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Nowadays, modern linguistics pays much attention to the study of aphorism as a phrase text and a fixed phrase. In this regard, the analysis of the properties of aphorism, which characterize it in various types of discourse and spheres of communication, is particularly relevant. The article attempts to differentiate and describe various empirical understandings of aphorism. The purpose of the study is to establish and describe aspects and distinctive features of the empirical understanding of aphorism as a verbal means of expressing general judgments and universal generalization of reality in the form of phrase (phrase text). Research methods - heuristic, descriptive, taxonomic, generalization, analysis and synthesis. The material for the study are more than 100,000 aphoristic units taken from more than 300 handwritten and printed sources in Russian, Latin, English, German, French, Spanish and other languages. As a result, the notion of empirical qualification of aphorism is defined, it is a verbal means within this type of discourse or sphere of communication used in a particular social or cultural practice, the branch of knowledge (including scientific). Each particular empirical understanding of aphorism can be considered as one of the aspects of its general empirical understanding. Aspects of an empirical understanding of aphorism were formed at different times, emerged and developed in various national (or international) traditions, under the influence of various cultural trends and social processes, within the paradigms of scientific knowledge and linguocultures. It was established that there are only nine of the most significant empirical understandings of aphorism (scientific-philosophical, literary-philosophical, religious-literary, literary-fictional, literary-publicistic, literary-legal, folk-poetic, poetic-rhetorical, colloquial-linguistic understandings). Each of them forms a separate aspect of the empirical understanding of an aphorism based on a set of properties and functions (distinctive features), specific to the implementation of aphorism as a verbal means within a given social or cultural practice, the branch of knowledge. Introduction to the science the concept of “empirical understanding of aphorism” and the differentiation of aspects of such understanding is based on the use of aphorism in various types of discourse and spheres of speech communication, will allow to systematize aphoristic units as speech genres (scientific aphorisms, philosophical, literary, journalistic, legal, folklore, etc.), and also to distinguish the scientific directions of studying aphorism.

About the authors

Eugeney E. Ivanov

Mogilev State A. Kuleshov University

Author for correspondence.

PhD, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics of Mogilev State A. Kuleshov University (the Republic of Belarus).

1, Kosmonavtov Str., Mogilev, Belarus, 212022


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