Recontextualization and Proverbiality: Pragmatic Analysis of Arabic and English Proverbs
Keywords:Recontextualization, Proverbiality, Pragmatic Analysis, Arabic and English Proverbs
Proverbs are a type of idiomatic expressions that are commonly used in everyday spoken language. They concisely and figuratively summarize everyday experiences and common observations (Borowska, 2014, p. 22). The use of proverbs often gives rise to interesting pragmatic processes, including, most notably, recontextualization. Recontextualization is intimately connected to two distinctive features of proverbs, namely, traditionality, and self-containedness. Pragmatically, the meanings and functions of the love proverbs, the focus of this paper, are not totally fixed because the conventionalized meanings and functions associated with these proverbs should be modulated in light of the new context of use. This study will examine 50 proverbs of love (25 in each language) from a pragmatic perspective. The analytical framework employed in the analysis will draw on the concept of implicature and the distinction between utterance-type implicature and utterance-token implicature. In this part, the study will draw on Culpeper and Haugh’s (2014) neo-Gricean model. At a higher contextual level, the analysis will follow Linell’s (1998) conceptualization of recontextualization's pragmatic process. The analysis showed that upon using a proverb in a new context, the proverb could go through a recontextualization process that might serve two pragmatic functions: illocution shift and foregrounding of didactic content.
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