Widespread Idioms in Europe and Beyond. Volume II
The book continues the work of Widespread Idioms in Europe and Beyond (2012) and also brings new insights into the similarities of the European languages. Using comprehensive data from 78 European and some non-European languages, another 280 “widespread idioms” have been analyzed in terms of their distribution and origins. They are arranged according to their source domains (for example, performing arts, sports, history, war, technology, money, folk belief, medical skills, gestures, and nature). Among them are very modern layers of a common figurative lexicon, including quotes of personalities of recent times. Thorough research on the sources of these idioms goes beyond the entries in relevant reference works and brings new and unpredictable results. All of the data in this book adds new knowledge to the fields of language and culture. We now know which Europe-wide common idioms actually constitute a “Lexicon of Common Figurative Units” and which chronological and cultural layers they may be assigned to. The question about the causes of the wide spread of idioms across many languages now can partly be answered.
About the author(s)/editor(s)
Elisabeth Piirainen received her Ph.D. in German philology and linguistics from the University of Münster, Germany. She has been a lecturer at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and a leader of projects on dialect research in Westphalia, Germany. She has written 10 books and 130 articles. One focus of her work is idioms of endangered languages; cf. her two-volume study on phraseology of a Low German basis dialect (2000) and her (co)editorship of Endangered Metaphors (2012) and Language Endangerment (2015). Other topics are theory of conventional figurative language, idiom motivation, cultural foundation of figurative lexical units, and her large-scale research project “Widespread Idioms in Europe and Beyond.”
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