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THE DEMARCATION OF CHARACTER ACCENTUATION vs NORM vs PATHOLOGY. LINGUISTIC AND PSYCHOSEMIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF CLINICAL TYPES OF DISCOURSE.

THE DEMARCATION OF CHARACTER ACCENTUATION vs NORM vs PATHOLOGY. LINGUISTIC AND PSYCHOSEMIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF CLINICAL TYPES OF DISCOURSE.
Voloshina Mary, candidate of philology, associate professor

Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University (PSLU), Russia

Championship participant: the National Research Analytics Championship - "Russia";

the Open European-Asian Research Analytics Championship;

In this study we have established the demarcation of character accentuation vs norm vs pathologybased on the  psychosemiological method. We have considered the different modern approaches to this phenomena: the naturalistic one (positivism), the  activity one and  the linguistic one. We also  have established classification of various types of clinical discourse in accordance with the criteria of modality, transitivity, subject – object of semiosis, the type of sign and substantiated the urgency of the practical implementation of this method in various kinds of psychological and clinical practices. The results of the study can be used in psychology, psychiatry as a diagnostic tool in personality characteristics.

Keywords: demarcation of character accentuation vs norm vs pathology, psychosemiological method, linguistic approach in the epistemology of humanitarian cognition.

 

The purpose of this study is to demarcate the character accentuation vs norm vs pathologyby correlating between the world picture of the a patient and objective reality, relying on the methods of linguistic and psychosemiological analysis. The task of this study is to classify various types of clinical discourse through  such linguistic categories as: modality, transitivity, metadiscourse, subject - object of semiosis, type of sign. The methodological basis of our study is the Frege’s Semantic Triangle.

The relevance and practical significance of the study are primarily due to the insufficient theoretical elaboration and approbation of the psychosemiological method, as well as its inadequate implementation into various psychological and clinical practices. Meanwhile, experience shows that traditional psychological and psychotherapeutic approaches and methods discredited themselves in many ways, having fallen into the "trap of the Cartesian evidence of the subject" (M. Foucault). Often they can not only cope with successful treatment of clinical patients, correction of deviant and psychopathological cases, but also correctly diagnose them, carry out the demarcation of abnormal patients and healthy patients, as eloquently evidenced by the experiment of Rosenkhan. The demarcation of character accentuation vs norm vs pathologyis of a nature subjective, conventional and chronotypic. Thereby specialists have to borrow linguistic and semiotic methods, extrapolating them into their psychological and psychopathological studies and practices. This phenomenon has led to the emergence of such interdisciplinary areas of scientific knowledge as psycholinguistics and psychosemiotics. In the article, we will also analyze the clinical types of discourse that are distinguished in traditional psychiatry: depressive, hypomanic, hysterical, obsessive-compulsive, paranoid, schizotypic, neurasthenic.

The demarcation of character accentuation vs norm vs pathologyat different times was of a different nature. We are exploring the main scientific paradigms and their approaches to the study of this phenomenon: the naturalistic one, inherent for the era of positivism, the activity one and the linguistic one.

Positivism. Scientific discourse traditionally implied a naturalistic approach, a subject-object paradigm, which was called “positivism” or the "Cartesian moment" (Foucault). It was formed in XVI-XVII. The era of positivism brought into the world the revolutionary myth of an ideal society with ​​an universal health, blossoming under the total control of medicine. However, the utopia of the enlightened healthy society – has a downside: its implementation is impossible without empowering the medicine its compulsory and even punitive function. The patient is supposed not to interfere with a doctor deal who, like an auto mechanic, is looking for a breakdown in the car. D. Vitulkas, quotes Bloom (1960) and Carlson (1975): "The patient is considered  as a passive object of doctor’s intervention, who knows better what the matter is." "The patient is seen as a failure mechanism."

The distinction between the deviant and the normal person is based on social criteria and its demarcation is of a conventional nature. It’s evident when we try to characterize "health" and disease ".  Disease - "evasion from the norm, frustration."  Manu Kotkhari and Lop Mehta write that "Medicine is still not able to determine what constitutes the norm, either it is blood sugar or blood pressure." Despite the lack of norm determination, doctors have to use this "conditional measure", otherwise they would not be able to make practical decisions, for example, to write out ballots, referrals to hospitals and so on.

