Valerij Dem’jankov, Andrej Sergeev, Dasha Sergeeva, Leonid Voronin

Joy, Astonishment and Fear in English, German and Russian:

A corpus-based contrastive-semantic analysis

This page copyright © 2004 V. Dem'jankov, A. Serveev, D. Sergeeva, L. Voronin

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Valerij Dem'jankov, Andrej Sergeev, Dasha Sergeeva, and Leonid Voronin. Joy, Astonishment and Fear in English, German and Russian: A Corpus-Based Contrastive-Semantic Analysis // Emotion in Dialogic Interaction: Advances in the Complex. Edited by Edda Weigand. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2004. P.163–178.



2. Astonishment in German and Russian: E.T.A. Hoffmann vs. N. Gogol




3. Joy in Russian and in English: F. Dostoevsky vs. Ch. Dickens

3.1. Clichés

3.2. Clustering



3.3. Most frequent types of contexts of use



3.4. Epithets of joy and radost’



4. Conclusion



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In this paper we are going to propose a research program rather than ultimate results. This program may be called ‘linguistic psychology’. Linguistic psychology is considered to be a discipline that studies linguistic aspects of psychologically relevant concepts. Like the Oxbridge variety of linguistic philosophy, linguistic psychology investigates the use of folk-psychological terms of ordinary language such as consciousness, mentality, perception, emotion, attention, etc. The task of linguistic psychology is to clarify the semantics of the terms of human mentality. Linguistic psychology therefore is not the same as psycholinguistics.

Following the proposal put forward by Edda Weigand (1998:vii) to study lexical items not just in a dictionary but in use, we base our study on a corpus of classical fictional literature. We thus document non-professional psychological usage of the concepts in question. This helps us to get to know the opinions of average speakers concerning immaterial objects, on the one hand, and the list of concepts in common currency at a particular stage of development, on the other. From a purely linguistic point of view, the results may demonstrate to what extent the terms in question are essential to everyday language. This extent characterizes the level of involvement of emotions in human mentality at a certain cultural stage of society. Besides, the immediate object of investigation in our study are emotions as they are reflected by language use and not


by psychological mechanisms of human emotional life proper. The results of studying tendencies in common currency may show us, among other things, if and how far modern scientific psychology has outclassed folk psychology.

In this paper we are going to describe some results of a pilot contrastive- semantic investigation of joy, astonishment and fear in Russian, German, and English fiction of the 19th and the 20th century.

Our starting point is that emotions are culturally relevant feelings and depend on the cultures they are embedded in. Cultural dependency can most clearly be seen in the way people belonging to different socio-cultural strata

experience emotions, which is the object of psychology proper and

express emotions in their discourse, this is the task of ‘linguistic psychology’.

In speech, emotions are referred to either directly (explicit naming), or indirectly or in a mixed manner. To the indirect type belong the cases in which symptoms of emotions (raising brows, tears, etc.) are mentioned without naming emotions themselves. The mixed type refers to cases which combine direct and indirect mentioning, e.g., tears of joy, etc.

Culturally relevant values of emotions are manifested by syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic behavior of the lexical items in question. Different literary traditions exploit different aspects of such values. But, besides differences, there are also universals of language use, and Euroversals in particular, concerning emotions. For example, the restricted use of performatives expressing emotions may be one of the realizations of ‘pragmatic Euroversals’.

In this paper we are going to demonstrate a schema of description for direct and mixed mentioning of emotions in texts, leaving indirect mentioning for future research.

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2. Astonishment in German and Russian:

E.T.A. Hoffmann vs. N. Gogol

German: Staunen, Erstaunen, Verwunderung, Überraschung, Verblüffung, etc.

Russian: udivlenie, izumlenie, potrjasenie, nedoumenie, ozadačennost’, etc.

