Conceptual Space As The Complex Author’s Axiological Sphere Representation


This article identifies and qualifies both semantic and syntactic characteristics of verbalizers as explicators of individual axiological ideas about the described realities in the author's picture of the world. As a result of the application of contextual, definitional, component, linguocultural and interpretative analysis, it identifies archetypal nuclear noems, etymological-associated linguocultural components, as well as peripheral marginal noems, which undergo a systematization process in order to recreate the content-thematic center of the work. Modeled as a systemic representative of the individual author's axiological system, the concept sphere of the investigated works of prison literature has a hierarchical structure in which the nuclear zone, the near and far periphery are distinguished. The core includes the basic nomens of the ZEK and CON / VIC concepts. The near periphery is represented by local-temporal associates of the concepts ZONE, CAMP, PRISON, GEN POP, reflecting an agonic or apocalyptic picture of world perception. The far periphery contains verbalizers of individual associates of concepts designed to accentuate components that differ from general linguocultural images-stereotypes, which are directly related to the author's experience of being in prison or in a camp. In extremely reflexive texts of prison literature, reliance on frequency noematic components makes it possible to build a specific field-fractal conceptual sphere aimed at modifying the nuclear region of the conceptual-valerian system of the linguocultural community. Peripheral personal noems act as a prism that refracts a marginal layer of values, in a paradoxical hypertrophied representation of the “transcendent” experience of comparing the general and the personal.

Keywords: Conceptosphere, extremely reflective text, axiological space, sociocultural stereotype, linguocultural type


As already mentioned in the works of Russian and foreign authors, the main dominant of the works of extremely reflective psychological literature is the representation of the individual-personal components of their own axiological space and their translation into the general cultural value-orientational space in order to change the picture of the world of the entire community. The primary way of explication of psycho-emotive author's overtones of the semantic hierarchy and the implementation of “schemes of action” for interpreting a work is the creation of a specific concept sphere, which is designed not only to reflect the conceptualized concepts of the corresponding area of ​​sociocultural memory in the minds of all carriers of a particular culture, but also to organically correlate with them reconceptualized concepts. The entire conceptual sphere of extremely reflexive texts can be understood as systemically organized, based not on the constituent elements, but on the structural hierarchical interrelationships of such forms of cognitive structures as a script, frame, gestalt, the paradigmatic relations within which form the general cognitive aura of the work (Ogneva, 2009).

Problem Statement

It is necessary to point out the exceptional importance of all criterial features of the basic, nuclear nomens that form the core of the artistic conceptual sphere, while their presence in the passive area cannot in any way affect the degree of their actualization. Thus, the presence in the marginal sphere of positive axiological overtones of cultural concepts ZEK, or CON, does not prevent their actualization in extremely reflective texts of prison literature and the introduction of an artistic concept into the nuclear area.

Research Questions

As many modern representatives of the cognitive trend point out, the entire fabric of a work of art is nothing more than a collection of artistic concepts. An artistic concept that emphasizes the individual and personal components of the content of a cultural concept can be defined as a complex mental construct that is significant not only in the individual author's consciousness, but also correlated with the psycho-emotional sphere of a particular linguocultural community. This fact is explained by the fact that the reader's understanding of peripheral components can only be based on some universal “mnems” rooted in socio-cultural memory, in all artistic experience. In this case, relevant noems can be used as the construction of associated and actualized artistic meanings.

Purpose of the Study

The dominant goal of our research is the description and construction of a field-fractal model of the conceptual sphere of extremely reflexive literary texts, as well as a description of the basic nuclear conceptualized and reconceptualized concepts of individual-personal determination in the aspect of their interrelation with the general linguistic and cultural axiological space.

Research Methods

The methodology of hermeneutic-noematic analysis that we have chosen in this work, including the tools of cognitive science, hermeneutics, functional pragmatics, and cultural linguistics, presents the widest opportunities in the process of research and modeling of the socio-cultural space of the verbalized concept sphere of extremely reflexive texts.


