Phraseological Units with the Word “Bread” in Russian, Frenchand Italian Linguocultures

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Abstract


Language is not only a means of communication between people, but also the cultural memory of the speakers of this language. We believe that in linguistic units there is cultural information that indicates the existence of a category that correlates language and culture, and makes it possible to describe their interaction. A way of verbalizing a culture using linguistic signs is called cultural connotation. Cultural categories are a kind of stereotypes, symbols, standards, mythologemes, archetypes, rituals and other signs of both national and universal culture. The linguistic picture of the world is one of the key concepts that characterize the peculiarity of the relationship between people and the world around them, because “captures a certain image of the world, which is never a mirror image of the world”. The national specificity is revealed in phraseology most of all. It is the phraseological composition of the language that most fully reflects the features of speech behavior, the specificity of the national mentality, manifested through cultural codes. The phraseological image is essential in modeling the linguistic picture of the world of a particular people. In this article, the subject of research are Russian, French and Italian phraseological units with the word “bread” from the point of view of linguoculturology, which allows us to identify the national-cultural identity of the phraseological units under consideration. We believe that the internal form of the phraseological unit contains a certain cultural code, that is, with the help of phraseological units it is possible to characterize representatives of one or another nationality. The subject of this article is a comparative analysis of phraseological units that have the word “bread” as the main component. The object of research is the features of the use of this word as a fragment of the lexical and phraseological systems of the Russian, French and Italian languages. The article compares phraseological units with the “bread” component, which historically goes back to free phrases, analyzes the processes of rethinking both the whole expression and its components. Using the example of phraseological units, we will analize how the lexeme “bread” loses its literal meaning “food” and acquires a new content, introducing new meaning into the semantic structure of the phraseological phrase. The problem under study is very relevant, because it is caused by the growing interest in modern linguistics to study of the mechanisms of secondary nomination in different languages and the identification on the material of phraseological units of specific features of verbal thinking and perception of the surrounding reality by language groups.


