РОССИЙСКО-ГЕРМАНСКИЕ ОТНОШЕНИЯ В ДИСКУРСЕ СОВРЕМЕННОЙ РОССИЙСКОЙ ПРЕССЫ: ЛИНГВИСТИЧЕСКИЙ АСПЕКТ
В статье на материале средств массовой информации исследуется лингвистическая динамика современного российско-германского русскоязычного дискурса, рассматриваемого как сфера межтекстовых отношений, наблюдать которые возможно через сцепления речевых жанров и их разновидностей. Анализ основывается на текстоцентрическом понимании речевого жанра, имеющего в стилистико-композиционной структуре коммуникативный, модусный и референциальный аспект и организуемого с помощью разноуровневых языковых средств и композиционно-текстовых приемов через категории диалогичности, иллокутивности и референтности. С учетом этих категорий в статье рассматриваются особенности языковой организации журналистского речевого жанра «Предложение решения проблемы» и обосновывается конфликтный характер межтекстового взаимодействия на современном этапе. В работе приводятся аргументы для выделения атакующего и реагирующего типов текстов, характерных для конфликтного межтекстового международного общения.
Based on the material of mass media, the paper investigates the linguistic dynamics of the modern Russian-German Russian-language discourse, considered as a sphere of intertextual relations, which are possible to observe through the linkage of speech genres and their varieties. The analysis is based on the text-centered understanding of the speech genre, which has a communicative, modal and referential aspects in the stylistic-composite structure, and which is organized using language means of different levels, compositional and textual techniques through the categories of dialogic, illocutionary and referential characteristics. Given these categories, the paper considers the peculiarities of the language organization of the journalistic speech genre “Suggestion of solving a problem”. It also justifies the conflict nature of the intertextual interaction at the present stage. The work substantiates the allocation of offensive and reactive types of texts, which are the intertextual characteristic of the conflictual international speech communication.
Любовь Юрьевна Иванова (Леонтьева), преподаватель кафедры речевой коммуникации Санкт-Петербургского государственного университета
Liubov Yurievna Ivanova (Leontieva), Senior Lecturer of the Department of Speech Communication, St Petersburg State University
Ivanova L. Yu. Russian-German relations in the discourse of the modern Russian press: linguistic aspects // Медиалингвистика. 2017. № 1 (16). С. 96–108. URL: https://medialing.ru/russian-german-relations-in-the-discourse-of-the-modern-russian-press-linguistic-aspects/ (дата обращения: 28.11.2020).
Ivanova (Leonteva) L.Yu. Russian-German relations in the discourse of the modern Russian press: linguistic aspects. Media Linguistics, 2017, No. 1 (16), pp. 96–108. Available at: https://medialing.ru/russian-german-relations-in-the-discourse-of-the-modern-russian-press-linguistic-aspects/ (accessed: 28.11.2020).
КОД ВАК 10.02.19
Problem Description. One of the important topics of today’s international awareness of the Russian media is the relations of Russia and Germany. Among EU countries, Germany is considered to be one of those Russia traditionally manages to preserve the most friendly and fruitful relations with. Yet, recently, these relations have worsened, especially in the political sphere, which immediately manifested itself linguistically in the dynamics of the media discourse. It would be interesting to look at the linguistic dynamics of Russian-German Russian-language discourse. The significance of such a formulation of the question is obvious and is manifested in different aspects.
Today, linguistics pays special attention to language usage, determined by social, cultural norms of speech activity in a certain cognitive and typologically conditioned communicative space, i. e. to studying the language functioning in discourse. M. Foucault, defining different levels of public discourses, pointed out the existence of those which lie at the basis of a certain number of new acts of speech, which “catch them up, transform them or talk about them, that are being infinitely pronounced, have already been pronounced and should yet be pronounced” [Foucault 1994: 60] (emphasis added. — L. I.). In this regard, a well-known linguist O. G. Revzina wrote the following: “The discourse, understood in this way, should be the subject of discourse linguistics, in contrast to text linguistics. This is a new object for linguistics, and we obviously have yet to determine the ways of studying it. When studied not as an insertion between ‘think’ and ‘speak’, but as the only language reality, discourse expects linguists to discover the rules of its existence” [Revzina 1999: 33]. The discourse of Russian-German relations is among those that expect “the linguists to discover the rules of its existence.” The peculiarity of the current state of this discourse is in its conflict nature. This has been noted in the works of recent years [see, for example: Voronenkova 2016]. Our observations of the current state of this discourse show that it especially widely uses narratives about the events of interstate cooperation, as well as some texts-arguments, which substantiate the assessment of interstate relations in general.
