Semantics

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As we know, proverbs do not function as mere ophical phrase mongering. As a rule, they are used for some practical, pragmatical purposes in various circumstances of everyday communication. With the aid of a proverb on poetic adornments of speech; neither are they used, normally, to meet man's needs for philose can aim to provide an endorsement to his statements and opinions, forecast something, express doubts, reproach someone with something, accuse someone of something, justify or excuse somebody, mock somebody, comfort somebody, jeer at somebody's misfortune, repent something, warn against something, advise something or interdict somebody from doing something, and so on, and so forth. It is unthinkable to consider the proverb apart from such pragmatic functions. Unfortunately, paremiologists have so far only some vague ideas of the functions of proverbs. ""Moreover, the proverb lies just somewhere on the borderlands between language and folklore, and shares its functions with both of them, and one cannot say there is a notable agreement between the conceptioris of different authors on the functions of language or folklore, neither is there a notable unity in the terminology used by different authors who have written on these matters. We accept here a more simple and widespread scale, namely the set of three degrees: Statement → evaluation → prescription

We suppose, however, this scale should fit in with the nature of the proverb, and it has, incidentally, the virtues that it operates with concepts general enough, and allows to consider the set of its subfunctions (or functional aspects) as a unified system. The functional aspects mentioned are in certain relationship with grammatical moods of the sentence. Hence the illusion may arise that proverbs can be classified functionally straight on the ground of their "superficial" grammatical moods, so that the proverbs with stating (designative, informative) function were represented with indicative sentences, and those with normative (prescriptive, evocative) function, respectively, with imperative sentences. This illusion, however, would be immediately shattered against two complications: 1. The evaluative, (emotive, expressive) function has no separate or distinct manifestation (or "surface equivalent") in the shape of any grammatical mood; 2. As affirmed by several authorities, every verbal utterance fulfills not only one function, e.g. that corresponding to its grammatical mood, but all its main functions (or at least several different functions) simultaneously; otherwise, a context-free proverb, like any other utterance, is functionally indefinite. The place of proverbs, sayings and familiar quotations with respect to set expressions is a controversial issue. A proverb is a short familiar epigrammatic saying expressing popular wisdom, a truth or a moral lesson in a concise and, imaginative way. Proverbs have much in common with set expressions because their lexical components are also constant, their meaning is traditional and mostly figurative, and they are introduced into speech ready-made. That is why some scholars following V. V. Vinogradov[24] think proverbs must be studied together with phraseological unities. Others like J. Casares2 and N. N. Amosova[25] think that unless they regularly form parts of other sentences it is erroneous to include them into the system of language because they are independent units of communication. N. N. Amosov[26] even thinks that there is no more reason to consider them as part of phraseology than, for instance, riddles and children's counts. This standpoint is hardly acceptable especially if we do not agree with the narrow limits of phraseology offered by this author. As to the argument that in many proverbs the meaning of component parts does not show any specific changes when compared to the meaning of the same words in free combinations, it must be pointed out that in this respect they do not differ from very many set...
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