Aleksandar Pejčić

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The aim of this paper is to perform a corpus analysis of verbs of speaking in 63 English and 60 Serbian proverbs in order to reveal the effect of their linguistic properties in signalling different metaphorical meanings of proverbs in the cognitive theoretical framework. The results reveal that prototypical verbs of speaking appear in approximately half of the sample of proverbs while the semantic markedness of verbs is achieved mostly lexically, although expectedly more so in the English language. The two languages also differ in the synonymy of these expressions and their metaphorical mapping. We propose three types of proverbs depending on the degree of abstraction of the speech act, in accordance with the generic is specific scheme, which we consider vital for the interpretation of proverbs.


verbs of speaking, proverbs, prototypes, markedness

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