Negryshev A.A. Pseudo-Sensation on the Internet: Experience of Linguistic Description


Andrej A. Negryshev

Candidate of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Department of German and French, Vladimir State University named after Alexander and Nikolay Stoletovs

Prosp. Stroiteley, 11a, 600024 Vladimir, Russia

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Abstract. The author attempts to consider linguistically the phenomenon of pseudo-sensation which is widespread on the Internet. From the point of view of linguistics pseudo-sensation is a short message of a shocking and provocative nature, constructed on the basis of any media text that does not contain sensational information. Being derived from the source-text, pseudo-sensation differs from a fake, which is a completely fictional message or graphic object. Pseudo-sensational messages are presented on the Internet mainly in the form of announcement headlines. Such headlines function autonomously on a web page as signals motivating to follow a hyperlink. The logical and semantic transformations, employed in pseudo-sensational headlines construction, allow to transform almost any media text into a pseudo-sensation. The description of the mechanisms of such constructing makes the subject of this article. The description is methodologically based upon the "semiotics of truth perversion" by Yu.I. Levin. The analysis of research material, collected from Russian Internet sites, has enabled to reveal three basic logical and semantic transformations: elimination (excluding of one or more components of the text proposition from the headline), substitution (the replacement of the significant components of the text proposition) and complication (addition of excessive components into the headline that are not explicitly contained in the text). The cognitive basis of encouraging to the hypertext transition is the false activation of certain components of the recipient's thesaurus.

Key words: pseudo-sensation, media text, Internet headline, logical and semantic transformation, thesaurus.

Citation. Negryshev A.A. Pseudo-Sensation on the Internet: Experience of Linguistic Description. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2020, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 43-53. (in Russian). DOI:

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