Full Text

The linguistic picture of the world is one of the key concepts that characterize the peculiarity of relationships between people and the world around them, because “captures a certain image of the world, which is never a mirror image of the world” [1. P. 60]. Its national specificity is in the most cases revealed in phraseology. It is the phraseological composition of the language that most fully reflects the features of speech behavior, the specificity of the national mentality, manifested through cultural codes [2]. The phraseological image is of the great importance in modeling the linguistic picture of the world of a certain people speaking one or another language, since it allows to structure its fragments, associate them with the phenomena of surrounding reality, with a figurative perception of objects. In language, as in a mirror, the mentality of the people, their spiritual needs and experiences are reflected. The whole structure of the language, including its word formation, category of gender, phonetic system, synonymy, is directly related to the mentality of the people - native speakers. But a particularly close relationship with mentality can be traced at the level of set expressions that has been living in a language without any changes for several centuries. So, in cognitive phraseology, the concept of a “phraseological picture of the world” appeared, which is a person’s worldview, as a combination of universal and individual knowledge of the world, as a result of creative reflection in our minds of not only the real world, but also something conceivable, experienced by us, although not reflecting reality. On the one hand, this is some kind of ideal, mental formation - the sum of objective meanings and ideas about the real world, on the other hand, it is an indirectly derivative entity, objectified by phraseological meanings [3]. The richness of the language can be revealed through the study, comparison and analysis of stable phrases, phrases, wellaimed and winged words, that is, its phraseology. The study of idiom idioms opens up the world of culture of the country of the language being studied, the historical era of the development and formation of civilizations. Phraseologisms with a gastronomic component are a kind of conceptual constant, since they exist in any language. National cuisine, its symbolism, terminology play an important role in comprehending and interpreting culture as a system in which the past, present and future coexist, leading an ongoing dialogue. In the intercultural aspect, this dialogue includes the borrowing of various products and national dishes from one people to another. The phraseological composition of the language plays a special role in broadcasting the national cultural identity of the people and their identification. The worldview and national character of the people are embodied, so the component “food” is reflected in the phraseology of any language. As the analysis of the language material shows, phraseological units with food code have a sharp form and a wide range of meanings and connotations. Phraseological unit is “the common name for semantically related combinations of words and sentences, which, unlike syntactic structures are similar in form, are not produced in accordance with the general patterns of choice and combination of words in organizing a statement, but are reproduced in speech in a fixed ratio of the semantic structure and a certain lexical and grammatical composition” [4. P. 559]. For our study, we used the point of view of V.N. Telia, who noted that phraseological unit is a unit of cultural code that occupies an important place in the language system and reflects the cultural and national values of the linguistic community. The scientist also determined that the emergence of the additional meaning of the phraseological unit is due to the fact that it is interconnected with various life spheres - this is the result of the secondary nomination [5]. Now, let’s consider Russian, French and Italian phraseological units with the semantic component “bread” through cultural codes and cultural connotation. When analyzing French, Italian, and Russian phraseological units with the component “bread”, common features were discovered. The Russian word хлеб, French word pain and Italian word pane as the units of the cultural code are used in various phraseological combinations and are polysemantic. As in the Russian language, the word «хлеб», in the French and Italian the words «pain» and «pane» can have wider meaning, and exactly «baked pastry, any bakery product», as well as wider metonymic meaning «food in general», fixed in biblical tradition - «хлеб наш насущный», «lepain quo ti dien» and «pane quo ti diano». In this example, the component «хлеб / pain/ pane» has the meaning «necessary for life, minimal means of existence». In all three examples, the meaning of the main component is reinforced by its dependent component: «насущный», «quo ti dien» и «quo ti diano». This phraseological unit dates back to the Gospel prayer: Хлеб наш насущный даждь нам днесь. In this expression, bread symbolizes not only material and spiritual food, but also a source of strength that constantly nourishes our spiritual life. The set-expressions in these cases do not have a pronounced emotional connotation, however, it becomes obvious that the presence of bread in the daily lives of people is very important. Figurative expressions of biblical origin, as a rule, lose their