The discourse of tolerance / intolerance: linguopragmatic approach
Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №7 - 2015
Author: Yudko Liudmyla, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
The problems of defining global discursive values are becoming more
important for modern linguistics. Their studies seek to find answers to the
following questions: What is a value? For whom is this value? Is there a canon
of universal values? Is there a canon of important and vital values for global
culture (freedom, equality, dignity, human rights)? How do these values
correlate with national values, such as homeland, patriotism, sovereignty,
democracy and tolerance?
A number of linguistic studies have been devoted to the investigation of
the indicated problems during the latest decade, in particular: ethno-cultural
manifestation of tolerance (V. Bakalchuk, О. Bilyk, М. Kozlovets, V. Krysachenko); the
phenomenon of political tolerance (М. Hordienko, А. Karas, О. Rudakevych);
cross-cultural communication (Y. Vereshchagin, V. Kostomarov, S. Ter-Minasova, J. Sternin, N. Formanovskaya, D. Gudkov and others).
Tolerance VS Intolerance: Correlation
pragmatic approach to the study of the manipulative positive strategy is the
principal one among problems of modern communicative linguistics. It is natural
that a person seeks to model positive in everyday communication. The principles of communication as cooperation were
proposed by H. Grice and the politeness principle (Tact maxim) was proposed by
G. Leech design and secure the effectiveness of conflict-free interaction,
regulate communications behavior of the two parties in the process of
communication, and provide for realization of communicative goals and
intentions of communication parties. On the level of cross-cultural
communication, positive pragmatics should be based on the principles of
tolerance. This means that illocutionary background assumption of all the
parties (a person, a society, a nation) of any communication process are based
on understanding of linguo-cultural singularity, which provides the global
peace, democracy and development.
of the crisis of tolerance is the result of idealization and hyperbolization of
tolerance as a mechanism for settling interethnic contradictions and reconciliation.
Some researchers (namely, V. Lohvynchuk, І. Kahanets, М. Kukartseva and others) took notice
of a conundrum: high
rate of tolerance towards racial, ethnical and cultural “strangers” inevitably
results in an outbreak of xenophobia, i. e. in negative, improper
manifestations of intolerance.
М. Kukartseva identifies
this phenomenon as a manifestation of paradox of intolerance boundaries. Unrestricted
intolerance may lead to total disappearance of tolerance. The boundary of
tolerance is defined as the threshold behind which tolerance towards everything
“strange” (culture, language, ethnicity, conduct of life) prevents from
preserving own culture, language, ethnicity and conduct of life .
tolerance leads to passiveness, apathy, indifference, degradation. As a result
of absolute tolerance without restrictions and boundaries interference of
everything “strange” and disappearance of “not strange” (“own”) is perceived as
a normal tolerant ethno-cultural environment. Under conditions of the absolute
tolerance discourse the majority of population of a country or region is geared
up tolerantly or indifferently towards the penetration of the strange language,
culture, religion. This is always accompanied by dissolution of national
At the same
time a small part of population becomes radicalized
in response to these processes because they oppose such penetration.
This part of population will seek support of their radical, xenophobic
disposition from corresponding political trends which are guided by ideologies
of exclusion and discrimination based on ethnical or other characteristics.
process may be characterized as a discursive fight of such concepts as tolerance and intolerance, openness and closeness, democracy and autocracy.
The Discourse-Forming Potential of the Concept
Discourse is understood as the process and the result of speech seen as
the totality of its cognitive, communicative, lingual and non-lingual aspects
(V. Karasik). The definition of discourse as
“not just a duel, a fight of two minds, but a duel between two personalities
where one communicant’s I is trying to win a victory over the other
communicant’s I” is currently important for understanding the conceptual
opposition of tolerance vs intolerance . This explains why the cognitive-pragmatic
arrangement of discourse provides for propensity towards conflict, which is
“not only the contradictions that exist in different forms but also the ways to
solve these contradictions”.
