Языковая и культурная идентичность: эпистемологический обзор
Статья призвана подвергнуть анализу и обзору современное состояние категории «идентичность» в парадигмах современного научного знания. В этой связи основными задачами статьи являются рассмотрение и проецирование термина «идентичность» в эпистемологическое пространство понятий «язык», «культура», «личность» в русле представления доминантных концепций ряда ведущих представителей мировой науки. Цель статьи – проанализировать и очертить доминантные позиции исследований категорий «идентичность» и «языковая идентичность» в гуманитаристике, в частности в филологических науках. Осуществляется попытка осмысления эпистемологических основ формирования новой лингвистической идентичности. Современные тенденции научного знания рассматриваются через призму содержательноцентричной лингвистики и когнитологии. Описывается трансдисциплинарный потенциал гносеологии, оказавшейся востребованной на переходном этапе новейшей истории национальных языков. Рассматривается ряд подходов к исследованию идентичности:Шапошниковой И. В., Карасика В. И., Юлии Кристевой, Патрика Шародо, Дэвида Блока, Жана Прюво, АсунПоль-Лорана, Салими и Абеди, Герда Хенчеля, КристианаЛагарда. В результате анализа обзорных дескрипций обнаружено, что модели поведения, модальные и номинативные способы отражения действительности этнокультурно детерминированы не только языковыми, но и имманентными предпочтениями коммуниканта в соответствии с логикой, семантикой и прагматикой коммуникативного акта. Основная идея статьи – языковая идентичность есть, прежде всего, лингвокультурологическое тождество. В этом ракурсе языковая идентичность не является сугубо национальной категорией, а скорее – ментальной репрезентацией, образом мыслей, специфическим мировосприятием. В любом случае речь идёт о селективном отборе оптимального лингвистического континуума, в рамках которого индивид реализует себя как личность (идентичность). Намечаются перспективы применения методики реконструкции идентичности в русле выявления доминантных признаков лингвокультурологического тождества в языках любого типа. Высказываются предположения о возможности формировании нового мейнстрима изучения динамики развития лингвокультурной идентичности в русле модификаций когнитивно-коммуникативного пейзажа национальной ментальности и концептосферы.
Ключевые слова: Язык, Культура, Идентичность, Лингвокультурологическое тождество, Дискурсная личность, Лингвосемиотика, ыТипология языка и культуры, Этнокультурная доминанта
К сожалению, текст статьи доступен только на Английском
Global developmental trends make individuals search for their identity, real or imaginary, "root" or "rhizoid", unit or hybrid (Deleuze, Guattari, 1980). The key element of this search is generally the language (original or acquired) as the main tool of identification. Any person ultimately strives to acquire a sustainable ethnolinguistic identity to establish the interface between individual and social behaviors, internal and external motivation, ethical and aesthetic needs.
In our opinion, the alleged acquisition of identity can occur within the framework of the following algorithm:
1. Reasons: the psychophysical need for emotional fixation of the individual in the space of a new identity.
2. Motives: the individual’s need for self-actualization in a surrounding social and communicative situation.
3. Actions: the choice of a communicative strategy and adequate models of behavior.
4. Results: building up cognitive communicative mechanisms of adaptation to the external conditions.
The modern development of explicative (content oriented) linguistics, on the one hand, and the widespread use of linguistic methods in a wide range of humanities, on the other hand, create urgency and need for a new epistemology of linguistic identity. This raises two questions, which, in our opinion, are important for the evolution of humanitarian knowledge in general: (1) the issues of the latest linguistic epistemology; (2) the status of linguistic identity in modern social science.
Modern progressive linguosemiotics and explicative linguistics treat a linguistic personality as a linguistic sign (symbol) or a specific semiotic concept. This category, as an active component of interpersonal activity, is placed in the continuum of discourse where linguistic identity functions and evolves due to the presence of an ethnic substrate (in some interpretations, a trace) in the semantic structure of the linguistic symbol. The ethno-cultural substrate is a vector and generator of the behavior patterns of native speakers of a national language that encapsulates the basic elements of linguistic identity. In this perspective, we are talking about the national mentality. All these principles work in line with the problems of modern epistemology.
Epistemology (from the Greek ἐπιστήμη / epistémê "true knowledge, science" and λόγος / lógos "discourse") is a field of philosophy that is divided into two areas of study:
- critical study of science and scientific methods of cognition;
- study of knowledge in general.
We consider epistemology as the study of science and scientific activity in the fields of formal disciplines, natural sciences, humanities and social studies. In other words, modern epistemology tries to answer such questions as: What are the goals of science in general or in particular? By whom, by what structures, and by what methods are these goals achieved? What are the fundamental principles for achieving these goals?What are the internal relations between the sciences?By whom and by what methods are sciences taught?What are the mutual correlations between theories of different sciences?
For a long time, epistemology has focused exclusively on the content of science, its history and achievements. Science as a social institution was left to other disciplines, especially sociology. Then the question of the nature of science merged with the question of the nature of scientific knowledge. But many scholars noted that this scientific content did not deal with the difference between common and scientific knowledge. It was not until the eighteenth century that philosophy and epistemology "showed weakness in common opinions and beliefs" (Barreau, 2013), so that, from the above period onwards, epistemology really focused on the "organizational" aspects of scientific knowledge.
