Manifestation of Anthropocentrism in German Paremiology (based on the proverbs with contradictory meaning)

Research article
DOI:
https://doi.org/10.18454/RULB.2023.41.3
Issue: № 5 (41), 2023
Suggested:
21.02.2023
Accepted:
21.04.2023
Published:
10.05.2023
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Abstract

The article is devoted to the problem of anthropocentrism manifestation in German proverbs based on contradiction. The article considers such concepts as proverbs, contradiction, semantic field, semantic groups. The material for analysis is German proverbs with the elements of contradiction, forming a semantic field "Man" and a number of appropriate semantic groups. Having analyzed this material, we came to the conclusion that the majority of contradictory proverbs refers to the following semantic groups: "Feelings", "Reason", “Kinship” "Socio-economic status", "Health". Anthropocentrism is manifested in the fact that man becomes the object of linguistic teaching, a linguistic personality, which has many peculiar characteristics, allowing to reveal the laws of development of both language as a whole, and its speakers.

1. Introduction

The subject of the research in this paper is German proverbs with the elements of contradiction in the framework of the study of the semantic classification of proverbs.

The relevance of the study lies in the fact that in modern science, including linguistics, anthropocentrism is the leading principle of research. In the linguistics of the new times, the focus of attention is not language, but its carrier – a person.

The aim of the study is to identify the anthropocentric orientation of contradictory adverbs.

The scholarly novelty of the study lies in the fact that the anthropocentric orientation of proverbs is determined on the basis of German contradictory paremics.

2. Research methods and principles

In the process of writing, the following research methods were used: the analysis of dictionary definitions, the method of continuous sampling, the method of structural analysis.

3. Main results

After analyzing the German contradictory proverbs, we came to the conclusion that most of them belong to the semantic group “Feelings” (25%), followed by the semantic groups “Reason” (22%), “Kinship” (16%), "Socio-economic status" (12%), "Health" (9%). In the course of working on this problem, we also identified other semantic groups, such as "Labor" (6%), "Character" (4%), "Life" (3%), "Death" (2%), "Age" (1%).

The concept of "Feeling" occupies a key position in the life of any people and, accordingly, is reflected in folk oral art. The distinctive features of the German national character are rationality, organization, family life, diligence, which is expressed in proverbs.

4. Discussion

Paremiology (Old Greek Paroimia proverb, parable and logos word, teaching) is a subsection of phraseology, a branch of philology devoted to the study and classification of parables proverbs, sayings, riddles, signs and other sayings, whose main purpose is a brief figurative verbal expression of traditional values and views, based on the experience of the group, people, etc.

.

Accordingly, the term "paremia" is used as a generic term for various classes of folk aphorisms, primarily proverbs, riddles, omens. Of the whole class of parables, the most common and most studied are proverbs, so in this article we will consider mainly proverbs as material. It has long been noted that the wisdom and spirit of the people are manifested in its proverbs, and knowledge of the proverbs of this or that nation contributes not only to a better knowledge of the language, but also a better understanding of the way of thinking and character of the people

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In this paper, we selected only those proverbs that contain, to a greater or lesser extent, elements of contradiction by the method of continuous sampling.

The problem of contradiction is a basic category in many branches of scientific research: philosophy, logic, sociology, culturology, linguistics. Much attention to the problems of contradictions in language was given in the work of Yu. D. Apresyan "Linguistic Anomaly and Logical Contradictions" (1978). The scholar emphasizes that linguistic anomaly occurs in case of contradictions between lexical meaning and connotation, presupposition or modal frame, in case of contradictions between pragmatic or connotative aspects of the values of the combined units, and also in case of contradictions between their lexical and grammatical semantics

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B.T. Ganeev rather extensively discusses the term "contradiction" and introduces the concept of "allophrony", which includes the following signs: polysemy of the lexeme, presence of explicit contradiction, presence of implicit contradiction, presence of grammatical contradiction

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Thus, when selecting the contradictory proverbs, we relied, for the most part, on the theory proposed by B.T. Ganeev.

It should be noted that many proverbs are paradoxical in nature. So, Webster's Dictionary of the English Language (1913), besides the basic definition (an old, common saying, a maxim) notes that a proverb is "a striking or paradoxical statement".

The collected paremiological material allowed us to single out the semantic field "Man" with its constituent semantic groups.

