Slovo.ru: Baltic accent

2018 Vol. 9 № 1

Transformations in the Communicative Characteristics of Political Discourse in the Current Information Space

Abstract

The article analyses the main causes and the genesis of transformations in political discourse (PD) and provides a comparative analysis of the present and earlier forms of PD. The author examines the ontology and principal characteristics of PD, describes the state of political discourse prior to its current transformation and identifies the key problems and actual results of political communication in modern society. Considering the rise of populism, the author stresses that the current problems stem from changes in communicative interactions caused by the emergence of new information technologies. Special emphasis is placed on the formation of public space as the only realm where political discourse is produced legitimately. Another focus is the current ‘conflict of interpretations’ in regard to the markers and symbols of political language. To identify the metamorphoses of PD and to understand their genesis, the author investigates the main features of and transformations in the cognitive mechanism of PD and traces the emergence of the isomorphism of semiotic systems characteristic of politics/authorities and mass culture. These processes cause the semantic space of PD to embrace mass culture referents.

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The Late Poetry of A. Bashlachev: Changes in Performance and New Meanings

Abstract

This article investigates variations in a synthetic text manifested in word, sound, and performance. Based on earlier literary studies of the synthetic art phenomenon and its relevant methods, the authors set a theoretical and analytical framework for this research. The object of the study is verbal and musical subtexts, each performing a meaning-construction function. The difference between the performed and written texts is significant from the perspective of the capacities of meanings. However, the performed and written variants of the same text are equivalent. The study of variations in A. Bashlachev’s texts is based on comparison and meaning-based correlation between subtexts. The article examines A. Bashlachev’s late works linked by the cross-cutting theme of poetry and the Poet. A. Bashlachev’s vision of the Poet’s mission and life tragedy and an inevitable conflict between the Poet, on the one hand, and the authorities and the crowd, on the other. Ideational components set a framework for a correlation analysis of variations in A. Bashlachev’s texts. The authors compare Bashlachev’s late written texts and their performed variants. The authors identify deviations from the written texts — syntactically unmotivated pauses, pause reductions, onomatopoeia, pronunciation irregularities, inclusion of new words and interjections, and rearrangement of fragments. Each deviation produces an additional meaning. As a performer, A. Bashlachev alters the original text at the level of the verbal and musical subtexts to bring to the surface its implicit content. It affects the perception of meaning by the recipient. Deviations often introduce significant changes to the original text and make it more pungent and dramatic to emphasise the tragedy of the Poet.

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Linguistic Means Expressing Argumentation in Judicial Discourse late 19th: The Prosecutor’s Speech in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov

Abstract

This article analyses linguistic means of expressing argumentation in judicial discourse as used in the prosecutor’s speech in F. M. Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. The author identifies logical and psychological types of argumentation characteristic of the 19th-century courtroom speeches. Such speeches use a complex structure of theses and arguments and employ various pragmatic and rhetorical means and devices alongside compound and complex sentences. The force of persuasion of the prosecutor’s speech depends on its emotional effect on the jury. The author concludes that the distinctive characteristics of speeches delivered to present arguments in court stem from the institutional nature of this type of discourse and the use of specific linguistic means. When employing pragmatic and logical and rhetorical linguistic means, it is necessary to follow the rules of usage and consider the suitability of such means. An excessive use of rhetorical devices leads to unintended communicative mistakes and may cause a communicative failure. In a work of fiction, such a use of a linguistic means can contribute to the overall aesthetic effect as well as to the compositional, cognitive, logical, illocutive, expressive, and pragmatic expressiveness of the narrative.

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The Art of «Leftist Obscenity» as a Way to Discredit the Imperial Regime: the Works of Eisenstien, Babel, and Lunacharsky

Abstract

This study deals with the method of ‘leftist obscenity,’ which emerged within left art in the early Soviet period. The article aims to define this method, describe its procedures, and identify the purpose it served at the time. The author assumes that ‘leftist obscenity’ arose within pro-Soviet art, when the Soviet government was seeking legitimation, which was impossible without discrediting the imperial regime. ‘Leftist obscenity’ was intended to discredit the imperial regime and to give a new perspective on the imperial heritage. The method aimed to diminish and ridicule that heritage. This was achieved by causing ‘high’ (objects of religious worship or imperial power) and ‘low’ (objects relating physiological processes or sexuality) phenomena to collide within the same space or image. This article provides a definition of ‘leftist obscenity’, traces the emergence of the phenomenon, and analyses S. Eisenstein’s film ‘October’, A. Lunacharsky’s essay ‘Why we guard the palaces of the Romanovs (travel impressions)’, and I. Babel’s short story ‘The Road.’ The analysis of these works shows how the method of ‘leftist obscenity’ was employed in practice and leads to the conclusion that the method worked by producing a comic effect, which is easily communicated to the modern reader or the viewer.

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