Successful tolerant argumentation makes solution of a conflict possible
because “the paradox of argumentation lies in coexistence of discordance and
accordance within it” [1, p. 63].
of the discourse of tolerance/intolerance is based on the following approaches:
sociolinguistic approach. The discourse of tolerance is one of the main
components of social environment as a whole because
basic principles of coexistence and development of harmonious relations among
different groups of a society form the basis for the discourse.
principles mentioned above are: the culture of polemics, the culture of
dialogue, respect of the original point of view, freedom from aggression and
hostility. The discourse of tolerance provides for consideration of addressee- addresser
characteristics (sex, age, status etc.) and establishes equal right
communication where viewpoints of all the parties are respected.
2) The psycholinguistic approach studies the processed of formation
of the discourse of tolerance/intolerance, its creation and perception by
communicants. The peculiar aspect of study of the discourse of
tolerance/intolerance is the investigation of its persuasive force.
following problems need to be solved: how reasoning influences the process of
making decisions by the addressee; if the communicants’ conceptual framework of
the world changes under the impact of psycholinguistic factors, and how it
changes; what intensions of communicants influence the formation of the
discourse of tolerance etc.
of logical (induction, deduction, analogy) and psychological (exaggeration,
provocation, surprise, humor) strategies and tactics is stipulated by
psycholinguistic characteristics of communicants: if logical tactics are
principally ruled by the ability of the audience to make logical conclusions,
the psychological tactics interact with subconscious parts of human psychology
which are chiefly grounded on the basic instincts of the person
(self-preservation, extension of the family line etc.)
lingual-cognitive approach. As the discursive continuum unfolds, different
concepts, the ranking of which is stipulated in each phase of speech by the
specific goals of communication, gradually overlap and create a specific
conceptual domain. Basic concepts of the discourse are defined by the general
background knowledge of communicants; they are the points of conflict of
addressee’s and addressor’s worldviews; they are also the basis of
communicants’ mutual influence.
lingual-pragmatic approach. J. Mey regards lingual-pragmatics in its
inextricable connection with the users of the language for them to reach the
desired goal. For the first time he determines the mechanisms of talk exchange
optimization within the social context, which allows to make the communication
as effective as possible .
G. Leech introduces the Politeness principle and The Irony Principle
with the maxims which, in contrast to the Cooperation principle by H. Grice
(formal communication) function in the context of
interpersonal communication .
H. Grice introduces the term "utterer's
meaning". He links the category of meaning with the speaker’s intention
which consists in being understood by the addressee. Often the intention of the
speaker may be unclear, so the addressee has to single out semantics from the
implication of the utterance. The addressee deduces it from the background of
the intercourse due to being aware of communication principles, maxims,
postulates and conventions which were called “pragmatic implicatures” by the
author [4, p. 217 – 237].
of tolerance in speech cannot be absolutely neutral; they must bear the traces
of evaluation. According to E. Volf, evaluation is the modal frame which
includes a number of compulsory elements: the subject and the object of
evaluation, the axiological predicate, the aspect of evaluation, the evaluation
element, the evaluation stereotype, and the evaluation scale [11, p. 203]. The author states that the
emotional response to the object is expressed by exclamations, emotive words,
and figurative words. Practical evaluation provides for the evaluative
judgement, expressiveness is extrinsical there [11: p. 40]. In other words,
expressiveness, affectivity, intensification are the constituent parts of the
Speech Aggression vs
Speech Tolerance as the Markers of Modern Discourses
The discourse of tolerance is based upon the emotional aspect of the
communicative person; the discourse of intolerance contains verbal stuffing of
negative emotions which are not restrained by anyone or anything.
