DOI: 10.18413/2313-8912-2019-5-2-0-6

Способы вербализации эмоций и эмотивный потенциал языкового знака


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К сожалению, текст статьи доступен только на Английском


The greatest disclosure of human emotions takes place in the process of communication, for example, in dialogic speech. It should be noted that the study of the emotion’s nature is important not only from the point of view of the person "for himself", i.e. for understanding and awareness of his essence, but also for "others", i.e. in order to feel and understand others as deeply as possible. Entering into communication, we unconsciously (and sometimes consciously) try to catch emotions-reactions of our interlocutors to what and how we say, how we behave, etc., at the same time assessing the behavior of all participants in communication. Starting a dialogue, we follow our intentions, trying to achieve certain goals, while choosing emotionally-colored language means not only lexical but also syntactic. Thus, the study of emotions is interesting from the position of the addressee.

However, the emotions of the addressee, the initiator of communication, are no less important. They can become verbal/ nonverbal arguments to confirm the expediency of the speaker's intentions. The listener also intends to recognize the emotions of his or her interlocutor, tries to catch them, "read", interpret them from different positions, for example, the speaker's speech is true or false, is it conflict or conflict-free, whether he/ she is concerned or indifferent, etc. In other words, emotions are important from the position of the addressee.

First of all, communication is the exchange of emotions, and emotions can serve as a stimulus to the beginning of communication, its interruption or termination. Consequently, the study of emotions is also relevant from the standpoint of pragmatics, for example, conflict/ conflict-free dialogue or the impact of the speaker on the listener.

At the beginning of the XIX century, V. von Humboldt noted that the language as a person's activity is permeated with feelings. Today, linguistics has turned to his teaching again, the essence of which is to study the language in close connection with man. In relation of this concept, the linguistic understanding of system emotive means is quite feasible. Being an integral component of spiritual culture, emotions, for all their universality, manifest in different languages certain specificities of verbalization, due to the inherent subjectiveness of interpretation of the surrounding reality, which is of undoubted interest for linguistics. The linguistic-psychological and linguistic interpretation of the data presented in the language makes it possible to consider the latter as the representation of the special knowledge behind the facts of natural language, as the representation of the constructs of conceptual consciousness.

At all times, people experienced, experience and will experience the same feelings: joy, grief, love, sadness. Humanity has accumulated a huge emotional experience. In this regard, psychologists talk about the universality of emotions, the list of which reflects the universal human experience of understanding human mental activity.

The pertinence and novelty of this study stem primarily from the inadequate study of the emotional ways of the manifestation of the language personality, both verbal and non-verbal. The elements of scientific novelty are the epistemological combination of a cognitive and communicative method for studying empirical material.


Given the presence in the humanity emotional experience of a group of leading universal emotions, we can assume the existence of universal emotive meanings in the semantics of linguistic signs, which is due, in particular, to their reflective function, since humankind’s experience in cognizing emotions, like any other fragment world, is fixed in linguistic units.

In the linguistic literature, various designations of universal emotions are used: dominant emotions, key emotions, emotional tone, leading or basic emotions, etc. At the same time, psychologists note that the vocabulary of emotions in different languages is far from the same, although there is not a single experience, which would be available for one nationality and inaccessible for another, that is, the emotions themselves are universal, and the system-structural parameters of emotional signs do not match in different languages, have national specificity because their reflection in each language is original.

One of the first places in the linguistic culturology of recent years continues to occupy the problem of the representation of emotions in the language (Babenko, 1995; Bally, 1961; Dixon, 2003; Goldie, 2010; Majid, 20112). Linguoculturological study of mental experiences of a person reveals the peculiarities of cultural preferences and dominants, the specifics of the structure of the psychic, inner, mental world of representatives of a certain ethnic community, language collective, and its mentality.

Verbalization of the world, especially of the world of emotions, is ethnospecific, which is caused by a variety of extra – and intralingualistic factors determining the life of a language, its functioning, structural and semantic, functional transformations occurring in it (Vereshchagin, 1990).

Interpersonal relationships arise as a result of various social contacts, that it to say, communicative interaction. Our ability to communicate directly depends on social experience or perception, which is based on building the incentives that surround us into a meaningful structure. This structure is determined by culture. This includes a number of cultural conventions, rules, agreements that are brought up in us by members of the same social group to which we belong. Thus, they impose restrictions on our communicative flexibility.

At the center of any humanitarian knowledge is a person and everything related to his activity. One of the central components of human activity is communication. M.M Bakhtin defined the essence of a person through dialogue, understood as a qualitative interaction of individuals, based on understanding and reduced to “personal responsibility” and “participation”. According to Bakhtin, the essence of a person is revealed precisely in the internal and external communication (Bakhtin, 1995).

There are at least two types of communication: verbal and non-verbal.

Communication, carried out with the help of words, is called verbal (from Lat. verbalis – verbal). The main tool here is language: it is a system of signs that serves as a means of human communication, mental activity, a way of expressing the identity of the individual. So, the ways of verbalization of emotions depend on the emotive potential of a linguistic sign and linguistic personality, using one or another sign. The main goal of this research is to identify specific correlations between the linguistic sign and the individual picture of the speaker’s world, which includes verbal and non-verbal means of communication.

