INTERIORIZED SELF-EVALUATION AS EXPLICATION OF SELF-CONCEPT

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УДК: 81’ 39

  O.V. Yemelyanova

   Sumy State University, Sumy

 

         Стаття присвячена аналізу інтеріоризованих самооцінювальних висловлювань як прояву Я-концепції особистості.

         Ключові слова: інтеріоризованиі самооцінювальні висловлювання, інтрасуб’єктна комунікація, Я-концепція.

 

         Статья посвящена анализу интериоризованных самооценочных высказываний  как проявления Я-концепции личности.

         Ключевые слова: интериоризованные самооценочные высказывания, интрасубъектная коммуникация, Я-концепция личности.

 

         The article deals with the analysis of interiorized self-evaluation utterances as explication of Self-concept.

         Key words: interiorized self-evaluation utterances, intrapersonal communication, Self-concept.

 

 

The range of problems connected with the human factor in discourse occupies a special place among the most significant issues in modern linguistics. Leading in language studies anthropocentric paradigm offers various and, at the same time, interconnected approaches to the research, such as psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic, pragmalinguistc, cognitive and linguistic approach. Linguistic studies within a paradigm for cognition focus on manifestation of individual “Self” in discourse.

The aim of this article is to analyze interiorized self-evaluation utterances as explication of Self-concept. The object of the article is the interiorized self-evaluation utterance as the essential element of intrapersonal communication. The subject of this research is communicative and cognitive aspects of functioning of self-evaluation utterances. The source of the research is intrapersonal communication presented in belles-lettres in the form of inner monologue or dialogue.

According to J.W. Kinch “the Self-concept is that organization of qualities that the individual attributes to himself” [6]. The scientist points out that “the word “qualities” is used in a broad sense to include both “attributes” that the individual might express in terms of adjectives (ambitious, intelligent) and also roles he see himself in (father, doctor, etc.)” [6]. In discourse “Self-concept” is presented through the characteristic of oneself both in outer and inner speech. Inner speech is understood as a “benevolent quantity, a “unique form of collaboration with oneself” [4]. L. Vygotskii observing the tendencies of inner speech development pointed out some characteristics of inner speech. Firstly, these are the peculiarities of syntax (fragmentary, condensed meaning, shortening); inner speech is not clear outside the situation; it is predicate oriented [8].

         For example. Thoughts swirled in my head, coming too fast and from too many directions for me to actually process them. Aaron had balls − who knew! I’d just quit my job. Quit it. With no forethought or planning. Must tell Penelope. Penelope engaged. How would I get all my stuff home? Could I still charge a car to the company? Could I collect unemployment? Would I still come to midtown just for the kebabs? Should I burn all my skirt suits in a ceremonial living-room bonfire? Millington will be so happy to hit the dog run in the mid­dle of the day! Middle of the day. I would get to watch The Price Is Right all the time if I wanted. Why hadn’t I thought of this before? (Lauren Weisberger,  p. 34).

An important component of Self-concept is the individual system of values. Carl Rogers’ research of adult valuing proves that the majority of person’s values are introjected from other individuals or groups significant to that person, but are regarded by him/her as his/her own. The source or locus of evaluation on most matters lies outside of an individual. The criterion by which an individual’s values are set is the degree to which they will cause him/her to be loved or accepted [7].

Lexical and semantic means of language reflect various aspects of interplay between an individual and reality. An individual’s attitude towards phenomena of reality may be expressed by [2, p. 103]:

1) evaluative attitude connected with evaluative nature of objects and phenomena of reality;

2) emotional attitude expressed by different emotions depending on meeting or not  human needs;

3) attitude to reality expressed by the set of evaluations, emotions, feelings that together constitute a person’s mood;

4) will of  a person, which is connected with their emotional and psychological state, is goal-oriented to fulfill their personal intentions.

In dialogized inner speech individual’s values are realized through specific thematic repertoire and self-evaluation utterances.