religious content and are perceived today as ordinary phraseological units. In the French, Italian and Russian picture of the world, bread symbolizes a minimum of nutrition: посадить на хлеб и воду, сидеть на воде и хлебе, перебиваться с хлеба на квас (русский); vivre au pain et à l’eau, mettre qn au pain et à l’eau, manger du pain sec, mendier son pain, chercher son pain, demander son pain (французский; guadagnarsi il pane (итальянский) и другие. In all linguistic cultures, bread symbolizes earnings, self-support: зарабатывать на хлеб, есть свой хлеб, зарабатывать хлеб в поте лица (bibl.); gagner son pain, gagner son pain à la sueur de son front (fr.); guadagnarsi il pane (it.). In the figurative meaning of such expressions as зарабатывать на хлеб (rus.), gagner son pain (fr.), guadagnarsi il pane (it.) the component зарабатывать /gagner/ guadagnarsi correlates with the anthropic code of culture, the component хлеб/ pain/ pane correlates with the gastronomic code of culture and is reinterpreted as “earnings”. In the figurative meaning of phraseological unit lies metonymy - a business that gets money. Bread is identified with earnings itself and symbolizes a means of human life. In Russian, Italian and French, bread symbolizes loss of earnings: хлеб отбить (отбивать) (rus.); pane di legne vin di nuvole (it.); enlever (ôter, retirer) le pain de la boucheh (fr.). In the figurative meaning of the following phraseological units хлеб отбить у кого-либо (rus.), enlever le pain de la bouche (fr.) the component отбить / enlever correlates with the promotional code of the culture, component bread / pain correlates with the gastronomic code of the culture and means “earnings”. To take bread from someone means to deprive someone of earnings. This set-expression in the languages under analysis arose as a result of the metaphorical rethinking of the free phrase, in which “beat off” means “take away by force”, and the word “bread” appears in the derived meaning “means of existace”, earnings. In all three linguocultures, bread symbolizes hospitality: partager le pain et le sel de l’amitié (fr.); dimezzare il pane, smezzare il pane (it.); делить хлеб-соль (rus.). In the French, Italian and Russian phraseological units делить хлеб-соль (rus.); partager le pain et le sel de l’amitié (fr.); dimezzare il pane / smezzare il pane (it.) the component делить/partager/ dimezzare corresponds to the promotional code of the culture, the components salt / sel and bread / pain / pane correspond to the gastronomic code of the culture, which symbolize food in its totality, as something whole, valuable and necessary. In addition, salt and bread symbolize hospitality. According to M.L. Bucket, bread and salt in ancient times played a special role: bread expressed the desire for wealth and prosperity, and salt protected from hostile forces and influences. In the past, magical meaning was attributed to the bread-salt formula - the evil was averted due to these words [6. Р. 281]. In French, Italian, and Russian linguistic cultures, bread can symbolize the needs of people who wanted only bread and circuses: хлеба и зрелищ (rus.); pane e circense i! (it.); du pain et des jeux (fr.). The following expressions хлеба и зрелищ; du pain et des jeux; pane e circense i! means “the needs of ignorant people, eager only for food and base entertainment”. This expression arose from the 7th satire of the Roman poet Juvenal. This was the cry of the Roman mob under the emperor Augustus: panem et circenses [7. P. 34]. In this expression, the word хлеб/ pain, corresponds to the gastronomic code of culture and symbolizes food, a component of the spectacle, jeux corresponds to the anthropic code and symbolizes base entertainment. In Russian, French and Italian, there are a number of figurative expressions with this component, based on the archetype of bread as a symbol of life, wealth, abundance and material well-being. In Russian, French and Italian there are figurative expressions with the following figuratively-metaphorical meanings: earnings, livelihoods, for example, in French the expression is often used gagners on pain (lit. «зарабатывать хлеб») - «зарабатывать на хлеб»; ne pas voler le pain qu’il mange (lit. «не воровать хлеб, который ешь») - «не есть зря хлеб». In all three linguistic cultures there is a group of phraseological units based on the semantics of criticism and condemnation. In French language manger du pain des au tres, in Italian language mangier eil pane aufo (lit. «есть чужой хлеб») - «есть чужой хлеб» - in both expressions, a clear reprehensible connotation is noticeable, as well as in the following phraseological units: il pane deglialtri e` troppo salato» (lit. «чужой хлеб слишком соленый») - «чужой хлеб горек» - it happens when a person lives in a strange house as a parasite or when he is simply forced to use the handouts of others. But, at the same time, in Italy and in Russia they say: Il pane deglialtri è più buono - «чужой хлеб вкусен». Lavorare peruntozzo di pane (lit. «работать за кусок хлеба») - «работать за кусок хлеба», and the word “bread” in these expressions acts as a small income that is not neglected. Vivered ipanduro (lit. «жить на твердом хлебе») - «сухой коркой питаться» - «жить впроголодь» means to be need in something [8. P. 12]. Italian phraseological unit «quando si ha fame il pane sa di carne» (буквально «когда голодно, хлеб за мясо сойдет») has not got full analogues in the Russian language, but the proverb «голодному все вкусно» as