English: amaze, amazement, astonishment, surprise, wonderment, wide-eyed, gaze, wide-mouthed, open-mouthed, marvel, wonder, amusement, stupefaction, admiration, agape (with wonder), rapture; X’s mouth formed an O; struck (with amazement), etc.


In the whole corpus of Hoffmann’s writings we encounter over 450 uses of lexemes denoting ‘astonishment’ (Staunen, Erstaunen, Verwunderung, Überraschung, Verblüffung). The corpus of Gogol’s texts contains about 400 occurrences of: udivlenie, izumlenie, potrjasenie, nedoumenie, ozadačennost’, etc. These ways-of- use can be classified in both languages according to three kinds of parameters: (1) figure vs. ground, (2) emotion clustering, and (3) types of emotional scenario.

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In the first framework, we distinguish between focused mentioning and background mentioning. Focused emotions are emotions that stand in the focus of an utterance and constitute its main point. Examples of focused mentioning are:

(1) Alle waren ganz erstaunt über Exters seltsames Begehren. (Hoffmann, Nachtstücke)

In these sentences, the seme ‘astonishment’ is contained in the meaning of the predicate, although we may also encounter focused subjects, etc.

(2) Some of the names greatly astonished our hero, so, still more, did the surnames. (Gogol, Dead Souls, translated by D.J. Hogarth)

The following sentences are examples of background-astonishment:

(3) ‘Wie’, erwiderte ich mit freudigem Erstaunen, ‘wie, du kennst mich, süßes Wesen?’ (Hoffmann, Lebensansichten des Katers Murr)

(4) “But what should I want with your colt?” said Chichikov, genuinely astonished at the proposal. (Gogol, Dead Souls, translated by D.J. Hogarth)

Here neither the predicate (said, erwiderte) nor the subject alone imply astonishment.

Emotions in sentential focus are analogous to close-ups in movies; the author wants the reader to empathize with the agent of the sentence, and the respective feelings of the interpreter are, ideally, the same. This is not the case with the background emotions. That is, the focused emotion may be a manipulative means, whereas background emotions are not necessarily manipulative, at least not openly manipulative. But when do people focus on the emotions and when do they not? This is a question that still remains to be answered by linguistic psychology.


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Astonishment is often mentioned, both in Russian and in German, in coordination with names of other feelings in what can be termed ‘emotional clusters’, e.g., astonishment + despair, astonishment + consternation, astonish- ment + dread, etc.

Particularly interesting examples of clustering can be encountered in Hoffmann’s works:

(5) Erstaunen + Schreck, Erstaunen + Furcht, höchste Verwunderung + freudiger Schreck, freudiges Erstaunen + freudiger Schreck, Staunen + Grausen, Staunen + Schreck, Staunen + Schrecken, Erstaunen + Schrecken + Schmerz, verwundert + erschrocken, Erstaunen + Bewunderung + Entzücken + Furcht + Entsetzen, Verwunderung + Ehrfurcht, Staunen + (tiefe) Bewunderung, erstaunt + von Mitleid durchdrungen, Erstaunen + Entzücken, staunende Bewunderung, Erstaunen + Bewunderung, frohes Erstaunen, Erstaunen + Überraschung, Verwunderung + Erstaunen, (ganz) verwirrt vor Erstaunen, freudig verwundert, Bewunderung + höchstes Erstaunen, Verwunderung + Freude, ganz verwundert + voll Mißtrauen; ganz verwundert + voll banger Erwartung, etc.

Hoffmann’s astonishment combines more often with admiration or delight than with fear or dread, for example:

(6) Sein Emporsteigen hatte die Familie in eine staunende Bewunderung gesetzt, die nicht nachließ. (Hoffmann, Lebensansichten des Katers Murr)

In Gogol’s texts, astonishment clusters less frequently together with other emotions; we encounter only occasionally pairings such as:

(7) izumlenie + blagodarnost’ (astonishment + gratefulness or appreciation), užas + izumlenie (dread + astonishment), izumlenie + radost’ (astonishment + joy), nedoumenie + neterpelivoe ljubopytstvo (perplexity + impatient curiosity)

For example:

(8) Kakov že byl užas I vmeste izumlenie Kovaleva, kogda on uznal, čto ėto byl sobstvennyj ego nos! (Gogol, Nos)

“Imagine Kovalev’s fear and astonishment when he recognized his own nose walking in the street!” (Gogol, Nose)

Let us now compare Hoffmann’s and Gogol’s types of clustering.


