Research article
Issue: № 1 (55), 2017

Зенина И.В.1, Чернышкова Е.В.2, Юрова И.Ю.3, Паращенко-Корнейчук Л.Н.4, Самарина Т.А.5

1Преподаватель, 2Доктор социологических наук, доцент, 3Кандидат социологических наук, 4Преподаватель, 5Старший преподаватель,

Саратовский государственный медицинский университет им. В.И. Разумовского



В статье представлен анализ особенностей реализации ритуала в соотношении с этикетом на материалах нескольких художественных произведений. Показано значение ритуала в реализации коммуникативного поведения. Определено, что ритуал может успешно содействовать осуществлению эффективной коммуникации, и напротив – его нарушение делает коммуникацию невозможной. Подчеркивается, что наличие этикетных фраз в высказывании не является гарантией исполнения ритуала. Авторы дифференцируют понятия «словесный ритуал» и «речевой этикет».  Ритуалу в художественном тексте отводится смыслообразующая роль в литературном повествовании, помогает автору передать свое видение мира, отношение к происходящему, к героям произведения. Речевой этикет позволяет осуществлять позитивное общение и не выходить за рамки сложившихся в обществе моральных норм.

Ключевые слова: коммуникативное поведение, словесный ритуал, речевой этикет.


Zenina I.V.1, Chernyshkova E.V.2, Yurova I.Yu.3, Paraschenko-Korneychuk L.N.4, Samarina T.A.5

1Lecturer, 2PhD in Sociology, Associate Professor, 3PhD in Sociology, 4Lecturer, 5Senior Lecturer,

Saratov State Medical University n.a. V.I. Razumovsky



The article deals with the analysis of verbal ritual peculiarities in association with etiquette on the basis of several fictional works. The purpose of ritual is shown through realization of communications behavior. Ritual is defined to contribute successfully to effective communication. On the contrary, its failure makes any communication impossible.  It is emphasized that etiquette phrase itself does not guarantee ritual realization. Two notions are differentiated by the authors “verbal ritual” and “speaking etiquette”.

Ritual in literary text plays a sense-making role in narration and assists an author in reflecting his world view, his attitude to the story events and the characters. Speaking etiquette provides positive communication and does not fall beyond the scope of existing social moral standards.

Keywords: communications behavior, verbal ritual, speaking etiquette.

One of the topical issues of modern philology is the study of verbal ritual within communications behavior. Ritual is seen as a type of ceremony; historically established form of symbolic behavior, regulated system of activities (incl. verbal ones) intended to express certain social and cultural interrelations and values. Cultural definition of ritual is as follows: “Ritual is historically established form of non-instinctive predictable socially approved and regulated symbolic behavior, its manner and order of actions being canonized and lack rational explanation in terms and purposes” [1, 2, 3, 4].

Ritual is being studied by a number of researchers. The majority of them emphasizes symbolic constituent of ritual. Some researchers tend to view upon ritual as one of the symbolic ways of behavior.  Moreover, it is seen as the highest mode and the most consistent realization of symbolism.  Ritual is regarded as culturally standardized symbolic actions which are performed in situations postulated by traditions. The main features of ritual are traditionally confirmed sequence of symbolically significant actions; dynamic communicative education evoked on the basis of definite socially valued action and subjected to symbolic reinterpretation (ritualization). Any speech act may become a ritualized and then a ritual one, some acts being prone to ritualization.  These are requests, congratulations, praises, condolences, disapprovals, promises, greetings, farewells, etc. [5, 6]. One should admit the definition of M. Koltunova in which she focuses on the traditional aspect of the given notion. Thus, ritual is a verbalized pattern of communications behavior, a system of speech acts performed in a strict order, at a given time following some traditional patterns [7].

The notion of “ritual” is semantically close to the notion of “etiquette” but not equivalent to it. According to A. Baiburin, the difference between ritual and etiquette notions lies in the fact that ritual is associated with something temporary whereas etiquette is related to permanent social relations [8, P. 24]. V. Karasik points out that the sphere of etiquette application is common communication [1, P. 397]. N. Formanovskaya defines verbal etiquette as socially established and nationally specified regulatory rules of communications behavior in situations of establishing, maintaining and breaking contact between communicators on the basis of status and role relations as well as personal relationship during formal and informal communication [9, P. 240].

