Pejorative Connotation of Proverbs and Sayings with Zoonym in the Russian, German and Tatar Languages

  •  Liya G. Yusupova    
  •  Olga D. Kuzmina    


The problem of the interaction of language and culture is of interest to many scientists nowadays. Proverbs and sayings are units which contain bits of folk wisdom, values and beliefs of the nation. One of the ways to study a culture is to analyze its proverbs and sayings. The aim of the study was to compare paremiological units, namely proverbs and sayings, with zoonym components of three typologically unrelated languages: Russian, German and Tatar. The article deals with proverbs and sayings with the names of domestic animals only. In the study we used such methods as descriptive, structural, interpretative, continuous sampling method and statistical method. The analysis of the selected material revealed 847 Russian, 386 German and Tatar 1634 proverbs and sayings with the domestic animal components, 20 zoonyms in total, including names of birds. The study showed that paremiological units with the names of domestic animals in some cases carry the same connotative semes, mostly pejorative, in all three languages. However, the same component of proverbs in a particular language may have the opposite meaning depending on the speech situation. Such pejorative connotative semes as [stupidity, ignorance], [idleness, laziness], [cowardice], [greed] and etc. were revealed in numerous Russian, German and Tatar proverbs and sayings. The materials of the study may be used in cultural linguistics, cognitive linguistics, cultural studies and phraseology.

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