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Meaning, Mind and Communication

Explorations in Cognitive Semiotics

Jordan Zlatev, Göran Sonesson and Piotr Konderak

This volume constitutes the first anthology of texts in cognitive semiotics – the new transdisciplinary study of meaning, mind and communication that combines concepts and methods from semiotics, cognitive science and linguistics – from a multitude of established and younger scholars. The chapters deal with the interaction between language and other semiotic resources, the role of consciousness and concepts, the nature of metaphor, the specificity of human evolution and development, the relation between cognitive semiotics and related fields, and other central topics. They are grouped in four sections: (i) Meta-theoretical perspectives, (ii) Semiotic development and evolution, (iii) Meaning across media, modes and modalities, (iv) Language, blends and metaphors.

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Chapter 14. Verbal and Nonverbal Markers of Impolite Behavior in Russian Language and Non-Verbal Code (Grigory Kreydlin / Lidia Khesed)

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Grigory Kreydlin & Lidia Khesed

Chapter 14

Verbal and Nonverbal Markers of Impolite Behavior in Russian Language and Non-Verbal Code

1. Introduction

In the present chapter we analyze and describe various aspects of impoliteness – a linguistically and semiotically marked1 category that embraces some discourse strategies that cause disharmony in people’s interaction and demonstrate a breach of the existing norms of social behavior. Our aim is to discuss some cognitive and linguistic properties of two classes of Russian lexical sign units. The emphasis is placed on the features encapsulated not only in some Russian language signs (words and word combinations) but also in some lexical signs of the Russian nonverbal corporal semiotic code. By this we mean “gestures” in the wide sense of the word, including meaningful movements of the head, shoulders, hands or feet, sign postures, facial expressions, meaningful bodily movements, glances and other types of corporal signs. The model and mode of description chosen clarifies, expands and elaborates some relevant aspects of more general models of impolite communicative behavior presented in the linguistic and semiotic literature (Brown and Levinson 1987; Nikolaeva 1990; Post 1996; Wierzbicka 1999b; Kastler 2004; Bousfield 2008; Сulpeper 2009; Rathmayr 2009).

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