The Implementation of the Conception of Friendship on the Basis of Comparative Structural-semantic Analysis of English and Russian Proverbs

Cover Page

Cite item


The article is devoted to the study of the conception of friendship based on the results of comparative structural-semantic analysis of English and Russian proverbs about friendship. The study includes two complementary steps. The first step consists in formulating the main aspects of the conception of friendship. The second consists in comparing fragments of this proverbial field, which made it possible to explore the implementation of eight aspects of the conception of friendship on the material studied. The clarification of similarities and differences made it possible to identify the specific national and cultural characters of thinking and mentality of the two non-related peoples towards understanding of friendship. The relevance of the study is determined by the novelty of the proposed approach to the study of the conception of friendship based on the comparative structural and semantic analysis of proverbs of two linguistic-cultural ethnic groups, as well as the insufficient knowledge of proverbs expressing the concept of “friendship” from the point of view of identifying their figurative and motivational basis, figurative means (metaphor, metonymy, comparison, personification, gradation, hyperbole, irony, allegory, antithesis), semantics of lexical components, syntactic structures (repetitions, parallelism, ellipsis, compression), expressive means, as well as rhythmic organization. There were selected and systematized similar and unique meanings of English and Russian proverbs as a result of research on the material of these languages. The analysis of these meanings allowed us to explore conception of friendship, thereby providing the basis for deeper rethinking both the conception and the proverbial material. As the part of the study there were observed differences in understanding of a person, personal relationships with others, mutual help, etc. These differences are largely due to the different origins of English and Russian proverbs. Most of the English proverbs are short sayings, which were formed under the influence of Latin expressions and quotations from Bible. Most of the Russian proverbs are peasant by origin and therefore they are closely connected with a specific and imaginative perception of the world. Their expressiveness is much higher at the expense of using the means of oral folk creativity. This analysis made it possible to reveal the role of linguistic means in expressing the mentality of the representatives of both peoples.

About the authors

Tatiana G. Orlova

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.

Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

6, Miklukho-Maklaya street, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation


