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  1. Burger, Harald
  2. Informationen Deutsch als Fremdsprache
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Download PDF. Dokumentation zum Arendt, Birte: Niederdeutschdiskurse. Bachmann, Armin R. Berndt, Annette; Kleppin, Karin Hrsg. Bredella, Lothar: Das Verstehen des Anderen. Bildung und Lernen im Prozess des Alterns. Burger, Harald: Phraseologie. Integriertes Kurs- und Arbeitsbuch. Calhoon, Kenneth S. Schneider zum Chaudhuri, Tushar: Mehrsprachigkeit und Grammatikerwerb.

Konstruktionen und Destruktionen in der deutschsprachigen Prosa des Gehring, Wolfgang; Stinshoff, Elisabeth Hrsg. Hentschel, Elke Hrsg. Ikonomu, Demeter Michael: Regeln und kein Ende. Klauer, Karl-Josef: Transfer des Lernens. Kleinberger, Ulla; Wagner, Franc Hrsg. Kruck, Peter: Besseres Deutsch. Krusche, Dietrich: Das Ich-Programm. Lamping, Dieter Hrsg. Lamping, Dieter: Die Idee der Weltliteratur. Lenk, Hartmut E. Lorenz, Matthias N.

Interaktive Tafelbilder. Neumann, Astrid; Domenech, Madeleine Hrsg. Pohl, Inge Hrsg. Raupach, Manfred Koord. Reich, Astrid: Lexikalische Probleme in der lernersprachlichen Produktion. Rost-Roth, Martina Hrsg. El mezclacolores. Schemann, Hans: Deutsche Idiomatik. Smith, Veronica: Tertiary Language. Vogler, Stefanie; Hoffmann, Sabine Hrsg. Welke, Tina; Faistauer, Renate Hrsg. Wildgen, Wolfgang: Die Sprachwissenschaft des Versuch einer Bilanz Hartmann, Ralph A. Winkler, Maresa: Ziel B2. Wolfrum, Jutta: Kreativ schreiben.

General note: By using the comment function on degruyter. Chafe, W. Idiomaticity as an anomaly in the Chomskyan paradigm. Foundations of Language, 4, Cooper, W. World order. Grossman et al. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society. Crystal, D. Investigating English style. London: Longman. Dobrovolskij, D. Idiome im mentalen Lexikon: Ziele und Methoden der kognitiv basierten Phraseologieforschung. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier. Haben transformationelle Defekte der Idiomstruktur semantische Ursachen?

Fernandez Bravo, I. Rozier Eds. Dundes, A. Texture, text, and context. Southern Folklore Quarterly, 28, On the structure of the proverb. Proverbium, 25, Phraseology and paremiology. Eco, U. Introduction to a semiotics of iconic signs.

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Versus, 2, A theory of semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Eckert, P. Jocks and burnouts: Social categories and identity in the high school. New York: Teachers College Press. Linguistic variation as social practice. Malden, MA: Blackwell. Firth, R. Proverbs in native life, with special reference to those of the Maori.

Folklore, 37, Fraser, B. Idioms within a transformational grammar. Foundations of Language, 6, Motor oil is motor oil. Journal of Pragmatics, 12, Georges, R. Toward a structural definition of the riddle. Journal of American Folklore, 76, Golopentia-Eretescu, S. Infinite proverbs. Proverbium, 15, Paradoxical proverbs, paradoxical words.

Burger, Harald

Proverbium, 17, Greimas, A. Du sens. Paris: Seuil. Grzybek, P. Foundations of semiotic proverb study. Mieder Ed. Essays on the proverb pp. New York: Garland. Baltmannsweiler: Schneider-Verlag Hohengehren. Methodologische Vor-Bemerkungen. Lilic Ed. K letiju professora V.

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Mokienko pp. Sankt Peterburg: Folio Press. Hain, M. Sprichwort und Volkssprache. Eine volkskundlich-soziologische Dorfuntersuchung. Das Sprichwort. Deutschunterricht, 15, Harnish, R. Communicating with proverbs. Holbek, B. Proverb style. Honeck, R. Creation of proverbial wisdom in the laboratory. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 26, Jolles, A. Einfache Formen. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, B. Toward a theory of proverb meaning. Proverbium, 22, Kuusi, M.

Proverbium, 5, Maranda, E. The logic of riddles. Maranda Eds. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Meleuc, S. Struktur der Maxime. Ihwe Ed. Mieder, W. Brunvand Ed. New York: Norton. Proverbs: A handbook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Proverbs as cultural units or items of folklore. Burger et al. Berlin: de Gruyter. Twisted wisdom: Modern anti-proverbs. Burlington: The University of Vermont. Milner, G. What is a proverb? New Society, , Quadripartite structures. Proverbium, 14, Moon, R.

