Сreolized Text As A Phenomenon Of Linguistic Culture


The conclusions and generalizations based on the results of data analysis of the conducted experiments are presented in the article. The experimental study was carried out within the framework of the project under the RFBR grant and assumed the detection of patterns of perception of creolized texts depending on the parameters of their components. Creolized texts composed of verbal texts of different subjects and images with different visual parameters were used as experimental material. The main research method was the semantic differential method. The test subjects evaluated the texts on 34 scales, the results were then processed, and factor structures consisting of scales were constructed. Comparison of estimates of verbal texts, images, and creolized texts constructed from these constituents allowed us to introduce a new parameter, the degree of creolization of the text, which is called the creolization coefficient. Two principles underlying the perception of certain aspects of the creolized text are found. This is the principle of compositionality with shift and the principle of escalation. Under the action of the principle of compositionality, evaluation of a creolized text is located between the evaluations of verbal text and image evaluations. The effect of the escalation principle is that the evaluations of the creolized text go (in negative or positive directions) beyond the evaluations of both the verbal text and the image. It is possible to identify some parameters of the verbal text and image that determine the principle by which the creolized text will be evaluated.

Keywords: Creolized text, degree of creolization of the text, experiment, perception, semantic differential


Creolized (polycode) texts are now the main way to present information in mass communication: in the media, the Internet, the learning process, and art. Therefore, they have attracted the attention of researchers for a quarter of a century. The compatibility of creolized text components is studied, its components are characterized, and the functioning of creolized texts of different genres is considered. Many studies are devoted to the study of the pragmatic potential of creolized texts, and some of them use a psycholinguistic approach.

What can an illustration be used for? Adding an illustration not only serves to create the attractiveness of the read material (Luo & Lin, 2017), but also allows you to imperceptibly adjust the perception of verbal text for certain purposes (Stein et al., 2020), which can be considered as manipulation of public consciousness (defining manipulation as "a type of social influence that aims to change the behavior or perception of others through indirect, deceptive, or understated tactics" (Definition of "MANIPULATE"). For example, if the description of an event in a verbal text does not have an emotional assessment (Gabrielova, 2018), and the image of an object or event carries an additional negative or positive emotional mood (created, for example, by using a certain color scheme), then this mood is an "addition" to the verbal text and corrects its perception. Even if the image meets the expectations of the recipients, that is to say, it is stereotypical, it should be kept in mind that when stereotypes are perceived, ideological meanings are also perceived, if they are embedded in the stereotype (established during experiments (Huang, 2015), which is not always implied in the text

However, the main drawback of the available research is the lack of verification: conclusions about the impact are made on the basis of theoretical studies, without experimental verification. Among the existing works, there are less than two dozen experimental studies (experiments were not always conducted in order to detect patterns of perception of creolized texts). This fact helps to identify the main problem of studying creolized texts – the deductive nature of the findings and conclusions made.

Problem Statement

Experimental research (Vashunina & Nistratov, 2019) conducted over a quarter of a century shows that the perception of creolized texts can theoretically be deduced only in general terms. In practice, the actual impact of a particular creolized text may not be as predicted. This does not mean that it is impossible to predict the impact of such texts, but rather that its regularities are much more complex and subject to empirical investigation. In many cases, the decisive factor of influence is both the parameters of the non-verbal component, and the parameters of the verbal component or the specifics of the combination of components.

Calling the text "creolized", we state the presence in its composition of components of different sign systems that form an indissoluble unity, an alloy.

The perception of a creolized text is influenced by the characteristics of the content and formal aspects of its components, in our case, verbal and visual. The evaluation of a creolized text by recipients can in principle be determined by the following parameters:

  • The content side of the verbal text, which includes:

a) the object of description;

b) the plot.

  • The formal side of a verbal text, which includes the style of the text and its linguistic features.
  • The content side of the image, which includes:

a) the image object;

b) the plot.