Hoffmann’s astonishment combines with fairly heterogeneous emotions, whereas the combinations of udivlenie / izumlenieu/potrjasenie (astonishment/ commotion / amazement) in Gogol’s texts are less unusual. Common to both writers are the clusters: astonishment + fear and astonishment + joy. We can therefore put forward the following hypothetic Euroversal-1:

The concepts of fear and joy have a special relation to astonishment and demonstrate some sort of family resemblance.

From the information-processing perspective we can say that in combining amazement with curiosity and astonishment with appreciation, Gogol stresses a subject’s lack of information and as a result the need of information supply which corresponds to what we usually call curiosity.

On the other hand, Hoffmann’s astonishment combines with admiration and delight. The emotional inner world of Hoffmann’s heroes is outward- oriented, demonstrating care for what is going on outside. In contrast to him, Gogol’s curiosity is less emotional and possesses a rather moderate emotional facet. Gogol’s astonishment is sometimes more intensive than that of Hoffmann but does not cluster in such an extravagant way. Hoffmann very often refers to astonishment in paradoxical combinations and with detailed nuances (cf. freudiger Schreck, Russian radostnyj užas). Hence, the hypothetic Euroversal-2:

Later stages of cultural development show increasingly extravagant clusters. What earlier generations considered as contradictory feelings, later generations may consider as fairly normal.

‘Fear’ can form clusters in Hoffmann’s texts together with ‘delight’, resulting into something like ‘delightful fear’. Hoffmann was one of the first to use the motif of ‘comic fright’, which is very frequent in his novels, for instance:

(9) Doch wer schildert mein frohes Erstaunen, ja, meinen freudigen Schreck, als ich wahrnahm, daß ich mich auf dem Hause meines wackern Herrn befand. (Hoffmann, Lebensansichten des Katers Murr)

In Russian culture, this motif is encountered only in the 20th century, e.g.:

(10) Uletaja, Margarita videla tol’ko, čto virtuoz-džazbandist, borjas’ s polonezom, kotoryj dul Margarite v spinu, b`et po golovam daže džazbandistov svoej tarelkoj i te prisedajut v komičeskom užase. (Bulgakov, Master i Margarita)

“As she floated away Margarita caught a glimpse of the virtuoso bandleader, struggling against the polonaise that she could still hear behind her, hitting the bandsmen on the head with his cymbal while they


crouched in comic terror.” (Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita, translated by Michael Glenny)

In the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (1997) we read: “[…] was beating his jazzmen on the heads with the cymbal while they cowered in comic fright”. The English translation in both cases does not quite render the same meaning, which is fairly close to the German freudiger Schreck. In the 20th century, the same cluster occurs in K. Tucholsky’s book “Revolution beim preußischen Kommiß”:

(11) Das ist erst später aufgekommen, als Ludendorff in freudigem Schreck erkannt hatte, daß er seinen Hals noch hatte.

In this case there is a double perspective: from the speaker/hearer’s point of view, the way frightened participants show their emotions looks funny; from the participants’ point of view: experiencing a mixed emotion, half-fright and half-delight, so familiar from our childhood, when we sprang with an umbrella from a chair or even from the roof of the house. These two perspectives may be found in different combinations, e.g., from the point of view of the speaker who is also a participant in the described events.

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In the framework of the next methodological schema emotions are considered as a link in causal connections contained in the text. Here we have what Heider (1991:6) calls flow-of-emotion scenario; comments on this notion may be found in Radden (1997:47) and Dirven (1997:55-83).