It’s planned to verify the following hypothesis: the described discourse as a set of texts (V. E. Chernyavskaya) reflects intertext relations, which are possible to watch through the linkage of speech genres and their varieties (discourse as a system of genres is represented, for example, in the following work: [Dijk 2013]). If to agree with M. M. Bakhtin idea, that a speech genre is a “typological form of dialogical relations between utterances” polished in practice [Bakhtin 2000: 305], it is quite natural to admit, after L. R. Duskayeva, a speech genre to be a sustainable textual composite stylistic form of speech response to the audience’s typical information requests for media, typical of the journalistic language. Here, to achieve effective communication, a typical method of coordinating the semantic positions of the author and of the addressee’s hypotheses is manifested. These features of the queries are determined by the state of ideas and semantic positions circulating in the discourse. This understanding of secondary speech genres is consistent with M. M. Bakhtin’s understanding of a work that “like a line in a conversation, is mounted on others’ (another’s) reply, on his active reciprocal understanding, which can take various forms: educational influence on the readers, their persuasion, critical reviews, influence on followers and successors, etc.; it specifies the reciprocal positions of others in the complex conditions of speech communication in this sphere of culture. A work is a link in the chain of speech communication; like a line in a conversation, it is associated with other works — statements: both with those it responds to, and with those which respond to it themselves; at the same time, similar to the dialogue line, it is separated from them by the absolute boundaries of the speech subjects change” [Bakhtin 2000: 268–269].
Therefore, disclosure of the discourse development regularities is primarily establishing the features of the stimulus and response speech genres of that make up the discourse. Among the analyzed materials devoted to Russian-German collaboration, there are clearly visible differences in expression of German and Russian illocutionary of the semantic positions. The mentioned discourse of the German media reveals the dominance of condemnation and accusation, typical of conflictual communication (speech genres with such options of illocution were described in the following papers: [Dubrovskaya 2003; Lavrentieva 2006]). Russian media demonstrate another semantics of illocutionary values, primarily, stimulating a dialogue. Hence, the aim of the study is to describe the linguistic representation of illocution in the speech genres represented in the modern Russian-German discourse.
Method of the Analysis. Recent humanitarian works in sociology, psychology, pedagogy, law and linguistics demonstrate the increasing interest in the study of conflictual interaction. This is quite natural, since the human activities in all spheres are accompanied by a clash of interests, views and approaches. By V. S. Tretyakova’s definition, a verbal conflict is a speech manifestation of a collision between two or more entities in connection with the disagreement in which one party (S) consciously and actively operates to the detriment of the other (physically or verbally). At the same time, the second side (A), aware of these actions being directed against its interests, takes retaliatory action against the first party. The researcher emphasizes that the conflict can only arise on the basis of communicative contact, while the criterion of conflict nature is the degree of non-controllability, intensity, and aggressiveness of the recipient’s reaction which he demonstrates in response to such a speech impact, knowing that verbal action is directed at him or at him among others. In the course of the conflict, there is one-sided or mutual non-confirmation of role expectations, the discrepancy between partners in understanding or assessment of the situation, in which the feeling of antipathy is not hidden, and the communicants do not try to accommodate to each other somehow, to change their behavior towards each other [Tretyakova 2003]. These features are typical of our chosen discourse too.
For the description of speech genres, it is important to define this concept often interpreted by researchers in different ways. Some of them treat a speech genre as a speech act (A. Wierzbicka, L. A. Kapanadze, I. M. Kobozeva, E. A. Zemskaya, T. V. Shmelyova, etc.) or a more detailed and complex speech construction, consisting of several speech acts (V. V. Dementiev, M. N. Kozhina, O. B. Sirotinina, N. I. Formanovskaya). This paper develops a different approach, where a whole text is considered as a speech genre. One should note that the text-centered view on a speech genre is represented in many works (S. Gayda., T. I. Damm, A. K. Dolinin, T. V. Dubrovskaya, A. A. Kibrik, O. A. Krylova, T. V. Matveeva, V. P. Moskvin, V. A. Salimovsky).
The Russian theory of speech genres addresses the question of stylistic-compositional structure of the speech genre differently. As T. V. Matveeva rightly pointed out, this issue is one of the most undiscovered [Matveeva 1995]. This remains an open question to this day. The solution proposed by L. R. Duskaeva and Y. M. Konyaeva [Konyaeva, 2015] seems to be the most promising. It is associated with finding a connection of a textual genre form with its semantic structure, in which the validity of highlighting three aspects — referential, modal and communicative — was justified. Each of the aspects of the genre semantics is expressed in its own specific field of multilevel language means, compositional and textual techniques, united by a common intentional focus. The linguistic nature of the genre is thus defined through the principles of selection and combination of tools of dialogic, illocutionary and reference categories [Duskaeva 2016]. Therefore, a generic category is understood as a field (a system) of composite-text, language and non-verbal means of expressing the key semantic property, which is denotative (referential), module or communicational, typical of the given speech genre [see more: Ibid.].
