Ideologization Peculiarities Of The Russian Compound Polite People And Its English Equivalents

Abstract

The issues of studying the functioning of ideologized vocabulary in various types of discourse have recently acquired special relevance. This paper presents the results of the semantically cognitive research of ideologization peculiarities of the compound names вежливые люди in modern Russian and its equivalents polite people / little green men in modern English in political and mass media discourse. The research determines access to the content plan of ideological concepts (= ideologemes) and establishes ideologization mechanisms of compound names in language. The relevance of the research is due to the need to study specifics of the ideologization of a compound name in modern Russian and English, as well as to identify the factors that determine this process. In the process of the research, the authors define and characterize the concept and the semantic field of the units under consideration, and conclude their equivalence. The complete analysis defines modern axiological guidelines of society, which are the foundation of a conceptual and linguistic picture of the world, its categorization.

Keywords: Compound name, discourse, ideologized vocabulary, ideologeme, News on the Web Corpus, Russian National Corpus

Introduction

Nowadays, ideology actively uses verbal means to achieve certain goals. Language and ideology are inseparable and the connection between them is revealed through the ideologized vocabulary. The ideologized vocabulary is words and idioms which denotation is complicated by ideological microcomponent reflecting the subjective attitude of a certain ideology to the designated concept in the form of qualification (Karamova, 2015). Researches of actual ideologized vocabulary functioning are of interest to linguists.

The interaction of language and culture is known to be represented in concept (Kabanova, 2015). The interaction of ideology and language, in turn, is represented in ideologeme, ideological concept. An ideologized word or a compound name as nomination units represents the expression plane of ideologeme (Belugina et al., 2020). From the linguo-cognitive perspective, the content plan of ideologeme is a semantic field, from the semasiology perspective is a sememe (Timofeev & Starodubets, 2020).

Ideologemes are highly used in different types of discourse. The largest amount of emotional and ideologically tinged vocabulary is used in the context of socially-political discussions. There are a lot of linguists in this field. We should particularly note Chudinov (Garaeva et al., 2019; Nikiforova & Chudinov, 2016; Solopova & Chudinov, 2019), (Radbil & Pomazov, 2019), (Karamova et al., 2019) whose works we focused on in this study.

In that respect political and mass media discourse as a sphere of ideologized vocabulary functioning is of interest within the framework of this study.

The ideological confrontation between the Western and Russian worlds is actually obvious in the context of the socially-political discourse. Recently, one of the most resonant topics in political relations between Russia and the West is definitely the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula to the Russian Federation. The most “striking” ideological concept, which is of great interest to modern researchers of ideologized vocabulary, is a Russian ideologeme presented in the form of the compound name, as well as its equivalentsandin English.

Problem Statement

Researches of ideologized vocabulary in different types of discourse are very popular now. The object of this research is political and mass media discourse. The key problem is the necessity to study ideologization peculiarities of a word and a compound name lexical meaning in modern Russian and English languages a well as to identify the factors that determine this process. The study allows us to fix the modern axiological guidelines of society, which are the foundation of a conceptual and linguistic picture of the world and society.

Research Questions

The following questions should be answered within the framework of this research:

  • What does the specifics of the ideologization of the compound name вежливые люди consist of in modern Russian?
  • What does the specifics of the ideologization of the compound name polite people / little green men consist of in modern English?

Purpose of the Study

The main goal of this research is to identify specifics of the ideologization of the compound name in modern Russian and its equivalentsandin modern English in the context of political and mass media discourses..

Research Methods

The semantical-cognitive method to analyze the content plan of the ideologemes (=ideological concept) was used in this research. The conceptual field of an ideologeme is represented through thematic areas (=conceptual areas) and differentiation of ideologeme’s ambivalence explicators (=a figurative and a value component of the content plan. The semantic field is determined within the sememe and fixed by means of differentiating the semantic components of the ideologized compound name lexical meaning through the use of component analysis (Maklakova & Sternin, 2013, p. 30).

