2024_17_1_10 - XLinguae

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Prosodic organization of formulaic expressions of sympathy in English

Mykola Kutsenko – Oleksandr Lahodynskyi

DOI: 10.18355/XL.2024.17.01.10

The paper is a complex study aimed at defining the prosodic organization of formulaic expressions of sympathy in English. The study is premised on the functional and communicative approaches paradigm, which enables investigating the specificity of phonetic means functions realizations as well as understanding the role of phonetic means in the realization of a speaker’s intentions and emotions while expressing sympathy. Considering the complexity of the study, it was conducted in the scope of sociocultural and psychoenergetic aspects of utterances realization, incorporating the methods of linguistic synergetics. The analysis is grounded on existing definitions of sympathy and advanced approaches to the study of emotional utterances. In our research we took into account all the factors that appear in communication and which can influence the speaker’s choice of verbal and prosodic means while expressing sympathy. Thus, it was found out that from the functional point of view, the most important feature which influences the choice of linguistic means in sympathy utterances actualization is pragmatic orientation: 1) sympathy proper (to sorrow), compassion (to understand), consolation (to console) and encouragement (to reassure). As a result, considering the pragmatic orientation of sympathy utterances makes it possible to describe the link between the prosodic means and the speaker’s intentions. All the experimental utterances were classified in accordance with their pragmatic orientation and further classified, taking into account speakers’ social statuses, their social and cultural levels, along with the levels of utterances’ emotional and pragmatic potentials. This approach allowed us to identify formulaic expressions in each of the types of sympathy expressions and analyze their prosodic organization. During the auditory analysis stage, it was found that prosodic means play a crucial part in the proper decoding of sincerity or insincerity of English utterances of sympathy. The analysis of video data enabled us to describe the interplay of paralinguistic means with phonetic, lexical and grammatical ones. The acoustic analysis stage allowed us to verify the data obtained in the process of auditory analysis.

Key words: sympathy utterances, formulaic phrases, prosodic organization, invariant prosodic means

Pages: 142 - 153

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