The compositional-stylistic structure of the speech genre is formed by the interaction of genres categories expression means, which are different from those known in categorical linguistics grammar ones [Bondarko 1971] and text ones [Matveeva 1990] with their extra-linguistic nature. These fields are suggested to consider as genre categories — the units of speech genres analysis that reflect the goal orientation of composition of different levels of language means’ functioning in a text form [Duskaeva 2016]. The linguistic composition of speech genres is reasonable to analyze through the dialogic, illocution and reference categories, which demonstrate changes in the situation of the speech genre semantic structure dynamics under the influence of extra linguistic factors’ changes.
The dialogic category in speech genre shows the deployment of different forms of descriptions, narratives, or arguments in “the interaction of semantic positions” (M. M. Bakhtin) of the author and the addressee. This interaction is structured in special text units — interactions which are present in monologue written speech in full (if both stimulus and response are expressed) or in minimized regime (if only one side of the dialogical unity is expressed) [Duskaeva 1995]. The focus of this paper is the expression of illocutionary indexes in the stated discourse. In a series of illocutionary ones, following N. D. Arutyunova, we consider volitional, emotive, cognitive and perceptual values [Arutyunova 1988].
In research works, illocution is defined as a variation of language units’ pragmatic value, revealing the relationship between the use of a language unit and the result of this use [cf: Demyankov 1984; Austin 1986; Searle 1986; Searle 1987, etc.]. In the classifications of speech acts proposed by J. Austin, J. Searle, Br. Fraser, D. Wunderlich, the authors base on a typical illocutive characteristics’ representation with the relevant performative (or illocutionary) verb and share a common understanding of illocution as some “semantic entity or significance” submitted “conditionally” in the act of speaking [Austin 1986: 100]. The illocutionary value in a speech genre is associated with the subjective modal one, therefore, it covers both volitional (directing the actions of others) and emotive aspects of meaning. For example, it is possible to induce with a strong imperative, encouragement, request, recommendation, suggestion, advice, etc. From the point of view of some dialogic interaction, illocution being an intentional-genre variable proves the sense position of the communicant, while the choice of verbal mode of influence is associated with the need for the semantic position actualizing by each semantic interaction participant [Duskaeva 2016].
Referential meaning in the speech genre reflects the subject field of genre goal orientation. The subject field of the studied discourse publications is an event of Russia-Germany interaction, someone’s statement or a certain person, so the referential category is the historical events or the personal character.
Material Analysis. We will look at two texts representing a speech genre “Suggestion of solving a problem” to see the dynamics of deployment of the discourse highlighted in the article. This speech genre is aimed at stimulating the mass audience activity and is implemented through the sequence of the following interactions: 1) warning about the danger of emerging trends; 2) the rationale of the proposed method; 3) encouraging the recipient to be active in achieving the stated goal [Duskaeva 2012: 208–262]. These interactions are “built” by the interaction of means of the dialogue specifics expression — addressing and responding. The specifics of deployment of this speech genre texts in the conflictive discourse is that it is represented in variants, depending on the position in the dialogue of texts, both as stimulating (“attacking”) and as reacting (“defensive”). Steffen Dobbert’s publication “Sanctions against Russia, now!” from the German newspaper «Die Zeit» (presented in translation on the site «InoSMI» 16.12.2016) sounds like another informational attack against Russia. (The publication is translated, which is obvious through the stylistic clumsiness of the wording, the wrong word order, and sometimes through the modality expressions, untypical of the Russian syntax.) The attacking character of the text is reflected as early as in the title, which is expressed by an exclamation sentence, solely emphatically and categorically. A Russian journalist Vladimir Lepekhin’s publication “Germany and Russia: enemies again or friends still” (RIA «Novosti» 20.05.2016) can be considered as an informational defense from an attack.
The First Subgenre Interaction. The first interaction indicates a critical situation that requires someone’s activity. The sub-goal of the first subgenera interaction is to warn about the critical situation, which is made through the following steps: in response to the question what is going on? an adverse or even dangerous situation is indicated and thus the motive for its elimination is formulated. This is the semantics of a stable text fragment: it indicates the alarm situation, which makes the author worry, the risk of which makes you wonder about its elimination, and therefore, about the necessity to act. However, the considered texts — offensive and responding ones — answer the question of who is right and who is wrong differently:
|The offensive text||The responding text|
|Primarily, Russia is responsible for the killings in Aleppo. To complicate committing new war crimes, Europe needs to use its only effective weapon against Putin.|
Russian and foreign political scientists and sociologists have noted that today one of the most Russophobic countries in Europe is Germany. This country does not seem to learn the lessons of history. It is again in the forefront of the Western attacks towards Russia.
Despite the presence of a large Russian-speaking community in Germany and left-wing forces’ support of the Russian position (not only the left socialist party, but also many social-democrats), the German media is dominated by anti-Russian point of view.