Expressiveness, affectivity, and intensification are typical to the discourse
The manifestations of verbal explicit tolerance are inextricably
connected with implicit aggression, negative evaluation, inner rejection,
insufficient understanding of the addressee. There is no tolerance “ in the
pure state”. Hence, there are no “pure” ways to express tolerance, all the ways
are ambivalent i.e. they combine explicit manifestations of tolerance at the
surface level and implicit aggression at the underlying level. Hereby, explicit
tolerance and implicit aggression (or just negative evaluation) are a coherent
whole, “two sides of the same coin” in one utterance.
processes widely contributed to the regularization of indecent, degraded
vocabulary, while language tolerance stipulates the responsibility of the
professional communicator for the conformity of his texts to the fundamental
rules of the language culture, because within it the phenomenon of speech tolerance is suggested.
tolerance may be regarded as the term which is completely opposite to the other
term – speech aggression – the use linguistic means to express enmity or
hostility. Besides, it is important to note that speech aggression is
manifested not so much in preferential use of the linguistic units associated
with rude, abusive, forceful behavior (vulgarisms, colloquialisms,
criminal jargon), as in obtrusion of his / her speech (and communicative)
behavior on the recipient, in refusal of dialogueness, in inability to “listen”
to the interlocutor [9, p. 110–114].
this background, vulgarisms, jargonisms, language anomalies and mistakes,
partly slang, amplitude vocabulary in the form of opposition pairs, as
well as typographical errors, inexpert and
incorrect interpretation of notions, irrelevant
use of words etc. fall within the list of undesirable and often intolerable
elements. When present in the discourse, all the
listed elements testify disrespect towards the addressee.
are markers of the discourse of intolerance – they are the markers of negative
attitude towards a person at the linguistic level. Deliberately rude, vulgar,
stylistically degraded words and phrases appear as dysphemisms. They discredit
a person and form the perception of a person as an undesirable one which
provokes suspicion, hostility, disgust or hatred.
emerge during the process of pragmatic processing of information with the aim
to attract attention to an undesirable or forbidden concept or event, make the
utterance expressive, ensure the desired pragmatic effect, and in such a manner
make a purposeful influence on the interlocutor (reader, listener). For
instance, recent sports events were used as the starting point for the fight of
the discourses of tolerance and intolerance. Clashes among football fans
happened during the football match. Internet users commented on the events in
«Суркис: Кучка подонков может лишить тысячи людей
радости посещения матчем. Я не завидую этим негодяям. Если мы их вычислим,
даже не представляю, что с ними могут сделать наши фаны» (>http: // sport. bigmir. net/ football/ europeleague/ 1705347 – Surkis - Kuchka - podonkov - mozhet
– lishit - tysjachi - ljudej - radosti
– posec-shenija - matchej);
“Surkis: A bunch of scumbags can deprive thousands of people of
the happiness which may be brought by being present at the football match. I
don’t envy those scoundrels. If we single out them, I don't even know what our
fans might do with them”;
«Ребята из среды ультрас мне на электронную
почту сбрасывают фотографии: прямо на фанатском секторе 3-4 негодяя поднимают
полотнище с неонацистской символикой, фотографируются с ним. Почему так
произошло? Наверное, “хозяин“ денежку дал за работу, они отчет
предоставили. Спрашиваю у фанатов: “Это же ваш сектор, почему не
среагировали?“. Они отвечают, что если бы мы туда сунулись, возможно, кто-то из
нас получил бы финку в бок» (http: // sport. bigmir. net/ football/ championleague/
1738564 - Vice - prezident - Dinamo - Fanaty - govorili - chto - mogut - poluchit - finku - v - bok);
“The guys from among ultras send photographs on my e-mail: right at the
fan’s end of the stadium 3 or 4 scoundrels are raising a towel with
neo-Nazi symbols and are having their pictures taken with it. Why has it happened?
