TERMS AS CONSTRUES
OF "THEORY AND PRACTICE OF COMMUNICATION"
SUBJECT DOMAIN DESIGN IN RUSSIAN SCIENCE
Tuzlukova V.I., Boguslavskaya V.V.
Published: Collected research articles, Bulletin of Russian Communication Association "THEORY OF COMMUNICATION AND APPLIED COMMUNICATION", Issue 1 / Edited by I.N. Rozina, Rostov-on-Don: Institute of Management, Business and Law Publishing, 2002. - 168 p. . C. 135-141.
The paper considers modern Russian terminology in the field of communication theory and practice that is treated as a synergetic phenomenon. The conceptual approach to terminology coordination as well as researched subject domain contents and structures delimitation is offered with the regard of systematic principle. The stress is made on such aspects of communication as processes, models and their realization in concrete social, cultural and language context. Various communication technologies and media are treated as a basis to suggested conceptual approach model.
Today communication terminology has not received the status of terminological system yet. The complete system of this subject domain knowledge representation has not been developed either. All these matters are of great research interest. First, today scientists are in need of precisely and clearly defined basic communication terms. Then, at present when new interdisciplinary disciplines appear, they introduce new senses into basic communication terminology from interdisciplinary knowledge and this process has not been studied yet. And, at last, there is a question of developing approaches to more profound study of communication terminology, which fixes and describes theoretical and applied aspects of various communicative technologies, processes, models and their realizations in various social and cultural contexts.
We shall try to consider these issues gradually following each step of our argumentation. First of all we carefully studied different definitions of the term "communication" and found out a great variety of its senses in different papers and approaches. Then we reflected on correlation of such words in modern Russian, as "obshenie" ("dialogue") and "communication". They are often under discussion in research papers of Russian scientists. We have noticed that nowadays a foreign word "communication" has quite appreciably superseded native word "obshenie" ("dialogue") from the language of science, education, and journalism. This has created an impression, that there is no terminological and conceptual unity of these two terms in the language of science, though in accordance with the principle of continuity in terminology development they should be interconnected in spite of any circumstances of modern language of science development. Russian linguists already formulate some of them. For example, more frequent use of the term "communication" can be explained by usual preference of foreign terminology in the language of science (S.G.Ter-Minasova). Some reasons of more frequent use of the term "communication" are connected with information technology applications. They greatly influence language processes introducing its own terminology into a broader scientific context. Today we witness reconsideration of the term "obshenie" ("dialogue") which has overcome the limits of its narrow understanding as "interpersonal obshenie" ("dialogue"), connected in our Russian mentality more often with "conversations at the kitchen". It has got not only senses connected to socially caused process of ideas and feelings exchange between people in various spheres of their cognitive activity, realized mainly by means of verbal means of communication. Moreover, a purposeful exchange of information in both interpersonal and mass dialogue has become possible with the help of various communication media. Communication has become possible.
M. McLuhan once noted that in modern social and cultural space "all times and spaces are at the same moment". Then we can say that communication, though it assumes transfer of every possible information, and means first of all obshenie" ("dialogue"), it is not reduced to it. In its basic sense communication focuses us on all possible models, types and varieties of obshenie" ("dialogue") and on its properties connected with linking people together. Besides when we speak about communication we mostly mean such media and technology which technical power demands to use them for global purposes (V.P. Terin).
Having clarified the difference between communication and obshenie" ("dialogue") we dwelt upon more precise study of the term "communication" which represents a rapidly developing multidimensional domain of modern Russian science, closely connected with communication research in various formats, environments and contexts. It includes a wide spectrum of problems in theory and practice of interpersonal, group, organizational, professional, computer - mediated and intercultural communication; verbal and nonverbal interaction; their various contextual realizations. And this list is incomplete. For example, in international conference "Communications: Theory and practice in various social contexts" ("Communication-2002") in Pyatigorsk scientists reported on emotional, organizational, management, intercultural and intracultural aspects of dialogue and communication in business, political and professional spheres. Multidimensionality of "Theory and Practice of Communication" is also proved by modern development of such new interdisciplinary disciplines as public relations (PR), Social Pedagogy, Regional Studies, Ecological Management and many others, which inevitably include theory and practice of communication in their research and training programs. Applied and theoretical aspects of communication are also introduced in traditional philological disciplines. For example, modern curricula of teacher and interpreter's training in Russia are called now "Linguistics and Intercultural communication". It includes such disciplines as "Introduction in Theory of Intercultural Communication", "Theory of Intercultural Communication Foundations", "Semiotics", "Intercultural Communication Practical Course". These disciplines give basic and applied knowledge of communication and intercultural communication concepts, structure communication acts and processes. They also equip the students with knowledge about different types and models of communication, functions of communication systems, features of intercultural communications; methods of intercultural communication process research in various social spheres (for example, in management, business, education). Ethnic, national, territorial and social features of communication subjects as well as their personal characteristics are covered. In our arguing we should also mention various traditional and virtual research programs and international projects connected with the study of communication in educational, industrial, political and other social spheres in different cultures (for example, "Cultural values" project).