As early as in the initial part of the text, the authors have actually exchanged mutual recriminations and accusations, the German journalist blames Russia for the people’s deaths in Aleppo (using extremely negative evaluating nominations of action: killing, new war crimes). At the same time, the Russian journalist believes that Germany demonstrates imperial ambitions, manifesting the inability for historical thinking of the greater part of its elite classes through hatred of the Russians (Russophobia). The semantics of fault is present in both fragments, but in different texts, different parties of the conflict are blamed.
The first text, using vocabulary, naming the actions, which receive a negative ethical evaluation: killings, new war crimes, causes a feeling of anxiety. After the notice of danger the text specifies its source (Russia is responsible for). When they define a method to eliminate the risk (Europe needs to use its only effective weapon against Putin), the illocution gains a volitional value. Danger elimination is seen as a challenge the society faces. So the first text promotes the semantics of volitionality expressed by a modal structure needs to use the weapon against.
In the second text, the anxiety feeling is caused by the vocabulary with the semantics of sharp confrontation, the military metaphors Russophobic country that is not able to learn the lessons of history, is at the forefront of attacks towards Russia, the anti-Russian point of view. Volitional illocutionary semantics is formed only in the subtext, not yet explicitly expressed, but the preconditions for its explication have already been laid.
Then the ideas of both texts get detailed: the earlier pronounced German journalist’s accusation against Russia is supported by the description of the war tragic consequences. The lack of information about the origins and reasons of war that resulted in untold losses and suffering of the people of Syria, in which thousands of people were executed, burned or destroyed, makes it easy to attribute blame for the incident to Russia, which interfered with the event only at the last stage of the war, and thus to strengthen the accusatory sounding of the text. The second text, accusing Germany of inciting Russophobia, gives more and more evidence of the German elite’s hostile attitude towards Russia:
|In the “attacking” text||In the “defending” text|
Some days only subsequently acquire their exceptional value. Probably this Tuesday, 13 December 2016, will be inscribed in history just as such a day — the saddest day of this century, as one of those days when there is a feeling of shame because of belonging to humanity — shame in the face of barbarism in Aleppo.
Here one can remember the genocide in Rwanda and the massacre in Srebrenica, when the humankind passively watched it and did nothing for a long time.
While we still do not know exactly how many people were executed, burned or destroyed in the ruins of the East of Aleppo, we don’t know how many women and children were able to save their lives. For nearly six years war has been raging in Syria. In this battle, which began as a peaceful revolution against Assad the dictator, hundreds of thousands of people died, were wounded or expelled from their homeland. Yet after the fall of Aleppo, the war will continue.
The German elite (in contrast to the majority of this country population), seems to be so full of Russophobia that time after time finds itself in the same boat with the key opponents of the Russian Federation: from the American hawks and the Nazis of Ukraine to the Ottoman representatives of Turkey and “Islamic state” terrorists (IG organization is prohibited in Russia).
The inadequate attitude of a substantial part of the German establishment to Russia as to the “major world evil” is explained by the tight control over the German political system by the American intelligence and some revanchist mood and banal ignorance of the new right forces, artificially created in German right-wing circles.
Anyway, the ruling class headed by Angela Merkel, obediently following the fashion of a USA-centric geopolitics, gradually occupies the front-line trenches of the getting long front on the border with Russia. Here at the “Eurovision” contest, the representatives of the pop establishment in the German jury gave the Russian singer 0 points, while the German TV audience gave him the highest possible rating — 12.
“Germany got involved in the world wars, being confident that it was mature enough to become the ruler of Europe and the world, but in fact it was manipulated by Britain, which itself sought to play this role. However, it is also true that Germany wouldn’t let anybody do that, if it hadn’t been overwhelmed by Imperial ambitions, stemming from the Germans’ confidence of their superiority” — with these words Olga Mironovna Zinovieva warned her German friends in October of 2014.
And today we see the beginning of a new, third loop both in manipulations with Germany, and in its another self-delusion.
A year and a half after the publication of that article we acknowledge the presence of distinct split of Germany concerning the Russian question: a large part of the left forces of this country is for Russia and cooperation with it, while much of the right party is actually waging war against Russia, contrary to common sense and their own historical experience. The same was on the eve of the Second world war, when German iron rationality was in fact elementary stupidity, which nearly led Germany to complete and final destruction.