The basic causal chain is: (1) emotion-causing event, (2) the emotion itself, (3) result of the emotional reaction. Realizations of this basic chain may be called emotional scenario. The study of texts has shown that there are four dominant types of scenarios that are not equally frequent.

event --> emotion --> reaction, Hoffmann: 51 contexts, Gogol: 61 contexts of astonishment and the like.

For example:

(12) Ich bemerkte, daß die Leute, welche mir begegneten, still standen und mir verwundert nachsahen, ja daß der Wirt im Dorfe vor Erstaunen über meinen Anblick kaum Worte finden konnte, welches mich nicht wenig ängstigte. (Hoffmann, Die Elixiere des Teufels)


Here the scenario looks like this: my look --> astonishment --> impossibility to express oneself properly.

Cf. also:

(13) On povorotilsja tak sil’no v kreslax, čto lopnula šerstjanaja materija, obtjagivavšaja podušku; sam Manilov posmotrel na nego v nekotorom nedoumenii. (Gogol, Dead Souls)

In the English translation by D.J. Hogarth, the sentence mentioning the astonishment is preceded by the following sentence:

(14) Indeed, grave and prudent a man though Čičikov was, he had much ado to refrain from executing a leap that would have done credit to a goat (an animal which, as we all know, finds itself moved to such exertions only during moments of the most ecstatic joy) (Gogol, Dead Souls, translated by D.J. Hogarth).

It is only after this sentence that we read:

(15) Nevertheless the guest did at least execute such a convulsive shuffle that the material with which the cushions of the chair were covered came apart, and Manilov gazed at him with some misgiving (Gogol, Dead Souls, translated by D.J. Hogarth).

The chain looks like this:

Manilov executed a convulsive shuffle; the material with which the cushions of the chair were covered came apart --> Manilov’s astonishment -- > Manilov gazed at him with some misgiving.

– Often we encounter a shorter scenario, lacking any explicit mention of reaction: event --> emotion (Hoffmann: 176 cases, Gogol: 116):

(16) In der Nähe erblickte er zu seinem Erstaunen, daß aus den Löchern des zerrissenen Mantels, den die Gestalt trug, Flaschenhälse hervorguckten. (Hoffmann, Die Elixiere des Teufels)

Here, the scenario looks like this: aus den Löchern des zerrissenen Mantels, den die Gestalt trug, guckten Flaschenhälse hervor --> Erstaunen.

(17) Kak tol’ko Ivan Ivanovič upravilsja v svoem xozjajstve i vyshel, po obyknoveniju, poležat’ pod navesom, kak, k neskazannomu udivleniju svoemu, uvidel čto-to krasnevšee v kalitke (Gogol, Kak possorilis’ Ivan Ivanovič s Ivanom Nikiforovičem)

“As soon as Ivan Ivanovitch had arranged his domestic affairs and stepped out upon the balcony, according to his custom, to lie down, he saw, to his indescribable amazement, something red at the gate.” (Gogol, How The Two Ivans Quarrelled)


Here we have the following chain: he saw something red at the gate --> to his indescribable amazement.

– There is another variant of shorter scenario which is encountered in texts by Hoffmann much more frequently than in Gogol’s writings: emotion --> reaction (Hoffmann: 100 contexts, Gogol: 32).

For instance, in (18) we have: Verwunderung --> stand das Maul offen:

(18) Aber dem Lehrburschen stand das Maul offen vor lauter Verwunderung (Hoffmann, Meister Floh).

(19) Vpravdu? Celyx sto dvadcat’? – voskliknul Čičikov i daže razinul neskol’ko rot ot izumlenija (Gogol, Mertvye duši).

“Indeed? Upon a hundred and twenty souls in all!" And Chichikov's surprise and elation were such that, this said, he remained sitting open-mouthed (Gogol, Dead Souls, translated by D.J. Hogarth),

i.e.: surprise and elation --> he remained sitting open- mouthed.