At the present stage of development of science, epistemological problems mainly concern:
- organization of knowledge in different fields and disciplines;
- interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary links between different sciences;
- principles of level organization of scientific knowledge;
- theories, models, hypotheses, mental exercises, theorems, laws, in other words, cognitive structuring of scientific knowledge and scientific research.
The latest epistemology focuses on the content of scientific hypotheses and on the ways of their formalization, in particular, with the help of cognitive schemes at the levels of verbal and non-verbal representations.
In this regard, we share Edgar Morin's concept of "epistemology of complexity", which maintains the spirit of a metaphysics of knowledge devoted to the complex relationship between simplicity, simplexity, and complexity (simplicité, simplexité et complexité). We note two reasons for this mental dialogism. First, Edgar Morin makes a significant contribution to the critique of scientism and apriorism as a discursive practice aimed at accepting the integrity of scientific knowledge (Morin, 2001). In this sense, his “transversal” and “transdisciplinary” corpus, which underlies modern rationality, opens up possibilities for meditation for a person who is “in complete uncertainty and in a significant contradiction between what is and what could be” (Nsonissa, Ampini Gévi, 2019).
In essence, we are talking about a new identity not only of the bearer of the national linguistic consciousness, but also of the linguist who studies this type of consciousness. This identity is marked by transitivity and analyzed by meta- and interdisciplinarity approaches to the objects of study.
Despite the fact that the modern discourse and narrative of most societies is buzzing with the word “identity” (national identity, gastronomic identity, gender identity, etc.) the term itself has a long history of interpretations in various sciences and forms of human activity, like philosophy and education, sociology and psychology, linguistics and bioengineering. The evolution of the term begins with the comprehension of its content by the philosophers of Antiquity through the Middle Ages to Modern times, and continues at present (Lysak, 2017).
1.2. Theoretical provisions of the study
Language refers to the virtual structures of human consciousness, that is, the human function that constructs or makes possible the use of a system of ordered symbolic concepts of which the whole language is composed. All languages, however varied, are subject to certain basic requirements of human thought and mental structure. Particular languages are historical and social variations on the great human concept of the Language (Lotman, 1999).
Modern linguists pose and try to find answers to the following questions: Can we separate language, thought and reality?What is the actual use of the language we speak, which we practice as children, is it only used for communication, does it constitute or is part of a culture? What is the relationship between language and personality development, cognitive abilities? Why is it important not to confuse articulated language as a universal ability specific to man and language as a code specific to the human group, enabling communication between its members and denoting things of reality, both external and internal? (Wierzbicka, 1991; Paducheva, 1996; Skvortsov, 1996). The semantics of the language, thus, concentrate certain national and cultural features.
For several years now, the communication sciences have had many interpretation models that update a number of approaches to human behavior. The idea behind these approaches is quite simple. In order to interpret the behavior of individuals in communication it is necessary to understand the meaning that they attach to their action. The context in its various dimensions will nourish and organize the construction of meaning. It results from various parameters: the organization of space, the physical and sensory environment, temporal data, the processes of positioning individuals, the need for a "quality of relation", standards, the processes of expressing identity. It is through the complex combination of all these "communicative processes" that the individuals give meaning to their mode of activity and communication.
Linguistic personality is considered as a category of discourse, that is, as a "reality of speech" (Benveniste, 2010). Globally defined as a place of psychic, social, and communicative constraints, the communicative situation enables the users of language to exchange instructions on how to stage discourse. These instructions correspond to the purpose of speech (prescribe, request, incite, instruct, comment, etc.), to the identity of the partners (who exchanges with whom), the matter to be done (what it is about), the behavior pattern to be followed according to circumstances with particular intermediaries and communication devices. These are discourse instructions that concern both the person who produces the speech and the one who receives it and is therefore forced to interpret it.
Any act of speech is built in a double space: external space where psychosocial and communicative restrictions are found and internal space where discursive restrictions are found. It is at the interface of these two spaces that meaning is constructed. The speaker and the interpreter are bound, even overdetermined, by contractual relations of mutual recognition for the joint construction of meaning. Thus, we can also speak of a kind of communicative contract in this respect.
1.3. Research Methodology
Communication through the implementation of language structures is a kind of contractual convention between members of the ethno-cultural community since it is based on the universal “picture of the world” filled with basic elements corresponding to personal views and expectations. The national language becomes a semiotic "analogue" of the individual within the framework of discourse self-identification with the collective vision of the world. We share Kristeva's opinion that whatever the "semantics" of our discourse (because we communicate through dialogues in our temporary, often sporadic existences), the diversity of our languages and language itself gives rise to this "semiotic ability" of interaction between "internal languages" of our subjective minds (Kristeva,2013).
Within the framework of an ethno-cultural community, a person normally uses communicative blanks, clichés, standard and stereotyped statements. Nevertheless, we are betting on homo creativus with their creative potentials. The speaker is constantly between two fires or conventions - the strict requirements of linguistic structures (grammar of communication and discourse) and the desire for a creative transformation of reality, even linguistic. Ultimately, the organic nature of the communicative process is due to the "chemistry" of constantly entropizing consciousness, torn between quantity and quality, activity and passivity, instrument and performer, discourse rigidity and the dynamics of linguistic behavior.
