Psycholinguistic Meanings of Playfulness


  • Iia Gordienko-Mytrofanova
  • Iuliia Kobzieva
  • Serhii Sauta Hryhorii Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, Ukraine



playfulness, psycholinguistic meaning, psycholinguistic experiment, free association experiment, semantic interpretation.


The aim of the article is to describe psycholinguistic meanings of the word-stimulus “playfulness” in the linguistic world-image of the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine. The main method of the conducted research was the psycholinguistic experiment. The sample according to the criteria “gender” (males and females – included both age groups) and “age” (18-35 and 36-60) included 1,600 respondents with 400 people in each sub-group of respondents. The overall number of reactions to stimulus “playfulness” comprised 1,600 associative reactions with 475 unique associations including word combinations and sentences, where 159 reactions have frequency over 1,316 individual associations, and 0 refusals. The semantic interpretation of the results of the free association test made it possible to single out 19 psycholinguistic meanings, 12 out of them accounted for more than 1%: 1) “cheerful and joyful state”, 2) “intention to attract the attention of the opposite or one’s own sex”, 3)  “child-like spontaneity”, 4) “agility, physical activity of an animal”, 5) “daring and provocative behavior”, 6) “agility, physical behavior of a human being”, 7) “ease”, 8) “changeability”, 9) “behavior during a sexual intercourse”, 10) “carelessness”, 11) “mental activity”, 12) “deliberate deceit”. Taking into account the respondents’ verbal behavior, the following components of playfulness were identified: flirting, impishness, humor, fugue (eccentricity), ease, imagination. The formulated psycholinguistic meanings of playfulness can be fully considered as such that give the most adequate and reliable model of the systemic significance of the studied word and which reflects the reality of linguistic consciousness.


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Author Biographies

Iia Gordienko-Mytrofanova

Iuliia Kobzieva

Serhii Sauta, Hryhorii Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, Ukraine




How to Cite

Iia Gordienko-Mytrofanova, Iuliia Kobzieva, & Serhii Sauta. (2019). Psycholinguistic Meanings of Playfulness. East European Journal of Psycholinguistics, 6(1), 19–31.



Vol 6 No 1 (2019)