Volume 35, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0213-2028
  • E-ISSN: 2254-6774
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Phraseological modification (PM) is a recurrent stylistic resource in specific types of texts, mainly journalistic texts, advertisements and literature. Since literary works are complete texts, the analysis of PM in these texts can go beyond the mere identification of the changes that the units have undergone, facilitating, in turn, the exploration of their stylistic effects. This paper explores the use of PM in a fable written by Luis Sepúlveda, . The aim is to determine the extra value that modifications bring to the text by finding out not only the number and types of units modified but also the effects achieved. The results show that the author’s choice of phraseological units (PUs) and modification procedures is not arbitrary. In this text, PM directly relates to distinctive features of fables, namely the humanisation of animals and humour, providing new semantic and symbolic dimensions absent in other fables which lack this pervasive use of modifications. Creative PU variation takes animal humanisation a step further by anthropomorphising animals and distancing them from humans at the same time. This, in turn, sustains the moral lessons of the story.


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