Materials and Methods

When it comes to non-verbal communication, the means of communication include the following signs: posture, gestures, facial expressions, intonation, and attitudes. In this case, the sign is any material object (object, phenomenon, event), which acts as an indication and designation and is used for the acquisition, storage, processing and transmission of information. Non-verbal means of communication are most often used to establish emotional contact with the interlocutor, what is more important is to maintain emotional contact during the conversation.

Part of human communication, understood in this sense, is speech communication. It is formed by speech acts involved in the process of transferring information and sharing activities. (Diller, 1992:219).

Expressive methods of nomination provide rich material for the study of the mechanisms of the national language personality functioning. Emotional speech acts can be viewed as a kind of repository for the functioning, representation, and fixation of the communicative relationship to each other and to the world. In communicative situations characterized by a high degree of emotionality, language units with specific semantics and structure are often used.

In the process of communication, various ways of verbalization of emotions can be distinguished. Techniques for verbalization of emotions include three key modes:

а) direct verbalization of the communicator's own emotional states;

б) indirect (mediated) verbalization of emotions;

в) metaphorical verbalization of the communicant’s emotional states.

The main verbal methods of transmitting emotions include lexical (word-formation, phraseology) and syntactic means.

The vocabulary of emotions includes words, the subject-logical meaning of which constitutes emotional concepts. The emotional vocabulary includes emotionally colored words containing a sensual background. Following L. Babenko, we use the term “emotive vocabulary”, since the entire aggregate of nominees of emotions is embedded in the content of this term (Babenko, 1995).

Results and Discussion

The basis of a single model of a global description of the whole range of emotive vocabulary can be the category of emotiveness. This category has a debatable character so far, the terminological apparatus is also not fully decorated, but its status as a category is proved by a number of studies. First of all, the difference between emotion and emotiveness is revealed. So, V.I. Shakhovsky classifies emotions as psychological categories, and emotiveness as linguistic (Shakhovsky, 1987). You can find a narrow and broad understanding of emotiveness. In the second case, this category covers all language means of displaying emotions. Such an understanding of the category of emotiveness suggests that it unites semantically close linguistic units of different levels. We are supporters of a similar interpretation of the emotive phenomenon (Goldie, 2010).

The category of emotiveness is directly related to the lexical means of verbalizing emotions. These methods are characterized by the presence of direct nominees of emotions, in other words, associated with the technique of direct and indirect verbalization of emotions. The technique of direct verbalization consists in directly informing the partner about one’s own emotional state (fr. Je suis étonné = I am surprised; Je suis ravi = I am happy; J'ai des soucis = I have concerns; Je suis inquiet = I worry; J'ai peur = I'm afraid etc.), (Spanish. Estoy sorprendido = I'm surprised; Estoy feliz = I'm happy; estoy ocupado = I have worries; Estoy preocupado = I'm worried; Tengo miedo = I'm afraid etc.) or pointing to emotions experienced by a partner and the senses (fr. Vous avez des soucis = You have problems; Ne vous inquiétez pas = Do not worry; Vous êtes Surprise = You are surprised; Vous êtes triste = You are sad, etc.), (Usted tiene problemas = You have problems; No se preocupe = Do not worry; Usted está sorprendido = You are surprised; Usted está triste = You are sad, etc.)

It should be noted that the direct verbalization of emotions does not always reduce the intense psycho-emotional background of interpersonal communication, and in complex conflict situations, for example, can provoke an increase in the negative emotional state of a partner. The above type of verbalization of emotions is not dominant, for example, for French communicative behavior (Bally, 1961; Sedykh, Buzinova, 2019).

Indirect (mediated) verbalization of emotions is more effective for localizing the negative emotions of a communication partner, when their direct verbalization is not only irrelevant, but also unacceptable.

Indirect verbalization is most often implemented in such formulations as: fr. Je vois que cela vous inquiète (I understand that it bothers you), Je ne veux pas être indiscret, mais qu’est-ce qui ne va pas? (I do not want to be immodest, but tell me - what's wrong with you?); Spanish Entiendo que le preocupa eso (I understand that it bothers you), No quiero ser indiscreto pero diga que le pasa? (I do not want to be immodest, but tell me – what's wrong with you?). The use of positive statements in the verbalization of negative emotions helps to reduce the emotional intensity of interpersonal communication. In our opinion, this type of verbalization of emotions is dominant for the French linguoculture. (Bally, 1961).

To the indirect type of verbalization can be attributed metaphorical ways of objectifying emotions. Metaphorical verbalization is more acceptable for the localization of ambivalent, contradictory, emotional states of communication partners, which are associated with their dual attitudes towards each other, with simultaneous acceptance and rejection of any properties of each other. For example, the impatience of a partner in interpersonal communication may be associated with the anxious expectation of a violent emotional reaction to his proposal or with a premonition of a quick resolution of the problem. Metaphorical verbalization, which uses analogies, similarities, comparisons that reduce mental stress, contributes to a positive correction of the communicator’s uncomfortable emotional state.