  • The formal side of the image, which includes the image style and its formal features. The study of the impact of the parameters of the formal side of the image is based on existing research on the semantics of form and color (Arnheim, 1974; Artemieva, 1980; Pastoureau, 2015; Pastoureau, 2019; Yanshin, 2006).

All these parameters can correspond to each other to different degrees and have different "specific weight" in the construction of the general meaning of the creolized text. The ideal result, which should aim to study the perception of creolized texts, should be the detection of regularities in the functioning of such texts, based on compiled lists of influencing parameters, and presenting data on the probability of implementing any regularity in a particular case. This requires large-scale research on different verbal and non-verbal material.

Research Questions

When discussing the problems of creolization, you should try to answer several questions that should help make the study not only descriptive, but also classifying and predictive.

  • First, it is a question of the possibility of comparative characteristics of creolization of different texts. Recognizing the existence of a synthetic phenomenon, can we assume that all creolized texts are" creolized " in the same way? In other words, the degree of synthetics and the mechanism of their perception are the same. Or is there a difference? Then this difference should be explained by some parameters of the creolized text that can be identified.
  • The second question follows from the first: if such a difference exists, can it be measured in any way? In this case, it is necessary to create a methodology for such measurements.

Purpose of the Study

The main objective of our research was to study the perception of creolized text.

We planned to identify patterns of perception of creolized texts consisting of constituents with different parameters. We assumed that the very characteristics of verbal text and images have a certain impact potential.

Evaluations of verbal texts, images, and creolized texts were expected to differ.

  • We intended to compare the evaluations of creolized texts with the evaluations of their components.
  • Our goal was to determine the possible dynamics of text estimates during creolization.

When merging text components, a system effect should occur. Therefore, it is possible to predict not the independent impact of a certain parameter, but the emergence of a pragmatic effect from the correlation of certain characteristics.

Research Methods

The study was conducted experimentally using the semantic differential method.

The use of the semantic differential method allows us to study the subjective semantic perception of any objects. The scales appeal to the associative responses of respondents, which makes it possible to identify the deep layers of meaning formation.

The method of semantic differential (Nistratov et al., 2016; Nistratov & Tarasov, 2017; Osgood, 1959; Osgood et al., 1957) consists in scaling the object under study: respondents are offered a list of scales by which they should evaluate the object. The scales used are bipolar and unipolar.

  • In our study, 34 semantic differential scales were created. They were the result of processing descriptions of images (components of creolized texts) by a control the group of subjects.
  • During the processing of the scale are the grouped into larger structures – factors. In our experiment, we created the factor structures STRENGTH, EVALUATION, ACTIVITY, NATURALNESS, DYNAMISM, SIMPLICITY.

Later, we compared the evaluations of images, verbal texts, and creolized texts constructed from these components. The digital difference was identified, which was interpreted as a characteristic of creolization of the text.


The experiment (detailed description in (Vashunina et al., 2020 was based on two images (a photograph of a street in natural light and a painting by Malevich), two verbal texts (compiled as image descriptions – compiled from descriptions given by a control the group of subjects), and two creolized texts (constructed from these images and verbal texts). For ease of description, the material was divided into two the groups: the group of texts 1 (a composition by Malevich, its description and a creolized text constructed from these components) and the group of texts 2 (a photo of a street, its description and a creolized text constructed from these components).

In the course of experiments, data were obtained on the comparison of estimates of a verbal text, image and creolized text. It was assumed that in the absence of the emergence property of the creolized text, its assessment should be something between the assessment of the verbal text and the image, in the ideal case – the arithmetic mean. Such assessments of the creolized text were not found in our material.

The evaluations of creolized texts may lie on the scale between the evaluations of verbal text and images, or they may go beyond them.

If the creolized text evaluations are located on the scale between the verbal text and image evaluations, they were closer to either verbal estimates or to the estimated image.

