The article examines the possibilities of pragmatic transposition of various intentional types into menasives in the context of the Russian 2018 pre-election discourse, and also highlights the types of transposed menasives and determines their pragma-emotional impact on the mass addressee. The starting point of the research is the presentation of transposed threat statements as menacing regulatory actions or menasive regulations aimed at solving the global communicative task of a politician – encouraging voters to vote for their candidacy – and marked by various linguistic means. The election programs of the candidates for the position of President of the Russian Federation in 2018 demonstrate the possibility of a pragmatic transposition of declaratives, promissives, recommendations, demands, warnings, appeals, and constative statements into menasives. The highlighted varieties of transposed menasives are involved in marking the regulative menacing actions of a politician and in creating a special influencing potential of the Russian pre-election discourse. The results obtained allow one to assert that in the context of the Russian pre-election discourse, it is pragmatically effective for a politician to use four functional and semantic varieties of pragmatically transposed menasives, which include declarative threats, warning threats, invocatory threats and recommendation threats. The proposed distinction between the main and transposed threat statements is promising for analyzing the intensity of the pragma-emotional impact of menasives, and the selection of functional and semantic varieties of transposed menasives allows for tracing the tactics of their strategic use in the program materials of politicians.
Keywords: Menasive statementspolitical communicationpragmaticspre-election discoursestandard formulatransposition
Threat statements, menacing statements or menasives are an integral part of the election programs of candidates for the position of the President of the Russian Federation in 2018 (Romanov & Novoselova, 2013). Menacing utterances implemented in the election programs of politicians are a specific communicative-intentional type of utterances with the meaning of a threat, characterized by an antecedent-consequential (conditional or causal) link between the action causated by a politician and negative consequences for refusing to carry it out (Romanov & Novoselova, 2013). It is indicative that the connection of events declared by the politician – the antecedent (the conditional component of the threat) and the consequent (the investigative component of the threat) – is known to them as the author of the election campaign and to the voter as the addressee (Romanov & Novoselova 2020). It is important to note that the commission of menacing ("sanctioning") actions by the author of the threat is not their communicative intention, since, using the threat statement, the politician wants to attract the attention of the mass addressee (Bartashova & Polyakova, 2018; Boldyrev & Dubrovskaya, 2019; Skrebtsova, 2020; Volchetskaia & Primak, 2019).
Politicians strategically use election campaigns, consciously realizing in their program materials a
In a number of works, the linguistic means of superficial manifestation of statements with the meaning of a threat, implemented in the program materials of candidates for the position of the President of the Russian Federation in 2018 in the amount of 229 units (Novoselova, 2019), have been studied, and an explicit (basic) formula of menasives in the sense of J. Austin's concept is proposed and the performative hypothesis (Austin, 1979, p. 80-104, 174), i.e. a formula that most adequately reflects the antecedent and consequential nature of the threat statements (Romanov, & Novoselova, 2020). The realization of the illocutionary threat potential under conditions of agonal political discourse is carried out on the basis of the standard (explicit) formula NP (1) – V (0) – NP (2) – S (3), where V (0) denotes the predicate kernel, NP (1) is the subject of influence, NP (2) is the object of influence, while S (3) is the target component (for more details on illocutionary potential, see: Romanov, 1988, 2020). The illocutionary verb “threaten” is used as a constructive-meaningful kernel of the semantic structure of the threat statements, despite the fact that the specified verb is not used performatively. For example, V. Zhirinovsky's threat statement «
There is no doubt that the main forms of pre-election menasive statements (i.e., forms corresponding to the standard formula of threatening statements) include those menasives in which the nomination of the intended purpose is the main one and which explicitly convey
In the pre-election programs of candidates for the position of the President of the Russian Federation in 2018, 74 threat statements were recorded (about 32.31% of the total number of examples) related to the main form of menasives. An insignificant indicator of the frequency of the main forms of menasives indicates that the majority of politicians
Let us recall that the pragmatic transposition of grammatical structures (utterances) is characterized by the use of one or another illocutionary (target) type of constructions in an unusual pragmatic function which is atypical for it (Romanov, 1988). The transposition mechanism is based on the figurative (secondary) use of grammatical structures or forms, when a typical grammatical structure participates in the implementation of a communicative function that is not inherent (not typical) for it. This “pragmatically highlighted” use of syntactic forms, called pragmatic transposition (Romanov, 2005, p. 115), is associated with the departure of the pragmatic meaning of a particular typical syntactic unit beyond the system of normative rules that determine the primary behavior (use) of such a unit.