Frequencies and forms of phrasal lexemes in English. Cowie Ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Corpus linguistic approaches with English corpora. Neumann, S. Zur Terminologie der paromiologischen Strukturanalyse. Proverbium, 6, Newmeyer, F. The insertion of idioms. Peranteau et al. Nordahl, H. Moestrup Eds. Odense: Odense University Press. Norrick, N. Proverbial linguistics: Linguistic perspectives on proverbs. Trier: Linguistics Agency. How proverbs mean. Berlin: Mouton. How paradox means. Poetics Today, 10, Conversational joking.

Hyperbole, extreme case formulations. Journal of Pragmatics, 36, Hyperbole in proverbs and proverbial phrases. Proverbs as set phrases. Freiburg: Herder. Stuttgart: Metzler. Seiler, F. Munich: Beck. Seitel, P. Proverbs: A social use of metaphor. Svartvik, J. A corpus of English conversation. Lund: CWK Gleerup. Problems in the study of proverbs. Journal of American Folklore, 47, The study of proverbs. Modern Language Forum, 24, Leach Ed. Hatboro, PA: Folklore Associates. Wenger, E.

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Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wierzbicka, A. Language, 63, Wirrer, J. Phraseologismen in Text und Kontext. Phrasemata I. Bielefeld: Aisthesis Verlag. Wittgenstein, L. Philosophische Untersuchungen. Oxford: Blackwell. Wolfgang Mieder 2 Origin of Proverbs 2. In the same year his friend Bartlett Jere Whiting published his invaluable article on The Origin of the Proverb, also arguing that much more scholarly work is needed to understand the multifaceted aspects of proverb origins.

Both paremiologists present much information on this intriguing subject matter, and they certainly agree that proverbs are not created by the folk but rather by an individual. Someone at some time and somewhere couches a general observation, behavior, or experience into a short complete sentence that subsequently is picked up by others who might well change the wording slightly resulting in a number of variants until a standard formulation results.

In other words, every proverb begins with an individual whose keen insight is accepted and carried forth as a piece of proverbial wisdom by people of all walks of life. Thus a comprehensive study of the ancient proverb Big fish eat little fish was able to trace the proverb back to an allusion in the didactic poem Works and Days by the Greek writer Hesiod of the eighth century B. C from which it developed by way of variants and translations until it became established in more or less identical wording in most European languages and beyond Mieder, But the first reference in Greek does not really identify the originator of this rather obvious insight based on a common observation in nature.

Most likely the proverb was already in oral communication and it will never be known who uttered this concise piece of wisdom for the first time. It is known that their statements became literary quotations, that they were repeated again and again, and that they eventually circulate as proverbs, with their original author slowly but surely being forgotten. This phenomenon is definitely going on today. Well-known individuals like Winston S.

Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Mikhail Gorbachev, Willy Brandt, Martin Luther King, and others have formulated concise and memorable statements that have become proverbial Mieder, At times these proverbs are cited by also naming their author Taylor, , but as is the usual case with proverbs, they circulate in oral and written communication as anonymous folk wisdom. Today, with the power of the mass media, some of these utterances can become proverbs in a very short time sequence.

But it should also be noted that certain proverbs get attached to names of famous people to add special authority to their wisdom, without anybody having been able to find these texts in their written works. And speaking of America, it should be noted that while such anonymous proverbs as The cat in gloves catches no mice, There are no gains without pains, and Creditors have better memories than debtors were in fact used by Benjamin Franklin in his almanacs and his famed essay The Way to Wealth , he most certainly did not coin them.

But to give this proponent of Puritan ethics his due, the proverbs There will be sleeping enough in the grave , Time is money , and Three removes is as bad as a fire are his very own inventions Gallacher, Their birth is veiled in mystery and obscurity Trench, 42 , and their parentage is enveloped in mystery Hulme, As can be imagined, it remains an especially vexing problem to ascertain the origin and age of proverbs from oral societies, but proverbs from literary traditions might in fact also have been in anonymous oral use prior to their first historically recorded reference Schneider, Confronted with the collection of proverbs in oral use only among the Maori of New Zealand, anthropologist Raymond Firth came to the same conclusion regarding the origin of proverbs as scholars have reached dealing with the proverbs of literate societies: It seems fairly clear that at one time or another some one person must have expressed the feeling of the community on that particular point in words which appealed to other members of the group, and which were passed around and adopted as a convenient mode of expression.

Thus, at the outset, we are forced to admit that every proverb was the work of an individual; and, at the same time, we must ask ourselves just what kind of an individual it is which we mean. If we are to assume conscious literary creation of a proverb, we assume that it was the work of an author who might under his own name have issued it alone, or in a collection of proverbs, or incorporated in some more extended literary work; or of an individual who contrived to incorporate his name into the proverb itself.

