Tokarev G.V. Pragmatics of Quasi-Symbol


Grigoriy V. Tokarev

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor, Head of Department of Document Science and Stylistics of Russian, Tula State Lev Tolstoy Pedagogical University

Prosp. Lenina, 125, 300026 Tula, Russia

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Abstract. The article is devoted to the pragmatics of the quasi-symbol, a linguistic and cultural unit that has a verbal nature. It functions as a sign of culture, expresses ideas, and models human behavior. The cultural specificity of quasi-symbols is considered in the aspects of its locution, illocution and perlocution. The paper reveals that cultural aspects of quasi-symbolic locution are based on conventional implicatures. They provide the perception of the utterance as veritable, form typical illocution and perlocution of the utterance. The work proves that cultural aspects of quasi-symbol locution are determined by cultural categories that the symbol embodies, as well as cultural functions that it performs. The article establishes that the quasi-symbol explicates the norm, which acts as a regulator of behavior, the basis for its evaluation. The empirical basis of the study includes the quasi-symbols of the fetish code of culture, which is characterized by the highest productivity. The consideration of imperatives extracted from the meaning of quasi-symbols, has enabled the reconstruction of system of norms characteristic of Russian culture: it is assessed positively when someone works, obeys general rules, is able to keep secrets, fulfills promises, respects another person, considers the feelings and opinions of others, observes Christian commandments. The identified norms demonstrate a set of Russian cultural values: work, order, money, knowledge, faith, neatness. The paper proves that the cultural norm, imperative and attitude are culturally marked pragmatic categories, since they determine human behavior. Axiological aspects of quasi-symbol illocution are expressed in the peculiarities of coding ideas and imperatives. The perlocution of the quasi-symbol is reflected in the linguistic and cultural interpretation, which consists in the addressee's intentions to obey or disobey the imperative, to follow the norm or deviate from it. The article concludes that the rules for using quasi-symbols are easily read by the members of linguistic and cultural community. This aspect embodies the processes of cultural identification.

Key words: language, culture, cultural linguistics, quasi-symbol, pragmatics, norm.

Citation. Tokarev G.V. Pragmatics of Quasi-Symbol. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2021, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 142-150. (in Russian). DOI:

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