The discreditation of the methods of psychotherapy was caused by the so-called experiment of David Rosenkhan. Rozenkhan proved that it is not possible to identify a mental disease. In 1973  35 volunteers in the United States decided to simulate a mental disease and went to a psychiatric clinic. Doctors were unable to diagnose them aright, and incriminated them a diagnosis of schizophrenia. That proves the failure of psychiatry methods which disqualified themselves. Therefore, scientists have to borrow methods from other disciplines, extrapolate them for the right diagnose and correction of patients.

Activity approach. At the present time, the activity approach is actively entering at the forefront of science, displacing positivism. In science, the activity-based approach presupposes the rejection of Aristotelian logic, consisting in constructing a logically-consistent, not contradictory system, but in the "practical implementation" of that syste. The activity approach offers an alternative description of the world and other performative logic. Instead of the traditional positivistic dyad: the subject-object, activity approach implies this triad: the goal-the means-is the result.

 Another feature is multidisciplinarity, the refusal of the professional particularism. The analysis must begin not with a separate and isolated science, but with the all forms of human thought activity, with the syncretic and undivided cognition.                                                

The primary principles of this approach were formulated by Karl Marx in the "Theses on Feuerbach": “The task of any science is not to study the reality any more, but to transform it into our own needs”.       

The main method of the activity approach is psychotechnics, directing the psyche of the patient to the right track. A pragmatic criterion for demarcating the norm vs the pathology is the category of relevance.

Linguistic approach. The current state of all human sciences is directly connected with linguistics, a science that studies language as a means of communication and thinking.

According to the Sapir and Whorf’s "linguistic relativity hypothesis" there is a linguistic practice between the subject and objective reality that creates our representations and the constitutive picture of the world. It is not reality that gives rise to language, but reality is generated by language itself.  “It is quite an illusion to imagine that one adjusts to reality essentially without the use of language and that language is merely an incidental means of solving specific problems in communication or reflection. The fact of the matter is that the “real world” is to a large extent unconsciously built up on the language habits of the group. No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached.” (Sapir 1929).  “The central idea behind their theory is that language is not merely a tool for reporting experience, but more importantly it is a shaper of ideas. In other words, a language does not merely record and transmit perceptions and thoughts; it actually helps to shape them. Language controls the way we think and perceive the world. It is the guide for our mental activity. Since people exist in space and time, it is difficult to stand back and objectively view them as means of communication” [1].

Any knowledge of the world is initially available to us in a transcendentally coded form (Kant). Any cognizant subject does not have the direct contact with the world. It is our language that allows us to see this world. Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein's thesis sais: "The limits of my language are the the limits of our knowledge, skills and abilities to use them". 

Thereby so-called "linguistic revolution" has been accomplished in the epistemology of humanitarian cognition. In the 1970s a well-known sociologist Jurgen Habermas lectured at the University of Pristina the lecture course "The Linguistic Foundation of Sociology." In psychology, and in psychiatry in particular, we also observe a "linguistic revolution". Michel Foucault, studying clinical discourses, wrote in his work “Maladie mentale et personnalité” ("Mental Illness and Personality"): "... only through the tricks of the language we can give the same meaning to" illness of the body "and" illness of the spirit ".

The linguistic approach to psychological phenomena has caused the emergence of such interdisciplinary areas of knowledge as psycholinguistics and psychosemiotics. Psychosemiology treats a person as a linguistic sign of  binary nature which is composed of form and content, the signifier and the signified (Ferdinand de Saussure). Any person has an external side (body) and an inner psychic reality (soul). Psychosemiology considers  some body sign as symptoms - and find for them some hidden meanings. For example, the external (physiological) expression - the neuralgia of the facial nerve, could hide the repressed memory of the slap, being its metonymic substitution (that is the sign-index).

