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DOI: 10.18413/2313-8912-2022-8-3-0-3

The triad conscience-shame-consciousness in Russian and French: a notional aspect

The central unit of anthropological linguistics is a concept as a verbalized cultural sense. This article aims to study conscience in the Russian and French languages. Conscience refers to the socially regulatory concepts studied by various scientists, including psychologists, philosophers and philologists. In order to determine national specifics of the semantics of the concept “conscience” in Russian and French we use a comparative analysis of the semantic relations between conscience, shame and consciousness in both languages. Modern dictionaries of the Russian language define conscience as a feeling of moral responsibility to oneself and others for one's actions. Responsibility to others brings conscience closer to shame, which acts as a companion of conscience in many aspects of the Russian language. Nevertheless, only socialized conscience can act as a synonym for shame. Dictionary definitions highlight sensual and rational principles in shame. The sensual principle brings shame closer to conscience, the rational principle – to consciousness. Russian lexicographic sources do not record any connection between conscience and consciousness. The analysis of French dictionaries shows that in the “conscience-consciousness” doublet, expressed by one lexeme conscience, consciousness is the dominant. The analysis of synonyms of the French lexeme conscience proves that the lexeme honte (shame) is not synonymous with the lexeme conscience. This statement is proved by the analysis of parallel texts from the National Corpus of the Russian language. The lack of semantic links between shame and conscience in French lexicographic sources can be explained by a more individual character of conscience in the French language compared to the Russian one.

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