Study of the Covid-19 related quarantine concept as an emerging category of a linguistic consciousness

Psycholinguistics 28 (1):267-287 (2020)
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Abstract
Objective. Study of the Covid-19 related quarantine concept as an emerging category of linguistic consciousness of Ukrainians. Materials & Methods. The strategy of the study is based on the logical and methodological concept of inductivism. Respondents were asked to write down their own understanding of the quarantine, formulate an appropriate definition and describe the situation, which in their opinion is the exact opposite to quarantine. Respondents also assessed how much their psychological well-being, their daily lifestyle during quarantine had changed, and ranked their preferences for the quarantine strategies proposed to them. A discursive analysis was applied to the obtained texts, as a result of which nine discourses were identified. These data, along with some socio-demographic characteristics were subjected to multidimensional mathematical and statistical processing. Results. Covid-19 related quarantine is represented in the linguistic consciousness of Russian-speaking Ukrainians by a discursive field, which includes at least nine recognizable, semantically autonomous discourses. Empirically discovered such phenomenon as – inter-discourse semantic dissociation. Its essence is a statistically significant reduction in the probability of some discourses appearing in the texts when others are being actualized there. This feature is associated with the innate negativity of the language and determines the semantic biasing of the quarantine concept. Inter-discourse semantic dissociation, as well as the influence of non-discursive factors constitute the discursive formation of the quarantine concept, which is qualitatively characterized by the hierarchical relationship of its components. At the same time, it was revealed that part of the discourses interacting “horizontally” are indirectly associated “vertically”, which forms the stable semantic core of the quarantine concept. Partial empirical confirmation has been found of the previously put forward assumptions about: a) the existence of such a relationship between discourses and psychological defense mechanisms (as character-forming factors) that contributes to the hierarchical structure construction of discursive formations; b) the differential nature of discourses and mechanisms of psychological defenses interaction, which makes it possible to single out the discursive aspect in a characterological profile and consider a discourse as an operator of characterological semantics. Conclusions. An empirical study made it possible to form a primary idea of the substantive and structural semantic features of the quarantine concept, as an emerging category of linguistic consciousness of Ukrainians. The results obtained have a potentially useful application perspective. Thus, when implementing anti-epidemiological measures, it is important to consider the studied features of the discursive formation hierarchical structure of the quarantine concept, since discursive semantics are associated with cognitive focusing, which, in turn, affects the behavior direction and its upshots.
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Archival date: 2020-12-08
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