Peculiarities of ritual realization in the ratio of etiquette are reflected more deeply and specifically in works of fiction. They are also actively used in academic process contributed to “life model” formation among university students [10, 11, 12]. Let us see how the usage of verbal ritual and etiquette work in both Russian and English literary tradition of XIX-XX centuries. In “The Captain’s Daughter” by A.S. Pushkin there is a farewell scene between  Petr Grinyov and his parents which vividly illustrates blessing ritual: “My parents blessed me. Father said, “Goodbye, Pyotr. Serve faithfully the sovereign to whom you swear allegiance;* obey your superiors; don’t curry favour with them; don’t volunteer for duty, but don’t shirk it either; and remember the proverb, ‘Take care of garments while they’re new; take care of honour while you’re young.” Simultaneous representation of ritual and farewell etiquette phrase is used by the author in this abstract.

In “Fat and Thin” by Anton Chekhov the description of greeting ritual lacks direct etiquette phrases: “Porfiry,” cried the fat man on seeing the thin man. “Is it you? My dear fellow! How many summers, how many winters!”

“Holy saints!” cried the thin man in amazement. “Misha! The friend of my childhood! Where have you dropped from?”

The friends kissed each other three times, and gazed at each other with eyes full of tears. Both were agreeably astounded.

This example shows nonverbal ritual component as well.

At the same time in the humorous storyThree Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)” by English writer Jerome K. Jerome in the dialogue between the dog Montmorency and a cat we can see the example of etiquette usage without any ritual background:

The Cat: «Can I do anything for you?»

Montmorency: «No-no, thanks».

The Cat: «Don’t you mind speaking, if you really want anything, you know».

Montmorency: «Oh, no, not at all certainly don’t trouble. I I am afraid I’ve made a mistake. I thought I knew you. Sorry I disturbed you».

The Cat: «Not at all quite a pleasure. Sure you don’t want anything, now?»

Montmorency: «Not at all, thanks- not at all very kind of you. Good morning».

The Cat: «Good morning».

Sometimes one can witness a situation when behind the formal etiquette careless ritual performance becomes visible (deliberately at times). As a result the latter loses its meaning. Thus, F.M. Dostoevsky’s novel “Demons” depicts the apology scene after insult:

Nikolai Vsevolodovich kept turning and looking around, not answering anyone, gazing with curiosity at the exclaiming faces. At last he seemed suddenly to lapse into reverie again—so they said, at least—frowned, stepped firmly up to the insulted Pavel Pavlovich, and with obvious vexation muttered rapidly:

"Forgive me, of course ... I really don't know why I suddenly wanted... silly of me..."

The casualness of the apology amounted to a fresh insult. There was even more shouting. Nikolai Vsevolodovich shrugged and walked out.

The given example represents communication inability due to ritual failure in spite of explicit etiquette ("Forgive me, of course ...”). Carelessness in ritual realization leads to strain in regulations between communicators while verbal etiquette fails to perform its functions.

Frequently ritual failure aims at expressing the attitude to communicator. Before he turned the corner he glanced back, and saw Bosinney following him slowly - “slinking along the wall” as he put it to himself, “like a great cat”. He paid no attention when the young fellow raised his hat. In this scene from John Galsworthy’s “The Forsyte Saga” the character deliberately breaks the rules of common politeness, thus showing his disparagement to the man evoked great antipathy.

The conducted analysis allows to conclude that all the given examples represents the meaning of ritual through communications behavior realization. Ritual may assist in effective realization of communication while ritual failure may result in communication inability. The presence of etiquette phrases does not guarantee ritual realization anyway. The notion of “ritual” is wider than that of “etiquette”. Etiquette is one of ritual components which permits positive communication and never falls beyond the scope of moral standards acceptable in society.

Ritual is seen to be highly important in fiction. It is a sense-making component of narration which helps the author to depict his or her world view as well as authorial attitude to events and characters of the book.