– A subtype of this kind is emotional transition, change-over: astonishment changes into a different emotion (Hoffmann: 20, Gogol: 9). For instance:

(20) Sein Erstaunen ging aber in Angst über und Entsetzen, da er erfuhr, daß schon seit langer Zeit eine Verschwörung wider die Signorie gereift […]. (Hoffmann, Die Serapionsbrüder, Die Bergwerke zu Falun)

In (20), astonishment changes into fear; in the following example „fearful astonishment“ changes into anger:

(21) Im plötzlichen Schreck der Überraschung drehte sich Antonio rasch um, aber wie er nun der Alten in das abscheuliche Gesicht starrte, rief er zornig […]. (ibid)

– The shortest scenario, in which only the emotion is mentioned, is least frequent for both writers (Hoffmann: 22 contexts, Gogol: 15). In this case the emotional state lies in the focus of the utterance. For example:

(22) Ich versank in das hinbrütende Staunen der begeisterten Andacht, die mich durch glänzende Wolken in das ferne bekannte, heimatliche Land trug, und in dem duftenden Walde ertönten die holden Engelsstimmen, und der wunderbare Knabe trat wie aus hohen Lilienbüschen mir entgegen und frug mich lächelnd: “Wo warst du denn so lange, Franziskus?” (Hoffmann, Die Elixiere des Teufels)


The following scene, which is similarly organized, sounds rather theatrical and insincere in Russian:

(23) Izvinite, ja, priznajus’, privedena v takoe izumlenie (Gogol, Revizor)

“Excuse me. I must say I'm greatly astonished.” (Gogol, The Inspector-General, translated by Th. Seltzer)

In general, saying in Russian that you are astonished, amazed, etc., without giving the reason why sounds artificial. Such expressions may be called anti-performatives, i.e., they hardly admit 1st person subjects and present tense predicates.

– ‘Potential emotion’, i.e. a characteristic of an event that could evoke an emotion but not necessarily does (Hoffmann: 52; Gogol: 125); for example:

(24) Der Anblick war in der Tat seltsam und überraschend. (Hoffmann, Des Vetters Eckfenster)

(25) Krasota proizvodit soveršennye čudesa. (Gogol, Nevskij prospekt)

“Beauty may sometimes astonish.” (Gogol, Nevsky avenue)

In such cases we have to do only with a potential astonishment, not with an actual state of a person. The author proposes to evaluate a situation as worth wondering, as really wonderful, as unexpected and therefore amazing, as a surprise, etc.

– ‘Post-emotion’: this very seldom type (Hoffmann: 4, Gogol: 3) characterizes the processes of recovering from astonishment or of overcoming astonishment, but not astonishment itself:

(26) Julie, ihrem Erstaunen nicht einen Augenblick Raum gebend, tat schnell, wie ihr geheißen. (Hoffmann, Lebensansichten des Katers Murr)

(27) Als Giglio sich einigermaßen von seinem Erstaunen erholt, wollte er seine Gegenwart kundtun. (Hoffmann, Prinzessin Brambilla)

(28) Izumlennaja ne menee ix, ona, odnako ž, nemnogo očnulas’ i sdelala dviženie, čtoby podojti k nim (Gogol, Večera na xutore bliz Dikan’ki).

“Astonished no less than them, she came out of her reverie and made a movement towards them.” (Gogol, Evenings on the Farm near the Dikanka)

As we see, astonishment and amazement are self-replicating in some contexts, i.e., the emotion as a reaction to a certain perception causes a need for additional information concerning the object that created this feeling. Most characteristic in this respect is the fact that emotions accompanying the action are


mentioned. The scenario of such cases looks like this: look --> astonishment --> gazing with astonishment. For example:

(29) Immer mehr drängte sich das Volk zu, und mich dicht umringend, gafften sie mich an mit dummem Erstaunen. (Hoffmann, Die Elixiere des Teufels)

(30) S čuvstvom nevol’nogo izumlenija sozercali znatoki novuju, nevidannuju kist’ (Gogol, Portret).