Probably, the “master” had given them the money and they submitted an
account. I asked the fans: “It is your end of the stadium, why didn’t you
react?” And they answered that if they had nipped into someone might
have been shived”.
featured examples demonstrate the use of dysphemisms both by representatives of
the football club and football fans. In addition, it should be noted that swear
words (bunch of scumbags, scoundrels) and criminal
jargons (single out, might have been shived) were in the
comments of both parties. In such a manner, by adding expressiveness they were
trying to attract attention to the event, and to shape the readers’ negative
attitude to the target of criticism.
pragmatic point of view, euphemization is tied with violation of the maxim of manner (when one tries to be clear and orderly in
what one says) [3, p. 28 – 32].
Euphemization is a strategy of window
dressing and blurring over the undesired information, which makes it possible
to make unpleasant facts less obvious. R. Denton and G. Woodward associate
political euphemisation with the notion of mystification, which after being
re-defined appears as the use of namings that make the ability to understand
the essence of events complicated “submerging the description of events in
[7, p. 131–132].
ужасное событие отражает реалии того, что происходит на трибунах футбольных
стадионов в Центральной и Восточной Европе. Мы сдали отчет в УЕФА,
который должен вынести наказание, и мы будем лоббировать применения как можно
более жестких санкций“, - заявил исполнительный директор FARE Пиара Поуар» (http:// sport. bigmir. net/
football / championleague/ 1736370 - Rasizm - v - Kieve - UEFA - mozhet
-nakazat – Dina-mo - za - draku - na - NSK - Olimpijskij);
awful incident reflects the actual state of what is happening on stands of
football stadiums in Central and Eastern Europe. We rendered a
report to UEFA, and it must adjudge a punishment, and we will lobby for
application of tougher sanctions”, said Piara Powar, FARE's executive
призываем избегать спекуляций на урожайной ниве ксенофобии и не превращать
бытовые конфликты между алкогольно-опьяненными болельщиками в расовую вражду.
И еще раз констатируем, что только адекватное поведение на секторах стадиона
является нашей надлежащей моделью поведения» (http:
// sport. bigmir. net/ football/ championleague/ 1736581 - Fanaty-Dinamo - V -
sosednih - i - na - nashem-sektore – proizoshlo – srazu – neskol - ko-drak);
“We call to avoid speculation in the fertile field of xenophobia and not to turn domestic conflicts between drunken fans into race hatred.
We state once again that only appropriate behavior on stadium stands is our
correct behaviour pattern” (http:// sport.
bigmir. net/ football/ championleague/ 1736581-Fanaty - Dinamo –V – sosednih –
i – na – nashem - sektore – proizoshlo – srazu – neskol – ko - drak).
aforementioned lexemes give ground to speak about certain intolerant intension
of the discourse in which they function. “… there are the simple truths which
we consider tolerant by definition. They are consecrated by ideas of humanism,
friendliness, compassion, empathy, mercy, mutual assistance. There are
utterances with mixed content: on the one hand, they seem to unite and
organize representatives of the same ethnic group, let's say – US, assist in
forming OUR civil and ethnical identity, hence, they are quite tolerant as
regards US. However, on the other hand, the same utterances may separate the
group of US from the other, contradistinguish US and THEM (ethnically
different), and even work up against each other, underlining our mutual
irreconcilability and hostility towards each other. Thus, the same information
functions as intolerant, too” [8, p. 105].
To sum it
up, the discourse of tolerance is the ability to express even intolerant
position tolerantly: to use the language of arguments and well-balanced
impartiality instead of language of emotions. By adhering to language
tolerance, one should refuse from what contravenes the social norm: to exclude
the elements fostering disintegration of society from the texts at the level of
self-control, to use the ways of communication humanization. Language tolerance
binds to communicate within the norms of the standard language, which means
freedom from vulgarisms, jargonisms, language deviation and mistakes, amplitude
vocabulary, incompetent interpretation of concepts, inappropriate use of words
tolerance appears to be an important component of the culture of a society on
the whole, as at the heart of it there are basic democratic principles of
harmonious development and mutual respect without which it is impossible to
imagine the advancement of global information environment.
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Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №7 - 2015