Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University Bulletin, 2017, No.4, pp.209-222

Linguosemiotic analysis of the correlation of concept and notion (case study of scientific and popular scientific discourse)

Krapivkina O. A. 1 (Irkutsk, Russian Federation)
1 Irkutsk National Research Technical University

Introduction. The article deals with the correlation of two terms gaining popularity in current linguistic studies – concept and notion. The novelty of the research is not only due to the problem statement, but to the possibility to apply its results when analyzing the communication efficiency for discourse expert communities. The purpose of the research is to analyze the approaches to their correlation and find out criteria forming the basis of their identification or opposition. The topicality of the research is due to the need for differentiating between these two terms as far as the issue has not been solved by modern linguists yet. The article also aims to analyze the correlation of concept and notion based on knowledge development theory suggested by A. Kaplunenko. The author analyzes two viewpoints which can be presented as 1) concept = notion, 2) concept ≠ notion.
Materials and methods. The material used for analysis is the texts of modern scientific and scientific and popular discourse published in the Internet. The author uses two main methods in the research – comparison of approaches and theoretical views and analysis of factual material.
Results. In linguistic works, the concept and notion are both identified and distinguished. The proponents of the first approach believe that the concept is the same phenomenon as the notion and their differentiation is irrelevant. The proponents of the second viewpoint describe their relations based on different oppositions: sensual vs. mental, scientific vs. naïve nature, generality vs. individuality, etc.
Conclusion. Based on the theory of knowledge evolution, the article concludes that the notion is a mental unit with clear semantic boundaries while the concept is a result of phenomenological individual experience. The author also emphasizes that the concept and the notion have different scope and content: a large scope and poor content of the concept vs a limited scope and dense content of the notion. The communication of expert communities must be organized only around the notion which enables mutual understanding and compromise.


Concept; Notion; Phenomenological characteristics; Conceptual feature; Scope and content of the notion; Configuration of characteristics; Identity of signs; Meaningful boundaries

  1. Alefirenko N. Formation and development of discourse linguistic theory. Xlinguae, 2014, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 32–44. URL:  
  2. Alefirenko N. Language as a state of ethno-cultural consciousness. Xlinguae, 2015, vol. 8, issue 3, pp. 2–18. DOI:
  3. Beardsworth R. Towards a critical concept of the statesperson. Journal of International Political Theory, 2016, vol. 13, issue 1, pp. 100–121. DOI:
  4. Boldyrev N. N., Dubrovskaya O. G. Sociocultural commitment of cognitive linguistics via dimensions of context. Ilha do Desterro, 2016, vol. 69, no. 1, pp. 173–182. DOI:
  5. Desautels-Stein J. The market as a legal concept. Buffalo Law Review, 2012, vol. 60, pp. 387. URL:
  6. Kravchenko A. V. Two views on language ecology and ecolinguistics. Language Sciences, 2016, vol. 54, pp. 102–113. DOI:
  7. Kravchenko A. V. Language as human ecology: A new agenda for linguistic education. New Ideas in Psychology, 2016, vol. 42, pp. 14–20. DOI:
  8. Lotz C.Is capital a thing? Remarks on Piketty’s concept of capital. Critical Sociology, 2014, vol. 41 (2), pp. 375–383. URL:
  9. Navot D. Real politics and the concept of political corruption. Political Studies Review, 2015, vol.  14 (4), pp. 544–554.  DOI:
  10. Plotnikova S. N. Cognitive scenarios of discourse of deception. Journal of Siberian Federal University, 2013, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 589–602. URL:
  11. Alefirenko N. F. Concept – notion – category in the light of modern lingvocognitive science. Belgorod State University Scientific Bulletin. Humanitites, 2010, vol. 7, no. 18, pp. 5–12. (In Russian) URL:
  12. Babushkin A. P. The types of language signs in the semiotic aspect. Issues of Cognitive Linguistics, 2005, vol. 2, pp. 5–13. (In Russian) URL:  
  13. Belyaev D. A. Definition and meaning of the concept in modern culturphilosofy. Modern Problems of Science and Education, 2012, no. 1, pp. 4–6. (In Russian) URL: 
  14. Boldyrev N. N. Cognitive schemas of linguistic interpretation. Issues of Cognitive Linguistics, 2016, no. 4, pp. 10–20. (In Russian) DOI:
  15. Boldyrev N. N. Problems of verbal communication in cognitive perspective. Issues of Cognitive Linguistics, 2017, no. 2, pp. 5–14. (In Russian) DOI:
  16. Boldyrev N. N. Cognitive linguistics. Moscow, Berlin, Direct-Media Publ., 2016, 252 p. (In Russian) URL:  
  17. Vorkachev S. G. A Beautiful mind: Intelligence in humorous discourse. Lingvoculturology, 2016, no. 10, pp. 26–51. (In Russian) URL:  
  18. Demyankov V. Z. Cognition and understanding of text. Issues of Cognitive Linguistics, 2005, no. 3, pp. 5–10. (In Russian) URL:
  19. Demyankov V. Z. On cognition, culture and civilization in knowledge transfer. Issues of Cognitive Linguistics, 2016, no. 4 (49), pp. 5–9. (In Russian) DOI: 
  20. Kaplunenko А. М. From the concept to the term: Semiotic evolution of the nomination ‘Federal / Federalism'. ISLU Philological Review, 2012, no. 2s (18), pp. 16–21. (In Russian) URL:  
  21. Kaplunenko А. М. The course of discourse: Nailing the foucalt colors to the mast of discourse analysis. Vestnik of Irkutsk State Linguistic University, 2013, no. 4 (25), pp. 9–15. (In Russian) URL:
  22. Krapivkina O. A. Concept vs. notion: Phenomenologism vs. conventionalism. Journal Vektor Nauki of Togliatti State University, 2016, no. 1 (35), pp. 95–98. (In Russian) DOI:   
  23. Krapivkina O. A. Analysis of discourses as forms of social interaction (a case study of court shows). Vestnik Tomskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta, Filologiya, 2017, no. 46, pp. 21–30. (In Russian) URL:
  24. Lassan E. R. Farewell – a sorrowful word (Farewell – a genre, a concept, a speech act?). Journal of People’s Friendship University. Series: Linguistics, 2015, no. 3, pp. 7–21. (In Russian) URL:
  25. Maslova V. A. The concept as a way of studying culture through language. Relevant Issues of Philology and Education Linguistics, 2012, no. 14, pp. 20–25. (In Russian) URL:
  26. Nikitin M. V.Derived notions of the concept. Voprosy Kognitivnoi Lingvistiki, 2004, no. 1, pp. 53–64. (In Russian) URL:
  27. Plotnikova S. N. Conceptual analysis as a procedure for the study of social intellect. Vestnik of Irkutsk State Linguistic University, 2012, no. 2, p. 193–200. (In Russian) URL:
Date of the publication 31.08.2017