  1. Neretina, S.S. & Ogurtsov, A.P. (2010). Conception In New philosophical encyclopedia. In 4 vols. Moscow: Thought. Vol. 2. pp. 308—309. (In Russ.).
  2. Vezhbitskaya, A. (2001). The juxtaposition of cultures through vocabulary and pragmatics: Monograph. A.D. Shmelev (Transl.). Moscow: Languages of Slavic culture. (In Russ.).
  3. Alefirenko, N.F. & Skokova, T.N. (2017). Sense as a problem of intercultural communication In Linguistic aspects of intercultural communication. Rostov n / Don; Taganrog: SFU. pp. 9—37. (In Russ.).
  4. Telia, V.N. (1996). Russian phraseology. Semantic pragmatic and linguocultural aspects. Moscow: Languages of Russian culture. (In Russ.).
  5. Desai, A. & Killick, E. (2010). The Ways of Friendship: Antropological Perspectives. Berghahn: Berghahn Books.
  6. Svare, H. (2010). Philosophy of friendship. Moscow: Progress-Tradition. (In Russ.).
  7. Aciobăniţei, M. (2012). Paremiological Aspects in the Construction of National Identity. Procedia — Social and Behavioral Sciences, 63, 276—282.
  8. Ivanova, E.V. (2006). The world in English and Russian proverbs: Textbook. Saint Petersburg: Saint Petersburg State University. (In Russ.).
  9. Arsentieva, E.F. (1989). Comparative analysis of phraseological units. Kazan: Publishing house of KazSU. (In Russ.).
  10. Voropaeva, V.A. (2007). Comparative characteristic of English, German and Russian paroemias and phraseological units expressing tolerance [dissertation]. Moscow. (In Russ.).
  11. Smith, E.E. (2019). The power of meaning. Create a life that matters. Moscow: AST. (In Russ.).
  12. Maslow, A. (2018). Motivation and personality. Moscow, Saint Petersburg: Peter. (In Russ.).
  13. Beer, B. & Gardner, D. (2015). Friendship In Anthropology of International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. 2nd edition. Vol. 9. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 425—431.
  14. Alberoni, F. (1991). Friendship and love. Moscow: Progress. (In Russ.).
  15. Bunnell, T., Yea, S., Peake, L., Skelton, T. & Smith, M. (2012). Geographies of Friendships. Progress in Human Geography, 36 (4), 490—507.
  16. Avakimova, E.A. & Saychenko, V.V. (2019). The motivational range of “children’s themes” in modern Russian literature In Actual problems of modern philology: theory, practice, development prospects. Krasnodar: KubSU. pp. 225—227. (In Russ.).
  17. Stepanov, Y.S. (1997). Constants Dictionary of Russian culture. Research experience. Moscow: RAS; School “Languages of Russian Culture”. (In Russ.).
  18. Dementiev, V.V. (2007). Heart to heart conversation In Anthology of speech genres: everyday communication. Moscow: Labyrinth. pp. 231—245. (In Russ.).
  19. Lukashkova, O.Y. (2003). The concept of “enemy” in modern Russian and American media In Language and national consciousness. Voronezh: Istoki. pp. 156—161. (In Russ.).
  20. Khizova, M.A. (2005). The concept of “friendship” in Russian and English linguistic cultures (based on Russian and English languages) [dissertation]. Volgograd. (In Russ.).
  21. Delaney, T. & Madigan, T. (2017). Friendship and Happiness: And the Connection Between the Two. McFarland.
  22. Stinson, B. (2019). Bro Code. Moscow: EKSMO. (In Russ.).
  23. Burmistrova, L.V. (2017). Semantic characteristics of comic proverb In Language. Text. Discourse. Stavropol: SKFU. pp. 313—319. (In Russ.).
  24. Shmelev, A.D. (2004). Friendship in the Russian language world-image In Sacred meanings. Word. Text. The culture. Moscow: YASK. pp. 704—715. (In Russ.).
  25. Čermák, F. (2018). Friends and friendship in proverbs. Linguistica Brunensia, 66(1), 73—85.
  26. Komarova, Z.I. (2017). Methodology, methods, technique and technology of scientific research in linguistics. Moscow: Nauka; Flinta. (In Russ.).
  27. Emirova, A.M. (2019). Modern Crimean Tatar lexicography. Simferopol: Nauchnyi mir. (In Russ.).
  28. Dal, V.I. (2009). Proverbs of the Russian people. Moscow: Russian language Media. (In Russ.).
  29. Zhukov, V.P. (1990). Dictionary of Russian proverbs and sayings. Moscow. (In Russ.).
  30. Dictionary common English proverbs (1990). M.V. Bukovskaya, S.I. Vyaltseva, Z.I. Dubyanskaya et al. (eds.). Moscow: Russian language. (In Russ.).
  31. Longman Contemporary English Dictionary (2001). Harlow (GB): Longman.
  32. Smith, W.G. (2008). The Oxford dictionary of English proverbs. Oxford.
  33. Dubrovskaya, O.G. (2002). Russian and English proverbs as cultural units. Tyumen. (In Russ.).
  34. Sergeeva, A.V. (2006). Russians: stereotypes of behavior, traditions, mentality. Moscow: Flinta-Nauka. (In Russ.).
  35. Tönnies, F. (2002). Community and society. Saint-Petersburg: Vladimir Dal. (In Russ.).
  36. Aristotle (1983). Works in four volumes. Volume 4. Moscow: Mysl’. (In Russ.).
  37. Eliseeva, V.V. (1988). English paremias: some features of the content plan In Semantics and pragmatics of language in the dialogue of cultures. Samara. pp. 82—86. (In Russ.).
  38. Dunbar, R.I.M. (2018). The Anatomy of Friendship. Trends of Cognitive Sciences, January 2018, 22(1), 32—51.
  39. Orlova, T.G. (2018). Comparative structural and semantic analysis of English and Russian proverbs expressing the moral and ethical semantic dominant “teaching, knowledge, wisdom”. Historical and socio-educational thought, 10(2—2), 148—156. doi: 10.17748/20759908-2018-10-2/2-148-156. (In Russ.).
  40. Fox, K. (2014). Watching the English. The Hidden Rules of English Behavior. Hodder.

Copyright (c) 2020 Orlova T.G.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies