The Problem of Subjectivity in a Discourse in Terms of Imperative Sentences

This article discusses the use of imperative sentences in the Russian Orthodox sermon. In such sentences, we observe the phenomenon of grammatizing their typical functioning which is a means of expressing the psychological state of the speaker. However, their use in preaching is characterized by the fact that the meaning of the utterance as that of a speech act does not depend on the locative activity of the speaker. This phenomenon is seen as asubjectivation, or the submission of the speaker, who acts as a bearer of someone else’s point of view that dominates him. The article studies the conditions of asubjectivation that regulate such submission. They include referential conditions: a) all non-confirmed sentence predications and sentential groups expressing them are referential irrespective of the speaker; b) referential properties of non-confirmed sentential groups are based on the fact that they can be replaced by other groups, as the meaning is conveyed not by the speech units but by their correlations; c) only specific expressions can be used to replace other units, and the meaning of non-confirmed sentential groups cannot be arbitrary. The article shows that asubjectivation is directly related to the fact that the language of the sermon is a discourse. The use of such sentences in a deictic mode, which is not possible in a discourse, shows the absence of asubjectivation. Asubjectivation seen in sentences that have an illocutive verb in their structure is explained by the performative hypothesis. The meaning of imperative sentences in a sermon is defined on the basis of peremptory rules of satisfaction and subjective justification. It has been found that as a result of asubjectivation, in a sermon, imperative sentences are used idiomatically — as an indirect request /piece of advice and cannot be used non-idiomatically as a requirement / order.

Full text: 
Code: 
81’42
DOI: 
10.21638/11701/spbu09.2017.406
Pages: 
567-582