Concept “Holy Fool” in the Linguistic World-Image of the Russian-Speaking Population of Ukraine

Keywords: ludic competence, playfulness, ludic position, holy fool, psycholinguistic experiment, free association experiment, linguistic consciousness

Abstract

The aim of the article is to identify and analyze the semantic components of the verbalized concept “holy fool” in the linguistic world-image of the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine. The main method of the conducted research was the psycholinguistic experiment. The sample comprised 204 respondents aged 18-35, males and females being equally represented. The results of the conducted experiment allowed us to make a conclusion that in terms of the everyday linguistic consciousness of the Russian-speaking population of the eastern part of Ukraine the concept “holy fool” is reflected in three core (more than 10%) semantic clusters: 1) “behavior” (46.57%); 2) “appearance, looks” (21.57%); 3) “cognitive disorders” (16.67%).

Therefore, holy fool is mainly represented by lexemes with behavioral semantics, lexemes referring to personal appearance, and lexemes semantically connected with deficient mental abilities of a person. The first cluster is represented by such core semes as “STRANGE” (20.59%) and “BLESSED” (8.82%). The second is represented by “UGLY” (17.64%) and the third cluster is represented by the core seme “FOOLISH” (16.67%). Theological associates are mainly represented by associates that describe a certain type of holiness (“BLESSED”).

The stimulus word “holy fool” is generally evaluated in three different ways: positively, negatively, and neutrally. 41% of respondents display repulsion to this stimulus, which is reflected in the following reactions: ugly 11, foolish, plain 7, insane, sick, ugly creature 4, fool, crazy, crippled 3, mentally challenged, abnormal, wrong, fearful 2 etc.

The comparative analysis of the verbalized concept “holy fool” in the linguistic world-image of the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine and Russia leads to the following conclusions: 1) the semantic charge of the word “holy fool” is bigger in the linguistic consciousness of the Russian-speaking respondents from the eastern part of Ukraine; 2) the core of the verbalized concept “holy fool” have different components (“HUMAN BEING” – “STRANGE”). Most Ukrainian and Russian respondents tend to treat the concept “holy fool” as something negative or neutral, which testifies to the ambivalence of this concept; theological associates are represented in the periphery; emotive associates are only reflected in singular reactions.

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Published
2018-10-03
How to Cite
Gordiienko-Mytrofanova, I., & Kobzieva, I. (2018). Concept “Holy Fool” in the Linguistic World-Image of the Russian-Speaking Population of Ukraine. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, 24(1), 118-133. https://doi.org/10.31470/2309-1797-2018-24-1-118-133