The representation of emotions is connected with the peculiarities of conceptualization. Conceptualization of emotions (in contrast to the conceptualization of the essences of the objective world) is largely determined by language factors. Since the sphere of emotions is inaccessible to direct observation, the linguistic fixation of symptomatic reactions and physical states that are consistently associated with a particular emotion is the basis on which ideas about the essential characteristics of this emotion are formed in the naive picture of the world. At their basis, figurative expressions form a conceptual basis for the mental processing of “invisible” phenomena (Novitskaya, 2008). The basic operational element for identifying emotionality of vocabulary (autonomously or in utterance) is emotive meanings in the seminal structure of a language mark. Seminal semasiology is characterized by an abundance of positions and approaches to the description of the seminal structure of the word. Generally recognized are the ideas about the structural nature of the seed, its field model, and the presence of macrocomponents in the structure of meaning (denotation and connotation) (Tripolskaya, 1999).

Emotive meanings are dynamic, highly associative and specifically manifest in lexical semantics. The unified model basis’s global description of the whole set of emotive vocabulary can be a seme of emotiveness that participates in the manifestation of emotions in the semantics of a word. The status of a seme is not only determined by its position in the seminal structure of the word, but also determines the nature of the manifestation of emotive meanings of words.

The vocabulary definitions of the majority of emotive vocabulary come together due to the general content contained in them. A.A. Ufimtseva calls "this integrative in essence and transformed according to the form of expression common for a number of units the essential part of the dictionary definition - identifying predicate". Emotiveness seme, speaking in the status of a categorical-lexical seme, performs the function of identifying and usually represents an analytical combination, built on the model of "the concept of feeling + the specific name of a feeling," for example: fear – a sense of fear; to love – to feel deep affection for someone, something (Ufimtseva, 1968:104) . Emotive meanings coincide with the basic emotions nominations and with the most frequent words from the set of emotive vocabulary. Emotive meanings are flexible and are variable reflected in lexical semantics. They carry information about human emotions; they appear in the content of various language and speech units in the form of specialized semantic components peculiar to these units. Consequently, they constitute the semantic core of emotive vocabulary.

Lexical manifestation of emotional meanings, as a rule, is structured according to the principle of semantic / conceptual oppositions, such as "love – dislike", "joy – grief", etc. It can be assumed that these oppositions have universal parameters, since it is impossible to imagine any culture on earth, devoid of the above emotional concepts.

The original emotive meanings belong to the category of universal and constitute the main framework of the mental warehouse of the individual. This framework is overgrown with many detailed nominations. A person's ideas about the diversity and richness of emotive nuances are displayed in the lexical meaning of the word in the internal lexical concretization due to various differential features that specify the categorical lexical seme (Ufimtseva, 1968). Most emotive vocabulary is rich in content. The second degree identifying seminal predicate conveys the essence of the emotion, and the differential semantic features specifying it define its qualities and properties. And only together, in various combinations, they convey the whole variety of emotions [ibid.].

The single model basis of global description of the whole set of emotive vocabulary can serve as a category of emotivity. V. I. Shakhovsky reveals the difference of emotive emotions at the linguistic level, when emotions transform in emotively. Emotions are a psychological category, and emotivity is a linguistic category. (Shakhovsky, 1987)


So, the experience of mankind in the knowledge of emotions is fixed in language units. Emotions are universal, and the structure of emotive vocabulary doesn’t coincide in different languages, it has national specifics. In this regard, there are universal emotive meanings in lexical semantics. Emotive vocabulary is closely related to evaluative vocabulary, but it is impractical to choose evaluative words for the study of emotive vocabulary. The basis of a single model of describing the whole set of emotive vocabulary can serve as an emotivity seme. It participates in the manifestation of emotions in the semantics of the word. When different positions in the seminal structure of a word are taken, emotivity seme can be the main categorical lexical or dependent differential system. Emotionality is expressed at all levels of language by word-formative, syntactic, lexical means, including phraseology. At the word-formation level, the concept of productivity is important. Vocabulary and phraseology of colloquial style have great potential. Feelings and emotions are almost impossible to express with the help of only one language means. The emotionality in speech is usually expressed by a set of linguistic means of different levels.

The methods of objectification of emotions stem from the emotive potential of a language sign. The emotive potential of a language sign may belong to the latter initially or can be introduced. The speech situation leaves an emotional imprint on the use of linguistic units and this fact contributes to the formation of a semantic gap in the structure of the sign used. Denotative sense, thus, “overgrows” with additional meanings, which are often nationally and culturally conditioned and function at the level of ethnostratus. Due to the presence of ethno-cultural traces in the semantics of emotive speeches, it is possible to distinguish their national specific parameters at the level of speech functioning.

The considered patterns of the use of linguistic material can be defined as indicators of the national worldview and communicative behavior of representatives of different cultures, reflecting the specifics of the national language picture of the world and features of the verbalization of emotional realities of the described linguocultural community. Linguoculturological description of the specificity of the verbalization of emotions involves the expansion of the empirical base of the study. In the future, it is planned to conduct a comparative analysis of the patterns of verbalization of basic emotions in multi-structural languages.

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