The intentionality and psycho-emotiveness (primarily axiological) of the author's artistic concept in its verbalization seems to be its key characteristic, it correlates with the author's general intention and explicates the mechanism of idiometaphorical transfer (producer processing of facts of extra-linguistic reality). The artistic concept in its peripheral authorial accentuation in the process of increasing the number of contextual uses forms the core of the artistic concept sphere. When extrapolating the data of the marginal components of the conceptual-valerian system to relevant contextual uses in works of similar subjects, he outlines the circle of sociocultural subgroup stereotypes. However, upon perception and acontextual use, the previously frequently updated components are already preserved in the core area of ​​content and act as the main ones, typing the representations behind the concept.

Most researchers, noting the constructive functions of typified areas of the concept, which, in the host of the available diversity, participate in the formation of the general space of culture, at the same time note the modification potential of peripheral individual characteristics of typified features along with stable nuclear characteristics and objective features (Murzinova, 2008). It is this model that gives rise to the amphibolic interpretation of the special types of ZEC and CON.

However, understanding the complex structure of such a phenomenon as a type is impossible without referring to the basic concepts of cognitive linguistics, namely, without recognizing the fact that the typified area of ​​the concept is nothing more than a kind of peripheral, but already present in the socio-cultural memory, components of a broader mental formation. And the deep content of this linguocultural concept will be represented by the typified person. This fact of the interconnection between the individual author's typified component and the general linguocultural in the structure of the concept is emphasized in the very definition. “The concept as a mental formation in the consciousness of an individual is an outlet to the conceptual sphere of society, i.e., ultimately, to culture, and the concept as a unit of culture is fixation collective experience, which becomes the property of the individual” (Karasik, 2004, p. 208).

This access to the general linguistic cultural in the individual, the acculturation of personal experience and value-orientational space, along with the implantation and objectification of the norms, rules and values ​​of the whole community, is carried out within the framework of three plans of implication, which correspond to the three components identified by Stepanov (2001) or layers of the concept.

1. An actual feature that implements the nuclear characterological features of a concept in common usage, and therefore serves as a component that provides understanding for all members of the linguocultural community. This primary plan has the broadest implementation and is easily decoded even by uninformed recipients who do not have deep knowledge, at the level of the surface structure (Bredikhin & Alikaev, 2016). In our case, this is the nuclear content that any normative dictionary gives, for example: ZEK, -a, husband. (simple.). The same as the prisoner (Ozhegov & Shvedova, 1992). The corresponding superficial socially significant components are also represented by the conventional extra-contextual conceptualized concept CON, -s, noun (abr. From convict). someone who is in prison because they are guilty of a crime.

2. The accompanying or irrelevant features, implicitly preserved in the deep structure, give the generalized content of the concept additional, most often etymological, or diachronic connotations of meaning. The nomens that actualize these features are represented by passive contextual synsemants (archaisms, historicisms), which are not recognized by all representatives of the linguistic community, but only by individual social groups.

The nuclear nomen ZEK in Russian “camp prose” when filling semantic wells at the level of interpretation within the framework of phenomenological reflection, explicates these components. The term "zek" is derived from the official abbreviation "z / k", which was widely used from the mid-1920s to the late 1950s. The etymology of this lexeme is based on the semi-legendary case of the origin of the expression "Prisoner canal soldier", which was first recorded during the construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal. As described in one of the collective monographs, subsequently banned and withdrawn for ideological reasons, one of the first deputy chiefs of the OGPU-NKVD GULAG L. I. Kogan in his conversation with A. I, who was still a candidate member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) A.I. Mikoyan explained about the prisoners: “Comrade Mikoyan, what should we call them? (...) So I came up with the word - "canalist". How do you look?" To which he received an agreement in principle (Stalin Baltic Canal: History of construction, 1934).

The English-language basic nomen CON does not contain specific diachronic components that are not perceived at the level of noematic reflection. At the same time, individual naming with a concretizing meaning is no longer perceived at present as motivated, for example, PI (abr. From Prison Industries) a team of prisoners in Fox River who do jobs around the prison that the prison itself does not have the resources to fix. The analogue in the Russian-language argot is the conceptualized in the penitentiary system the concept of “me”, i.e. the total mass of prisoners doing certain jobs, who are not privileged “thieves” or “red”, but at the same time are not included in the group of “lowered” and have the right to work in the zone, and not just “sit”.