Multidimensionality of communication though having a positive impact on modern science development simultaneously leads to lots of misunderstandings especially from the point of view of its terminological language. This terminological language is expedient to be considered as a synergetic phenomenon or "active self-organizing environment of cognitive process in which both the subject of knowledge and its object are equally shipped" (V.I. Arshinov, J.I. Svirsky). Such approach allows considering communication terminology as an environment of its new elements constant production and self-production. They fix processes of interlingual, interdisciplinary, intersubject and intrasubject communications (G. B. Gutner), their aspects in various spheres, communication technologies and media, concepts and models, the newest history of communication and its study (V.B. Kashkin).
Process of communication terms updating is dynamical and constant. In this connection communication terminology is characterized by a variety of concepts and variability. They are displayed in synonymy, polysemy, and homonymy of terms. We face terminology inconsistency not only in interdisciplinary, but also in intradisciplinary context, insufficient detailed elaboration of separate terms in special literature - scientific, educational and methodical, artificial attachment of adapted (but not always truly interpreted) English terms to nonexistent social and cultural contexts and realities of present-day Russia. For example, the inquiry in search engines www.google.com. (Russian) on July 19, 2002 gave the following results of search:
1. "communication" (noun) - 20500 documents;
2. "communication" (adjective) - 16400 documents;
3. "communicativistika" (noun) - 102 documents;
4. Theory of Communication (noun) - 17500 documents;
5. "communicology" (noun) - 12 documents;
6. "communicant" (subject of communication - noun) - 133 documents,
7. "communicolog" (noun) - 6 documents,
8. "communicator" (noun) - 233000 documents,
9. "communicative" (adjective) - 4140 documents.
Figures even at first sight were amazing for us, as they did not justify our expectations. Preliminary results of lexical compatibility of considered terms are also interesting. We examined the adjective "communicative" in model A+N, combined mostly with abstract nouns, such as "act", "process", "model", "type", etc. Adjective "communication" in the same model created collocations mostly with information technology terms, such as "soft", "portal", "processor", "site", "service", "chip", etc.
Though the term "communicativistika" is now widely spread to define research in communication field in Russian science we came across low-frequency term "communicology" borrowed from the American communicative researches in attributive model A+N as a nuclear element.
Noun "communication" is used in such models, as A+N, N+N. In attributive collocations it is used with such adjectives as "nonverbal", "mass", "intercultural", "effective", "passive", "marketing", "complete", "general", "speech", "political", "street", "direct", "image", "intercultural","inter-object", "optimum", "social and cultural", "interpersonal", "multimedia", "business", "wireless", "multilevel", "interethnic", "corporate", "reserved", "rational", "interlingual", "computer-mediated", "computer", "public", "social", 'successful", "internal", "intellectual", "strategic", etc. In N+N models term "communication" has such dependent nouns, as "animals", "data", etc.
Communication terminology like the terminology of any subject domain is called to be the tool of mutual understanding among scientists and researchers. But in most cases we face communication terminology inconsistency in understanding and use. Trying to define separate terms and radically revise their content which is understood ambiguously, some scientists believe that is necessary simply to get rid of them, others reflect on the need of their interpretation. Sharing the second point of view, we have tried to reveal those conceptual approaches that would help to realize this goal.
If we proceed from modern systematic and synergetic terminology representations we can consider communication terminology as a continuum all elements of which are organized in system. Then all attempts of communication terminological system definition should be addressed not to separate terms but to conceptual representations of a whole system (K.J. Averbukh). In this connection we would like to recollect some reflections of F.I. Sharkov, who writes that interpretation and research of terms "communicology", "communicativistica", "communication", "communicative" are of great value to communication, which on the one hand represents a structure, and on the other hand it represents a process. When we examine communication as structures we should argue on communication structures, systems, processes. Communication process in this case represents change of structure, a condition of communication system. If we examine concept "communication" as a process, then, obviously, it will be more correct to speak about communication links and interconnections, information interchange or information transfer from one subject of communication to another.
Synergetic approach to communication as a domain of scientific knowledge, including its terminology, provides its abstract and logic representation as a self-organizing system, which elements are interrelated and interdependent. Following this reasoning we simulated and designed its spatial and graphic image. In figure 1 we submit a pyramid that represents abstract and logic model of communication as a subject domain. It allows seeing system elements in unity and in connection. It also contributes to better understanding the mechanism of elements interaction inside the system and consequently, to analyzing the process of its progressive development.
Full text in Word
About the authors:
Doctor of Science in Philology,
Department of English Language, Linguistic Institute,
Rostov State Pedagogical University,
Ph.D., Associated Professor,
Department of English Language, Linguistic Institute,
Rostov State Pedagogical University,
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