In the aspect of inner speech evaluation is actualized through:

–         various  lexemes of evaluative semantics:

For example: How could I have been so clueless? How could I not have known? (Lauren Weisberger, p. 34);

–         syntactical constructions and an utterance as a whole:

For example: ‘Dammit,’ she realized. ‘I think I’m having a nervous breakdown.’ She looked around at the bed she was flung in. Her well-overdue-for-a-bath body was sprawled lethargically on the well-overdue-for-a-change sheet. Tissues, sodden and balled, littered the duvet. Gathering dust on her chest of drawers was an untouched arsenal of chocolate. The television in the corner relentlessly delivered daytime viewing direct to her bed. Yip, nervous-breakdown territory all right. But something was wrong. What was it? “I always thought…’ she tried. ‘You know, I always expected…’ Abruptly she knew. ‘I always thought it would be nicer than  this…’ (Marian Keyes, p. 454).

One of the leading properties of evaluation and self-evaluation is expressivity. A quantitative characteristic, a kind of degree of expressivity is its intensity. Intensity is considered to be a semantic category, based on the notion of quantity gradation in the broad sense of this word [3, p. 3]. Expression scale of intensity corresponds to an index mark that is higher (intensified variant) or lower (non-intensified variant) of an average (neutral, ordinary) index mark.

For example: Look at me, she thought, scrubbing the bath with frustrated force. I’ve been here before. Waiting for a man to ring. Serves me right for being shallow enough to fall for a man-on-a-stage (Marian Keyes: 178).

I can’t fancy him just because he’s famous and admired. That would make me very shallow (Marian Keyes, p. 165).

The notions affectivity and intensity are interconnected and interdependent. From this point of view intensity constitutes a quantitative characteristic of emotional process, measure of the amount of affectivity, force of emotions. Considering the interconnection between degree of emotion and the peculiarities of

language formation process researchers mark out a few levels of emotional process intensity correlating each level with qualitatively different state of consciousness   [1, p.135]:

1. Neutral level that is characterized by absence of distinctly explicit emotional state.  The result of speech production at this level is non-emotional speech. Any forms of non-verbal explication of emotions are absent.

2. Moderate level of intensity which testifies that the emotion is quite obvious to be conscious of but not that strong to disrupt an individual’s actions. In this state the intellectual beginning is still dominant, speech is controlled and correct, either some expressive responses or non-verbal forms of emotion expression appear.

3. High level of intensity which attests the fact that emotion controls an individual’s action.  In the mind emotional begin to preponderate intellectual, speech is partially controlled. As a result, there could be some problems in speech production, non-verbal expression of emotions activates.

4. Maximum level of intensity signalizes a complete turning off of all non-emotional mechanisms that regulate a person’s behaviour. Speech becomes non-controlled, incoherent; non-verbal language of emotions dominates.

Material studied showed that according to the nature of evaluation self-evaluation utterances can be:

– positive.

For example: I’m famous. Ashling had a hysterical urge to stand up and tell everyone (Marian Keyes, p. 163);

–         negative.

For example: I’m sorry, too, I mentally directed toward the flowers. I don’t know why I was so bitchy and nasty, especially since I haven’t stopped thinking about you for one second since then. Yes, I’d love to meet you for dinner and put that whole stupid conversation be­hind us. And if you must know, I’m already beginning to envision you as the father of my future children, so we’d best be getting to know each other. How much our kids will love hearing that our life­long love affair began with a fight and makeup flowers! It’s almost so romantic I can’t bear it. Yes, darling, yes, I forgive you and I apologize a hundred times myself and I know this will make us stronger (Lauren Weisberger, p. 239);

–         ambivalent.

For example:  ‘I’m flirting with him,’ she realized (Marian Keyes, p. 164).

Self-evaluation can address different aspects of an individual’s Self such as:

–  world outlook.

For example: She couldn’t understand weak people who cracked up. It was the sort of thing she’d never do (Marian Keyes, p. 167);

– disposition.

