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Ethnoculture and National Communication Style

Department of Ethnolinguistics

Period: 2014-2016

Type of project: collective

Funding: budgetary (BAS)

Principal Investigator: Assoc. Prof. N. Pavlova.

Participants: Assoc. Prof. N. Pavlova, Assoc. prof. M. Kitanova.


The project focuses on the study of the national verbal communicative style, which can be defined as a set of historically established and traditional features of the language used by native speakers. The most important extralinguistic factor that forms the communicative style is the type of culture and its most important characteristics. The features of the culture prompt the native speakers to express their thoughts clearly, without ambiguity, to be concise or lengthy, to freely express emotions or to restrain from that, to strictly observe personal space within communication or to ignore it, etc. What is a feature of one culture is often unacceptable in another. That is why the famous Gricean Maxims formulated for individualist and low-context cultures, as well as the Politeness maxims of Geoffrey Leech, can not be applied to the same extent to collectivist and high-context cultures such as Bulgarian or other Slavic or Balkan cultures, since this type of culture predetermines other communicative features that form a different communicative style. That is why it is interesting not to look for universal features of communicative behaviour, but to systematise and summarise the national cultural characteristics of communication through the features of the national communicative style, which is important both theoretically and practically. The project also includes research on aggression as a linguistic phenomenon, whose ethnocultural specificity is represented in the linguistic consciousness and the communicative behaviour of the linguistic community and can be traced through their study. The generic concept of verbal aggression involves a variety of language phenomena which, in the context of spoken interaction, constitute a violation of norms and a violation of the dialogue. They enable the speaker to self-assert and gain power, and participate in the formation of social and linguistic ideologies and speech practices. The study provides for the recording and analysis of
derogatory and contemptuous words, of verbal means that contradict the institutional and acceptable norms of communication in order to harm the communicative position and self-assessment of the other person. The work aims to identify the lexical-grammatical structures that act as markers of aggression and, above all, to clarify the reasons for their choice as a speech tactic.


Cultural Strategies and Communication Practice. Period: 2017-2019. Principal investigator: Assoc. Prof. N. Pavlova. Participants: Assoc. Prof. N. Pavlova, Assoc. Prof. M. Kitanova.

From the Joke to the Abuse – Descriptive Analysis of Abusive Words in Conflicts. Period: 2017-2019. Principal investigator: Assoc. Prof. N. Pavlova.

Presentation of the results: A monograph, a collection of articles.