The term "linguistic behavior" is traditionally included in the conceptual field of the term "communicative behavior" by E. Sapir, who writes that "language is the most explicit of the types of communicative behavior known to us <...> language is predominantly a communicative process" (Sapir, 1993: 21).
Cognitive-communicative reconstruction is a key method for identifying ethnocultural features (traces) in utterances in order to identify and classify not only the patterns of the person's speech behavior, but also the features of their linguistic identity. This procedure is carried out using a cross-cultural technique for detecting the specifics of conceptualization in the compared languages, in other words, ethno-cultural mechanisms of verbalization of certain concepts. An important component of identifying cross-cultural "symptoms" is a psycholinguistic experiment (survey) conducted with a target audience.
In a certain sense, the speech behavior is controlled by the grammar and vocabulary of the language, which ensures the communicative interaction of individuals. This is due to integral pragmatic, based on the conventionality of grammatical and lexical categories identical to the stereotypes of perception of the world by all native speakers (at the very least, this is typical for most Indo-European languages).
The theoretical framework of integral pragmatics, insofar as it refuses to take the literal meaning of statements as a starting point for its interpretation, allows one to get out of the impasse into which the logical-grammatical approach to grammar often leads. This approach favors the notion of "deep meaning" rather than the category of "literal meaning", which stipulates the presence of argumentative instructions attached to the language material, rather than the existence of a constant meaning independent of any context. From this point of view, the argument is at the deep level of the language and precedes the description.
As far as the degree of associability of linguistic material is concerned, it does not coincide in different languages and is associated with varying degrees of figurativeness (abstract / certain) of parts of speech. Thus, for example, some authors argue for “the greater abstractness of the French verb compared to the Russian verb” (Gak, 2018). We are talking here about the mismatch of perceptual constructs (conceptual algorithms) that precede the “birth” of a speech act, that is “information carried equally by visual and linguistic modalities” (Jackendoff, 1984). The semantic field of culture in this sense correlates with the national “picture of the world”, part of which is constituted by the autochthonous concept verbalized by the national language.
1.4. Results and discussion
The current attitude of scholars to the term and concept of "identity" is a blend of opinions related to the positioning of researchers in the epistemological space of a particular school or discipline.
A number of scholars position a linguistic personality (identity) as a “specific universality”, within which “conditions are created for the complementary use of the dominant structural model of describing a language as an external object and the actual model of a language inside a person”. Thus, the observed behavioral facts are proposed to be considered as initial “to build hypotheses about psychodynamic processes with the variability of the socio-communicative environment” (Shaposhnikova, 2021: 279). At the same time, the national language is the key vector and absolute episteme for the reconstruction of the conceptual model.
Asun Paul-Laurent believes that the essence of the identification projection of the individual should be interpreted in line with the merger of the two concepts of "identity" and "sameness". The philosopher argues with the main thesis of "critical theory", i.e. the rejection of the "theory of identity", which Hegel gave a finished form. Horkheimer expressed this most clearly in his 1932 work on Hegel and metaphysics. In German idealist philosophy, from Kant to Hegel, "the thesis of the identity of subject and object appears as a necessary prerequisite for the existence of truth." This implies that “The self-cognizing subject must…according to the idealistic conception, think of itself as identical with the absolute; it must be infinite." Consequently, "all knowledge is self-knowledge of the subject, identical to itself." According to Hegel, “identity must be thought of as a conceptual unity of contradictions, from the overcoming of which this unity follows; identity should be conceived as a single philosophical system of the world in all the richness of its content. We see in what sense identity justifies the requirement of system intrgrity: “The dialectical self-movement of a concept is essentially based on the fact that any preliminary conceptual definition is commensurate with the idea of a complete system of self-knowledge and is inadequate to it. The result (absolute identity) is foreseen from the very beginning…” It is the identity of absolute spirit and being, real and rational, that guarantees metaphysics as knowledge: the true order of the world, which philosophy should present as a unity of two categories "identity" and "identity" (Assoun Paul-Laurent, 2001).
Patrick Charaudeau interprets the categories of "identity" and "linguistic personality" in correlation with the concept of "discourse" in its social incarnation. He believes that there are different approaches to the issue of identity, sociological, anthropological, psychological, historical, etc. In this arsenal of humanities, the science of language and especially the analysis of discourse occupy an important place because language underlies both the individual and collective structuring of consciousness. It is clear that language is necessary for the constitution of a collective identity as it provides for the social cohesion of the community and, all the more, it is the "cement" that unites the nation. Language is a location of predominantly linguistic acculturation. It is through the language that the symbolism of identity is forged and social integration takes place. Discourse is a socially organized language according to the cultural traditions of the group to which the speaker belongs. Unlike social identity, discourse identity is always something that is subject to the construct-construct principle (construire-construisant).
Charaudeau argues that linguistic diversity which entails respect for cultural identities, including traditions and religions, is essential for the development of an information society based on dialogue between people of different cultures. Generally, this trend in philosophy, anthropology and linguistics questions the relationship between the language and the world and claims that language gives a certain order and a special organization to the world around us. This is why learning the language of a people means accessing how that people perceives and shapes the reality (Charaudeau, 2009).
