Idioms In Human Languages

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The aim of the present paper is to analyse idioms related to human body parts in English and Romanian from a semantic and syntactic perspective and the translational principles used in translating them. Idioms have been universally introduced in all languages in a natural way, according to several significant factors: linguistic, cultural, historical, etc. Their spreading has always been “by word of mouth”, i.e. through the traditional oral path and by way of written documents, either in a source language only, or both in a source language and target language form. The translated documents (target language texts) will be the basic reference in the present paper, on account of the relative (un) translatability of idioms.
Idioms are difficult
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Nunberg et al. proved their assumption of idiomatic compositionality by a number of tests that show how some idioms can be modified internally: the presence of a non-idiomatic modifier (e.g. an adjective), quantification (pull many strings), topicalization, elliptical constructions,…show more content…
Phrasal idioms are further classified into verbal idioms, nominal idioms, adjectival idioms and adverbial idioms.
The second chapter of this thesis analyses the metaphorical meaning of body idioms. The most prominent features of human body idioms are discussed here and also where these idioms originated from, since it is important to know the historical background of any expression to better understand the figurative reflection of an expression. The most significant sources of body idioms are the Bible and a few great works of notorious writers, such as Shakespeare. Relevant examples are provided here in order to illustrate what are some of the actual origins of idioms.
Another important aspect discussed in this thesis is about the cognitive perspective of body idioms which is analysed by Dobrovol’skij and Piiranien (2005), Kovecses (2000) and Gibbs and Nayak (1991). These linguists proved that our emotions are externalised in language by means of conceptual metaphors or metonymies. Therefore, each body idiom has its own significance and they are integrated into a conceptual system consisting of
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