“The critics regarded this new hitherto unknown work with a feeling of involuntary wonder.” (Gogol, The Mysterious Portrait, translated by R.J. Cournos)

That is, the emotion engendered by a stimulus lasts while accompanying this stimulus, thus feeding its intensity and duration. From this point of view, the concept of astonishment (udivlenie) is closer to joy and opposes fear. Fearsome events repel, whereas rejoicing and astonishing events attract, as we all know from everyday experience.

Comparing Gogol and Hoffmann, we note, firstly, that Hoffmann pays much more attention to various nuances of astonishment. Secondly, Hoffmann represents clusters of emotions more freely than Gogol and uses entire complexes of emotionally laden concepts to describe feelings. Thus in his texts, emotions very frequently construct the figure, while the situation that triggers the emotions is the background, a kind of landscape filled with music of emotions. Thirdly, Gogol much more often combines an emotional scenario with a characteristic of an event, and emotional clusters are not as frequent and multiple in his texts as they are in Hoffmann’s. Gogol focuses on the situation that brings astonishment to life, while the emotion itself in most cases is only part of a scenery in his ‘theatre of circumstances’.

Yet despite the differences in their methods, astonishment is a basic principle of the dialogue between author and reader for both Gogol and Hoffmann. Hoffmann’s romantic mystification and Gogol’s irony (which also goes back to Schlegel’s romantic irony) are based on situations and events that are unusual, extraordinary and therefore astonishing.

Hoffmann aims at surprising the reader with his symphonies of emotions, rushing away suddenly, hiding, then jumping out from behind the corner and again narrating of mysterious, enigmatic, both frightening and funny, i.e. amazing events. Gogol concentrates on showing astonishment rather than on provoking it. Gogol’s astonishment is that of an actor, it is like a mask that can be put on and off and therefore seems alienated. As a result, astonishment in Gogol’s interpretation is often perceived as tragic and sometimes even histrionic. With his astonishment, Gogol tries to take hold of life by stopping it for


a moment in order to perceive it and show it to his readers in more detail, like in the final scene of “The Inspector-General”. In contrast, Hoffmann’s astonishment is in perpetual movement, rushing ahead and carrying the reader into the whirlpool of life.

Astonishment is, consequently, not an elementary concept. Amazement can petrify, and, on the other hand, stimulate apprehension, the learning of new information and the exploration of the world. Such kind of astonishment is a component of cognition. It is paradoxical, antinomic, self-contradictory, and heterogeneous. Therefore, the term astonishment (Russian udivlenie, etc., German Staunen, etc.) is applied to very different emotions arising out of situations in which something ‘rocks the boat’ and contradicts the expectations of a normal course of events.

The range of the scenarios may be a realization of the following Euroversal-3, which we formulate as a maxim: Wherever possible, try to give motivation to astonishment in the sentence in which you mention it. Therefore, start the description with mentioning the event which gave rise to the emotion and only then mention the emotion itself.

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3. Joy in Russian and in English:

F. Dostoevsky vs. Ch. Dickens

Here we consider only the occurrences of the lexical items rad in Russian and joy in English, their synonyms are left for a future research.

However strange it may appear, joy is two times less frequent in Dickens’ works (over 600) than radost’ (“joy”) in Dostoevsky’s (more than 1165 times). One of the reasons lies in the fact that in Russian rad is often used in clichés corresponding to the English glad, cf. Rada vas videt’ and It is a great pleasure for me to see you.