The first text unfolds a tragic picture of the war consequences in Syria (this is how the journalist is trying to implicitly explain the Germany Chancellor’s open door policy). The tragedy of the situation is emphasized with the metonymic verb war is raging in Syria, with the indication of the event duration for nearly six years, a number of homogeneous predicates describing the consequences of the tragedy: hundreds of thousands of people died, were wounded or expelled from their homeland, emphasizing the repeatability and incompleteness of what is happening). The first text got its attacking character by means of the following:
— labeling (dictator Assad, barbarism in Aleppo);
— comparison of the described situation with other tragic pictures known to the general public, which occurred in the last decades;
— the use of cardinal numbers (hundreds of thousands);
— using high vocabulary, creating a special “emotional frame” of the tragic pictures: will be inscribed in history just as such a day… when in the face of barbarism in Aleppo there is a feeling of shame because of belonging to humanity. Here one can remember the genocide in Rwanda and the massacre in Srebrenica;
— highlighting the tragedy with the emphasizing particles (only later, just as), superlatives (its exceptional value, the saddest day), demonstrative words (this Tuesday, such a day, of this century),
— the attribution of inappropriate actions to Russia, expressed with sentences in which Russia is called the subject, the Syrian people is called a victim, the action itself is described with extremely negative-evaluative words (were executed, burned or destroyed);
— persistent formulation of volitional semantics with the reminder of the inaction as of a mistake made earlier: humankind passively watched it and did nothing for a long time.
In the second text, the intention of “response to the attacks” is expressed by the following:
— deployment of the scene of the wide spread “Russophobic hysteria” in Germany, for which they use satirical, also military, metaphors, transformation of phraseological units, creating the image of the enemy: so full of Russophobia, in the same boat with the key opponents of the Russian Federation, from the American hawks and the Nazis of Ukraine to the Ottoman representatives of Turkey and terrorists of the “Islamic state,” the ruling class led by Angela Merkel, obediently following the course of the USA-centric geopolitics, gradually occupies the front-line trenches all over the long front border with Russia, the beginning of a new, third loop both in manipulations with Germany, and in its another self-delusion;
— negative evaluations of the German policy against Russia: contrary to common sense and their own historical experience, when the German iron rationality was in fact elementary stupidity, which nearly led Germany to complete and final destruction.;
— emphasizing the gap between the elite and the citizens of Germany, the assertion of the existence of a split in society by means of the units with semantics of the contrasting, prepositions, antonyms: in contrast to the majority of this country population, a larger part of the left forces of this country is for Russia and cooperation with it, much of the right party is actually waging war against Russia;
— an attempt to find the origins of hostility that is expressed by the construction “verb of speech + noun. preposition…,” evaluative lexemes: is explained both by the tight control over the German political system by American intelligence and some revanchist mood and banal ignorance of the new right forces, artificially created in German right-wing circles;
— building additional accusatory narratives to transmit instances of the Russophobic hysteria manifestation in a non-political events: Here at the “Eurovision” contest, the representatives of the pop establishment in the German jury gave the Russian singer 0 points, while the German TV audience gave him the highest possible rating — 12;
— giving the so-called experts’ opinion, often using the means of reported speech: “Germany got involved in world wars, being confident that it was mature enough to become the ruler of Europe and the world, but in fact it was manipulated by Britain, which itself sought to play this role. However, it is also true that Germany wouldn’t let anybody do that, if it hadn’t been overwhelmed by Imperial ambitions, stemming from the Germans’ confidence of their superiority” — with these words Olga Mironovna Zinovieva warned her German friends in October of 2014.
The interaction of these tools expresses the illocutionary meanings of the warning.
The Second Subgenre Interaction. Another interaction of the speech genre — the impulse — unfolds in response to this request: a) the purpose of the stimulated activity is defined; b) the object is specified, to which (or against which) it is necessary to direct actions; c) the negative consequences are described, the manifestation of which is possible when the recommended actions are failed. Let’s refer to the texts:
|Defining guilt and who is to blame||Defining guilt and who is to blame|
|Fragments of texts are given in extracts|
…but what can you do in this situation? One can ask this question, calming oneself down. But the answer will be different — do nothing.
These are the soldiers and mercenaries of Bashar al-Assad who are offensive on Syrian soil and also act against the civilian population too. However, without Russian intervention into the war, which began about a year ago, they would not have been able to do it. Russian combat aircrafts used their bombs to pave the way for Assad’s soldiers and mercenaries, supported by Iran and ‘Hezbollah’.
This man, who is on Assad’s side and, as a result of Obama’s indecision, now decides, how many people will die in Syria in the future, — this man’s name is Vladimir Putin. …after the ten months ago announcement of the troops withdrawal, completely opposite actions were undertaken.
If a person says one thing and does another, then it can be called a lie. For the past several months, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s permanent representative in the UN Security Council, Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Putin himself repeat this lie regarding Syria. “We conduct this operation in Aleppo in order to ensure the civilian population safety,” said the Russian Minister of foreign affairs. …Then the final battle for Aleppo began. And the recent statements regarding the cease-fire, made at the time when the larger part of Aleppo was captured, fit into the category of false Russian diplomacy.
