Itskovich Т.V. Proto-Textuality as the Constructive Principle of Religious Style


Tatyana V. Itskovich

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Professor of Department of Russian Language, General Linguistics and Speech Communication, Ural Federal University named after the First President of Russia B.N. Eltsin

Lenina St., 51, 620000 Ekaterinburg, Russia

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Abstract. To the present day, the linguistic description of the religious style is reduced to characterizing certain genres, such as preaching, prayer, message, hagiography. The choice of the constructive principle of religious style and the description of its ontological foundations have not yet been set as an objective scholarly study. The paper demonstrates how the idea of proto-textuality of religious style and, consequently, the protogenic conditioning of all modern religious genres are advanced. The idea of proto-textuality receives a communicative, pragmatic and categorical textual basis in this research. The constructive principle of religious functional style is determined by the peculiarities of religious consciousness and religious activity. The characterization of these ontological principles of dual world and salvation lies in the notion of the textual sphere embodied in the constructive principle of proto-textuality, which implies the obligatory support of each of the following religious texts relating to the religious prototype. Any kind of communication in the religious sphere is genetically derived from the prototype of Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition and relies on them. The proto-text of Holy Scripture is a closed semantic formation, initially exhausting the body of real texts. The persons described in the Holy Scriptures are subjects of the proto-text that act in a certain historical objective-sacred time and space. In the prototype, invariant genre models that correspond to the goals of participants in religious communication during a particular historical period are fixed, and the protagonists of prayer, sermons and lives are immanently given. Each proto-genre is a text invariant, the basic initial basis of the genre. Proto-genres are further developed, transforming into a modern genre system of religious functional style. The genre peculiarity of the texts created in the sphere of religious communication is determined by the proximity to the prototype and the degree or level of its reflection in the text being created. As applied to the genre level, this ratio is expressed in the genetic connection of later texts with genre proto-text. These genre samples not only set the canon of the genre but are actively used in modern religious communication. Thus, the ontological basis of a religious style is the dual reality, and salvation is the main intention of religious text-generation. Philosophical understanding of dual reality as a distinctive feature of religious consciousness is realized in religious style through proto-textuality. Proto-textuality is a constructive feature of the religious functional style, which determines the binding indissoluble bond of all genres-text-types with protogens. Thus, the continuity and safety of canonical ideological constructs are provided in protests in a concentrated form. The ideological and content proximity to the prototype, following the canons defined in it, determines the field structure of genres of religious style, their nuclear or peripheral affiliation.

Key words: style, religious functional style, constructive principle, proto-text, proto-textuality, world duality, stylistic features.

Citation. Itskovich Т.V. Proto-Textuality as the Constructive Principle of Religious Style. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2, Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2018, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 6-16. (in Russian). DOI: 

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