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3.1. Clichés

In the formulae of courtesy joy and radost’ are used differently in Russian and in English. For example, Dickens writes:

(31) I wish you joy, I'm sure! (Barnaby Rudge)

(32) Joy to you both! (Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit)

In Russian, it is more usual to wish happiness, pleasure, etc.:


(33) Rad(a) vas videt’ you (acc. sg.) to see

“It is a great pleasure for me to see you.”

The wish of mnogo radosti “much joy” is less formulaic (singular or plural, not simply “joy”). But a calque of the English Joy to you both would sound rather unnatural in Russian.

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3.2. Clustering

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In Dickens’ writings, joy is combined with feelings such as gratitude, ecstasy, pride, love, sorrow, hope, or disappointment, especially with pride, e.g.:

(34) She had not been prepared for such passionate expressions, and they awakened some natural sparks of feminine pride and joy in her breast. (Our Mutual Friend)

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Dostoevsky’s clustering of radost’ is rather unusual, e.g.:

(35) radost’ obidy

“joy of dudgeon”

(36) Ona onemela ot radostnogo izumlenija

“She was inarticulate with mirthful amazement.” (Crime and Punishment)

(37) radostnoe smuščenie

“mirthful bewilderment, perplexity”

(38) radostnoe izumlenie

“mirthful amazement” (Netochka Nezvanova)

(39) izumlenie, radostnyj ispug

“mirthful fright” (The Dream of a Ridiculous Man)

(40) bessoznatel’naja radost’

“unconscious joy” (Demons), etc.

Dostoevsky likes such and similar unusual combinations of radost’.


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3.3. Most frequent types of contexts of use

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Dickens uses the lexeme joy

– first of all, to describe actions accompanied by this emotion (185 cases), e.g.:

(41) In her joy and gratitude she kissed his hand. (Little Dorrit)

In such cases, joy is mentioned in the background.

– Joy is less frequently used as subject in descriptions of ‘pleasant situations’ (160 cases), e.g.:

(42) But the Jamaica rum, and the joy of having occasioned a heavy disappointment, by degrees cooled Mr. Quilp's wrath […]. (The Old Curiosity Shop)

– And least frequently joy is emphasized in the description of certain states (89 cases), e.g.:

(43) The mad joy over the prisoners who were saved, had astounded him scarcely less than the mad ferocity against those who were cut to pieces. (A Tale of Two Cities)

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The frequencies of Dostoevsky’s contexts of the lexeme radost’ are quite different:

– joy being the focus of certain states (455):

(44) Tol’ko čto goluboj ekipaž uspel vyexat’ za vorota, kak Gospodin Goljadkin sudorožno poter sebe ruki i zalilsja tixim, neslyšnym smexom, kak čelovek veselogo xaraktera, kotoromu udalos’ sygrat’ slavnuju štuku I kotoroj on sam rad-radexonek (Dvojnik)

“As soon as the light-blue carriage dashed out of the gate, Mr. Golyadkin rubbed his hands convulsively and went off into a slow, noiseless chuckle, like a jubilant man who has succeeded in bringing off a splendid performance and is as pleased as Punch with the performance himself.” (The Double: A Petersburg Poem, transl. by C. Garnett)


– joy accompanying an action (211):

(45) […] počti radostno podxvatil Porfirij. (Prestuplenie i nakazanie)

“[…] Porfiry Petrovitch quoted gaily.” (Crime and Punishment, transl. by C. Garnett);

– joy in descriptions of ‘pleasant situations’ (191 cases):

(46) Ėto byla minuta polnoj, neposredstvennoj, čisto životnoj radosti. (Prestuplenie i nakazanie)

“It was an instant of full, direct, purely instinctive joy.” (Crime and Punishment, transl. by C. Garnett)

As we see from the examples, Dostoevsky’s joy is something like an acting entity capable by itself to change the state and the actions of people that are normally considered as bearers of this emotion. Dickens’s joy is a ‘normal’ emotion; he does not exaggerate its role in the mental world.

