At the moment, the Section's main research subject is "Modern Language Picture of the World: Variability and Dynamics (psycholinguistic aspect)" ("Sovremennaja jazykovaja kartina mira: dinamika i variativnost' (psixolingvističeskij aspekt)")
The objective of the research work "Modern Language Picture of the World: Variability and Dynamics (psycholinguistic aspect)" is the formation and further development of the concept through which the notion "language picture of the world" (LPW) is understood as an umbrella term and as the instrument for the analyzing processes of production and perception of speech, the ontogenesis of language and communication.
The aim is to compose a nomenclature of variants of the language picture of the world, which currently encompasses the following description types: professional, profane, scientific, and axiological.
The objective perception of the LPW can only be reached through the theoretical conceptualization of the world as a knowledge-based structure that reflects the world covered by activity-based acquisition in the human mind.
Generally, the LPW is defined as the product of verbal creation through the mental understanding of the vision of the world, given that this vision is a result of human activity.
In fact, living in diverse natural landscapes, people create different ethnical cultures and, thus, build different images of life which are similar only in terms of general planetary factors (gravity pull, the Earth's turn around its own axis and the Sun, etc., and the nature of human as of the living being (homo sapiens)).
Subject, activity, and ideal forms of a specific ethnical culture, shared by members of the ethnic group, create the unity of consciousness. This allows them to communicate and interact. Aleksei Leontiev, concerning the mind of the representer of the community learning the world through interactions, proposed a term "the vision of the world" defined as the body of knowledge formed by each member of the ethnicity as a result of their cohabitation.
The diversity of specialized activity in modern societies inevitably leads to the diversification not only of the material cultural aspect but also of the perception of scientific and practical knowledge represented in the community. This finally results in the division of the LPW.
Linguistic theories about the LPW, which tend to ignore the fact that the notion identifies not the real world but its verbal model in the native speaker's mind, cannot be seen as valid ones in the actual scientific field. Hence, the adequate representation of the LPW may exist within the limits of integrated knowledge built by the conceptual framework of linguistics and psychology.
It seems that Leontiev's theory of communication may help to identify the integrated knowledge as it encompasses the conceptual framework of Lev Shcherba's linguistic doctrine and Aleksei Leontiev's work on general psychology.
The LPW is an attempt to carry out and capture the scientific reflexion on routine and specialized practice of communication by means of science-specific linguistic knowledge.
It is Expected that it would be possible to speculate also on the practice of verbal modelling of explicit and implicit knowledge as a part of routine socio-cultural practical experience.
The analysis of the LPW should be supported by specific psychological knowledge maintained in Leontiev's theory of the vision of the world, which regards the human mind as a complex of amodal images of cultural realities reflecting products of the familiarization with the world. Each native speaker and culture-bearer is considered a subject of appropriation of the ethnic culture, which helps them to create personal cognition developed in the process of oral communication using native language.
The LPW theory may be interpreted as a science-specific linguistic methodology of the modern paradigmatic linguistic knowledge which possesses an ambivalent status: it is regarded as the premise for the research of verbal activity of native speakers (a given vision of the problem) as well as an instrument for world acquisition (a procedural research aspect).
The investigation of the world seen through the language, which is reflected by linguistic (verbal) means formed during diverse interactions, should be logically estimated as an alternative for the human consciousness studies, which are currently the interest of cognitive science. However, this field seems to lack informational potential backed by Leontiev's activity theory in general psychology.
This research area is valid and pertinent since it creates the methodological base with which it is possible to perform the experimental verification of production and perception of speech that are currently studied subjectively on the basis of personal linguistic intuition.
The issues addressed in the project "Modern Language Picture of the World: Variability and Dynamics (psycholinguistic aspect)" are directly linked to the works that cover questions of consciousness, cognitive perception of spoken messages, and the ability of speech to condition human behavior. At the present time, the investigation of the semantic perception of hypertexts seems to be the most promising.
Hypertext as a research object attracts attention of diverse disciplines. They study structural features, types, and functions of the hypertext, assess the cognitive representation of its content, navigation in the hypertext, and semiological aspects of "the hypertext admiration".
