Aphorism as an Object of Linguistics: the Main Properties

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The article presents an attempt to establish and describe the main properties of aphorism as an object of linguistics. In modern linguistics, a number of researches are devoted to the study of aphorism as a phrase text and a fixed phrase. However, the concept of aphorism in linguistics does not have its own definition. In this regard, the analysis of the linguistically relevant properties of the aphorism that characterize its linguistic nature is of current importance. The purpose of the study is to determine and describe the minimum number of the most linguistically significant properties of an aphorism, to establish their obligatory / optional character, their specificity / generality (for aphorism and more than a word units close to it). Research methods - descriptive method, structural, semantic, functional, discursive, stylistic analysis, taxonomy. The material for the research was the statements in Russian, English, Belarusian, Polish, contained in written texts of different genres, as well as in compilations from various sources, in reference editions, in the title of which the term aphorism (or its derivative - aphoristic ) was used. The total number of analyzed units is over 50,000 from over 120 sources. As a result of the study, it was found that linguistically relevant properties of aphorism (differentiating it as an object of linguistics) are more than a word nature, one phrase structure, generalized meaning, nominative nature, discursive autonomy, textuality, reproducibility, stability, idiomatic nature, expressiveness of the verbal form. A number of properties coincide in aphorisms and phraseological units (more than word nature, reproducibility, stability, idiomatic nature), but none is obligatory for aphorism. Obligatory properties of aphorism are one phrase structure, generalized meaning, nominative nature, discursive autonomy. The main (differential) property of aphorism as an object of linguistics is the generalized meaning, which in relation to the expressed reality has a specific character - universal character. The introduction of linguistically relevant features of aphorism into science allows it to be defined in terms of linguistics as a one-phrase unit, nominative, discursively autonomous, predominantly more than a word units, reproducible, fixed unit that differs from all other more than a word units in one specific property - the generalized meaning (a universal generalization of reality). This property characterizes aphorisms as a variety of linguistic units (phrase texts or fixed phrases), determines their discursive autonomy and nominative nature, and manifests the categorical quality of their content plan - aphoristic nature.

About the authors

Eugene E. Ivanov

Mogilev State A. Kuleshov University

Author for correspondence.
Email: ivanov-msu@mail.ru

PhD of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at the Faculty of Foreign Language

1, Kosmonavtov Str., Mogilev, Republic of Belarus, 212022


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