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3.4. Epithets of joy and radost’

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Dickens’ joy is distinguished by a fairly rich set of epithets, e.g.: mad, lazy, boundless, mingled, great, unutterable, evident, savage, secret, excited, wildest, laughing, wild, intoxicated, overcome, half blind, bounded, etc. Dickens’ joy is often mixed with weeping, which we hardly encounter in the works by Dostoevsky; e.g.: weeping, half joyfully, half sorrowfully; cf.:

(47) Still weeping, but not sadly – joyfully!; she was not crying in sorrow but in a little glow of joy; I did cry for joy indeed; (to) cry with joyful tears; with tears of joy in her bright eyes, etc.

For Dickens, but not for Dostoevsky, tears were a typical realization of joy. Today, this feature seems to be old-fashioned for the younger generation in Russia.

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The most characteristic feature of Dostoevsky’s use is the co-occurrence of radost’ with modifiers such as pochti “almost”, otchasti “partly”, and even narochno “deliberately”. For example:

(48) Nastas’ja, kuxarka I edinstvennaja služanka xozjajkina, otčasti byla rada takomu nastroeniju žil’ca i sovsem perestala u nego ubirat’ i mesti, tak tol’ko raz v nedelju, nečajanno, bralas’ inogda za venik. (Prestuplenie i nakazanie)

“Nastasya, the cook and only servant, was rather pleased at the lodger's mood and had entirely given up sweeping and doing his room, only once a week or so she would stray into his room with a broom.” (Crime and Punishment, transl. by C. Garnett)

The phrase rather pleased in the English translation does not contain all the nuances of Russian otčasti byla rada “was partly pleased”.

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4. Conclusion

Psychologists have not yet demonstrated that the feeling of emotions is equal for all people in the world, nor can we be sure that the list of emotions is the same everywhere. The data of ordinary language use attest differences in certain aspects of emotions and even different emotions to a certain degree. However, we can state convergences of different emotional cultures.

Our program consists in extending the framework exposed in this paper, i.e.:

– exploring contrastive linguistic psychology in width, contrasting the material of different languages, epochs, literary genres, fashions, literary movements, etc., and studying not only these emotions but also all human mental states, as far as possible;

– exploring linguistic psychology in depth, trying to gain a deeper insight into the psychology of emotion and into the semantics of the languages contrasted, based on more extensive material;

– the methodological dimension of the program consists in refining the notions used in this paper rather informally, as a first approximation. Following the advice of Carnegie: “Criticize yourself before others do it”, we would like to stress the provisional character of notions such as focus vs. background, clustering, emotional scenario, etc. It is also possible to combine a linguistic- psychological approach with psycholinguistic experiments in order to elucidate the readers’ reactions. One of the methodological directions may consist in preparing text corpora of different languages in a unified format, where sentences are classed according to different emotional scenarios, with the perspective of further theoretical insight and as a database for elucidating Euroversals.

The study of emotions itself is emotionally relevant because it helps people from different cultures to understand each other better. There is also a practical


aspect of such a study, because, as a by-product, we can learn how to negotiate with people from different emotional cultures. For instance, the use of ‘emotional formulae’ in negotiations is efficient to different degrees in different European and non-European societies. This study may therefore be relevant to practical spheres such as international affairs, cultural exchange and economics.

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Dirven, René. 1997. “Emotions as Cause and the Cause of Emotions”. The Language of Emotions. Conceptualization, expression and theoretical foundation, ed. by S. Niemeier & R. Dirven. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Heider, Karl G. 1991. Landscape of Emotion: Mapping Three Cultures of Emotion in Indonesia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Radden, Günter. 1997. “Principles of Cognitive Grammar”. Language History and Linguistic Modelling: A Festschrift for Jacek Fisiak on his 60th Birthday, ed. by Raymond Hickey & Stanisław Puppel, 1183-1197. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Weigand, Edda. 1998. “Foreword”. Contrastive Lexical Semantics, ed. by Edda Weigand, vii-ix. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.