in conceptual legal system of the official communication. Objectives: to define the "obedience" ethnic concept in Russian mentality; to name official situations which represented the "obedience" concept, to analyse speech forms representing the concept, to state its functions in legal thinking, to state how close is legal interpretation of the concept to its national model.
The research used integrated methods: nominative features of the “obedience” concept were selected from the text documents. Definitional and component analysis, lingual and cognitive interpretation, intent-analysis of the documents were also used.
Russian mentality may be characterized with archetypal model of behaviour which includes adaptation to social environment connected with the inner norm (modesty, self-control) and idealization of the world acceptance which is considered as a value. Ethno-psychology and linguistic culturology consider the following variants as nominations of this archetype:
Speech forms were selected from documentary texts to name official situations represented the "obedience" concept. These naming units were frequently used in XVII-XVIII. The most important legal acts supported the law move from the medieval period to the new age were adopted in this period. Bodies of legal norms and some higher legal acts indicative for the research are "Code, 1649, "Military charter", 1716, "General regulations or Charter",
1720, "Regulations or Charter of Chief Magistrate", 1721, "Authorities to manage Counties of Russian Empire", 1775, edicts of the tsars of XVIII and others. Some documents were in force up to XIX century using reflexes of legal thinking and the language of the previous age, that is why they are sufficient to make an opinion about legal thinking and language for the period of not less than 300 years. In addition, the documents addressed from non-officials to the authorities were studied. Norms of Russian office work and document flow provided that the legal language influenced the language of legislation, court, central and regional authorities. The set of texts of the research makes the results reliable for the whole semantic and conceptual system of official communication.
The result of the selection was a list of nominative units of the "obedience" concept which are used as terms. The list includes mostly lexemes of the "docility" group, which are composed like anthonyms:
Lexemes with the meaning of "obedience"
High importance of the "obedience" concept may be proved by Russian official communication at all its levels which use throughout the whole history one of the most common documentary genres for subjects to apply to the managers or to authorities with plea to solve a problem. The "obedience" concept can be noticed, first of all, in the lexical presentation of the document genre. The documents of knyaz paperwork called
edict of Catherine II "About the cancellation of words and sentences in petitions to their Majesty and to special places for petitions: a loyal slave bows low, about their replacement by the words: a zhalobnitsa (a complaint) or a proshenie (a petition), to bring a complaint or ask for help", 19 February, 1786, FLСRE 1, vol. XXII, No. 16.329). Sometimes compound names like
The group of lexemes with the meaning of "disobedience" (
The ethnic concept "obedience" played an integral role in the history of conceptual and legal system of Russian official communication. It became a frame of professional legal consciousness to form the conceptual field "legality (lawfulness) / illegality (unlawfulness)". The nuclear nominative units of the conceptual field "obedience" had been used for several centuries as terms to regulate legal behaviour and assess the offences in branches of state, criminal and civil law.
Legal interpretation of the concept "obedience" corresponded to its national model. The layer of the concept "obedience" which is represented by the lexemes of the "subordination" group is stipulated by unofficial communication in family and religious spheres. The family model "a child - a parent" (Dictionary of Russian Academy, (1789-1794), p. 570) is a basis for the social and legal model of "a subordinate (a subject) - a manager (a ruler)" (Dictionary of Russian Academy, (1789-1794), p. 50; Dictionary of the Russian Language XI-XVII, 1975, extr. 17,p. 189; Dictionary of the Old Russian Language, 1989, XI - XIV, vol. 7, p. 250). Also the subject-subject type of the model has been preserved: the volition of a higher subject is an embodiment of a legal norm, legal behaviour is to follow the orders of the higher subject. Similar dictionaries which were mentioned above find the meaning of "insubordination" in the lexemes like
It is evident that the terminologization of the nominative linguistic means of the concept "obedience" was not complete, the initial moral connotation preserved and was used as a means of speech impact to regulate legal and illegal things. Linguocultural background of the author and the addressee of the documentation was the same and made it possible to combine the concept "legality (lawfulness)" with the concept "obedience". An addressee of a legal norm was supposed to follow the model of behaviour based on the ethnic stereotype which meant to perceive a legal norm as a Ruler's volition. Thus, our findings do not prove that historically professional legal thinking were opposed to national mentality, legal beliefs were not opposed to morality. On the contrary, ethnic cultural identity of the legal thinking was found.
- Dictionary of Russian Academy (1789-1794). Slovar' Akademii Rossijskoj: v 6 ch. [Dictionary Of The Russian Academy: in 6 volumes]. Saint-Petersburg: Imperial Academy Of Science.
- Dictionary of The Old Russian Language XI-XIV. (1989). Slovar drevnerusskogo yazyka XI-XIV: v 10 tomah [Dictionary of the Old Russian Language (XI – XIV centuries): in 10 volumes]. Moscow: The Russian Language.
- Dictionary of the Russian Language XI-XVII. (1975). Slovar russkogo yazyka XI-XVII [The dictionary of the Russian language of the XI – XVII centuries]. Moscow: Nauka.
- Dictionary of the Russian Language XVIII. (1992). Slovar' russkogo yazyka XVIII veka [The dictionary of the Russian language of the 18th century]. Saint-Petersburg: Nauka.
- FLCRE (1830). Polnoe sobranie zakonov" Rossijskoj Imperii. Sobranie Pervoe: v 42 tomah. [Full law collection of the Russian Empire. The First Collection: in 42 volumes]. Saint-Petersburg.
- Kachalkin, A. N. (1988). Zhanry russkogo documenta dopetrovskoi epokhi. Philologicheskii metod analiza documentov [Genres of the Russian document of the pre-Petrine era. Part II. The philological method of analyzing documents.]. Moscow: MSU Publishing house.
- Kasyanova, K. (1994). O Russkom natsionalnom kharaktere [On the Russian national character]. Moscow: Institute of national model of economy.
- Kolesov, V. V., Kolesova, D. V., & Kharitonov, A. A. (2014). Slovar Russkoi mentalnosti: in 2 chastyah [Dictionary of Russian mentality: in 2 volumes]. Saint-Petersburg: Zlatoust.
- Shmelev, A. D. (2002). Russkii yazyk i vneyazykovya deyatelnost [The Russian language and extralinguistic reality]. Moscow: Languages of Slavic culture.
- Wierzbicka, A. (1996). Yazyk. Kultura. Poznanie [Language. Culture. Cognition]. Moscow: Russkie slovari.
- Zaliznyak, A. A., Levontina, I. B., & Shmelev, A. D. (2012). Pluralism eticheskikh system v svete yazykovykh dannyh [Pluralism of ethical systems in the light of linguistic data]. Konstanty I peremennye russkoi yazykovoi kartiny mira, 259-267.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
About this article
15 November 2020
Print ISBN (optional)
Teacher, teacher training, teaching skills, teaching techniques, special education, children with special needs, computer-aided learning (CAL)
Cite this article as:
Kosov, A., & Popova, L. (2020). Russian Obedience From The Perspective Of The Official Language: Diachronic Aspect. In & I. Murzina (Ed.), Humanistic Practice in Education in a Postmodern Age, vol 93. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 547-553). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.11.56