II. Psychosemiotics approach to the demarcation of character accentuation vs norm vs pathologypostulates the presumption of the person "normality" and adequacy. The disease is not constituted by the patient's personality, but by a pathological discourse into which the patient may be unconsciously involved: the family one or professional one. Referring to the philosophical analysis of the concept of "language games" by Ludwig Wittgenstein, we argue that psychopathological practices are only language games: "It is not the person who is mentally ill, but the text created by him is." It’s not a person, but a text, caused by various pathological language games, assumes "illness".

Psychosemiology denies the concept of the "psychological norm" in its model, eidic meaning. The demarcation of the norm and pathology is due to the degree of modality expressing and the relevance of discourse. There are "objective" neurotic, hysterical, psychopathic and other worlds, as well as there are worlds (or pictures of the world) of Russians, French, Chinese. A healthy person, however, can not possess no character. He is either a sanguine (cycloid), or a psychasthenic, or a schizoid, or an epileptoid, or obsessive-compulsive, or hysterical. At the same time, it can be normal, that is, the features inherent to these characters are accentuated in a weak degree.   Each of us perceives reality in his own way, in his own modality. It depends on the kind of our psychic constitution (character). So, for example, the axiological modality expression - "How good to live!" - will indicate a hypomaniacal mood, and the opposite - "How bad it’s all!" - a depressive one.

Characteristics of clinical types of discourse. We will examine each of the pathological discourses listed above, and the correlation between them and objective reality through the Frege’s Semantic Triangle.

1. Language of depression and melancholy. This type of pathology is characterized by a reduction in vision and hearing, which is related to the desemantization. Derogation of the matter corresponds to derogation of the sign. Starting from the Frege’s Semantic Triangle contrasting of the meaning and the denotate, we note that the depressed person, though, distinguishes the meaning (denotatum) of the utterance, but its sens becomes indifferent to him.

The second peculiarity of depressive thinking is its non- transitivity. Melancholic, unlike paranoiac, is alienated from objects. They are not within the range of its visibility and do not get in his sight.

 As our reality is a semiotic formation, then the desemiotic reality ceases to exist. That is a thing unperceived  significally can’t be perceived at all.

The failure and insolvency of psychoanalytic psychotherapy in the treatment of depressive disorders are caused by the fact that the depressive person must be taken out from his withdrawn narrowed desemitized world into a new, large semiotic world. While psychoanalysis always pulls the patient back into the past, psychosemiotics methods teach a depressed person to use anew the extraverted language of the world, that is, a semiotic view of the world.

2. Language of paranoia. A paranoid, a psychotic is opposed to a melancholic, a depressed person. He multiplies things and signs, gives them an extra importance - hypersemiotization of reality. There is an increased vigilance to all manifestations of reality, which may be clues of his “rightness”.  

3. The language of schizophrenia. In the case of schizophrenia, the sign, the denotation, the meaning - everything is mixed. The word and the thing cease to differ. From the point of view of a healthy mind observing the schizophrenic delirium, there are no denotate at all - hallucinations do not have any denotate.    

While the epileptoid’s or paranoid’s main defense mechanism is confirmation of their “rightness,” the schizoid’s one is denial of it. Schizoid is not looking for confirming the truth, the verity which already exists there, it rather refutes the established wisdom and seeking the new one. Schizoid misses one signified with an infinite number of signifiers. Schizoid need a big system of signifieds, comparable to the number of signifiers. He lives in a aletic and playful modality (la modalité ludique. fr.)

4. The language of hysteria. Hysteria is semiotic, there is a plan of expression (signified) and the plan of content (meaning). For example the malingering pain in the heart may act as the signified, the symptom that means the message: "my heart hurts". The symptom of hysteria may be metonymical substitution of the messages: “I have a headache” – “Give me a break”, “Let me alone”. It is important to restaurantwith symptoms of psychological nature from the physiological ones. T.Szasz said that “the hysterical symptom is the iconic expression of communication” (T.Szasz 1971). The organs of the body: hands, feet, head, heart are the mean of hysterical communication by the metonymic translation into verbal language. If the hysterical sign is iconic, paranoid sign is conventional.