Whiting, The same problems exist for all proverbs with the obvious limitation that, in certain cases, historical studies are greatly restricted by the accidents of preservation. Instead they are always coined by an individual whether intentionally or unintentionally. If the statement contains an element of truth or wisdom, and if it exhibits one or more proverbial markers [parallelism, rhyme, alliteration, ellipsis, metaphor, etc.

The global spread of proverbs is not a pipe dream, since certain ancient proverbs have in fact spread to many parts of the world. Today, with the incredible power of mass media, a newly formulated proverb-like statement might become a bona fide proverb relatively quickly by way of the radio, television, and print media. As with verbal folklore in general, the original statement might well be varied a bit as it gets picked up and becomes ever more an anonymous proverb whose wording, structure, style, and metaphor are such that it is memorable. Mieder, a: 9; Mieder, a: Keeping the matter of variants in mind as the original statement develops into its standard proverbial form and that the proverb itself can then be employed in various forms as a mere allusion, a partial remnant, a question, an anti-proverb, etc.

Popular Wisdom in the Modern Age has clearly shown. But before turning to the peculiarities of modern proverb creations, it is necessary to take a look at the four major periods of the creation of proverbs that is necessary to take a look at the four major periods of the creation of proverbs that belong to the common stock of European proverbs Mieder, ; Mieder, b: —; Mieder, Restricting the comments to just these nations, cultures, and languages does not mean that similar developments did not occur in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, etc.

Detailed diachronic and comparative work can succeed in tracing a proverb back to a time when it most likely was created. The realia expressed in such proverbs will certainly provide clues for an approximate date of origin Dundes, b. Thus, the Danish paremiologist Bendt Alster has provided herculean labor in deciphering the cuneiform tablets of ancient Sumer, showing that parallel proverbs to those of the ancient wisdom literature and those of classical antiquity having become common European proverbs must have been in oral communication before B.

Alster, These cuneiform tablets even include remnants of very early fables and folk narratives that have subsequently been reduced to proverbs, but again without revealing who might have been the individual person who first shortened such texts to mere proverbs and at what precise time. Of course, it has long been noticed that some of the proverbs known in identical wording in most European languages can at least be traced back to Greek and Roman sources, always with the caveat that they might in fact be considerably older than their earliest written record found thus far.

Of course, it must not be forgotten that Erasmus of Rotterdam played a major role in disseminating the proverbs from classical antiquity by way of his unsurpassed Adagia ff. As is well established, his compilation was used by the humanists of the sixteenth century, the proverbs were employed for instructional purposes, and they found their way into the literary works and vernacular collections by way of translation.

All of this borrowing was so widespread that what might appear to be a proverb of definite Russian, Spanish, or Hungarian origin upon closer scrutiny proves itself to be much older and having found its way into those languages through loan translation. Bishop Trench has described these surprises in a charming fashion over one hundred fifty years ago: There is indeed nothing in the study of proverbs, in the attribution of them to their right owners, in the arrangement and citation of them, which creates a greater perplexity than the circumstances of finding the same proverb in so many different quarters, current among so many different nations.

More than once this fact has occasioned a serious disappointment to the zealous collector of the proverbs of his native country. Proud of the rich treasures which in this kind it possessed, he has very reluctantly discovered on a fuller investigation of the whole subject, how many of these which he counted native, the peculiar heirloom and glory of his own land, must at once and without hesitation be resigned to others, who can be shown beyond all doubt to have been in earlier possession of them.

Trench, 31 Every paremiographer putting together a national or regional proverb collection is faced with this troubling phenomenon. The title of this large compendium should more appropriately have been A Dictionary of Proverbs Current or Found in America, and the little book of Vermont Proverbs Mieder, should have been called more precisely Proverbs Used and Registered in Vermont. That is not to say that an attempt was not made to record as many indigenous proverbs from the United States or from the small state of Vermont as possible.

Naturally this also indicates the danger of trying to determine something like a national character or worldview by a set of proverbs, especially if that set includes proverbs that are of general European or even global prominence. And there is yet one more matter that needs to be mentioned here. All these loan processes assume a single origin of every proverb, i. The issue of monogenesis versus polygenesis has been discussed in folklore circles since the Brothers Grimm, and it remains a perplexing scholarly problem to this day Chesnutt, After all, why should such short proverbs as Love is blind or Walls have ears not have been coined more than once in disparate areas of the world?

They express common ideas or phenomena, often in a metaphorical way, that might well have resulted in more than one origin. Such proverbs, few as they might be, could be called universal proverbs in opposition to proverbs of but one origin appearing in many parts of the world due to normal loan processes that are enhanced by modern aspects of globalization Paczolay, Yes, these proverbs go back to classical antiquity, but that is only one side of the coin, for it can certainly be argued that loan translated proverbs have what perhaps can be called several secondary origins in the various target languages.

