Verbal Representation of the Concept “Church” (Based on the Association Test)

Keywords: religious discourse, concept, free association test, church


The great confidence in the church is the reason of religious discourse investigation in Ukraine. The aim of this research is to analyze verbal representation of the concept “church”. The aim of this research is to analyze the verbal representation of the concept “church”. Free word association test (WAT) has been used for psycholinguistic analysis. The paper overviews the main linguistic, sociological, philosophical and theological Ukrainian and foreign studies of religious discourse and the concept “church”. Eight thematic groups of the semantic zone “church”, which are based on the general church vocabulary, have been described. As a result of the free WAT, 284 responses to the stimulus word “church” were, among them 121 different associations. Among the most frequent responses were “temple”, “dome”, “prayer” and “holy place”. The logical and grammar characteristics of the obtained associations have been analyzed. It has been shown that central paradigmatic reactions to the stimulus word “church” predominate. The thematic features of the associations to “church” have been analyzed. Ten different thematic groups have been identified: church education (doctrine), elements of worship, religious rites and sacraments, house (temple, parts of its space), people (clergy, congregation), Orthodox holidays, the structural unit of the Church, emotions and assessments, special place and space, home. The most numerous thematic group is “house (temple, parts of its space)”. The least numerous thematic group is “religious rites and sacraments”. The large thematic variety of the associations indicates a low level of students' awareness of the concept of “church”. Prospects for further study of this problem lie in an in-depth psycholinguistic analysis of religious discourse.


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How to Cite
Kostruba, N. (2018). Verbal Representation of the Concept “Church” (Based on the Association Test). PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, (23(1), 160-174.