5. The language of neurosis. Michel Foucault in "the History of madness, wrote that "a man gets his truth by falling into madness". This ambiguous expression may mean that the usual "normal" person lives in a world of illusions which are psychologically protective mechanisms. Neurotic is obsessed with finding the truth, even at the charge of his own mental comfort. In the book "Truth and reality" Otto Rank wrote: "The truth is impossible to live. A human life needs illusions, not only such as art, religion, philosophy, science and love, but inner illusions which cause external." (Rank, 2004).

6. Language of epileptoid. The epileptoid thinking lacks profound meditation, doubts. It is rectilinear, prone to overvalued ideas. Epileptoid lives in debitive modality. His discourse is transitive, the object is the range of norms, standards, directives coming from "authoritative" sources.

In this study we have established the classification of various types of clinical discourse in accordance with the criteria of modality, transitivity, subject – object of semiosis, the type of sign. We have substantiated the urgency of the practical implementation of this method in various kinds of psychological and clinical practices. The results of the study can be used in psychology, psychiatry as a diagnostic tool in personality characteristics.

In this study we have established the demarcation of character accentuation vs norm vs pathologybased on the  psychosemiological method. We have considered the different modern approaches to this phenomena: the naturalistic one (positivism), the  activity one and  the linguistic one. We also  have established classification of various types of clinical discourse in accordance with the criteria of modality, transitivity, subject – object of semiosis, the type of sign and substantiated the urgency of the practical implementation of this method in various kinds of psychological and clinical practices. The results of the study can be used in psychology, psychiatry as a diagnostic tool in personality characteristics.

 

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Comments: 5

Dolgova Valentina Ivanovna

Уважаемая Мария! Большое спасибо за проделанную работу. Я непременно буду советовать аспирантам читать вашу статью.

Atamanchuk Petro

В статье рассмотрены современные подходы к лингвистическому явлению. Установлена удачная классификация различных видов клинического разговора в соответствии с критериями модальности. Бесспорно результаты изучения могут быть использованы в психологии, психиатрия как диагностический инструмент в характеристиках личности.

Atamanchuk Petro

В статье рассмотрены современные подходы к лингвистическому явлению. Установлена удачная классификация различных видов клинического разговора в соответствии с критериями модальности. Бесспорно результаты изучения могут быть использованы в психологии, психиатрия как диагностический инструмент в характеристиках личности.

Dyuldina Zhanna

Уважаемый автор, спасибо за интересные данные, есть над чем подумать, в плане междисциплинарного подхода.

Agzamov Rifkat Raisovich

Уважаемый автор! Вы представили достаточно интересное исследование, позволяющее выявить патохарактерологические особенности личности на основе психосемиотических методов. Данное исследование представляет интерес для специалистов в области клинической психологии. Полученные автором результаты носят репрезентативный характер и могут выступить в качестве концептуально-теоретической основы в изучении акцентуации характера и её проявлений в процессах жизнедеятельности человека.
Comments: 5

Dolgova Valentina Ivanovna

Уважаемая Мария! Большое спасибо за проделанную работу. Я непременно буду советовать аспирантам читать вашу статью.

Atamanchuk Petro

В статье рассмотрены современные подходы к лингвистическому явлению. Установлена удачная классификация различных видов клинического разговора в соответствии с критериями модальности. Бесспорно результаты изучения могут быть использованы в психологии, психиатрия как диагностический инструмент в характеристиках личности.

Atamanchuk Petro

В статье рассмотрены современные подходы к лингвистическому явлению. Установлена удачная классификация различных видов клинического разговора в соответствии с критериями модальности. Бесспорно результаты изучения могут быть использованы в психологии, психиатрия как диагностический инструмент в характеристиках личности.

Dyuldina Zhanna

Уважаемый автор, спасибо за интересные данные, есть над чем подумать, в плане междисциплинарного подхода.

Agzamov Rifkat Raisovich

Уважаемый автор! Вы представили достаточно интересное исследование, позволяющее выявить патохарактерологические особенности личности на основе психосемиотических методов. Данное исследование представляет интерес для специалистов в области клинической психологии. Полученные автором результаты носят репрезентативный характер и могут выступить в качестве концептуально-теоретической основы в изучении акцентуации характера и её проявлений в процессах жизнедеятельности человека.
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