The “method of semantic description of meaning verifying” (=“cognitive verification”, “when the reflection method was used to determine the inheritance of this seme to a given meaning in the linguistic consciousness of native speakers” (Maklakova & Sternin, 2013, p. 6) was used too. The meaning acquired this way is communicative and fixes the components “which are communicatively relevant at this stage of the linguistic people consciousness development” (Sternin & Salomatina, 2011, p. 24).

Corpus, statistical and comparative methods were used at the beginning of the linguistic material analysis.

Findings

Features of compound names research

In this section, the subject of our research was the ideologized compound namesand English equivalentsand. We searched for contexts with the key expressionin the Russian National Corpus (RNC, 2020) and with the key expressions in News on the Web Corpus (NOW, 2020). As a result, we received a sampling of examples each of which contained a description of a researched compound name. Then this information was grouped in thematic areas. The follow-up actions were carried out with contexts belonging to each of the identified thematic areas.

The conceptual fields of the named ideologemes were fixed by representing thematic (=conceptual) areas (at the core) and ambivalence explicators (at the periphery).

The research of ideologization peculiarities of the compound name вежливые люди in modern Russian

The compound nameis a relatively new concept fixed in language, gained its popularity because of the events on the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

We fixed 89 documents and 93 mentions of the compound namein the main corpus of the RNC and 75 documents and 114 mentions – in the newspaper corpus.

The ideologemeis represented by a number of thematic areas in its conceptual field core.

The thematic area “descriptive characteristics, matter, features of”

Semantic components (area markers): (Sokolov-Mitrich, 2014), (Kashevarova, 2014), (Holmogorov, 2014), (Shakun, May 16, 2014),(Povoraznyuk, 2014),(Shakun, May 16, 2014), (Shakun, May 16, 2014), (Sozaev-Guriev, 2014).

The thematic area “as people’s unity symbol”

Area markers: language, history, little green men are symbols of Russian and Ukrainian people unity (Bazhanov, 2014), heroes for the Crimeaneans (Kashevarova & Apetiyan, 2014), symbol of Russian spring in Crimea (Benediktov, 2014).

Ambivalence explicators (neutral, meliorative, pejorative) of the conceptual field were fixed by us in a peripheral part. Lexical explicators distribution statistics is shown in Figure 1.

without insignia, in special forces camouflage, Russian army soldiers, Russian military, in camouflage with machine guns, trademark, clothing brand, alcohol brand, account, Internet meme, young soldiers, sergeants, officers.

armed to the teeth, connected with the war in Eastern Ukraine.

what was really cool, confident power without aggression, ultra-modern professional soldiers, a renewed, professional and high-tech Russian army, polite faces, connected with the joining of Crimea, heroes for the Crimeanians, the Russian army symbol, a symbol of the “Russian spring” in Crimea, polite look, polite attendance, polite weapons, the guarantor of peace and stability, polite eyes, polite helmets, polite country, polite steel cars, victories of ancestors, polite stand, cherish the honor and glory of the Fatherland, victories, and happiness, strength, tranquility, confidence.

Figure 1: The ratio of lexical explicators of the conceptual field characterizing the content plan of the ideologeme вежливые люди in modern Russian
The ratio of lexical explicators of the conceptual field characterizing the content plan of the ideologeme вежливые люди in modern Russian
See Full Size >

In the Russian-language view of the world, we have noted a general tendency towards a neutral-positive perception of the phenomenon of.

The communicative meaning of the compound nameactual for the modern Russian language is represented by:

  • hyperseme – “Russian military, armed people in camouflage without insignia, who have carried out the annexation of Crimea to Russia in a referendum”,
  • differential semes: “the Russian political power auxiliaries”, “correct, restraint and a highly moral attitude towards the Crimeanians”, “ultra-modern”, “highly professional”, “attentive”.

