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