Research article
Issue: № 2 (2), 2015


The article is devoted to age change of word identifying way on the base of feelings, emotions and evaluation. Association experiments were held in Russian, Tatar and Bashkir languages in 4 different age groups from 4 to17. The materials’ analysis showed growth of this word identifying way with the increase of years. Qualitative and quantitative changes of the word identifying way are observed. Word recognition and access to its meaning go through emotional and sensory canals and do not depend on language.

The human language is interfused with feelings. Emotions as a form of cognition and reflection of reality are connected with human needs and are the basis of the motives for his work. Human’s emotions and feelings are not aware by him and are not amenable to direct observation completely. In our research, we faced the responses, in which the feelings and emotions with different degree are manifested. The term "emotional yield of the word" first introduced by E. Myagkova means any manifestation of the individual’s relationship to what refers to the word perceived or used by him [2, p.37].

From the linguistic view, emotions are expressed through language, when the dictionary has a specific class of the so-called “emotional vocabulary” which is different from the rest of the neutral words for its value. Psycholinguistic view assumes that the emotional component is presented in the meaning of all the words of a language without exception, but it is very difficult to fix this component, as it "escapes" from the researcher for different reasons. The result of the constant "creating" the word meaning is more or less permanent and immediate elements in the structure of the word meaning that make the process of describing emotional component even more complicated.

According to A. Zalevskaya, vocabulary units are impossible without the emotional and evaluative context, and the word’s ability to save link with different sensitive characteristics denies the  validity of the popular view that semantic units are some abstract entity, absolutely deprived of emotional and evaluative nuances which appear in some mysterious way from nowhere due to the context, situation, etc. [8, p. 8].

Today it is an uncontested fact that cognitive and emotional processes are inseparable from each other. As S. Rubinshtein noted, the word is included in a variety of psychical processes where emotional and intellectual are inseparable, as  human emotions represent the unity of emotional and intellectual, as well as cognitive processes usually form a unity of intellectual and emotional [5, p.141].

S. Rubinshtein’s view is shared by A. Zalevskaya, believing that the word, functioning as a way to access a human single information thesaurus, is included in a variety of psychical  processes in which emotional and intellectual are inseparable [9].

L. Vygotskyi thinks that the isolation of thought from affect makes impossible the explanation of thinking, because the deterministic analysis of thinking supposes opening the driving motives of thought, needs and interests, motives and tendencies that direct the movement of thought in one or another way [7, p.14].

Connecting emotions and language, A. Leontiev notes that emotions can be generalized in communication; a person has not only individual emotional experience, but also an emotional experience that he had acquired in the process of communication of emotions [1, p.260]. Explaining his point of view, the author points to a distinct ideational nature of emotions, that is the ability to anticipate situations and events, which have not come yet, and appear with representing the past or imaginary situations. The emotions’ most important feature is their ability to generalize and communicate; therefore, the human’s emotional experience is much more than his individual experience of feelings; it is also formed as a result of emotional empathy while communicating with other people and, in particular, by means of art. The scientist says that expressing emotions acquires the features of socially formed and historically changeable “emotional language”, as numerous ethnographic descriptions and such facts as, for example, facial gesture poverty that congenitally blind people have [1, p. 266].

In S. Rubinshtein’s research we also find confirmation of the emotions’ nature duality, forming during human activity directed at satisfying his needs; thus, appearing in the human activity, emotions and needs experienced in the form of emotions, are also the motivation for activity [6, p. 247].

E. Myagkova considers emotional component of the word to be inherent part of the psychological structure of the word meaning. The peculiarity of the emotional component as a unit of the lexicon the author traces in the complex of feelings associated with the word that reflects a compound system of human’s relations to the object of the external/internal world and to himself. According to the researcher, the main features of the emotional component of the word meaning will be its integrity, different level of components’ coherence and social and ethno-cultural indirectness, as well as individual peculiarity of the information representation. Thus, every word imbibes a whole complex of feelings connected with it and involved in the process of word meaning formation [3, p.92-93]. Besides, the word can capture the variety of the supporting elements and strategies that provide access to the linguistic and encyclopedic knowledge and subjective experience stored in the human’s memory.

To study age dynamics of the word meaning identification strategies we carried out free association experiments in Tatar and Bashkir languages in four different age groups of children: the preschool age (4-6 years), the primary school age (7-10 years), the secondary school age (11-14 years) and the senior school age (15-17 years); analyzed and compared the materials of association experiments with the Russian children of the same age groups, carried out by T. Rogozhnikova [7, p.101]. It should be noted that the differentiation of the identification strategies of the word meaning is relative, since they are closely interrelated and often combine each other.