The specificity of the compound nameideologization in modern Russian is determined by the euphemistic metaphorization process of the attributeexplaining the “semantic modification” of components toward the whole expression. (Morozov in his dissertation research defines the concept of socially-political euphemisms as a “special category of units used mainly in political discourse to replace words and expressions that are tabooed in this stage of historical development society to avoid naming what can cause a negative assessment of a political discourse participant” (Morozov, 2017, p. 45).

The semantic field of Russian compound nameconsists mainly of positive meaning mode semes; the conceptual field is represented by frame “Moral virtues and characteristics of”. Here we need to define the notion of the frame.

For Fillmore, frames can be defined as any of the many organized packages of knowledge, beliefs, and patterns of practice that shape and allow humans to make sense of their experiences (Fillmore & Baker, 2009, p. 314).

According to Lakoff, frames are important in political discourse because of their relation to the workings of the mind as they activate certain schemas in our minds which influence the way we perceive and reason about an issue (Lakoff, 2008; Lakoff, 2014).

Thus, frames are an ideal tool in political discourse, where the purpose is to present an issue in such a way that makes one's own approach appear to be the only meaningful one, while rendering all other approaches nonsensical (Scherling, 2018, p. 456).

Russian scientist Boldyrev defined frame as a type of concept or knowledge revealing access to several conceptual areas (Boldyrev, 2007, pp. 17-27). In our research, we prefer this approach.

The research of ideologization peculiarities of the compound name polite people / little green men in modern English

The main equivalent to the Russianis the compound nameAlso, there is a less common variant:.

Ideologization peculiarities of the compound namein modern English are researched on basis of the largest modern English-language electronic NOW corpus.

We fixed 64 documents and 87 mentions of the compound namein the NOW corpus and 23 documents and 34 mentions of the compound name.

The ideologemeis represented by a number of thematic areas in its conceptual field core and their components.

The thematic area “descriptive characteristics, matter, features of”

Area markers:(US Russia Beyond the Headlines, January 2, 2017; IN Times of India, October 5, 2018)(GB HeraldScotland, May 26 ,2018)(AU On Line opinion, March 8, 2016)(PH InterAksyon, April 4, 2014)(GB Express.co, November 28, 2018)(AU On Line opinion, March 8, 2016);

The thematic area “symbols reflecting the connection with "(referring to background knowledge)”.

Area markers: Russian national anthem, the Russian flag, pictures of President Putin, the fire power from its aircraft, long range artillery and tanks.

The thematic area «analytical and statistical information».

Area markers: The Crimean peninsula had been under Russian rule since 2014 (CA auto evolution, November 26, 2018), little green men triggered a conflict that has claimed more than ten thousands lives (SG Channel NewsAsia, October 14, 2018).

The thematic area «the manner of action».

Area markers: stormed into, swarmed over, seized, invaded (CBC.ca, November 29, 2018; GB Herald Scotland, May 26, 2018), aggression, the combat forces, no hostilities, no military, scrupulously good behavior, polite Russian soldiers (AU On Line opinion, March 8, 2016), to undermine a sovereignty, to stir violence and strains of separatism, to manipulate, to threat, to fear, to infiltrate foreign nations (U1S The National Interest Online, February 25, 2017; US Defense One, December 21, 2015), the old (the Ghost Army) methods (GB Varsity Online, December 24, 2016), the mysterious arrival (GB The Independent, January 30, 2015).

Ambivalence explicators (neutral, meliorative, pejorative) of the conceptual field of the ideologeme /were fixed by us in the peripheral part. Lexical explicators distribution statistics is shown in Figure 2.

non-uniformed, without Russian Army insignia, unidentified, un-badged, thousands of little green men, in the form of Kurd, the Syrian National Army, and the Iranian IRG, Putin's, conventional ground troops in camouflage, Russian paratroopers and special forces, mysterious, patent leather military boots, sweatshirts and sweaters, Russian-language toy, masked, guys with military experience.

who seized the Crimean peninsula, stormed into Crimea, combat fatigue, insurgents, to provide the combat force, triggered a conflict that has claimed more than ten thousands lives, aggression against their neighbors, violence and strains of separatism in Ukraine, to undermine a neighbor's sovereignty, fearing an incursion, Russia’s masquerade, who infiltrate foreign nations; helping Ukraine's rebels, armed to the teeth.

calm demeanour and few words, legend, scrupulously good behavior, no hostility, peaceful, genuine force, well-equipped and organized.

