Set of Problems Studied by KYIV SCHOOL OF PHONETICS


Theoretical Basis for Studying Speech Energetics

While elaborating the theoretical basis for a scientific description of a complex synergetic system that reflects the communication energetic picture we have carried out its differentiation into the following three global subsystems within which its problems are currently being solved:

1) energetics of written or oral speech manifestation;

2) energetics of communicants’ instinctive neuromuscular activities;

3) energetics of communicants’ psycho-physiological processes of speaking-and-thinking and thinking-and-speaking.

In this regard, proceeding from the fundamental principle of preserving the utterance emotional-and-pragmatic potential (гіперпосилання на принцип в концепції),

we envisaged the necessity to consider all the processes of communicants’ speaking-and-thinking and thinking-and-speaking activities, taking into account the vector nature of the energy components’ interaction in psycho-physiological acts of definite speech segments generation.

The phenomena of speech production and accompanying actions have been described with the help of a conventional vector model that reflects the following algorithm for sequential activation of energy flows in the individual’s psychic sphere, aimed at: physiological processes of the addressee’s speaking-and-thinking activities → processes of the addressee’s instinctive neuromuscular activities → processes of the addressee’s written or oral speech materialization. In the vector model of speech decoding the energy activation of these processes were considered in the reverse order, i.e. as directed at processes of the recipient’s speech perception → processes of the recipient’s instinctive neuromuscular activities → physiological processes of the recipient’s speaking-and-thinking activities.

Methodological background for Speech Energetics Research
As the initial methodological precondition to systematize the traditional objects of phonetic studies, which usually form certain classes or groups of utterances, we developed a generalized classification of their types, differentiated into two enlarged fragments [Калита 2001, p. 209-211]. The first generalized fragment of this classification embraces three main classes of utterance features, grouped according to the criteria of their functionality, communicative situation and utterance logical-and-content structure. The second alternative fragment, directly related to the selected object of the research, includes a classification of emotional and pragmatic factors, creating the meaning of a definite type of utterance; the factors being considered from the standpoint of succession of changed states of an object or objects under study.

The generalized model [Калита 2001, p. 193-204] of linguistic and paralinguistic means’ interaction in realizing emotional utterances, which also includes the algorithm describing their influence on utterance meaning, served as an important theoretical and methodological background aimed at structuring the logic of considering energetic phenomena of speech generation and decoding.


The logic of deepening the understanding of implementation of the above mentioned primary principle of speech energetics theory within the synergetic system of communication was interpreted by the generalized model, representing the energy redistribution of the utterance emotional and pragmatic potential among the means of its actualization [Калита, Клименюк 2004, p. 70-74; Калита 2007, p. 5-12].

On the basis of the principle of “conservation”, reflecting the ability of an utterance, which is realized by the speaker in a definite emotional state, to preserve its pragmatic potential due to its internal redistribution between the semantic elements of emotional utterance, we have proved [Калита 2003, p. 7-13; Калита 2001, p. 148-153; Калита 2007, p. 35-39] a fundamentally new functional-and-level approach to the analysis of emotions and pragmatics’ interaction in generating the utterance meaning. The universal integrative model of the interaction of factors, generating the utterance meaning in the coordinates “emotion – pragmatic function” [Kalita 2007, p. 55-58] served as a basic methodological tool for the mentioned approach implementation. The application of this model resulted in theoretical justification of alternative models of fields, depicting the interaction of emotional and pragmatic factors that influence the speaker’s production of the utterance meaning, as well as the space, representing the interaction of pragmatics, emotion and utterance meaning in the coordinates “communicative function – emotion – meaning” [Калита 2007, p. 35-39]. Following these grounds we have also modeled definite spaces that reflect the interaction of emotional-and-pragmatic factors and the meaning within the speech space actualizing utterances, which differ in their complexity and prosodic organization.