The concept of the term "semantic field" goes back to G. Ipsen, who defines it as "a set of words united by a common meaning" [7, P. 210].

One of the first definitions of the semantic field was given by E. Koseriu: "The semantic field is in structural terms a lexical paradigm, which occurs in the segmentation of the lexical-semantic continuum into different segments corresponding to individual words of the language..."

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J. Trier distinguishes two types of fields: Begriffsfelder "conceptual fields" and Wortfelder "lexical fields", stating that the units of the lexical field, that is, words, completely cover the units of the conceptual field, that is, concepts. The combination of Begriffsfelder and Wortfelder forms Sprachliche Felder "language fields", closed, bilateral autonomous units of language. Thus, the language field is like a middle link between the lexical array of language, which consists of minimal dependent units, and the lexical-semantic system of language, which is constructed by language fields

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Many scholars (L. M. Vasilyev, E. Koseriu, R. Z. Muryasov) single out the concept of "paradigm" as the basic category of the semantic field.

Having summarized the above material, we can conclude that the term "semantic field" can be used in two meanings: in the narrow sense as a semantic formation exhibited lexically, in the broad sense as a semantic formation, whose exponent is any linguistic, including supralexical, functional-semantic field.

In modern science, including linguistics, anthropocentrism is the leading principle of research. In modern linguistics, the focus of attention is not language as such, but its bearer the human being. In this work we have shown that Man, as a creator and bearer of culture, traditions and customs of his people, occupies the central place in such section of philology as paremiology.

Proverbs are interesting "not by their direct meaning, but by the fact that they can be applied to other similar situations", and by citing a proverb "the speaker characterizes, evaluates what it does not directly say"

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Let us consider the main semantic groups forming the semantic anthropocentric core of "Man".

The semantic group with the greatest number of contradictory proverbs is the "Feelings" of Man, which, in turn, is subdivided into Positive and Negative. The Positive ones include "Love": Prügel erhalten die Liebe (the contradiction can be traced within the construction Love-Beating (speech antonymy) / Beating means love.

"Friendship": Jedermanns Freund ist niemands Freund (the elements of contradiction are the indefinite pronouns Jedermanns- niemands) / Friend to all is no one's friend. "Happiness": Glück im Unglück haben (the antonymous combination of the nouns Glück and Unglück in the same paremiological context indicates the presence of a contradiction / There was no happiness, but unhappiness helped.

The negative feeling is dominated by the feeling "Fear": Besser ein Ende mit Schrecken, als ein Schrecken ohne Ende (the contradiction is shown in the combination ein Ende - ohne Ende / Better a horrible end than endless horror).

The semantic group "Reason": Allzuklug ist dumm (a paradoxical combination of adjectives) / The clever one learns, the foolish one teaches; Die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln / The stupidest farmers have the biggest potatoes (speech antonymy in the combinations Die dümmsten Bauern die dicksten Kartoffeln).

Semantic group "Kinship": je lieber Kind, je schärfer die Rute rod (the inconsistency is shown through the use of the adjectives lieber and schärfer in the same paremiological context) / The dearer the child, the sharper the rod.

Semantic group "Social-economic status": der geizige ist ein reicher Bettler (paradox lies in the combination ein reicher Bettler) / A miserly rich man is poorer than a beggar (literally); Wer befehlen will, muss (erst) gehorchen (сcontradiction is shown in the use of the antonymous verbs befehlen - gehorchen in one semantic context) / Who wants to command, must first learn to submit (literally).

The semantic group "Health" (Schwarzbrot macht Wangen rot, Weißbrot macht Leute tot (the metaphorical combination Weißbrot macht Leute tot gives this proverbial saying an element of contradiction) / Brown bread colors cheeks, and white bread kills people (literally).

5. Conclusion

After analyzing the German contradictory proverbs, we came to the conclusion that most of them belong to the semantic group “Feelings” (25%), followed by the semantic groups “Reason” (22%), “Kinship” (16%), "Socio-economic status" (12%), "Health" (9%). In the course of working on this problem, we also identified other semantic groups, such as "Labor" (6%), "Character" (4%), "Life" (3%), "Death" (2%), "Age" (1%).

The concept of "Feeling" occupies a key position in the life of any people and, accordingly, is reflected in folk oral art. The distinctive features of the German national character are rationality, organization, family life, diligence, which is expressed in proverbs.

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