Список литературы / References

  1. Карасик В. И. Языковой круг: личность, концепты, дискурс / В. И. Карасик. – Волгоград : Перемена, 2002.
  2. Культурология. ХХ век. Энциклопедия. Т 2. – СПб. : Университетская книга, 1998. – C. 447.
  3. Российский энциклопедический словарь: В 2 кн. / Гл. ред. А. М.Прохоров. – М. : Большая Российская энциклопедия, 2001. Кн. 2. Н-Я. – C. 1330.
  4. Дорогойкин Д. Л., Кочеткова Т. В., Чернышкова Е. В. Хорошая речь врача как залог успешного профессионального сотрудничества / Д. Л. Дорогойкин, Т. В. Кочеткова, Е. В. Чернышкова // Достижения и перспективы медицины. – Уфа : НЦ Аэтерна, 2014. – С. 10-14.
  5. Чернышкова Е.В. Формирование языковых стереотипов в вербальной коммуникации / Е. В. Чернышкова // Забота: от бытийной стратегии к этическим и профессиональным ценностям. – Саратов : Изд-во Сарат. гос. мед. ун-та, 2006. – С. 54-59.
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  8. Байбурин А. К. Ритуал в традиционной культуре: Структурно-семантический анализ восточнославянских обрядов / А. К.Байбурин. – СПб. : Наука, 1993.
  9. Формановская Н. И. Коммуникативно-прагматические аспекты единиц общения / Н. И. Формановская. – М., 1998.
  10. Родионова Т. В., Юрова И. Ю., Мухина М. Ю. Проблема повышения качества образования в вузах России / Т. В. Родионова, И. Ю. Юрова, М. Ю. Мухина // Образование в современном мире / Под ред. проф. Ю. Г. Голуба. – Саратов, 2013. – С. 72-75.
  11. Определеннова О. В. Личностно-ориентированный подход в обучении иностранному языку студентов неязыкового вуза / О. В. Определеннова, Т. В. Родионова, Е. Н. Виноградова и др. // Современные тенденции в образовании и науке. – Тамбов : Изд-во ООО Консалтинговая компания Юком, 2013. – С. 117-120.
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 Список литературы на английском языке / References in English

  1. Karasik V. I. Jazykovoj krug: lichnost', koncepty, diskurs [Language circle: personality, concepts, discourse] / V. I. Karasik. – Volgograd : Peremena, 2002. [in Russian]
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  3. Rossijskij jenciklopedicheskij slovar': V 2 kn. [Russian encyclopedia dictionary] / Gl. red. A. M. Prohorov. – M. : Bol'shaja Rossijskaja jenciklopedija, 2001. Kn. 2. N-Ja. – P. 1330. [in Russian]
  4. Dorogojkin D. L., Kochetkova T. V., Chernyshkova E. V. Horoshaja rech' vracha kak zalog uspeshnogo professional'nogo sotrudnichestva [Good speeh of a doctor as guaranty of successful professional collaboration] / D. L. Dorogojkin, T. V. Kochetkova, E. V. Chernyshkova // Dostizhenija i perspektivy mediciny [Achievements and prospective of medicine].  – Ufa : NC Ajeterna, 2014. – P. 10-14. [in Russian]
  5. Chernyshkova E. V. Formirovanie jazykovyh stereotipov v verbal'noj kommunikacii [Formation of linguistic stereotypes in verbal communication] / E. V. Chernyshkova // Zabota: ot bytijnoj strategii k jeticheskim i professional'nym cennostjam [Care: from existential strategy to ethical and professional values]. – Saratov : Izd-vo Sarat. gos. med. un-ta, 2006. – P. 54-59. [in Russian]
  6. Opredelennova O. V., Rodionova T. V., Zenina I. V. Lichnost' kak sub#ekt obshhestvennogo razvitija [Personality as subject of social development] / O. V. Opredelennova, T. V. Rodionova, I. V. Zenina // Integracija nauki i praktiki kak mehanizm razvitija sovremennogo obshhestva [Integration of science and practice as mechanism of development of modern society] / Pod red. prof. Ju. G. Goluba. – Saratov, 2013. – P. 261-264. [in Russian]
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  12. Cherepko T. A., Rodionova T. V., Jurova I. Ju. Principy organizacii samostojatel'noj raboty studentov nejazykovogo vuza s tekstami po special'nosti [Principles of organization of self-work with specific texts for students of nonlinguistic institutions] / T. A. Cherepko, T. V. Rodionova, I. Ju. Jurova // Teoreticheskie i prikladnye aspekty sovremennoj nauki [Theoretical and applied aspects of contemporary science]. – 2014. – Vol. 3-4. – P. 123-129. [in Russian]