What position won during the inner-German debates in the late 30-ies, who crushed left-wing political forces in Germany and how they did it, who at first helped Hitler in his crackdown of the communists and socialists, and then pushed him to a suicidal war with the Soviet Union — we know that. And, of course, we do not wish the events of 80 years ago to repeat in this country, because the current Russophobia and farce in Germany based on the searching of “Kremlin agents” will surely be followed by a new and real tragedy. <…> Unfortunately, in the XXI century, this country again is imposed the role of the main strike force against the Russian-Orthodox world. The German elites are once again involved into an alien and monstrously illogical game with a foregone outcome, and today, we can only hope that the ‘left’ and any other healthy forces in the country will be able to repel the Nazis, revanchists and all sorts of “supermen” while the German elite would not go crazy. <…>
Today the ruling elite in Germany are largely focused, as it was already noted, on the severance of relations with Russia in order to please their pro-American contacts. …The culmination of rising geopolitical inadequacy of the German leadership was the Chancellor’s decision to welcome large numbers of refugees… and the subsequent EU partnership with the main organizer of the refugees’ flow to Europe — the leader of Turkey, Rejep Erdogan. … Among the elites of Germany a movement in favor of common sense and pro-national policy appeared and began to increase, which recommends to this country to turn to Russia as to an important economic partner and a quite friendly towards Germany. …the Prime Minister of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer… met the President of Russia and after the meeting said that “it is impossible to cope with hotbeds of crises across Europe without Russia.” It was after Seehofer’s visit to Russia when the German media started to talk about the split in the ruling elites of German, which is actually true.
In both texts, the impulse unfolds in response to the questions — a demand to give an answer about the action needed. Grammatically, the ways of questions’ explication are different: in the first text, it is ‘but what can you do in this situation? One can ask this question, calming oneself down’. As we can see, the question is formulated directly and placed into a “reflexive frame.” In the second text, the questions are represented as a chain, as parts of a compound sentence: What position won during the inner-German debates in the late 30-ies, who crushed left-wing political forces in Germany and how they did it, who at first helped Hitler in his crackdown of the communists and socialists, and then pushed him to a suicidal war with the Soviet Union — we know that. The questions about the German attitude to Russia before the Second world war come to mind by analogy with the nowadays period when those relationships are strained to the limit.
Answering the questions, the author sets the stage to name the actions required to prevent the development of this dangerous situation. To do this, he firstly explains what the purpose of the activity, to which they encourage, is. To this end, the first text draws an emotional picture of what it’s necessary to be prevented or stopped: …the soldiers and mercenaries of Bashar al-Assad who are offensive on Syrian soil and also act against the civilian population too. However, without Russian intervention into the war, which began about a year ago, they would not have been able to do it. Russian combat aircrafts used their bombs to pave the way for Assad’s soldiers and mercenaries, supported by Iran and ‘Hezbollah.’
In the second text, the journalist is acting differently, he reminds the scenario of European anti-Russian political force coming to power 80 years ago. This power won in the inner-German debate in the late 30-ies… crushed left-wing political forces in Germany and… at first helped Hitler in his crackdown of the communists and socialists, and then pushed him towards a suicidal war with the Soviet Union.
In both texts, the actions themselves are still named indirectly. The first text merely indicates the necessity of some active actions against Russia. It’s necessary to mention that the phrase, being translated, is formulated in an “alien” way, “not in Russian:” But the answer will be different — to do nothing.
Indirectly, the impulse is expressed as a wish in the second text: And, of course, we do not wish the events of 80 years ago to repeat in this country, because the current Russophobia and farce in Germany based on the searching of “Kremlin agents” will surely be followed by a new and real tragedy.
Further, both conflictive texts define an object the social activity should be directed against. The first text names the object metonymically — it is Russia, which is declared guilty. But then, the perpetrators and their “actions” are represented more clearly. According to the German journalist, Russia is guilty of the deaths of the civilian population: without Russian intervention into the war, which began about a year ago, they would not have been able to do it. The actions of the so-called guilty party are described in the modal-evaluative frame, which seems correct to the journalist from the German point of view: the Russian combat aircraft with their bombs paved the way for Assad’s soldiers and mercenaries.…The evaluative frame is created with the metaphorical verb combinations (paved the way), names of action instruments (with their bombs), a negatively evaluative nomination of supporters (Assad and the mercenaries). Russian dignitaries, each of whom is referred to with a full nomination chain (name — surname — position), are accused of aggression, lie: And the recent statements regarding the cease-fire, made at the time when the larger part of Aleppo was captured, fit into the category of false Russian diplomacy. As we can see, the behavior of those who are guilty, in the opinion of the journalist, receives a very negative assessment.