3. Internal peripheral components, represented by scattered areas, implicit associates available only with a thorough analysis of the deep structure based on possible word usage and available utterances. It should be noted that such “concealment” of the internal form does not neutralize its real presence in a series of precisely conceptual meanings, which means that potentially peripheral components can also “migrate” into the nuclear zone, this fact is explained by the fact that they represent the basis for the formation and evolution of all the rest layers.

Similar marginal components are possessed by alternative naming conventions in both studied linguocultures; often they represent only the individual author's components of the axiological system, but sometimes they also show a darkened general linguocultural component. For example, in the conceptualized concept of “wolf” - ... (Solzhenitsyn, 1968). In this statement, personal overtones are explicated, and it should be noted that the actualization of precisely positive associations with this concept should be noted. So, the wolf, as a totem animal of some peoples of Siberia, symbolizes wisdom, strength, and courage.

This interpretation contrasts with the general linguocultural components, even of the peripheral area, in which the desphimized use of the lexeme “wolf” as an invective is more common (when compared to). The intentional amphibole of the one chosen for the verbalization of psycho-emotional space requires the reader to perceive the text at the level of phenomenological reflection and constant switching of codes and assimilation of new “schemes of action”. The recipient is imbued with new positive meanings, gets used to the author's picture of the world and perceives the archetypal oppositions “good – bad”, “good – evil”, “day – night” in a new coordinate system.

In this respect, English-language prison literature demonstrates much less interpretive potential, primarily due to the lesser influence of the marginal component on the penitentiary discourse. Basically, such verbalizers create amphibole only in a specific context due to rigid status-role binding and eno-national determination, for example:(Trupin, 1975).

In this case, the primary perception of a certain type of prisoner wonks is based on the general linguistic cultural perception of a disdainful attitude towards “outsiders” who were determined to be “imprisoned” in a mono-ethnic block. The slang lexeme nigga predicts exactly this interpretation of the phrase. However, it should be noted that in the further horizontal context this conceptualized noema is not actualized anywhere else. In addition, the vertical context does not allow us to talk about the deliberate use of the taboo lexeme wonk as an alternative, culturally determined synonym for whitey (the author does not refer to either the ethnic Australian aborigines or the colored minority in the described prison) (Ayto, 2000).

The text explicates rather rare, actualized only in some narrow prison communities noems “effeminacy”, “masturbation”, “homosexuality”: (Trupin, 1975). This context and some other options for using this lexeme to nominate the so-called "omitted" contributes to the transformation of the “action scheme” for the perception of the text and modifies the generally accepted content of the WONK concept in a socially significant context. In addition, the parallel use of this lexeme with the intentional-invective and derogatory body, which has a basic noem “flesh”, “body” as a physical shell, a receptacle of the soul and spirit, levels out all conceptual noems that include the homosexual in the category of “human beings”, sometimes given dismissively - distance attitude takes a form similar to gender segregation (“a girl is a girl, she must know her attitude”) (Vorokhov et al., 1990).

So, the actual layer of the concept represents characterological features crystallized as a result of the processes of categorization and stereotyping, compatible with such basic concepts that define a typed construct, such as “role”, “stereotype”, “role”, “image”. These concepts quite fully, in our opinion, describe some stability or stereotyped pattern of model communicative behavior, which is based on the unity and strict order of stimulus-reactive feelings, thoughts and actions, and therefore can act as primary prognostic strategies of the reader in the perception of the text space and building the general concept of a work of art.

A socially determined model of understanding, based on a general scenario of typification and stereotyping of nomens verbalizing central artistic concepts, is built in accordance with generally recognized role prescriptions and underlies the prediction of the future content of the work. The entire process of changing certain parameters of a nominated situation in a culturally significant context is necessarily tied to the general “dynamics of changes in verbal ethnic stereotypes over time and in different social contexts” (Nikolaev & Dolya, 2019, p. 96). However, one should not assume that the interpretation area, actualized by one or another verbalizer, completely determines the structural-content space of the stereotype image. The very stereotyped behavior and the algorithmic nature of its interpretation are only the primary sign, the fatigue of recognition, while the disclosure of the type as a whole occurs when non-role attributes are taken into account - perceptual-figurative sensations caused by speech behavior; apperceptive associates; paraverbal speech markers.

