Slovo.ru: Baltic accent

2018 Vol. 9 №3

Lexical explicators of the modality of necessity in the Old and New Testament (the Synodal translation into Russian)

Abstract

In this article, I explore one of the elements of situational modality, namely, the microfield of the modality of necessity. I consider the use of lexical modifiers of the modality of necessity in the Old and New Testament. The aims of this study are to identify similarities and differences in the use of lexemes explicating the microfield in the biblical texts and to produce a comparative analysis of modal meanings of objective-subjective and objective necessity expressed through relevant lexemes. Another objective is to assess the influence of the meanings of necessity on the semantic orientation of the biblical texts manifested in the difference between the precepts of the Old and New Testament. I employ the field approach and use both universal research methods and the methods and techniques of the functional-semantic, etymological, and contextual analysis, etc. The main finding of this study is that the semantic content of lexical modifiers of the modality of necessity in the New Testament differs from that in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament texts, necessity is perceived primarily as a legal and social law, whereas in the New Testament it is understood as a moral duty. This contributes to the Christian idea of the existence of a legal and social law and a higher, moral law, which are not always identical. Using the findings of this study, I describe the formation of the division between the spiritual and social aspects of duty in human consciousness and identify the causes of contradictions between the spiritual and social duty.

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V. The hagiographic topic in I. S. Shmelev’s novel The Inexhaustible Chalice

Abstract

In this article, we discuss the hagiographic topics in I. S. Shmelev’s novel The Inexhaustible Chalice, which are expressed through different components of the novel’s literary structure — ranging from the individual traits of the main character, Ilya Sharonov, to twists of the plot and the milestones of his biography. We maintain that in terms of the genre this novel resembles both the lives of the righteous and the lives of the venerable. The novel conforms to the canons of hagiographic texts because of the presence of a righteous character, whose image is built in accordance with the traditional paradigm of the positive qualities of a saint. Other reasons for such conformity include the biographical topic, namely, a stable set of events and facts, affecting the life and fate of the character, and such structural plot elements as the character’s dreams and visions, as well as signs and miracles, which testify to his initiation into sacred knowledge and visions. The topic of the ‘angelic image’, which is manifested in the character’s physical resemblance to an angel, also contributes to the conformity with the hagiographic canon.

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Between faith and disbelief: the theme of life and death in Yu. N. Ivanov’s novel Dances in the Crematory: Ten Episodes from the Life of Königsberg

Abstract

In exploring the themes of life and death in Yu. N. Ivanov’s novel Dances in the Crematory, I carry out a structural-semantic analysis of the fragmentary chronotope and the ideational- thematic and plot-compositional levels of the novel. I demonstrate that the principle of fragmentarity is utilised by the author to the full extent across the novel, primarily, in its chronotope. The latter is closely connected with the fragmentary-discrete structure of human consciousness and memory, including the spiritual memory, which secures the most vivid events and episodes from the life of the main character in the textual space of the novel. I prove that, at the ideational-thematic level, the principle of fragmentarity is manifested in the novel in the form of a series of antithesis themes and binary oppositions (peace/war, life/death, god/evil, love/hate, faith/disbelief, God/devil), which reveal the author’s worldview and integrate semantically different dimensions of the novel — subjective, psychological, moral, philosophical, and fictional ones. These oppositions emphasise the novel’s leitmotif (the metaphor of the road as a person’s life journey) and its central moral-philosophical idea and dilemma — the tragic fate of a person who has chosen the independent path of overcoming death with life. I stress the correlation between the themes of life and death, which gravitate in the novel towards a difficult, yet clear victory of life over death. I trace how the autobiographical character- narrator gradually turns to God and faith. I prove that, in the novel’s poetics, the author uses such a technique as the compression of the plot and the idea into two symbolic metaphors — the dance in the crematory and the zoo, which stand for resurrection and the triumph of life in the tragic space of Königsberg/Kaliningrad — a city devastated by the war.

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Age-related characteristics of English, American, and Russian compliments

Abstract

In this article, I identify and analyse the linguistic features of the generation and perception of compliments by people of different age identities from English, American and Russian cultures. Language is not the same across different age groups, which necessitates a thorough examination of age-related parameters in language and the identification of semiotic markers of age identity. The promising area of linguistic research — social semiotics — lends an urgency to such a study. To achieve the goal of the research, I employ the methods of contextual analysis and semantic and pragmatic interpretation. The qualitative calculations ensure the relevance of the study, which takes into account the intentional and stylistic features of compliments and reactions to compliments. The need to study these aspects is explained by the orientation of compliments towards effective communication. A typology of intentions and reactions shows that cultural differences between representatives of the English, American, and Russian national identities are clearly manifested in language. As to intentions, people with a mature English identity gravitate towards politeness, those with mature American identity towards praise, and those with mature Russian identity towards praise and flattery. An analysis of linguistic material demonstrates that compliments made by people with a mature age identity differ from those made by younger persons. Younger people are more prone to make compliments in informal communication than persons with mature age identity are. Compliments made by members of each age group have certain specific features. The findings of the study can be employed in the Stylistics and Pragmalinguistics courses, which is the practical outcome of the research.

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