The second text also names the guilty ones — the ruling elite of Germany, suffering chronical Russophobia, their actions are a political farce. To show, what their fault is, the actions get negative normative, utilitarian (according to N. D. Arutyunova) evaluation expressed by idioms, metaphors, evaluative verbs, adjectives: go way beyond normal, the state is again imposed the role of the main strike force against the Russian-Orthodox world; the German elite are involved in the alien and monstrously illogical game with a foregone outcome, <…> are largely focused on the rupture of relations with Russia in favor of their pro-American contacts. <…> The culmination of rising geopolitical inadequacy of Germany leadership was the Chancellor’s decision to welcome a large numbers of refugees in the country… and the subsequent EU partnership with the main organizer of the refugees flow to Europe. The journalist sees some productive positive forces in Germany too, their activity is called “a movement in favor of common sense and pro-national policy appeared and began to increase, which recommends to this country to turn to Russia as to an important economic partner and a quite friendly towards Germany.” Thus, assessing these forces’ activity is evaluated positively. Pointing out what the concerns of the author are, the journalist increases the anxiety, which is felt the text: will surely be followed by a new and real tragedy. As we can see, both texts clearly name, whom it is necessary to be active against, describe the negative consequences, which might happen in the case the audience fails to act the recommended way.
The Third Subgenre Interaction. This genre unit describes how to search for a method of performing the actions that are encouraged: confusion, doubt, mistakes while searching and the birth of new ideas — the fact that the text gives these parts of the thinking process increases the dialogical mode of the text: the interaction is formulated as that of semantic positions of developing solutions to problematic situations. In the last interaction, activities the audience is encouraged for, not just name, but also describe and justify their legitimacy. Let’s refer to the texts again:
|Suggestions of the problem solvation in the “attacking” text||Suggestions of the problem solvation in the “responding” text|
|Text fragments are given in extracts|
So what shall we do? If the UN Security Council is no longer able to perform their tasks, because Russia and China are using their veto to block any solution aimed at the end of hostilities, then one needs to react differently. …now everything depends on the European foreign policy.
The European Union… has an efficient tool against Russia. …They are neither the tanks, nor bombers nor rocket-launchers, but economic sanctions, which could master the war in Central Europe. Especially the sanctions on the financial market, introduced after Crimea annexation which is contrary to international law, prevented Putin from capturing other territories in Ukraine.
What could prevent the worst option for Ukraine, might appear effective in Syria. We are talking about new economic sanctions against Russia, depending on the Kremlin military involvement in Syria. <…>
On Thursday there will be a meeting of heads of governments …Of course, the heads of the states will once again name those who are responsible for war crimes in Syria. But this is not enough.
There is a myth that Russia entered the war in Syria in order to fight with the Islamic state (banned in Russia as a terrorist organization — transl. note). The Kremlin’s aim in Syria is clear — to support Assad, even if it costs thousands of civilians’ lives. <…>
It is very easy to present the arguments — the EU has no other realistic and effective weapons, except for the sanctions. Unimaginable events of 13 December 2016 in Aleppo should serve as a reason to finally introduce them.
However, “to hope” is the wrong word. Today it is important to turn the German elite with its face if not to Russia, then, at least, to its own people, …the society of friendship with Germany (SFG) was established in 1922 and since then …it ensured the development of cultural and other ties between the two countries. …In contrast to many other Russian societies for friendship… (SFG) has flourished and acquired various business bonds. But later …the cooperation between Russian and German businessmen within SFG programs was noticeably minimized.
<…> the Russian public made up a decision to try to “reset” Russian-German relations. In her interview… Olga Zinovieva noted that “restart” of relations between Russia and Germany can be a decisive factor, which will determine the future of Europe and the European Union… “If this ‘restart’ happens, Europe will have a chance to defend its economic and political sovereignty and to avoid being plunged into a new world war”. …From Mikhail Logvinov’s point of view…, “it is possible that Russian-German relations’ upgrading will contribute to improvement of Russia’s relations with the West as such. We all hope so. Our German friends and partners share these hopes.”
In the first text, the author repeats his question: what shall we do? There is some confusion in this repetition, arising from the fact that standard mechanisms of universal condemnation do not work: If the UN Security Council is no longer able to perform their tasks, because Russia and China are using their veto to block any solution aimed at the end of hostilities. The intense search for the right solution makes them turn to other sources and entities of its execution: …then one needs to react differently. …Now everything depends on the European foreign policy. The European Union… has an efficient tool against Russia. The echo of such a search is found in the repetition of the negative particle, which the author shows as if he mentally dismisses some wrong ideas (…These are neither the tanks, nor bombers, nor rocket-launchers), and finally he comes to the needed one: …but economic sanctions, which could master the war in Central Europe.
Further, actually assuring themselves of the correctness of the chosen measures (since it is impossible to bring it to those who know that the war continues because Kiev government does not leave attempts to take revenge over the breakaway republics!), the journalist develops his thought: Especially the sanctions on the financial market, introduced after Crimea annexation which is contrary to international law, prevented Putin from capturing other territories in Ukraine.