The bias towards image ratings was observed in group 1 on the factors of NATURALNESS, in group 2 on the factors of STRENGTH, EVALUATION, NATURALNESS, DYNAMISM. A bias towards verbal text scores was found in group 2 for the SIMPLICITY factor. As you can see, more often the estimates of creolized text are shifted towards the image estimates, sometimes there is almost complete coincidence with the image estimates (for example, when evaluating by the NATURALNESS factor).

In many cases, the evaluations of a creolized text are on a digital scale above or below the evaluations of both of its components. The creolized text of the group 1 is rated higher than its constituents by the factors of ACTIVITY, DYNAMISM, and SIMPLICITY, creolized text 2 – by ACTIVITY factor. Creolized text 1 received lower scores compared to its components in terms of STRENGTH and ASSESSMENT factors. In these cases, when evaluating the creolized text, the verbal and visual constituents are combined. When we speak of resignation, this means the description of the mechanism of forming the evaluation of the creolized text, not a way of obtaining its digital values, which can be pretty close to the sum of the scores of its components (as in the evaluation of creolized text 1 by the factors EVALUATION and DYNAMISM, creolized text 2 for the factor ACTIVITY), and significantly exceed the arithmetic sum of constituents (as in the assessment of a creolized text of group 1 by the POWER and SIMPLICITY factors).

The creolized text of group 1 is almost always evaluated according to this variant (except for the NATURALNESS factor), and the creolized text of group 2 is evaluated according to the ACTIVITY factor. In other cases, the creolized text of group 2 is evaluated according to the first variant. If we compare two creolized texts (group 1 and Group 2), then one of them can be considered as realistic and objective (group 2), and the second as unrealistic and non-objective (group 1). As the results of the experiment show, the assessment of a realistic subject text is closer to the average assessment of its constituents, while the increase in unreality involves an escalation mechanism. This means that the system effect is more pronounced in a group of texts with an unrealistic image and its description. (Table 1)

Table 1 - The difference between the arithmetic mean of the constituents of the creolized text and the estimates of the creolized text by factors
See Full Size >

The data show which aspects of the text are most strongly influenced by creolization. In text group 1, these factors are STRENGTH and SIMPLICITY. To a lesser extent, creolization affects perception in this group of texts by the factor of NATURALNESS, in text group 2 by the factor of STRENGTH. When evaluating some aspects of the text, the effect of creolization is almost imperceptible, such as the assessment of SIMPLICITY in text group 2. The dependence of the degree of creolization on the experimental material was found. For example, in group 1 the highest degree of creolization identified for the factors STRENGTH and NATURALNESS, while in group 2 these factors are calculated the smallest degree of creolization, because of formal and substantial differences between the texts of the two groups. One study does not allow us to talk about the parameters on which the degree of creolization depends, further studies on other material are needed.

Summarizing the results of the study, it can be argued that there is a difference between the perception of two creolized texts characterized by obvious differences. The supremacist composition of K. Malevich and the photo of a real street differ in the degree of realism, objectivity, and the presence of certain geometric shapes and colors in the image. Verbal texts contain descriptions of the image, and, accordingly, differ in content. It seems likely that the degree of creolization increases in the presence of content uncertainty of the image (meaning unrealistic and non-objective). This assumption can be made for creolized texts, in which the verbal text maximally duplicates the content of the image (as was the case in our experiment). This effect should be checked for combinations of images with texts that are not their descriptions.


Based on the results of our research, we developed a method for determining the degree of creolization of the text. It is based on the following statement: the evaluation of two (or more) objects that do not represent a system can be calculated as the arithmetic means of the estimates of these objects. The deviation from this value demonstrates the presence of the system property of the object under study, and this deviation can be measured mathematically. Calculating deviations for creolized texts with different characteristics of the verbal and visual components will allow you to get a general picture of the possible numerical range of deviations. Then it will be possible to give not just a digital description of the creolization of the text, but to grade it verbally, that is, to characterize texts as having a large/ medium/ small degree of creolization. There is currently insufficient material to create such a scale.