close as possible to the exact meaning of the Italian idiom. The expression chi ha i denti non ha il pane e chi ha il pane non ha i denti (lit. «у кого есть зубы, у того нет хлеба, а у кого есть хлеб, у того нет зубов») has got sad context: those who has got aims, they do not have got the means to achieve them, while those who has got the means do not have any goals. An analogue of this expression in Russian without a food component «не по зубам» has the similar context to Italian phraseological unit «не делай того, на что у тебя нет денег или что у тебя не получится/что тебе не под силу». The word “bread” also has a cultural-symbolic component of meaning, including ambivalent meanings: 1) vital value, source of vitality, which are evaluated positively: in Russian хлеб - кормилец, хлеб - всему голова, хлеб-батюшка; in Italian language, the same meaning belongs to the following idioms: pane e` cibodasaggio (lit. «хлеб - еда мудрецов») corresponds to the Russian meaning - хлеб да вода - богатырская еда; rispettail pane chemangi (lit. «уважай хлеб, который ты ешь»); non c’è cibo da re più squisito del pane (lit. нет более королевской еды, чем хлеб); 2) carnal, earthly principle, as opposed to spiritual, since in every culture there is a tradition - to refuse food as a symbol of earthly goods in favor of spiritual goods during fasting, active spiritual work: Russian figurative expression «не хлебом единым жив человек» corresponds French idioms in French language: ne pas vivre seulement de pain and in Italian language: non si vive disolo pane (lit. «только на хлебе не проживешь»). This symbolic meaning is not associated with the negative connotation of value and is practically neutralized, since bread is an inexpensive meal. 3) a modest or poor life - перебиваться с хлеба на воду, жить на хлебе и водеin French language à la faim tou test pain (lit. «для голода - все является хлебом») - голод - лучший повар, или итальянские идиомы mangiare pane e sputо (lit. «есть хлеб и слюну») - «сидеть на одном хлебе», that is, to live poorly - bread is considered a very satisfying product in both countries, so one can live on bread with water for a long time. Vivere di pane e diac qua (буквально «питаться хлебом и водой») - «с хлеба на квас перебиваться»; 4) difficult fate: mangiare il panе pentito (lit. «есть покаянный хлеб») - feel sorry for what has happened. The mismatch in the components can be seen in the following Italian expression rendere pane per focaccia (lit. «отплатить хлебом за фокаччу»). In Russian, there are a number of expressions that convey this idea, for example, «отплатить той же монетой», «воздать сторицей», «не остаться в долгу». However, the word «хлеб» is not included in the mentioned figurative expressions of the Russian language [9. P. 18; 10. P. 47]. Similar discrepancies in the components can be seen in the French language. The following expression should be noted here: promettre plus de pain que de beurre (lit. обещать больше хлеба, чем масла), which corresponds to the following Russian expressions «кормить обещаниями, «кормить завтраками». Other words, «обещать хлеб» in the French figurative expression means the following: «давать обещания, которые не будут исполнены» [11. P. 89; 12. P. 92]. And it should be mentioned, in the Russian language, there is an expression «хлебом не корми», and it means «любой ценой, любыми средствами получить желаемое». There is a number of the phraseological units in both French and Italian languages, where the word «bread» actualizes the concept of death metaphorically: in French there is an expression faire passer le goût du pain (lit. «передать вкус хлеба», and it means «сживать со света» or perdre le goût du pain (lit. «потерять вкус хлеба»), other words, «потерять вкус к жизни, умереть»; in the Italian language, the idiom finire dimangiare il pane (lit. «закончить/ перестать есть хлеб»), means «отправиться на тот свет, умереть»; or morir ein unamadia di pane (lit. «умереть в ларе для хлеба»), and it means «умереть бессмысленной смертью, без пользы» [13]. That is, in both French and Italian linguistic cultures, the word “bread” can be a symbol of “death”. In Russian, “bread” does not symbolize “death”. The following phraseological unit in French «long comme un jour sans pain» can be related to the subject of boredom (lit. «долгий (длинный), как день без хлеба), and that means «день считается бесконечно долгим, если нет хлеба» or triste comme un jour sans pain, and it is translated as «грустный как день без хлеба» [14]. In Italian, a similar expression also exists. However, boredom is symbolized by the word «pizza»: Сhe pizza! (lit. «что за пицца!») - «какая скука!». For Italians, pizza is a dish that don’t surprise anyone, so the word “pizza” is perfect for this set-expression [15]. The idiom is often used in colloquial speech, has a dismissive connotation, for example, in a sentence: Сhe pizza quel l’uomo!» - «Ну что он за зануда!». In the linguocultures under analysis, one can also observe the discrepancies in the meanings of phraseological units with the semantic component “bread” [16. P. 23]. So, in French there is an expression with the component “bread” with a meaning associated with crime and prison [17. P. 76; 18. P. 56]. For example, the phraseological unit pain rouge means “theft and murder” In the figurative meaning of the phraseological unit, the component pain corresponds to the gastronomic code of the culture, the component rouge corresponds to the color code of the