Figure 2: The ratio of lexical explicators of the conceptual field characterizing the content plan of the ideologeme polite people / little green men in modern English.
The ratio of lexical explicators of the conceptual field characterizing the content plan of the ideologeme polite people / little green men in modern English.
See Full Size >

In the English-language view of the world in comparison with the Russian one, we have noted the predominance of pejorative explicators.

The communicative meaning of the compound name is represented by:

  • hyperseme – “an imaginary or hypothetical being from outer space”,
  • differential semes: “non-uniformed and unidentified well-equipped and organized paratroopers and special forces without Russian Army insignia who seized the Crimean Peninsula in 2014”.

The communicative meaning of the compound name is represented by:

  • hyperseme – “advanced culture people, middle- or upper-class people, people with lack of roughness or crudities, courtesy people, people who behave correctly in a social situation”,
  • differential semes: “advanced culture people”.

We state from the analysis an obvious shift in meaning mode to a negative side. The conceptual field is represented by the frame “the manner of action” with components: “seized the Crimean peninsula”, “stormed into Crimea”, “aggression”, “violence”, “strains of separatism”. This fact shows a different view on the Crimean peninsula events in 2014.

The ideologization peculiarities of the compound name /in English are determined by slot “Russian seizure of Crimea” of frame “the manner of action” (“seized the Crimean peninsula”, “stormed into Crimea”, “aggression”, “violence”, “strains of separatism”), whereis a “a mysterious military or paramilitary force operating in the east of Ukraine, nicknamed "little green men"”.

The compound namehas consolidated in the Russian language usage. It explicates the ideological ameliorative evaluativity and ethnocultural connotation.

The compound name /has consolidated in the English language usage. It explicates predominantly the ideological pejorative evaluability and ethnocultural connotation. At the same time, we emphasize that the compound name is highly productive in English (≈82% of the total number of contexts in NOW Corpus), and the compound name is unproductive (≈18% of the total number of contexts in NOW Corpus).

Conclusion

As a result of the study, we have found that ideologization peculiarities of a compound name were characterized by:

  • the extralinguistic tendency of polarization of society, when the same concepts are assessed diametrically in different ideologies (Babushkin & Sternin, 2019);
  • the intra-linguistic tendency of language to economy linguistic efforts, and appearing of compressed models for new language units, which include ideologized compound names;
  • the semantic structure of a compound name with a collapsed proposition in basis that is a background knowledge implication represented by an attributive component in a compound name.
  • Ideologization peculiarities of the compound name вежливые люди in modern Russian are determined by the process of euphemistic metaphorization of the attribute «вежливые», which specifies the “semantic modification” of components in the whole structure.
  • Ideologization peculiarities of the compound name polite people / little green men in English are determined by the slot “Russian seizure of Crimea” of the frame “the manner of action”, where polite people / little green men is a “a mysterious military or paramilitary force operating in the east of Ukraine, nicknamed "little green men"”.
  • The compound name вежливые люди and its equivalents polite people / little green men are polycode units of nomination, the content plan of which combines two semiotic systems, that are linguistic and non-linguistic.

Acknowledgments

The publication was funded by RFBR, project number 19-312-90031

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01 September 2021

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Cite this article as:

Timofeev, S., & Starodubets, S. (2021). Ideologization Peculiarities Of The Russian Compound Polite People And Its English Equivalents. In & V. M. Shaklein (Ed.), The Russian Language in Modern Scientific and Educational Environment, vol 115. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 90-98). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.09.11