Symbol of Mouse in Slavonic and Chinese Linguocultures

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The article describes in comparative aspect the main symbolic meanings of the zoononym mouse in Slavic and Chinese linguocultures. The study of animal symbolism in Russian (wider - Slavic) and Chinese cultural traditions is one of the current trends in modern linguistics, which, on the one hand, has a pronounced anthropocentric orientation, and on the other, is characterized by a noticeable increase in interest in the Chinese language and culture of China in different countries of the world. Turning to the study of complex and ambiguous symbolism of the mouse is quite timely and taking into account the confinement of 2020 to the year of the White Rat / Mouse. The purpose of the study is to identify similar and specific for each culture features of perception and characteristics of the mouse as an animal, which has a significant impact on everyday life. The tasks of the work include identifying the sources of the appearance of a negatively connotated mouse image in culture, determining the ambivalent nature of rituals, customs and ritual actions, the object of which are mice, as well as revealing the contents of the “Mouse Wedding” custom in Chinese and South Slavic traditions. The analysis of the actual material (stable phrases, folklore texts, ethnocultural records, traditional drawings) showed, on the one hand, the mostly negative symbolism of the mouse in the Slavic spiritual culture, and on the other, the perception of the mouse as an animal, bringing material wealth and prosperity, in the traditional picture of the world the Chinese. At the same time, it was established that both the Slavs and the Chinese use a number of magic tricks aimed at fighting mice that cause considerable damage to the peasant economy. Significant for the linguoculturological analysis of the mouse image is the appeal to oriental folklore texts, as well as to traditional popular prints of Chinese and Russians, reflecting differently the symbolism of mice and their relation to the main enemy - the cat.

About the authors

Vladimir I. Koval

Gomel State University named after Francis Skorina

Author for correspondence.
St. Sovetskaya, 104, Gomel, Republic of Belarus, 246017

Doctor of Philology, Professor, Professor of the Department of Russian, General and Slavic Linguistics


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