Political Labels in Modern Russian Political Media Discourse

2019. № 1, 44-57

Alexandr P. Skovorodnikov, Galina A. Kopnina, Siberian Federal University (Russia, Krasnoyarsk), skapnat@mail.ru, kopnin@mail.ru


The article states absence of uniform understanding of the term ‘verbal labels’ and determines that neutral and positively evaluated characteristics of a subject were erroneously classified as verbal labels. Based on the analyses of formation methods for more than 200 verbal labels represented in political media discourse, and recognition of its common attributes, the authors specified the definition of the term ‘political label’. Two complementary classifications of labels that are used in modern political media discourse were suggested. The first classification is founded on a discredited object, or target (in this case targets are the following: political dignitaries and protagonists of a particular ideology, ideology itself, nation, geographical features such as countries and cities); the second one is built upon the time of their appearance and functioning (labels of pre-Soviet, Soviet and post-Soviet times; the authors note occurrence of such political labels which function for a long time during several different time periods). The article also raises a question concerning the need to study evaluative antonymic correlates of political labels — political glorifiers, or apologetic means. According to the authors’ opinion, extensive use of axiological antipodes in political media discourse reflects violent social and political confrontations in Russian society which is fraught with diminishment of the state’s security. Research results could be used not only by experts in the field of political linguistics and media linguistics but also by those who develop political discourse in Russia.