Paralanguage in Natural Language Texts

2023. № 1, 45-65

Grigorii E. Kreidlin, Russian State University for the Humanities (Russia, Moscow),
Elena Ya. Shmeleva, Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia, Moscow),


In oral communication natural language is always combined with nonverbal signs of various nature, in particular paralanguage signs. The present paper describes usages and functions of lexical paralanguage units in Russian texts, mainly texts of anecdotes, where these units serve as a key to comic effect.
The article analyzes examples of nonverbal imitation of speech pathology and ethnic, social, professional and other peculiarities of human communicative behavior. The paper describes some functions of paralinguistic signs such as their ability to imitate specifi c acts of pronunciation, to substitute taboo speech units or to denote other real actions. The authors pay attention to the form, meaning and usage of paralanguage units in Russian. Some of the units regarded are supplied with semantic descriptions and with descriptions of spheres of their usage. The article establishes syntactic function of paralanguage units in dialogues.
Paralinguistic units constitute the class of so-called signalatives, which do not denote propositions but indicate peoples’ emotions or their mental activity.

For citation:

Kreidlin G. E., Shmeleva E. Ya. Paralanguage in Natural Language
Texts. Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2023. No. 1. Pp. 45–65.