In the election programs of candidates for the position of the President of the Russian Federation in 2018, 139 transposed menasives were recorded, accounting for about 60.70% of the total number of threatening statements. A characteristic feature of transposed menasive statements is that the politician declares through them negative actions or sanctions directed at voters, the opposition or a non-targeted audience, but does not explicitly indicate the condition or reason for the onset of the declared consequences, for example: «
In connection with the active implementation of transposed menasives by the participants of the Russian presidential race in 2018, the question naturally arises about the mechanism of transposition in the context of pre-election discourse, as well as about the pragmatic efficiency of functioning in the context of the agonal political discourse of transposed threat statements. In the chosen perspective of reasoning, it is interesting to find out the possibilities of pragmatic transposition of various intentional types into menasives in the context of the Russian 2018 pre-election discourse, as well as to highlight the varieties of transposed menasives and to determine their pragma-emotional impact on the mass addressee. It is also important to establish what pragmatic effect the transposed menasives have on the emotional state of voters and whether this pragmatic effect differs from the influence exerted by the main forms of threat statements.
Purpose of the Study
Studying the possibilities of pragmatic transposition in the context of pre-election discourse will reveal the role of transposed menasives in the formation of regulatory actions of a politician aimed at encouraging voters to choose a particular candidate when various negative consequences are mentioned.
The starting point of the research is the presentation of transposed threat statements
The material of the research records the presence in the election programs of the participants in the 2018 presidential race of statements related to certain intentional types of constructions, but acquiring an illocutionary menasive tendency. In other words, various intentional types of utterances – different from menasives – function in the program materials of candidates as threat statements, representing
The pragmatically transposed menasives are based on the truncated standard formula for the menasives NP (1) – V (0) – NP (2), a distinctive feature of which is the absence of superficial substitution of the target argument position S. Transposed menasives contain an explicit indication only of the consequent component of the threat and in the functional plans can be synonymous with other intentional types of statements, such as promises or warnings. As an example of a pragmatically transposed threat statement, let us cite P. Grudinin's menasive «
Pragmatically transposed threat statements, representing, for example, the targeted use of a promise in a threat function, have a certain set of functional and semantic properties that are not fully characteristic of neither menasives nor promises. Thus, a promise is an obligation to do something for
The empirical material makes it possible to single out such functional and semantic varieties of transposed menasives as declarative threats, threats-promises, recommendation threats, threats-demands, warning threats, invocatory threats and constative threats, the frequency of implementation of which is reflected in the Table
The functional and semantic varieties presented in the table give a holistic view of the implementation of transposed menasives in the Russian election discourse in 2018. However, the table does not allow one to determine the strategic use by each of the candidates for the position of the President of the Russian Federation of one or another type of menasives. For this reason, it is advisable to record the information about the frequency of use of functional and semantic varieties of menasives in the program material of each of the participants in the pre-election discourse and present this information in the form of Table
Undoubtedly, the candidates' program materials contain a different number of functional and semantic varieties of transposed menasives, but it can be argued with all confidence that politicians use the communicative “archive” of threat statements presented in Table
The results obtained do not allow one to find a correlation between the number of functional and semantic varieties of transposed menasives in a politician's program materials and the number of votes they won in elections. However, in the context of the Russian pre-election discourse of 2018, it is pragmatically effective for a politician to use four functional and semantic varieties of transposed menasives, which include
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27 May 2021
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Romanov, A., & Novoselova, O. (2021). Varieties Of Menasive Transposition In The Context Of Pre-Election Discourse. In E. V. Toropova, E. F. Zhukova, S. A. Malenko, T. L. Kaminskaya, N. V. Salonikov, V. I. Makarov, A. V. Batulina, M. V. Zvyaglova, O. A. Fikhtner, & A. M. Grinev (Eds.), Man, Society, Communication, vol 108. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1191-1198). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.02.152