These components must lead to the involvement of the vertical socio-cultural and situational context in the system of analysis of the architectonics of the key artistic concepts of prison literature, i.e. consideration of stereotyped models of behavior in a particular situation of semiosis. The stereotype is considered by the majority of modern cognitologists as an example of perception, sorting, interpretation of the components of the information-knowledge continuum in the process of human interaction with the environment and identification of its phenomena based on the past folk experience and typical for a specific historical and sociocultural community.

In the process of recognizing the typical components of such key concepts, such characteristics as associativity (the formation of a number of stable concepts and nomens linked by a common socio-cultural memory), recurrence (semantic determination by the previous horizontal and vertical context in a semiosis situation), textbook (ease of interpretation even in semiosis), significance (the degree of explication and representativeness for a particular linguoculture), brightness (compliance with all the calculated features of a category for assigning a new member to its category), typicality (highlighting characteristic features based on categorization and generalization), precedence (awareness of nuclear features that make up the base of the cultural concept, identified on the basis of the most frequent contextual environments).

Thus, the conceptual side is a fixed area of ​​the feature structure, which makes it possible to single out typified concepts among other representative personalized concepts, to compare its key archisemes “marginality”, “social role”, “relevance”, “existentiality”, etc. with concepts that do not possess these characteristics or that explicate those in a different focus, for example, activity-related, and not feature-nominative characteristics.

The subject-shaped component of the concept appeals to a deep imprint in socio-cultural memory, which is formed on the basis of a holistic, non-discrete-amorphous experience of the collision of many representatives of the linguocultural community with one or another area of ​​objective reality. In the process of obtaining and interpreting this experience, visual-figurative thinking plays a leading role in imprinting, contributing to the mythologization and “spiritualization” of an empirically verified fact and ritualization of the behavioral model. This area allows one to compare one or another linguocultural type with adjacent formations and highlight its key nominees in a particular language, in our case typical in one or another social group of the American or Russian linguocultural community. Speaking about the linguocultural specifics of the texts under consideration, it is nevertheless necessary to emphasize a single thematic space of penitentiary writings, which is based on the so-called phenomenon of the formation of an “interlingual cultural picture of the world” by separate areas of human existence.


The value content of the concepts forming a dense thematic-coherent fabric of a literary text is a specific conceptual-valerian, motivational area of ​​the psycho-emotional space of linguoculture, which is not only characterized by real and spiritual landmarks, but also represents an axiological component of modeling behavioral reactions in a particular situation of perception and broadcast of the author's picture of the world. This sphere of identification of the typical and the stereotypical is sometimes interpreted as meaningful, valerian-valence, which makes it possible to determine the place and value of a particular concept for the formation of an artistic conceptual sphere as an integral macrostructure of prototypical oppositions, as well as the relevance of the presence of this or that element in it.

Modeled as a complex representative of the individual author's conceptual-valerian system, the concept sphere of the investigated works of prison literature, like the key concepts themselves, has a hierarchical structure, in which the nuclear zone, the near and far periphery are distinguished. The core includes the basic nomens of the ZEK and CON / VIC concepts. The near periphery is represented by local-temporal associates of the concepts ZONE, CAMP, PRISON, GEN POP, which explicate those reflecting an agonic or apocalyptic picture of the world perception. The distant periphery contains verbalizers of individual associates of concepts, designed to accentuate components that differ from general linguistic-cultural images-stereotypes, which are directly related to the author's experience of being in prison or in a camp.

Each of the levels of the hierarchy of the conceptual sphere of a work of art is characterized by its delimitation not on contrastive grounds, but within the framework of comparative relations with the corresponding areas of the understanding of the key lexemes-representatives of the concept and other associated conceptually significant units, shared by all members of the linguocultural community.


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Bredikhin, S. N., Yakovleva, E. V., Marinina, G. I., Kashirina, O. V., & Sergodeeva, E. A. (2021). Conceptual Space As The Complex Author’s Axiological Sphere Representation. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization - ISCKMC 2020, vol 107. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 245-252). European Publisher.