A procedure for measuring the degree of creolization was developed. The first step is for respondents to evaluate three objects: the creolized text, its verbal component, and its visual component. In other words, creolized text and its components are evaluated separately. As a result, we get three rows of evaluation.

In the second step, the arithmetic means of the verbal text and image evaluations is calculated.

The third step is to compare the actual evaluation of the creolized text given by the respondents with the mathematically obtained the arithmetic means of the evaluation of the verbal text and image. At this stage, we get a certain numerical value, which is the difference between the actual creolized text's evaluation and the evaluation that would have occurred if the pure compositional principle had been applied. If the creolized text from the point of view of perception was a simple addition of components (verbal and visual), then the evaluation of the creolized text should be the arithmetic means of the verbal text's evaluation and the image's evaluation. However, considering creolized text as a synthetic phenomenon, we assume that the compositional principle is not sufficient to constitute its meaning.

One of the options for evaluating creolized texts can be implemented. In the first case, the creolized text scores are between the verbal text and image scores, and in the second case, the creolized text scores are higher or lower than both the verbal text and image scores.

When evaluating the first option, as a result of creolization, some averaging of the estimates of the verbal text and image occurs. Since creolized text in terms of perception is not equal to "text plus image", the evaluations of creolized texts should not be the arithmetic means of the verbal text and image's evaluation. In principle, they can be biased either in the direction of verbal text's evaluations or in the direction of image's evaluation. The results of experiments show that (on our material) the text evaluations are always biased from the arithmetic means. In forming the meaning of such a creolized text, the principle of compositionality is presented (not in its pure form, because the creolized text's evaluations in all cases differ from the arithmetic means' evaluations of the verbal text and image). This principle can be called the principle of compositional bias.

The evaluation of a creolized text according to the second option is the presence of a positive or negative bias in relation to the estimates of both the verbal text and the image, that is, one of the poles of the scale is updated. That is, creolization causes changes in the perception of the text, significantly enhancing certain characteristics. We called this principle the principle of escalation, meaning that its action leads to a "mutual reinforcement" of assessments of the verbal and visual components. The systemic effect is much more pronounced than when evaluating the text based on the principle of compositional bias.

Creating a system-creolized text leads to a systemic effect. We propose the measurement of the degree of the creolized text consistency, suggesting the term.

A method is proposed for calculating this degree as the difference between the arithmetic mean of the verbal component assessment and the arithmetic mean of the visual component assessment and the assessment given by the creolized text. The absence of such a difference is a zero degree of creolization, which practically means that there is no systemic effect when the meaning of the creolized text is based on the principle of compositionality, which is hardly possible in principle, because the creolized text is a synthetic phenomenon.

Next, you can calculate the arithmetic mean of the difference in the estimates of the creolized text and its components for all factors. This number can be considered as the coefficient of total creolization of the text. A greater degree of creolization of the text will always be detected when the escalation principle is applied (compared to the compositional principle with bias), because in this case the creolized text estimates are far from the arithmetic mean estimates of its components.

The results of the study show that it is possible to identify the characteristics of creolization of the text and probabilistic prediction of the perception of creolized texts. This forecast is based not only on the characteristics of the image, but also on the parameters of the verbal text, for example, the presence of perceptual images, percepts (Zhanturina, 2018), which can form the basis of illustration. Predicting the perception of creolized texts with specific components should help to identify the manipulative intentions of the creators, given that countering manipulation is the task of "all healthy forces of the country" (Elishev, 2018, p. 4).


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Vashunina, I. V., & Zimina, M. (2021). Сreolized Text As A Phenomenon Of Linguistic Culture. In V. M. Shaklein (Ed.), The Russian Language in Modern Scientific and Educational Environment, vol 115. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 474-481). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.09.52