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Living by the Golden Rule: Mentor – Scholar – World Citizen

A Festschrift for Wolfgang Mieder’s 75th Birthday

Edited By Andreas Nolte and Dennis Mahoney

This Festschrift for Wolfgang Mieder, preeminent paremiologist and folklorist, combines personal tributes and scholarly papers by colleagues, friends, and former students – presented in three categories that address his roles as a mentor, scholar, and world citizen over many decades.

The central scholarly section likewise consists of three parts. The papers dealing with proverbs examine them as patterns, stereotypes, rhetorical devices, media for self-enchantment, and means of allusion in works by Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, Chukovskaya, and Kempowski. A second group deals with fairy-tale motifs in literary works by Lehmann, Rabinowich, and Hummel. A third section includes topics ranging from James Bond to Stephen King, from runaway slaves to the Holocaust, and literature as cultural ecology.

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There’s no X, only Y


A Corpus-based Study of German and English Proverb Patterns

Abstract: This paper discusses new perspectives for a usage-based paremiology from a corpus-linguistic point of view. Using the example of proverb patterns, it shows different degrees of fixedness and proverb quality in German-English contrast. An interesting insight is that proverb similarities and differences can also be described by restrictions of semi-abstract schemes.

1. Corpus linguistics meets paremiology

The proverb lives on. A quick glanvce at the world of new media is enough to see the endless creativity of fixed sentences. New media revive these old (not old-fashioned) text types. The colloquial forms of Internet communication resemble spoken language and this could be an explanation for the growing number of proverbs and slogans on Internet platforms, Facebook, Twitter etc. Speakers/writers use proverbs to reflect upon their messages and to comment on problems of everyday life, politics, culture and sports. Huge text databases of modern written language (electronic corpora) show the vitality of proverbs in the 21st century as well. If one needs proof for this, I recommend consulting the proverb frequency lists that we have compiled in the context of our exhaustive empirical proverb studies during the last years. These lists are results of complex iterative search procedures that we developed based on the German Reference Corpus DeReKo (cf. Institut für Deutsche Sprache 2017).1 We distinguish between search procedures based on narrow queries (fixed components, fixed syntax, no variance regarding inflections, word...

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