The journalist appreciates the previously used measure of influence on Russia: what could prevent the worst option for Ukraine, might appear effective in Syria. We are talking about new economic sanctions against Russia, depending on the Kremlin military involvement in Syria. Introducing his idea, the journalist appeals to the doubters: …Of course, the heads of states once again will name those who are responsible for war crimes in Syria. He uses negative sentences: But it’s not enough. The journalist gets involved into polemics with the so-called Kremlin propaganda: There is a myth that Russia entered the war in Syria in order to fight with the Islamic state (banned in Russia as a terrorist organization. — Transl. note). Disputing the arguments of the opponent, the journalist emphatically injects his thought into the readers’ consciousness: The Kremlin’s aim in Syria is clear — to support Assad, even if it costs thousands of civilians’ lives… It is very easy to present the arguments — the EU has no other realistic and effective weapons, except for the sanctions. Inducing to make a hostile step towards Russia, the reporter seeks to work by means of emotives (Unimaginable events of December 13, 2016 in Aleppo) and structures combined with modal vocabulary: it should serve as a reason to finally introduce them. The introductive adverb finally makes his judgment especially categorical.
In the second text, interaction is constructed similarly. Like in the first text, it reaffirms the need for some activity: However, “to hope” is the wrong word. Then, using modal vocabulary in combination with the infinitive the author formulates the purpose of the necessary actions: Today it is important to turn the German elite with its face if not to Russia, then, at least, to its own people. The author reminds of a possible way to solve the problem, evaluates its effectiveness with the evaluation means: …the society of friendship with Germany (SFG) was established in 1922 and since then …ensured the development of cultural and other ties between the two countries. …In contrast to many other Russian societies for friendship… (SFG) has flourished and acquired various business bonds. But later… cooperation between Russian and German businessmen within the programs of SFG was noticeably minimized. Then the journalist justifies his position more fully, talking about the “benefits” of his proposal practical implementation: <…> “restart” of relations between Russia and Germany can be a decisive factor, which will determine the future of Europe and the European Union…; …Europe will have a chance to defend its economic and political sovereignty and to avoid being plunged into a new world war;…upgrading will contribute to improvement of Russia’s relations with the West as such.
Results. The analysis showed the effectiveness of genre categories eduction. Indeed, the appeal to the means of each category demonstrated that the selection of language means for creating a speech genre in conflictive discourse reflects the specificity of the relations between Germany and Russia. In this discourse, the position of Germany is emphasized as a conflict one: it contains accusations, recriminations. The German party represents itself in a role of a prosecutor having the right to appoint the penalty for the misdeed. Without citing any facts or finding out the essence of what is happening, it immediately finds the persons who are clearly declared guilty in the ongoing troubles. Among the means of expression of the dialogic nature, which are responsible for the reflection of the modal-logical links between semantic items, especially active are those that express opposition. Among the illocutionary means, which show the attacking and defending parties’ actions orientation, negative evaluative means, including political labels, are obviously activated. In general, the hostility and intransigence of the positions are emphasized. Metaphors of war are actively used. Emotional tools have the powerful impact.
Conclusion. The article examines the expression of semantic positions in the Russian-German discourse. The latter is considered as a part of the semantic interaction of the two countries — Russia and Germany. The analysis found that conflictive nature of communication changes the dialogic, referential and illocutionary semantics of the “Suggestion of solving a problem” speech genre. Dialogical semantics is full of conflictive semantics, illocution gets full of inducing confrontation, emotiveness, anxiety, resentment, sometimes even anger, saturating it with the semantics of opposition, the metaphor of war. One and the same speech genre is filled with various additional illocutionary meanings: in one case it becomes an aggressive communicative attack, in another, it becomes a communicative protection, aspiring to harmonization.
As the attacks are not always justified in the text, the speech is perceived to be aggressive. When this, the dominant modality is that of full confidence in the rightness of one’s position, eliminating doubt. Russia’s position is different: it obviously demonstrates the desire to seek compromise, you can hear confusion caused by the opponent’s categorical statements, it is filled with recriminations about the failure to try to understand, to analyze the situation. As a result of filling the speech genre with such semantics, the dialogue nature in the Russian author’s text is reacting, illocutions are saturated with meanings of warning, the offers of reconciliation and adjustment of the established interaction scenarios.
The study found that conflict at the intertext level is expressed by means of language and speech representation of attack and of response to it within the framework of media discourse. Speech mechanisms of conflict manifestation in media texts on Russian-German relations operate within speech genres, composed through a series of subgenre interactions, full of language means of genre categories with the corresponding semantics and mental-verbal orientation.
© Ivanova (Leontieva) L.Y., 2017
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