Old Age as a Conceptual Phenomenon: Regional and Age Aspects of Associtive Semantics*
The article analyzes the conceptualization of old age by non-adult speakers of the modern Russian language. The relevance of the study is determined by the active interest of modern linguistics to the content of consciousness and the ways of its description, the need for a psycholinguistic interpretation of the age period of old age as a conceptual phenomenon, an interest in the consciousness of non-adult native speakers of the Russian language. The author compares the results of his own psycholinguistic experiments, the databases of the Siberian Association Dictionary and the “Russian Associative Dictionary. Associative reactions of schoolchildren of the I-XI classes ", simulates the semantic composition, emotive-sensual meaning of the word "old age" as a component of the mental lexicon of schoolchildren in Omsk, Omsk region, draws conclusions about the age and regional features of semantics, the cognitive structure of the associative field on the basis of the concept words as an asset of the individual. Experiments have shown that the processes of conceptualization of the phenomenon of old age in the consciousness of recipients actively involve the emotional-sensory sphere, which leads to the formation of an ambivalent emotional-appraising sector, in which there are negative and positive components.
The course of free association and the process of semantic reception revealed their presence. The age specificity of the composition of the associative field was manifested in a small number of nuclear reactions, quantitative and qualitative filling of the cognitive layers of the associative stimulus field.
The cognitive composition of the associative field includes six cognitive layers, among which the layers of subjects, characteristics and consequences of old age predominate, which is also related to the age of recipients: non-adult Russian speakers associate the phenomenon of old age primarily with middle-aged people. Receptive experiment revealed the predominance of negative emotional-evaluative attitude towards the stimulus. The participants of the experiment perceived it as something bad and weak, but bright, it was on these scales that the indicators were maximum. Informants of the same age group from another region chose the word "old age" as a reaction most often for incentives related to the anthropomorphic incarnation of the elderly, the names of the period of human life and age.
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