Julia Kristeva, a Bulgarian-born French semiotician, connects the concept of "identity" with European identity. She argues that, despite a certain cult of identity, European culture does not stop revealing an existential paradox. There are identities, “mine” and “ours”, but they are infinitely constructible and deconstructible. The best answer to the question “Who am I?”, according to Yulia Kristeva, is European. This is not confidence but just the love for the question mark. Having succumbed to the dogmas of identity, the European “we” appears. In a certain sense, Europe has succumbed to "barbarity" as it brings to the world the concept and practice of identity as an eternal questioning and anxious state of the individual.
This permanent "questioning" identity can lead to destructive self-doubt and self-hatred, to the self-destruction from which Europe is far from free. The inheritance of identity as matter often comes down to permissive "tolerance" for others. According to Kristeva, tolerance is only the zero degree of questioning, which does not boil down to the generous acceptance of others, but encourages them to ask questions to themselves, to bring the culture of interrogative dialogue into the space of cross-cultural contacts, which make the existence of all communicants problematic. We are not talking about a phobia towards one another, only about infinite clarity and understanding that tolerance is the only condition for "living together." In this sense, identity can lead to multiple identities, which is the multilingualism of the new European citizen.
The multilingual space of Europe, more than ever, calls on the French to become polyglots, to know the diversity of the world and to bring to the knowledge of Europe and the world what is characteristic of them. What I say about French is obviously true for other languages of European polyphony. It is by passing through the language of others that it will be possible to awaken a new passion for each language (Bulgarian, Swedish, Danish, Portuguese, etc.). Then it will be perceived not as a shooting star, nostalgic folklore or academic relic, but as the main indicator of a resurgent diversity. As we can see, Julia Kristeva comes to the idea of a multicultural and, at least, bicultural linguistic identity (Kristeva, 2013; 2020).
In this sense, it is appropriate to consider this position in line with the concept of linguo-philosophical narrative. That would imply a focus of identity studies on the linguistic (discourse) sequence of facts and phenomena from the standpoint of semiotics of vocabulary and figurative representations of linguistic personality (homo loquens).
The British linguist David Block transfers the category of "identity" to the plane of applied linguistics and sociality. He notes that the category of identity has become a key construct in applied linguistics in recent years, as more and more researchers share the prevailing idea of a comprehensive theory of social identity that integrates the language learner and the context of language learning. Block proposes a post-structuralist model of identity, which boils down to three positions:
1. The potential and benefits of a psychological perspective, since much of the research on linguistics and identity tends to focus primarily on the social aspect.
2. Interaction between individual activity and social structure in studies of linguistic identity.
3. Mandatory inclusion of socio-economic stratification and language policy in the studies of "identity".
As we see it, the practical value of the phenomenon under consideration is due to the applied nature of research, as well as their focus on the language. In fact, we can talk about semantic convergence of the terms "identity" and "linguistic personality" (Block, 2009).
Jean Pruvost reveals the essence of the category "identity" through the concept of "lexiculture", introduced by Robert Galisson in 1980-s (Galisson, 1999).
According to Pruvost, when a person is interested in words and everything that they convey, many paths of knowledge open up that cannot leave one indifferent. It is for this reason that any community must give key importance to its linguistic, lexicographic and discourse heritage in all its diversity in order to better understand or restore its collective memory, to better decipher the issues of identity associated with it. All this is intended to promote intercultural dialogue. Interesting in this sense is Julia Kristeva's idea that "the meeting balances the wandering" (la rencontre équilibre l'errance) (Kristeva, 1988). In this perspective, a meeting is a form of conversation, that is, a place of exchange between two or more people, two or more languages, two or more identities, two or more cultures. We may legitimately wonder whether language plays the role of identity, or whether it is what is called discourse through the act of utterance that actualizes it. In a certain sense, language and discourse merge in the act of utterance. In other words, culture and discourse are in a constant process of dynamic interaction.
Another question is: are we sure that we understand each other perfectly, despite the fact that we speak the same language? The carriers of culture are not so much the words in their morphology or the rules of syntax, but the ways of speaking of each of the speakers of the language community, the ways of using words, the ways of reasoning, telling, arguing, joking, and so on. Hence, following Jean Pruvost, it is appropriate to use the term “lexicultural identity” (Pruvost, 2009).
Vladimir Karasik examines the phenomenon of identity from the standpoint of sociolinguistics and defines socio-linguistic identity, virtual communicative community and language policy in the context of globalization. Socio-linguistic identity is interpreted in the dynamics of its functioning in the space of society, associated with the discursive specificity of "emblems of a person's social status, social-group and individual characteristics of communicators with a hierarchical organization of values that determine language policy depending on the priorities of dominant social groups" (Karasik, 2020). He proposes a model for studying a person's identity in the form of a three-dimensional scheme of existential personality vectors.
In the modern vocabulary of philologists, the term "identiteme" functions as one of the operational units of the study of collective identity. The concept of “identiteme” has recently emerged in humanities (Boyer, 2016). The starting point of the identiteme is the “cultureme”, both from the epistemological point of view (since the cultureme preceded it as a subject of study) and from the standpoint of the identity itself (since the latter is a variety of cultures). A cultureme is a unit of meaning characteristic of a particular culture and therefore it is difficult to transfer it to the space of another culture.
