Gourmandise in the hierarchy of values: A case study of French and Belgian proverbs and sayings

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Abstract


The paremiological stock of a language is an important source of axiological information that helps to identify the features of a culture, people’s mentality, and their worldview. The paper is devoted to the study of gourmandise as a component of the French and Belgian worldviews reflected in the French language paremias. The aim of the research is to determine its place in the hierarchy of values of the native speakers of French and its Belgian variant. The research material includes 202 units obtained from “Dictionnaire de proverbes et dictons” (121 units) and from “Proverbes et dictons de Belgique francophonie” (81 units). The research methods include semantic, axiological, quantitative, and comparative analyses. The results of the study indicate that 5,9% of French and 6,6% of Belgian units of the total number presented in the dictionaries are devoted to food and gourmandize, which proves that they occupy an important place in the hierarchy of values in both cultures. More than half of the gastronomic proverbs and sayings have a positive connotation. Some types of food, such as bread, butter, and eggs, are symbolic for both ethnic groups. The analysis of gastronomic realities has revealed similar French and Belgian values (such as wealth, prosperity, happiness, health, pleasure, life) and antivalues (poverty, hunger, misery, disease, death, etc.). The obtained data contribute to the axiological studies of the worldview of the native speakers of various variants of the French language and can serve as a starting point for conducting similar research of other values, including those based on the material of other languages and cultures.


About the authors

Natalia U. Nelyubova

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.
Email: neliubova-nyu@rudn.ru
6 Mikluho-Maklaya str., Moscow, 117198, Russia

is Doctor, Associate Professor, Foreign Languages Department, RUDN University, Moscow, Russia. Research interests: comparative and typological linguistics; cultural values and their reflection at language; proverbs and sayings in different languages; French phonetics, morphology, vocabulary and phraseology.

Polina S. Syomina

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Email: karpovapauline@gmail.ru
6 Mikluho-Maklaya str., Moscow, 117198, Russia

is a post-graduate student in Romance langugaes at RUDN University, Moscow, Russia. Her research interests are focused on Belgian variety of French and its linguacultural specifities.

Vitalija Kazlauskiene

Vilnius University

Email: vitalija.kazlauskiene@flf.vu.lt
Vilnius, Lithuania

holds PhD in teaching assitant at the Faculty of Philology, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania. Her research interests include comparative linguistics, cultural values and their reflection in language, corpus linguistics, sociolinguistics, French second language acquisition.

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