Modeling of a stochastic mechanism that actualizes pragmatics of emotional utterances by communicants [Калита 1999, p. 43-47; Калита 2001, p. 147-153] was another important step in the formation of scientific concepts of speech energetic theory. The obtained model, representing the mechanism of the speaker’s choice of means that realize the pragmatics of emotional utterances, allowed us to consider the process of its generation in the coordinates “pragmatic task of communication – actualization of the utterance meaning – speaker’s actions”, which respectively form the plane of intentions as well as the plane of linguistic and extralinguistic factors [Калита 2001, p. 148-150; Калита 2007, p. 37]. Within these coordinates we also modeled typical spaces of utterances’ actualization in speech [Калита 2001, p. 152; Калита 2007, p. 38].

In the course of speech energetics theory elaboration we viewed the suggested in paper [Калита 2008, p. 49] notion of phonoconcept as a specific cognitive entity, formed on the basis of a person’s communicative experience, that comprises a content minimum of knowledge, and is capable (1) of being stored in an individual’s long-term memory in the form of a sound image or symbol as well as (2) of being reproduced in speech with the help of definite phonetic structures. Besides, we advanced a hypothetical assumption that the individual’s phonoconcept sphere represents a set of archetypal phonoconcept-prototypes, in the scope of which there is a definite number of phonoconcepts-analogues, associatively related to the phonoconcept-prototype. These phonoconcepts-analogues actually form the phonoconcepts thesaurus, or perceptual basis of the language. Considering the abovementioned we substantiated the synergetic model of phonoconcept generation and self-development in the processes of production and decoding the utterance meaning by the communicants.

New techniques and methods of experimental research of speech energetics

The development of a comprehensive methodology [Клименюк, Калита, Федорів 2001, p. 3-17] of interdisciplinary experimental phonetic studies with the use of systemic matrices for registration of primary data obtained as a result of perceptual and acoustic analysis, served as a starting point of speech energetics experimental research.

To solve the problem of quantitative measurement of the level of utterance emotional-and-pragmatic potential as well as to define a differential scale of evaluation of experimental phonetic study of speech energetic phenomena [Калита, Тараненко 2012, p. 476-484] we have theoretically substantiated the dimensionless quantitative criterion (K) and experimentally established the intervals of its values, defining the levels of emotional-and-pragmatic potential of utterance actualization, as follows: low (up to 30 points), mid-range (K = 30–105 points) and high (more than 105 points).

In this view, we have formed [Калита, Тараненко 2009, p. 359-365] graphical models of energygrams, including intono-, picto-, emotional and pragmagrams, that reflect the dynamics of a complex interaction of energetic, linguistic and paralinguistic factors in the process of speech prosodic organization.

On the basis of the synthesis of the known [Клименюк 2010, p. 267-292] universal model, representing the interaction of micro- and macrocosms of the individual’s spiritual being in the process of his/her speaking-and-thinking activity as well as the method of constructing the above-mentioned energygrams we developed [Калита, Клименюк 2013, p. 16-25] a methodology for the analyses of the strategy of the utterance subliminal-and-communicative impact on the recipient.

The principal novelty of such an analysis methodology lies in the use of the justified method for constructing psycho-energygrams, which allows the researcher, irrespective of psycho-energygrams length along the time axis, to carry out an instrumental systematic study of energy phenomena, occurring in the processes of the individual’s generating and decoding oral or written speech as well as the study of individual specific acts of his/her speaking-and-thinking and thinking-and-speaking activities.

Proceeding from the postulation of a direct connection between (1) the processes of pauses generation and the speaker’s consciousness, subconscious and unconscious, (2) the ability of speech pauses’ psycho-physiological energy to excite the acts of cognitive thinking in the listener’s consciousness as well as (3) considering the presence of the latent manipulative-and-subliminal potential in pauses, we [Калита 2014, p. 72-78] deduced the dimensionless criterion of a pausal jump of emotional-and-pragmatic potential of the adjacent speech segments. This criterion allows one to give a quantitative assessment of the effect of weakening or strengthening of the emotional-and-pragmatic potential of the speech segment, preceding the pause, upon the next speech segment, which immediately indicates the subliminal influence / non-influence of a pause on triggering the recipient’s cognitive mechanisms.