For example: ‘You’re a great girl, Ashling.’ Dylan bade her farewell.

I am, Ashling thought drily, Aren’t I? (Marian Keyes, p. 196);

–          behavoiur.

For example: Why on earth would you think he’s even remotely interested in you? I asked myself, going back over the night in my head. He needed a ride and you offered him one and he was nothing except perfectly friendly. It’s your delusion and you need to get over it immediately before you make a complete ass of yourself (Lauren Weisberger, p. 238);

–         feelings.

For example: Two-fifths of American women buy at least one romance a year. More than one-third of all popular fiction sold each year are romances. A Shakespearean scholar (and Columbia professor) had recently admitted she’d authored dozens of romances. Why should I be ashamed? (Lauren Weisberger, p. 41); or

Sometimes, like now. She thought perhaps she felt too much. Was this normal? She wondered. Probably. And if it wasn’t? (Marian Keyes, p. 279).

Self-evaluation can be presented by subvocal quotation of a poem as reflection of person’s emotional state.

For example: Stitched into silence,

                              my blood is black,

                              I am broken glass,

                              I am rusting blades,

                              I am the punishment and the crime.

         Back in the present, Ashling found Dylan watching her with anxious interest. ‘Are you OK?’ he asked (Marian Keyes, p. 194).

Each individual evaluates their behaviour, feelings comparing them with a certain mental pattern which constitutes a standard for that very person. This phenomenon becomes evident due to self-addressed rhetorical questions.

For example: I raced around the apartment looking for clean clothes and wondered how I would ever manage to be a good mother when I couldn’t even remember to care for my own dog (Lauren Weisberger, p. 41).

The conducted research shows that an interiorized self-evaluation utterance is the manifestation of Self-concept that is the most generalized image of the individual “Self” with the personal attitude to oneself including cognitive and emotive components, the product of an individual’s social self-understanding, organizing center of the individual’s conceptual sphere.

Linguistic analysis of interiorized self-evaluation utterances of language personalities of different types is valid and needs further research.

         References

1. Рейковский Я. Экспериментальная психология эмоций /  Я. Рейковский. – М.: Прогресс, 1979. – 392 с.

2. Серякова И.И. Лексико-семантические  и коммуникативно-функциональные особенности языковых единиц, описывающих невербальное средство коммуникации «голос» в современном английском языке : дис. … канд. филол. наук: 10.02.04 / Ирина Ивановна Серякова. – Киев, 1987. – 182 с.

3. Туранский И.И. Средства интенсификации высказывания в английском языке: Уч. пособие у спецкурсу / И.И. Туранский. – Куйбышев: Изд-во КГПИ, 1987. – 78 с.

4. Emerson С. The Outer Word and Inner Speech: Bakhtin, Vygotsky, and the Internalization of Language // Critical Inquiry [Електронний ресурс]. – Режим доступу: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1343349?uid=3737856&uid=2129&uid=2134&uid=381280253&uid=2&uid=70&uid=3&uid=60&uid=381280243&sid=21102545721137

5. Keyes M. Sushi for beginners. – L.: Penguin Books, 2001. – 564 p.

6. Kinch J.W. A Formalized Theory of the Self-Concept // American Journal of Sociology [Електронний ресурс].  – Режим доступу:

http://www.jstor.org/stable/2774427http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2774427?uid=3737856&uid=2129&uid=2134&uid=381280253&uid=2&uid=70&uid=3&uid=60&uid=381280243&sid=21102545721137

7. Rogers C.R. Toward a Modern Approach to Values: The Valuing Process in the Mature Person // Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology [Електронний ресурс]. – Режим доступу: http://www.centerfortheperson.org/pdf/the-valuing-process.pdf

8. Vygotskii L.S. Thought and Language. – C.: MIT Press, 1986. – 287 p.

9. Weisberger L. Everyone worth knowing. – L.: HarperCollinsPublishers, 2005. – 367 p.

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