Identiteme is indeed a category of cultureme but it differs from it in two points, on which ethnosociocultural representations of a given community are based. The imaginary can be defined as a "super-structure" of representations shared among its own members (Boyer, 2003). First point: the identiteme includes, to a greater extent than the culturem, representations shared by the community, that is, very rigid representations about which there is maximum consensus with a single reference community. For example, the lily of the valley has the status of an identiteme not only because its representations within the French-speaking community of France are very rigid and almost unique but also because this community is attached to the tradition and practice associated with this flower (lily of the valley is presented on May 1) and because of its symbolism (happiness, the return of spring, etc.). An identiteme differs from a cultureme in its “attachment” to the cultural code of a particular ethnicity, which manifests itself through the discourse setting of ethnosociocultural signs that function as “autonomous semiolinguistic units of a fundamentally dialogic/polyphonic nature” (Boyer, 2017).
The second difference concerns the difficulty of translating the identiteme into another language. We are talking about the problematic transfer of the perception (effect) of the identiteme by native speakers of the source language into another narrative. In this sense, identiteme, if not untranslatable, is very difficult to transfer into the imagination of the target language speakers. While the interpretation (translation) of a cultureme can be achieved by a simple encyclopedic search, the interpretation of an identiteme requires, first of all, personal involvement (empathy) of the target language speaker with the ethnosociocultural thought patterns of the source language speakers (Marque-Pucheu, Kiki, 2021).
The sociolinguistics ideas of Salimi and Abedi (Salimi, Abedi, 2022) are constructive in the epistemological respect and promising at the level of their practical application. These are about the correlation of identity and sociolinguistic context in the process of teaching and learning foreign languages. The experiment was based on the analysis of statistical data obtained on the basis of a survey of students of English as a foreign language (EFL) not only in public, but also in private schools using self-analysis.
Paired sample t-tests (among both sexes) were conducted to obtain quantitative data, while qualitative data were subject to thematic analysis. The results did not show significant differences in the aspects of personal and relational identity in the two contexts of EFL learning and teaching, while collective and social differences were revealed. Qualitative evidence has shown that students adapt and adopt some identities synergistically by retaining original identities and creating new ones. The identity shared between the two classes was mainly manifested in personal and relationship aspects, while the social and collective aspects seemed to be relatively different.
In two classes, participants adhered to both individualistic and collectivist linguistic and cultural aspects. However, they were more self-centered in private English language institutions and more social-centered in public high schools. The discussion of issues of identity showed that the contexts of teaching and learning influence the process of socialization. Individuals are positioned in context according to their common identity, while different identities cause them to form or adopt new identities.
A person integrates social identity with language in order to achieve self-assertion in their choice. It is the idea of the individuality that leads to the formation of a new identity. The intertwining of language and identity encourages the language user to "negotiate" with their original identity via language (Pomerantz, 2008). The results of the study showed, among other things, a significant and positive relationship between students' identity and their performance in English. The context as a language resource can also influence the formation of identity, since nothing happens outside the context.
The ambivalence of the linguo-social context (native + foreign language / native culture + foreign culture) can lead either to a double identity or to a kind of “duel” of identities (Salimi, Abedi, 2022), which indicates the fluid nature of personality structures. The process of socialization of people in different local areas reveals the dynamic nature of identity (Packer, Bavel, 2015). In fact, the use of language in the process of socialization coincides with the mechanisms of social activity mediated by language.
Ultimately, most learners adapt to their learning context by adopting new identities and retaining the linguistic identities they have created in the form of a synergistic identity. In any case, the academic context has less influence on the original personality structure and intercultural interactions than on the desired sociolinguistic and postulated collective identity.
Interesting and promising for further research is the phenomenon of hybrid languages. Hybrid identities form and exist due to limitrophic contacts of languages and their speakers, in particular Russophones, who have a specific manner of speaking, from the border regions of Russia and neighboring states.
International languages have the peculiarity of generating language mixtures. Millions of people speak Chinglish (a mixture of English and Chinese), Spanglish (English and Spanish), Hinglish (English and Hindi), even the French speak Franglais. Although Russia was not exactly a colonial power, Russian also gave birth to new languages.
Everyone knows about the existence of language mixtures based on dominant languages. A pidgin, for example, spoken by black Americans. “Take, for example, the Negroes transported from Africa to America. They gradually master the language, which they mix with their own. Thus their pidgin was born, an informal working language” (Hentschel, 2014). In general, these languages are perceived by native speakers as very funny. The Russian language also has various “funny versions”, for example, mixtures with Chinese, Ukrainian, Belarusian and even Norwegian.
Let us briefly consider the key features of Russian-foreign languages:
Kyakhtinsky (Kyakhtsky): Russian + Chinese.
The Kyakhta language is a pidgin based on Russian and Chinese that existed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the regions of the Amur, Manchuria and Lake Baikal bordering China. The name comes from the city of Kyakhta in Buryatia. Linguists today consider the Kyakhta language to be "probably extinct" after its practical use ceased in the first half of the 20th century. But until the 1990s, old Chinese traders who spoke the language could still be found in the markets of Ulaanbaatar. In China, the Kyakhta language was taught for some time to officials managing trade with Russia.
Surzhik: Russian + Ukrainian.
The name "surzhik" comes from a type of bread made from mixture of flours (such as wheat and rye), and the status of this dialect is difficult to determine. It is a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian, differing both from formal Ukrainian and from the Russian spoken in Ukraine.
