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Widespread Idioms in Europe and Beyond

Toward a Lexicon of Common Figurative Units

Series:

Elisabeth Piirainen

This groundbreaking book in theoretical and empirical phraseology research looks at Europe’s linguistic situation as a whole, including 74 European and 17 non-European languages. The occurrence of idioms that actually share the same lexical and semantic structure across a large number of languages has never been demonstrated so clearly before Widespread Idioms in Europe and Beyond. This book answers significant questions regarding hitherto vague ideas about the phraseological similarities between European languages and their cultural foundation, ranging from intertextuality, aspects of European mental, material, and social culture, to culturally based perception of natural phenomena. This inventory, which analyzes 190 out of a total of 380 widespread idioms and includes maps, is valuable for academic teaching and further research in the fields of phraseology and figurative language, areal and contact linguistics, and European cultural studies.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

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Preface ............................................................................................................ 1 List of Participants ........................................................................................ 5 1 Europe and Europe-wide Linguistic Studies ........................................ 9 1.1 The Concept of Europe: General Remarks and the Perspective of Widespread Idioms ........................................................... 9 1.1.1 Europe: Name and Continent ......................................................... 9 1.1.2 Europe in the Context of Widespread Idioms ............................... 11 1.2 Multilingual Approaches to Europe’s Linguistic Diversity.................... 13 1.2.1 Early Europe-wide Linguistic Studies .......................................... 13 1.2.2 Linguistic Typology ...................................................................... 14 1.2.3 Eurolinguistics .............................................................................. 16 1.2.4 Figurative Units in Europe-wide Linguistic Studies ..................... 17 1.3 Figurative Language in a European Framework .................................... 19 1.3.1 Metaphors ..................................................................................... 19 1.3.2 Paremiology .................................................................................. 20 1.3.3 Idiom Research ............................................................................. 22 1.4 Europeme, Euroversal, Europeanism or Internationalism? ................... 25 1.4.1 Linguistic Typology ...................................................................... 25 1.4.2 Lexicology ..................................................................................... 26 1.4.3 Phraseology .................................................................................. 27 2 Conventional Figurative Language ..................................................... 31 2.1 Idioms, Figurative One-word Units and Proverbs .................................. 31 2.1.1 Figurative Units: Preliminary Remarks ....................................... 31 2.1.2 Figurative Idioms.......................................................................... 33 2.1.3 Figurative One-word Units ........................................................... 34 2.1.4 Figurative Proverbs ...................................................................... 38 2.1.5 Subcategories of Widespread Idioms ............................................ 42 2.2 Cultural Foundation: Toward a Macro-structure of the Lexicon of Common Figurative Units .................................................... 44 2.2.1 The Problem of Grouping Figurative Units ................................. 44 2.2.2 Culture: A Constant Element of Figurative Units ........................ 47 2.2.3 Motivation of Figurative Units ..................................................... 48 2.2.4 Etymology of Figurative Units ...................................................... 51 2.3 Intertextuality ......................................................................................... 54 2.3.1 The Term Intertextuality ............................................................... 54 2.3.2 Manifestation of Intertextuality in Widespread Idioms ................ 55 Widespread Idioms in Europe and Beyond viii 3 Widespread Idioms in Europe and Beyond: Theoretical Approach .......................................................................... 59 3.1 Criteria and Working Definition of Widespread Idioms ........................ 59 3.1.1 The Six Criteria ............................................................................ 59 3.1.2 The Definition ............................................................................... 61 3.2 Explanation of the Criteria ..................................................................... 62 3.2.1 Geographical Distance ................................................................. 62 3.2.2 Genetic...

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