The analysis of experimental material showed that, the number of responses identifying the word meaning based on emotional and evaluative experience grew with age, and in some cases even prevailed among all the identification ways in all three studied languages. The Tatar word-incentive ҖИР(GROUND) served as an example. In the preschool age, the Tatar subjects identified the word meaning, based on the following emotional experience: суык (cold), зур (large), тугәрәк (round), кара (black), матур (beautiful), тигез (smooth). The percentage of responses with this way of identification was in the pre-school age only 7% of 100%.

In the primary school age the following responses appeared: чиста (clean), кара (black), туган (native), җуеш (wet), чәчкәләр матур (flowers are beautiful), матур (beautiful), пычрак (dirty), зур (large), туган ил (native country), яшел (green), оло (large) and others. The number of responses increased from 7% to 37%.

In the secondary school age the following words were added to the above responses: уңдырышлы (rich pasture), туган як (native land), әйбәт (good), йомры (round), түгәрәк (globe-shaped), йомошак (soft), кәкре (curve), җан иясе (soul), мин (I) – 40% of the responses.

 In the senior school age we had the largest number of responses identifying the word meaning based on emotional and evaluative experience – 58% of all the responses: кара (black), түгәрәк (round), йомры (round), зур (large), оло (big),  туган як (Motherland), каты (firm), туган җир (native land), комлы (sandy), әйбәт (good), туган ил (native country), Яркей (Yarkeevo-village), йәшел (green), йомшак (soft), уңдырышлы (rich pasture), матур (beautiful), яраткан (my love), сафлык (purity), ашламалы (fertilized), ярату (to love). Moreover, starting from the primary school age the identification of the word meaning based on emotional and evaluative experience became the dominant way of acknowledging the meaning of the word ҖИР(GROUND).

In the Bashkir language, we took the word-incentive КЕШЕ (MAN) as an example. In the pre-school age, the number of responses received on the word with the way of the word meaning identification  based on emotional and evaluative experience amounted to 30% of 100%. The following responses demonstrate  emotional and evaluative coloring: зур (adult), оло (adult), матур (beautiful), якшы (good), һәйбәт (well), дуç (friend), дуçтар (friends), йән эйәһе (soul), робот (robot), наçар (bad), ысын кеше (real person (man)), Аллах бәндәһе (God's creature), күп (a lot), акыллы (clever), бәхет барыһынала (happiness to all people).

In the primary school age the percentage of responses remained the same – 30%, however, the responses became more abstract and generalized: hәйбәт (good), якшы (good), насар (bad), матур (handsome, beautiful), сибәр (beautiful), тере йән (human being), акыллы (smart), йән эйәсе (soul), ярҙам (aid), личность (personality), бәхетле (happy), ярата (he/she loves), кеше инде (people too), тырыш (diligent), белемле (educated).

In the secondary school age emotional and evaluative responses increased to 56%, having changed not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively: һәйбәт (good), якшы (good), матур (beautiful), насар (bad), яман (bad), йән эйәһе (soul), ят кеше (stranger), изгеле (holy, kind), бәхетле кеше (happy person), хөрмәт (respect), үзебеззен кеше (our person), төрлөсә (different), бөтәһелә һәр береһенән айырыла (all differ from each other), личность (personality), тизкәре (stubborn), гражданин (citizen), көслө (strong), күп (a lot), ышанысһық (hard to believe), күнелле (funny, jolly), яраткан (loved one), просто кеше (just a person), әллә күпме кеше (very many people), тыныс (calm), бай (rich), хужа (host), яратырға (to love), тере (alive), тырыш (careful).

The remarkable thing is that the way of the word meaning identification based on emotional and evaluative experience was the dominant way of the identification in the secondary and senior school ages. In the senior school age responses to the word КЕШЕ (MAN) amounted to 50% and were represented by the following words: яқшы (good), һәйбәт (good), һәйбәтлеқ (some good, something good), матур (beautiful), шәхес (personality), йән (soul), бәхетле қеше (happy man), қешелеқле (humane), насар (bad), яқын қешеләр (hostages to fortune), ғумер (life), һайуандар да аламарақтары була (there are people, who even worse than animals), кәшене қешелеқле итеп қүреү (to see human being in the man), һәйбәт әшләр әшләү (to do some good deeds), һәйбәт қеше - йәмгиәт (good man is the society), усал (angry), унған (hard-working), берзән-бер (the only one), оло бер шәхес (a great personality), йәш (young), югары белемле (clever / those, who know much), тере (alive), зиян (harm, damage), хисле (emotional).

Thus, the examples given above clearly illustrate psycholinguistic concept of A. Zalevskaya, considering the identification of the word meaning as a complete set of processes running in human’s verbal and cogitative activity, the product of which is the subjective knowledge experience linked with the word in a human’s unified information base, taking into account the emotional and evaluative nuances in the interaction of the conscious and the unconscious, verbalized and beyond verbalization. 


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