Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University Bulletin, 2015, vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 79–91

Communicative situation of a scandal: semantics of plausibility

Khramtsova L. N. 1 (Novosibirsk, Russian Federation)
1 Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation

The article is devoted to the current tendencies in the semantics of a word scandal in the modern Russian language. The general idea of the article is that changes in the lexical meaning are influenced by ongoing social processes. The mass media discourse is studied because of the mass media and the Internet being the main environment of modern scandals emergence and spreading. The observed tendency in society is to present events with scandalous highlights. Based on the study of mass media texts it is stated that the word scandal expands its semantics, new semantic features appear that are not represented in dictionaries. Special attention is paid to the influence of the contextual environment on the formation of a positive connotation of the word: the author concludes that the word scandal shifts towards semantic fields “success”, “career” and “public relations”. A scandal, as a negative phenomenon meant to be concealed, turns into an attention attracting strategy.
The core components of the lexical meaning of the word scandal are discovered: an event should be new, shocking, sensational, it may be based on inaccurate information, it can serve the purpose of increasing the popularity or improving the rating of a scandal’s participant.


Semantics, active processes in language, communicative situation, scandal, conflict

For citation:
Khramtsova L. N. Communicative situation of a scandal: semantics of plausibility. Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University Bulletin, 2015, vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 79–91. DOI:
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Date of the publication 09.10.2015