Most of Surzhyk's vocabulary comes from Russian, but much of its grammar and phonetics come from Ukrainian. Surzhik appeared among the peasant population and first used in its written form by Ivan Kotlyarevsky (also the first author who wrote in Ukrainian) in his 1819 book “Natalka-Poltavka”, which became a classic of Ukrainian literature. This dialect is now present in Ukraine and in the border regions of Russia and Moldova. According to the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (2003 data), Surzhik is spoken by 11-18% of the country's population (Hentschel, 2014).
Trassyanka: Russian + Belarusian.
Like Surzhik, the name "Trassyanka" reflects the nature of this language mixture - Russian and Belarusian. In Belarusian, the word "trassianka" means poor quality hay that farmers mix with straw. Like surzhik, trassyanka cannot be called a pidgin. Linguists characterize this mixture of languages as a chaotic and spontaneous form of linguistic hybridization. The lexicon and syntax of Trasianka are dominated by elements from the Russian language.
The birth of this language, which received its name in the 1980s, is associated with the changes that took place in Soviet Belarus after the Second World War (and in some regions even before the war). The industrialization of the Belarusian Soviet Republic (RSSB) caused a mass exodus from the countryside as ethnic Russians from other parts of the USSR moved to the RSSR where they held leadership positions in business and the politics. Under these conditions, the former Belarusian-speaking peasants had to adapt to their Russian-speaking environment, but not completely.
As of 2009, Trassianka is spoken by 16.1% of the population of Belarus, and the language is widely spoken in all age groups and at all levels of education (Hentschel, 2014).
Russenorsk: Russian + Norwegian.
Russenorsk, which existed from the 18th to the 20th century, is a pidgin. It is still common in the Svalbard archipelago, and appeared off the northern coast of Norway for the communication of Russian and Norwegian merchants who actively traded in fish and grain.
Russenorsk includes about 400 words and has a very interesting peculiarity which shows the equality that prevailed between Russian and Norwegian trading partners. In many pidgins, one of the two languages plays a dominant role, but in the case of Russenorsk the number of Russian and Norwegian words is approximately equal.
Before coming to the form in which it has come down to us, Russenorsk went through a long evolution. Finally many Norwegians have learned Russian, and many Russians have learned Norwegian.
As these examples show, it seems possible to speak of a hybrid identity of individuals who speak the contact languages (Kyakht language, Surzhik, Trassyanka, Russenorsk). We are talking here essentially about bilingualism and biculturalism, since communicative activity in this case becomes an act of acquiring identity.
A language is not just a list of words and grammar rules. It is also a list of cultural constructs, codes, rules, and contexts of use that arise in relation to the shared experience of people bound by shared practices and identities. Language and identity are constantly being adjusted and "reforged" under the influence of those who speak them, i.e. by communicants in the process of communication.
Contact languages, like the very identity of a person, are points of intersection and interaction of cultural representations of closely living peoples. Languages are associated with more or less conscious cultural representations, and by making contact the individuals increase their linguistic and cultural awareness, which also helps to understand the extent to which languages are not neutral. Through language, a person masters stereotypical ideas about life, which bring together and, ultimately, connect the linguistic thinking of the inhabitants of limitrophic regions within the framework of a new hybrid identity. Regional language mixtures that are not considered standard carry their share of connotations that are highly cultural and seemingly have no strong ties to the basic language. Here are some examples of phonetic differentiation of local accents, which manifests itself in the so-called "accent discrimination": stigmatized variants of the northern British regiolect, phonetic features in the English language of Canada, the Belgian accent still largely ridiculed by the French, etc.
Nevertheless, speech is a tool for creating an identity, that is, an image that a person projects onto themselves. This image goes through many existential details and their modifications like posture, choice of clothing, volume or quality of voice. At the same time, and perhaps primarily, it goes through linguistic choices like dialect, accent, choice of words, turns of speech, sentences, etc. Identity is modified depending on the context and goals that need to be achieved, as a person presents themselves different every time (employer, administration, your friend). In this sense, a person necessarily "resonates" with various cultural norms and thus does not choose any image of themselves risking being excluded from the group. This is what we find in the English term "peer pressure" for the pressure we feel, especially at school, to show that we are conforming to the norms of the group.
So, language (or rather the use of a language) is a real act of identity. A person constructs their identity not only making their own stereotypes of behavior and worldviews shared by the group but also using the figure of the other as a “bogeyman”, i.e. something that the person is actually not, but which corresponds to the formal requirements of the group. Hence come glottophobia, linguisticism and other forms of discrimination of others because of the language they speak, linguistic uncertainty and other negative consequences of a hybrid identity (Hentschel, 2014).
We would like to finish the article with a review of the works of Christian Lagarde, who projects the phenomenon of “linguistic hybrids” onto the identification marking of a person (Lagarde, 2019). Lagarde considers linguistic and social hybridity in their correlation analyzing the discourse of economic migrants in France, in particular in Northern Catalonia.
It should be noted that the “intermediate” status of a migrant is inherently ambivalent. On the one hand, he/she has inclusive characteristics, in other words, identifying with the desired language community. On the other hand, he/she is initially endowed with signs of otherness. From a sociolinguistic point of view, a migrant is “torn” between the Scylla and Charybdis of integration and alienation, relying in his interpersonal interaction on a kind of interlect or interlanguage [parlure (kan.) / surzhik (rus.)], being in an alien environment of the donor language.
