Psycholinguistic Peculiarities of Non-Canonical (Personal) Religious Discourse

Keywords: religious discourse, non-canonical prayer, religious activity, personality, psycholinguistic analysis.


Introduction. The article reveals universal and specific features of non-canonical religious discourse. Religious discourse is generally defined as the process of cognitive-speech activity in a religiously relevant social and communicative situation, which involves the reception, transmission and/or creation (compilation) of certain religious texts in a certain context; and as the current result of this activity, which creates the corresponding discursive picture (model) of the world. The main genre of religious discourse is prayer – canonical (institutionalized) and non-canonical (non-institutionalized, personal). Non-canonical prayer is defined as an appeal to God, the text of which may contain both canonical fragments and individual verbal formulations of the subject.

Materials & Techniques of the Research. The sample of empirical research is 543 persons of different age, social status, from different regions of Western Ukraine. Due to the use in the first stage of «Methods for the Study of Religious Activity» (D. Smirnov) and subtraction of quartiles, the whole initial sample is divided into four sub-samples of persons with different levels of religious activity. In the second stage, the verbalization of non-canonical religious discourses was recorded. The thus obtained 543 texts were subjected to content-analytic procedures using the «Textanz» computer program. The methods of psychosemantic and psycholinguistic textual analysis are used as the basis for the mentioned processing and interpretation of results.

Results. According to the results of the study, universal patterns of psycholinguistic structure of non-canonical religious discourse were identified, connected with the activation of the «I–You» system and the verbal explication of a certain personal request and gratitude. Some specific semantic variations of the corresponding discourse, due to the level of religious activity of the subject, are also revealed. It is stated, in particular, that at its higher levels, the number and, consequently, the importance of the tokens of the noun category «Spiritual, psychic life» («love», «heart», etc.) are increasing. This demonstrates the importance of prayer for high-religious individuals, not only as an external means of support, but as an effective psychological resource for self-control.


Download data is not yet available.


Gunchik, I.V. (2014). Malovidoma zbirka zakhidnoukrayinskykh «prostonarodnykh molytov» pro son Presvyatoyi Bohorodytsi v zapysakh 30-kh rokiv [A Little-known Collection of Western Ukrainian «Folk Prayers» about the Dream of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Records of the 1930s]. Naukovyy visnyk Mizhnarodnoho humanitarnoho universytetu – Bulletin of the International Humanities University, 10(1), 27–29 [in Ukrainian].

Zasekin, S. (2012). Psykholinhvistychni universaliyi perekladu khudozhnoho tekstu: monohrafiya [Psycholinguistic Universals of Translation of Fiction Text]. Lutsk: Volyn. nat. them. Lesia Ukrainka [in Ukrainian].

Zasekina, L.V. (2016). Virtualnyy dyskurs u komunikatyvnomu prostori studentiv [Virtual Discourse in Students’ Communicative Space]. In L.O. Kalmykova & G.O. Khomich (Eds.), Rozvytok osobystosti v riznykh umovakh sotsializatsiyi – Personality Development in Different Conditions of Socialization (pp. 193–211). Kyiv: Vid. Dim «Slovo» [in Ukrainian].

Zernetskii, P.V. (1992). Rechevoye obshcheniye na angliyskom yazyke: Kommunikativno-funktsionalnyy analiz diskursa [Speech Communication in English: Communicative-Functional Analysis of Discourse]. Kyiv: Lybid [in Russian].

Mitina, O.V., & Evdokimenko, A.S. (2010). Metody analiza teksta: metodologicheskiye osnovaniya i programmnaya realizatsiya [Text Analysis Methods: Methodological Foundations and Software Implementation]. Vestnik Yuzhno-Uralskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta – Bulletin of the South Ural State University, 40, 29–38 [in Russian].

Polyakova, T.A. (2011). Sotsiologiya i psikholingvistika v izuchenii obydennogo soznaniya [Sociology and psycholinguistics in the study of everyday consciousness]. Voprosy psikholingvistiki – Journal of Psycholinguistics, 13, 72–83 [in Russian].

Savelyuk, N. (2017). Psykholohiya rozuminnya relihiynoho dyskursu [Psychology of Comprehending of Religious Discourse]. Kyiv: CST [in Ukrainian].

Serkyn, V. P. (2016). Psikhosemantika [Psychosemantics]. Moscow: Yurait [in Russian].

Smirnov, D.O. (1999). Opisaniye protsedury standartizatsii psikhometricheskoi metodiki «Oprosnik relihioznoi aktivnosti» [Description of Procedure of the Psychometric Methodic’s «The Questionnaire of Religious Activity» Standardization]. Nauchnyi psikholohicheskii zhurnal – The Scientific Psychological Journal, 1–2, 159–172 [in Russian].

Spilka, B., & Ladd, K.L. (2015). Psikholohiya molitvy: Nauchnyi podkhod [The Psychology of Prayer: A Scientific Approach]. Kharkov: Humanytarnyi tsentr [in Russian].

Khomulenko, T., Kuznetsov, O., & Fomenko, K. (2018). Molytva yak predmet movlennyevoyi diyalnosti ta yiyi komunikatyvnyy namir [Prayer as a Subject of Speech Activity and its Communicative Intention]. Psykholinhvistyka – Psycholinguistics, 23(1), 309–326. doi.10.5281/zenodo.1211565 [in Ukrainian].

Yurasov, I.A., & Paslova, O.A. (2018). Diskursivnoye issledovaniye religioznoy identichnosti [A Discursive Study of Religious Identity]. Teoriya i praktika obshchestvennogo razvitiya – Theory and Practice of Social Development, 7, 24–29. [in Russian].

Albinus, L. (1997). Discourse analysis within the study of religion: Processes of change in ancient Greece. Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, 9(3), 203–232.

Eames, K.J. (2016). Cognitive Psychology of Religion. Long Grove: Waveland Press.

Finnern, S. (2014). Narration in Religious Discourse: The example of Christianity. In P. Hühn, J. Pier, W. Schmid & J. Schönert (Eds.), The Living Handbook of Narratology.

Friese, M., & Wanke, M. (2014). Personal Prayer Buffers Self-Control Depletion. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 51, 56–59.

Martin, C. (2009). On the Origin of the «Private Sphere»: A Discourse Analysis of Religion and Politics from Luther to Locke. The Finnish Society for the Study of Religion, 45(2), 143–178.

Nasr, S.H. (Ed.). (2005). The Essential Frithjof Schuon. Bloomington: World Wisdom.

Schjoedt, U., Stodkilde-Jorgensen, H., Geertz, A., & Roepstorff, A. (2009). Highly Religious Participants Recruit Areas of Social Cognition in Personal Prayer. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 4(2), 199–207.

Singh, P.H. (2011). Language for Reconciliation in Religious Discourse: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Contradictions in Sermons Explored through the Activity Theory Framework. Multilingua – Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, 30(3–4), 391–404.

Abstract views: 307
PDF Downloads: 256
How to Cite
Savelyuk, N., & Tkach, T. (2019). Psycholinguistic Peculiarities of Non-Canonical (Personal) Religious Discourse. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, 26(1), 286-305.