The Courtly Strategy of Speech Behavior of a Communicative Sadist

Keywords: communicative sadism, verbal aggression, abuse, invective, courtly strategy, etiquette formulas, semantic differential.


The article is devoted to the analysis of mechanisms of the courtly strategy of speech behavior as an expression of communicative sadism. The research was conducted in the context of psycholinguistics at the intersection of semantics, linguistic pragmatics and communicative linguistics. Considerable attention is paid to the essence, nature and characteristics of the phenomenon of communicative sadism, as well as the importance of studying this phenomenon as a variety of mental violence. A comparative analysis of foreign and domestic publications devoted to the study of aggression and violence in communication was carried out. The concepts of verbal aggression and communicative sadism were delimitated in detail and scientifically substantiated.

The phenomenon of communicative sadism is analyzed from the standpoint of destructive speech behavior, which is based on the three most common strategies of conflict behavior – invective, rational-heuristic, and courtly. A detailed study of the mechanisms of the courtly strategy of speech behavior by the semantic differential method has allowed opening the hidden semantics of the words of courtesy and etiquette formulas of the Ukrainian language. Cases of verbal abuse and humiliation of the interlocutor by the mechanisms of the courtly strategy of speech behavior are illustrated by examples of literary discourses and real-life dialogues. It is proved that etiquette formulas, words of courtesy, as well as lexemes with suffixes of diminution, caressing, which are affiliated with positive semantics in a linguistic system, are used within the framework of the courtly strategy of speech behavior with a provocative purpose to offend, humiliate or rebuke the opponent.

The conducted analysis allows expanding scientific knowledge about the range of receptions of a communicative sadist. In the conclusions the courtly mechanisms of the sadisti’s behavior in communication is clearly outlined. Among them is the tendency to indirect means of expressing disagreement (ignorance through silence), the disguise of the expression of negative emotions behind the etiquette speech formulas as well as the indirect confrontation by the means of emphasized politeness. Thus, in the work the main speech techniques of communicative sadistic mistreatment over the interlocutor are indicated, further research of which will allow to develop methods of counteracting violence in communication.


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How to Cite
Taranenko, K. (2019). The Courtly Strategy of Speech Behavior of a Communicative Sadist. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, 25(2), 290-306.