However, this binary approach is inadequate in several respects. First of all, individuals, as well as groups and societies, are becoming more and more complex. Second, forms of migration other than expulsion are not limited to flows of poorly trained or unskilled labor for whom hybridity is a sign of a lack of choice due to a lack of skills. On the other hand, the migration of people who are better educated in bilingualism, among other things, changes and complicates the situation in such a way that the number of actors, skilled workers or cosmopolitan and polyglot emigrants, able to consciously and deliberately switch from one code to another, steadily grows.
The hybrid identity is, first of all, heterogeneous. Due to their unusual nature, the hybrid subject must be in the minority. Therefore, we must acknowledge it as a fact that we are talking about relations of domination (external, not internal), which can take on all aspects of “violence”, symbolic or linguocultural (Bourdieu, 2001). Christian Lagarde is at the beginning of the path here since he defines hybrid identity in a purely linguistic way, and only at the second stage can he move on to individual dimensions of identity as identity to oneself. In addition, Lagarde “opens” the door to an infinite number of interpretations and instrumentalizations of empirical linguistic data, since a linguistic hybrid is always the result of a sociolinguistic process (Lagarde, 2019).
The hybrid identity is found partly formulated and rather metaphorized by the French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari on the one hand, and by Paul Ricœur on the other, whose theories are very instructive and easily formulated. They take into account the ambivalence of the very concept of identity, namely identity (and, therefore, gregariousness) and singularity (uniqueness, originality). In their book “A Thousand Plateaus”, Deleuze and Guattari contrast two concepts of identity: root identity (identité-racine) and rhizoid identity (identité-rhizome) (Deleuze, Guattari, 1980).
The phenomenon of "root identity" corresponds to the one-to-one relationship mentioned above. The root as a pseudo-genetic basis is unique, it finally assigns to the subject a set of characteristics that define and make each of the individuals a member of the community, which is formed in a homogeneous way. This is a closed identity, therefore strong and opposed by the criterion of belonging or not belonging to a group, allowing to outline the contours of the “we” instance, in contrast to the oppositional concept of “they”.
In Ricoeur's book “Oneself as Another” (“Soi-même comme un autre”) we find a similar polarity represented by the term "self" (mêmeté), which also fits into the schema of identity, and to this Ricoeur timely adds the notion of "requirement of identity". On the one hand, the self (mêmeté) agglomerates, unites and creates loyalty among group members providing a certain comfort of involvement, as in the case of communitarianism and nationalism. But at the same time this concept divides by categorization, becomes an instrument of differentiation, exclusion, and even a kind of stigma.
Here it is worth referring to Fredrik Barth's idea of the dichotomy of social structures (groups). Barth differentiates two types of groups: membership groups and reference groups. Membership is given to the individual by their “root”, i.e. the origin. The individual can also “convert” in the subsequent and individual process (join the group). The recognition of belonging to a group, sharing its values constitute the individual’s identity in membership groups. Reference groups are selected teams toward which an individual takes a step, a little uncomfortable or dangerous, leaving the cocoon of membership in order to get closer and identify oneself. In reference groups, there is certain openness, a free will, which we find in the rhizome and in the self, at the pole of the singularity (Barth, 2007).
A rhizome-identity (rhizoid), unlike a root, corresponds to a set of identifications that an individual can know and recognize. The rhizoid is also anarchic, perhaps contradictory, constantly rearranged and therefore unpredictable. It is clear that the hybrid identity fits into the logic of the rhizome (rhizoid) through its inherent duality, inconsistency, or, in any case, unpredictability, originality of the connected elements. The consciousness of the rhizoid seems to consist of two language codes that are in association with one another.
Norms, linguistic or social, regulate the mechanisms of functioning of any communities. However, the hybrid (sometimes accepted by groups) is always singular in relation to the total mass, since it is assumed to be a minority. Its social status is minimized, devalued in relation to the norm, to such an extent that those who speak "surzhik" (parlure) are strangers. Every time they recall their linguistic representations they feel, and in reality are, in the position of an outsider (linguistic + social). At the same time, in social groups where there is a fetishization of the norm, where language insecurity and language control are constant, the rhizoid hybrid is censored and often condemned by community members (root identities) as something atypical and even “dangerous”.
The hybrid, as an indefinable, uncategorizable mixture, violates scientific taxonomy and social codes (sociolinguistic, sociocultural, even sociopolitical). Thus the members of the group tend to define the hybrid as what it is not rather than as what it is; by default - correctness, legitimacy, the result, the sum of several language resources and their combination. However, these attitudes do not arise ex nihilo, they are activated on a banal psychosocial, ethical and philosophical basis, a set of dominant, majoritarian norms and categorizations, and therefore are perceived as obvious, unmarked, although the configurations that elude them are marked - most often with the stamp of "vileness" (Lagarde, 2019). This attitude implies the negativity and stigmatization of the rhizoid identity, in other words, the focus on finding differences, not similarities, on social and linguistic otherness.
Hybrid discourse and its carriers are reprehensible precisely because they do not correspond to the idea of the world and of man in the form of a dual series: the speaker, the language, the people, the nation, the state. A hybrid identity “lives” in at least two languages and potentially “attacks” a single concept of people, nation and state, and in this it reveals itself as a suspicious, because potentially dangerous, factor of instability. The hybrid, as it were, is called upon to choose its camp. Hidden behind this logic of inclusion/exclusion is a particular, albeit pervasive, concept of identity, individual and/or collective.
