Reconstruction of Ukrainian conflict-crisis in English news stories: Verbalizing the communicative component

  • S. I. Potapenko Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor, Head of Germanic Philology Department, Mykola Gogol State University at Nizhyn
Keywords: English news stories, conflict, crisis


The paper reveals that the communicative component of evolving the conflict-crisis which combines the periods of confrontation of varying intensity is verbalized by the linguistic units evoking the relations of sensori-motor origin known in cognitive linguistics as image schemas, i. e. recurring, dynamic patterns of our perceptual interactions and motor programs that give coherence and structure to our experience. The relations underlying the representation of conflict-crisis communicative component include counterforce, blockage, contact, and enablement. The communicative counterforce is rendered by the verbs denoting accusation, blockage is evoked by negations expressed by the particle "not" and the notional words with negative prefixes to downplay blame or mishaps, eliminate the planned actions, or avert contact. The communicative contact is represented by the units denoting meetings and talks aimed at solving the conflict-crisis with the majority of headlines foregrounding the units referring to Western powers. The argumentative contact is rendered
by the units designating the evidence concerning perception, visual control or prediction mainly characteristic of the Russian side. The role of the communicative contribution which is reflected by performative utterances equal to an action and by promises depends on the status of the side voicing it. The performative headlines render intentions, promises, confirmations, changes of the participants’ political or legal status. The communicative contribution has two variants: self-contributions and other-contribution. Promises are coded by the verbs pledge, vow, bid at the national, international and global levels. It is found that the biggest number of promises, though failed, is characteristic of the national level. The article reveals that the structure of news headlines is tantamount to that of utterances which results in distinguishing two types of their structure: canonical coinciding with the organization of the underlying image schemas with the source affecting the target and non-canonical with the foregrounded units denoting the counterforce target or the relations between the conflicting sides.


1. Kryshtaliuk H. A. (2009). Zaperechennia v suchasnomu amerykanskomu hazetnomu dyskursi: funktsionalnyi ta linhvokohnityvnyi aspekty [Denial in contemporary American newspaper discourse: functional and linguistic-cognitive aspects. Stylistics and versification. Donetsk [in Ukraine].
2. Potapenko S. I. (2016). Pochemu spor – eto ne voina: kak ukraynskye sobityia obogashchaiut kognytyvnuiu lyngvistiku [Why the dispute is not a war: how
Ukrainian events enrich cognitive linguistics]. Naukovi zapysky Kirovohradskoho derzhavnoho pedahohichnoho universytetu imeni Volodymyra Vynnychenka Seriia Filolohichni nauky – cientific notes of the Volodymyr Vynnychenko Kirovograd State Pedagogical University. Series: Philological Sciences. Issue 146, p. 36–40.
3. Pocheptsov G. G. (1981). Syntaksis // Ivanova I. P., Burlakova V. V., Pocheptsov G. G. Teoretycheskaia grammatika sovremennogo anglyiskogo yazika [Syntax Theoretical grammar of modern English]. Moscow [in Russian].
4. Johnson M. (1987). The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason. Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 233 p.
5. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (2003). Harlow, Longman, 1948 p.
6. Maslow A. (1970). Motivation and Personality. New York, Harper & Row Publishers, 368 p.

Abstract views: 105
How to Cite
Potapenko, S. I. “Reconstruction of Ukrainian Conflict-Crisis in English News Stories: Verbalizing the Communicative Component”. Literature and Culture of Polissya, Vol. 95, no. 12f, July 2019, pp. 157-68, doi:10.31654/2520-6966-2019-12f-95-157-168.