Another issue is the range of questions about the comprehension (perception) of hypertexts. In this case, the object of studies is the cognitive charge of the perception of the hypertext. It is assumed that in contrast to the linear text, the hypertext always poses a question for the recipient's mind whether to follow the hyperlink or to ignore it and, then, they should remember its placement in order to return to it or to forget it. In addition, the perception of the hypertext may be accompanied by the interference (the diffusion of focus) which may complicate the formation of the integral (not a fragmental) image corresponding to the reading material. However, researchers claim that there is still not enough evidence to state the negative effect induced by the increasing cognitive charge on the correct hypertext perception (DeStefano D., LeFevre J.A. Cognitive load in hypertext reading: A review // Computers in Human Behavior. 2007. Vol. 23. No 3. P. 1616—1641. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2005.08.012).
As a result of the research, the main functions of the hypertext are introduced which are representative, cognitive (heuristic), didactic, suggestive, and factual.
The work demonstrates the possibility to investigate the semantic perception of the hypertext by means of the psychosemantic experiment and describes structure of the categorial structure of hypertexts which includes 7 factors: uniqueness, indexation, complexity, figurativeness, unpredictability, regularity, feasibility.
Researchers attempt to single out the features of the hypertext influencing its perception. In particular, the connectedness and the linearity are examined as such features. In this research, the differentiation between the effectiveness of the navigation and the reproduction of the information is shown, on the one hand; and its analysis while reading, on the other hand, (Natalia Beliaeva, "Modulation of Hypertext Mental Representation // Linguistic Existence of Human and Ethnicity" // "Modelirovanie mental'noi reprezentatsii giperteksta // Jazykovoe bytie čeloveka i etnosa", 2009). It was demonstrated that electronic hypertexts are most helpful not for analysis during the reading process but for the search and reproduction of the information. It is suggested that the perception of such text is placed in the mind as a network of propositions that includes larger units — metapropositions, or representations of segments of hypertexts that have no fully equivalent analogs among linear texts (in other terms, separate textual fragments interconnected by hyperlinks). Natalia Beliaeva believes that metapropositions have a crucial role in understanding and memorizing the hypertext.
In this regard, it is important to identify the meaningful unit of the hypertext. It is assumed that the navigation through the hypertext and the productivity of the search of information depend on the perception and the understanding of the information unit of the nonlinear text — the minimal meaningful fragment of the text (for example, blog publications, announcement of the information reports, or encyclopedic articles). The effectiveness of this stage of perception influences the comprehension of the hypertextual sequence of segments as a whole (Irina Ilina, "Problems of Analysis and Perception of Hypertexts in Internet Media", M., 2009 // "Problemy izučeniia i vosprijatija giperteksta v multimedijnoj srede internet", Author's Abstract of the Ph.D thesis Sciences).
As a result of the research, 7 main factors were identified: "Regularity", "Dynamics", "Power", "Complexity", "Novelty", "Connectedness", "Assessment". It is shown that the ideal length of the hypertextual sequence should be from 8 to 14 information units (IU). If less, the text is not able to fully cover the subject; if more than 16 IU, the perception of the polycode text is impeded (Irina Ilina, 2009).
Generally, hypertext is a complex semiotic object in which heterogeneous components define the specification of perception. Pragmatic settings, which affect the reader's understanding, have semiotically diverse elements which depend on the functional meaning of hypertext's elements; whereas, the hypertext itself implies additional cognitive processes to comprehend the integration of textual and graphical information comprised in the information unit. If the hypertext does not retain the circular structure ("hypertextual chain"), the interconnection between the primary information of the IU and indexes (remote attachments) decreases. The hypertextual sequence may be regarded as a structural element only up to the maintenance of the semantic unity. When the semantic unity is lost, there is the transition from one hypertextual cluster to another which is enabled by the semantic overlap between "hypertextual chains", so it does not mean the disintegration of the system. In this case, the criterion of the unity is interaction and intersectionality of the elements.
Academic Secretary of the Section: Tamara Storozhenko.
Address: 125009 Moscow
1 bld. 1 Bolshoy Kislovsky Lane
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences
Department of Psycholinguistics
Phone/Fax: (495) 690-14-64