We would like to note that the preparatory work for this article was done by the author in previous studies, the results of which found their thesis in one of the articles for 2021 (Sedykh, 2021). We are talking about a number of author's provisions of the theory of linguistic identity, among which one can single out the connection of national identity with the linguistic geography of the ethnic group.
The modern world is characterized by the evolutionary activity of three key phenomena: globalization and the emergence of new information and communication technologies, the emergence of a multipolar world, entry into the post-American world. This triune process contributes to the formation of linguistic diversity, which becomes the central problem of globalization, and also makes obsolete the dominant common English model. This is due to the emergence of “a fundamental methodological problem that can only be solved within the framework of fully interdisciplinary structures” (Sedykh, Bykanova, 2016).
The above is connected with the so-called "babelization" of the Internet and the end of the era of the universalization of the English language. With a different paradigm of knowledge in line with communication in a multilingual world, as well as with the linguistic diversity of the post-American world (Oustinoff, 2013).
The complexity of globalization processes requires that linguistic and cultural communities come to an identification consensus in order to consider and implement structures and strategies that can offer an alternative way to solve problems associated with the modern challenges of humanity. Language becomes a pretext for restructuring interstate relations and a new clustering of societies. The language factor is a marker of identity at all levels of political and social life and has a great capacity for individual and collective mobilization.
In this context, which could be defined as "cultural syncretism", mastering the vocabulary continues to be one of the keys, perhaps even the key to mutual understanding, no matter what languages are used. It follows that language is the primary vector not only of culture, but also of identity reference, and that language, this human ability to exploit linguistic resources, should be perceived not as a limit, but as a kind of coercion, designed to take all the possible subtleties of reality into account.
Identity is a sociolinguistic construct, not a character of what remains equal to itself in time (personal identity), as the dictionary tells us. It is a construct that develops in a relationship that puts a group against other groups with which it comes into contact, which places a community against other communities. It is a constant process of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction. This concept of identity allows us to argue that, like culture, it is always a relation to the others, in particular through language.
In view of the fact that the communicative act is a kind of a language game, the rules of which are subject to the historically established ethno-cultural traditions, the prospects for further study of identity are seen in a comprehensive consideration of the dominant features of national discourse. Power lines of communication function depending on the priorities of the cognitive activity of consciousness and are reflected in language structures.
In this regard, the protection of linguistic diversity is by no means an empty phrase. It is the central problem of globalization. What is new is that the emergence of the Internet made the diversity of languages of far lesser importance. The principle of recent epistemology and linguistics claimed the move from a simple world that communicates through a single lingua franca to a complex world where communication is not only multicultural, but also multilingual. This is exactly what the ubiquitous “all-Englishness” does. In other words, they are trying to impose obvious and simplified things on us, but we are so poorly prepared for them, or more precisely, we are unwilling to accept them. The key challenge of the new linguistic epistemology is to understand this world, which is now ours, in all its cultural, linguistic and, more precisely, methodological complexity.
It would be perfect for humanity to have a universal language, a project that, unfortunately, cannot be fully implemented on a European or global scale. On the other hand, this project is important and expedient in a particular country, both for practical and political reasons of communication. At least two languages are needed to take the argument to its logical conclusion, a national language inside the borders and a lingua franca outside them.
It should be remembered that most of the inhabitants of the planet are multilingual, not monolingual. Monolingualism is not the rule, but the exception. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. A huge linguistic diversity goes hand in hand with ethnic, cultural and religious diversity.
Thus, the twenty-first century dictates its own parameters of "epistemology" in view of the world's global challenges, the increase in geopolitical tension and, as a result, the intensification of migration processes. A native speaker is in increasing uncertainty of identification landmarks, "torn" between the titular linguistic culture and the language of his nationality, that is, at least between two languages. The modern linguist is in a similar position, maneuvering in the labyrinths of a complex multicultural epistemology and the dominance of the English lingua franca. In our opinion, the future lies in the reconstruction of models of a new multicultural identity, including the principles of linguistic engineering and new achievements of corpus linguistics.
It would be rewarding from the epistemological perspective to develop the possible ways of ethnosociocultural modeling of linguistic identity. This identity may be "rooted" in a certain type of linguistic conceptualization of extra linguistic reality of any nature. Of course, the choice of language should not depend on the personal preferences of the researcher but on the geolinguistic and geopolitical situations that emerge in reality.
Following Protagoras and his idea that a person is a measure of all things that exist and do not exist, we put forward the thesis that the phenomenological essence of human identity is a choice of linguistictools as the foundations of one's own existence. The individual chooses one’s own linguistic identity, constructs and develops its.
 Northern Catalonia - Northern Catalonia or Northern Catalonia (in Catalan: Catalunya del Nord, Catalunya Nord) – the name referring to that part of Catalonia, which is located on the territory of France in accordance with the Treaty of the Pyrenees of November 7, 1659, the part of Catalonia, which is located on territory of Spain (Autonomous Community of Catalonia). Refers to the part of the French department of the Pyrenees-Orientales that has a Catalan language and culture, as opposed to the Occitan Fenouillèdes (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalogne_nord).