culture. The red color in the French language has a variety of symbols, in particular, it can symbolize blood, death. In addition, red color is used to express illegality [19. P. 17]. The French phraseological unit faire passer le goût du pain, translated as “убить кого-либо” is related to the criminal theme. In the figurative meaning of the set expression the component “faire passer” corresponds to the promotional code of the culture and means “заставить забыть”, the component “pain” refers to the gastronomic code of the culture, and the component “gout” corresponds to the quality code and indicates the quality of bread, evaluated by the sensations it produces, and taste. The concept associated with criminal activity is euphemistically presented. In the French language there are set expressions with the component “bread”, associated with the meaning of the character of a person. The phraseological unit bon comme le / du pain is translated as “добрейшей души человек” [20. P. 89]. In the figurative basis of this expression, the component bon is related to the anthropic code of culture, the component pain is related to the gastronomic code of culture and symbolizes good and mercy [21. P. 116]. The phraseological unit is based on the comparison of the kindness with bread. The French phraseological unit avoir le pain et le couteau means “иметь самое необходимое”. In the image of phraseology, the component le pain goes back to the gastronomic code of culture, the component le couteau goes back to the subject code of culture and means “knife”. The expression contains a stereotypical idea that the most necessary thing in human life is bread and a knife with which one cuts this bread [22. P. 247]. The Russian phraseological unit “хлебом не корми” means a strong addiction, a hobby of someone, a desire to get what one wants [23. P. 314]. The expression is actually Russian. The initial image is bread as a symbol of the most necessary for life, from which a person is ready to give up for the sake of his favorite occupation, achievement of his cherished goal. The Russian phraseological unit “забыть хлеб-соль” means “to show ingratitude to somebody whose friendliness was enjoyed” [24. P. 45]. The internal form of the phraseological unit contains the bread-salt component, which corresponds to the gastronomic code of the culture and symbolizes hospitality. The component “forget” is related to the anthropic code of culture and means ingratitude [25]. In the figurative basis of the phraseological unit lies the stereotypical idea of the person’s ungrateful attitude to somebody whose friendship is used. Hospitality has always been highly valued in Russian culture. As for ingratitude, it has always been regarded as a very negative quality of a person. So, the analysis of phraseological units with the component “bread” in three linguocultures (Russian, French and Italian) shows that the images of this product in phraseology are used to describe the world in all its diversity - from the characteristics of a person, his external qualities and internal properties, activities and behavior - to the characteristics of the situation as a whole [27. P. 35; 26. P. 52]. It should be noted that the component “food” plays a large role in any national phraseological system and thereby participate in the creation of a particular picture of the world. As a result of the comparative linguistic analysis of Russian, French, and Italian phraseological units with the component “bread”, common features were discovered. Namely, in all three linguistic cultures, the word “bread” symbolizes material and spiritual food, the source of vitality, spiritual enrichment; “bread” acts as a material income, earnings [28. P. 12]. A comparative analysis of phraseological units with the component “bread” revealed some discrepancies. For example, in French and Italian, phraseological units with the component “bread” with the meaning of death were discovered and in the Russian language, such meaning is absent. The analyzed examples show that when correlating their figurative content resulting from a literal reading, the culturally significant meaning of the image itself also opens [29]. Thus, the analysis has shown that phraseological units with the component “bread” are highly effective means of representing human knowledge and reflect both universal concepts included in the conceptual sphere of any language, and specifically national concepts, representing the unique experience of each nation, accumulated by it and fixed in the linguistic units [4. P. 20], in our case, in phraseological units with a food code [30. P. 13].

About the authors

Margarita E. Kaskova

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.
Email: 37margo@rambler.ru
6, Miklukho-Maklaya street, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

PhD in Pedagogy, Associate Professor of the Department of Theory and Practice of Foreign Languages

Olga V. Ustinova

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Email: deptphilology@gmail.com
6, Miklukho-Maklaya street, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor of the Department of Theory and Practice of Foreign Languages

Elizaveta K. Bolshakova

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Email: bol.elisabetta.k@gmail.com
6, Miklukho-Maklaya street, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

Assistant Professor of the Department of Theory and Practice of Foreign Languages

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