Shuneyko A.A., Chibisova O.V. Closed Topics in Linguocultures: Identity in the Form of Diversity

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2016.4.20

Aleksandr A. Shuneyko

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor, Department of Linguistics and Intercultural Communication, Komsomolsk-on-Amur State Technical University

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Prosp. Lenina, 27, 681013 Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russian Federation

Olga V. Chibisova

Candidate of Sciences (Cultural Studies), Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics and Intercultural Communication, Komsomolsk-on-Amur State Technical University

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Prosp. Lenina, 27, 681013 Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russian Federation


Abstract. The present article deals with the meaningful and functional characteristics of the closed topics, that are the topics which are thought to be improper (taboo), and they are blocked in Russian, English and Chinese communication in a variety of ways. Their characteristics have not received a proper description in scientific works; therefore the study, based on the methods of semantic and communicative analysis, survey and comparison of the communication ways in different languages, aimed at filling the gap in probative identification of a list of closed topics, seems to be a current matter of interest. The authors use the term closedness and view it as an indicator of topic's irrelevance that manifests itself with various language means. The article demonstrates the presence of a commonly shared list of closed topics in the above mentioned cultures. The possibility of reference to such topics in conversation is regulated by communication format, purpose and the degree of contact's intimacy. The strategies of closed topic avoidance are marked with semantic replacement called mitigation and euphemism substitution. The study results ascertain that the closed topic list is shared by the Russian, English and Chinese cultures, but points to some differences in the way the conversations go. In conclusion the authors give a wide range of applications: from theoretical constructs that describe the mechanism of communication processes flow to the specific recommendations for optimizing communication in different spheres of human interaction.

Key words: communication, open topic, closed topic, taboo subject of conversation, courtesy, euphemism.

Citation. Shuneyko A.A., Chibisova O.V. Closed Topics in Linguocultures: Identity in the Form of Diversity. Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics, 2016, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 197-206. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2016.4.20.

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Closed Topics in Linguocultures: Identity in the Form of Diversity by Shuneyko A.A., Chibisova O.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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