Using Folk Constructions / Phrases in Mass Media Language

Author Information

Viacheslav Rudnev,
Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

DOI: 10.47298/comela22.7-2
The GLOCAL Proceedings:  The GLOCAL Conference in the Mediterranean and Europe 2022


The modern epoch produces new special demands on language as a tool of communication and information. This process occurs on TV, and printed and online mass media. Recently Russian mass media has borrowed words and phrases from folk texts related to an era of preindustrial society (when people were organically connected with nature) for news and  new events. For example, the phrases ‘mushroom rains’ (characterizing perspective, promising good conditions for negotiations), the ‘goat tracks’ (difficult going for negotiations), ‘bear  zeal’ (unreasonable use of force), etc. which specify described situations, are actively entered into the text of comments and show events of modern society. These phrases are used in a new context for the purpose of brighter, emotional submission of information. The study, involving ethnological data, considers both printed and online media and analyzes the meanings of these phrases in a language of Russian folk culture. Practically, by attracting these words and phrases, mass media creates a special emotional background (context) making it practical for presenting new data.

The analysis of different types of metaphor promotes better understanding of problems of modern mass media in language use. In appealing to folk language’s constructions, mass media has removed boundaries and facilitates emotional intellectual judgment. This becomes a response to the change of the identity of the reader /  consumer of information.

The considered words and phrases (concern for wildlife and natural phenomena) were well mastered by humans in preindustrial society; they were included in ethno cultural ideas and composed a linguistic picture of the world. These are the culturally marked words that help to set up a system of coordinates in which people live, which forms the world image and, fundamental elements of ethnic culture. These words found their niche in modern news texts.

Analyzing the using of folk words /  phrases (result of folk life-support activity and nature use) in a modern text gives a new possibility for better understanding the relationships between language, society and culture.

Keywords: Language, mass media, folk culture, linguistic anthropology


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