13. Figurative phraseology and culture

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This chapter seeks to outline the main trends in research on cultural aspects of conventional figurative language (phraseology in particular) and to describe the connection between figurative units (such as idioms, proverbs, etc.) and culture as it becomes manifest in phraseological data from several languages. Numerous studies have highlighted the fact that phrasemes are not only units of a sign system, language, but also carriers of cultures, pointing out the necessity for modern phraseological research to turn to cultural phenomena. What exactly constitutes the connection between figurative phrasemes and culture, however, has never been examined systematically. This chapter uses a typology of the cultural phenomena which underlie phrasemes, along with the relevant phraseological types, to explore this connection. In doing so, one has to consider both the literal and the figurative readings of phrasemes, as well as the different levels of describing phrasemes, since there are various ways in which the cultural aspects may become manifest.


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