Paronomasia or how a proverb becomes the anti-proverb Cover Image
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Paronomasie oder wie ein Sprichwort zum Antisprichwort wird
Paronomasia or how a proverb becomes the anti-proverb

Author(s): Hrisztalina Hrisztova-Gotthardt, Péter Barta, Anna T. Litovkina, Katalin Vargha
Subject(s): Lexis, Semantics, Sociolinguistics
Published by: Akadémiai Kiadó
Keywords: proverb; anti-proverb; pun; wordplay; paronomasia; German; Hungarian; English; French; Russian;

Summary/Abstract: Paronomasia is a popular form of wordplay often used to transform proverbs into anti-proverbs (deliberate proverb innovations, also known as alterations, mutations, parodies, transformations, variations, wisecracks, and fractured proverbs) by replacing certain phonemes with similar ones, or by adding or omitting phonemes. The present paper describes and exemplifies this sort of pun by using selected German, Hungarian, English, French and Russian language data. The first part of the paper focuses on the linguistic aspects of paronomasia; the second part stresses semantic characteristics. This study also examines the role of wordplay on the theme of sexuality, and then comments on the use of proper nouns in proverb transformations. We conclude that all five of the languages in our research corpus use similar, if not identical, approaches to forge a “twisted wisdom” out of a simple proverb.

  • Issue Year: 54/2009
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 77-94
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: German