In other words, take the classical proverb One hand washes the other with its earliest reference in ancient Greek. When it appears in Latin as Manus manun lavat it has a secondary origin and the history of this Latin proverb could be studied from its earliest reference on. The paremiological scholarship has not yet used the term secondary origin, but it is a term that fits the situation of a translated proverb taking on its own life in a target language well.

After all, such proverbs do become part of the national corpora, and this continues to take place today. The second major source for common European proverbs is the ancient wisdom literature that found its way into the Bible and other religious texts Westermann, As one of the most widely translated books the Bible had an incredible influence on spreading proverbs, some of them older than the Bible, to many cultures and languages Pfeffer, These proverbs have become so well integrated into various European languages that native speakers often are not at all aware of the fact any longer that they are citing Biblical wisdom when using them.

Of course, it depended at least to a certain degree on the Bible translator whether Biblical proverbs were able to establish themselves in the target language. A revealing example is the Bible proverb Ex abundantia cordis os loquitur Matthew that was awkwardly rendered into English as Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh in the King James Bible of and that consequently never really caught on as a proverb in that language.

But there is also a counterexample: Luther rendered Mark not at all well as Und wenn ein Haus mit sich selbst uneins wird, kann es nicht bestehen [If a house is at variance with itself it cannot endure]. When the wall came down in Germany in , Brandt became very engaged in the process of unification and relied heavily on this translation to argue for a smooth transition to unity.

With his popularity and the media coverage the proverb has now caught on in Germany as well, clearly a late development but a modern sign of the fact that the spread of loan translated proverbs continues, even if an old Bible proverb has to find its way into the German culture and language by way of America Mieder, The rich treasure trove of medieval Latin proverbs makes up the third major source for some of the most popular proverbs known throughout Europe.

As would be expected, not all of these Latin as well as Romance and Germanic language proverbs became known throughout Europe, but there are plenty who did reach such an international status, as for example such popular favorites as Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today, New brooms sweep clean, Strike while the iron is hot, When the cat is away, the mice will play, All that glitters is not gold, Empty vessels make much sound, A horse has four legs and still it stumbles, A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, The pitcher goes so long to the well until at last it breaks, All cats are gray in the dark, Clothes do not make the man, The devil is not so black as he is painted, etc.

It might be surprising to find the proverb All roads lead to Rome in this group of Latin proverbs from the Middle Ages. However, it is placed here correctly, since Rome in this case is not the imperial city but rather the city of the church. In other words, for believers and clergy alike everything leads to the center of the papacy in Rome. Lest it be forgotten, it should be pointed out before turning to the fourth and more modern source of wide-spread proverbs that there are naturally also the thousands of home-grown proverbs dating from medieval to modern times that are part of any national or regional repertoire.

For most of them the individual coiner is not known, but they were phrased by someone as pieces of wisdom with certain proverbial markers metaphor, structure, rhyme, alliteration, ellipsis, parallelism, etc. By way of detailed historical and contextualized analysis their approximate dates of origin can be ascertained, as for example for such indigenous English proverbs as Early to be and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. A stitch in time saves nine, Birds of a feather flock together, Nothing ventured, nothing gained, Practice makes perfect, etc. Everyone of these folk proverbs deserves a detailed study regarding its origin, dissemination, meaning, and continued use, but the originator and precise date will never be known.

This certainly is also true for the fascinating more recent fourth group of proverbs that belongs to the stock of common European proverbs. As is well known, Latin as the lingua franca of Europe has long been pushed aside, but it has now been replaced by the Englishes of the world, notably the Anglo-American variety. British and American proverbs have been loan translated for quite some time, but this trend has increased at an impressive rate since the end of the Second World War that brought the United States as a major political, economic, and cultural player in closer contact with Europe and the world at large.

The American way of life with its future oriented worldview and emphasis on pragmatism, business, consumerism, mobility, and popular culture music, television, film, mass media, etc. Individual English words have long been taken over by other languages, either directly or as loan translations. This is also true for proverbs that are accepted either in their original wording or as loan translations. German: Mitten im Strom soll man die Pferde nicht wechseln. German: Man soll nicht alle Eier in einen Korb legen.


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German:Ein Bild sagt mehr als tausend Worte. German: Der Hund ist des Menschen bester Freund. German: Keine Nachrichten sind gute Nachrichten. Of special interest is what has happened with the early seventeenth-century English proverb The early bird catches the worm that has always been considered as the equivalent of the extremely popular German proverb Morgenstunde hat Gold im Munde [The morning hour has gold in its mouth] from the previous century.

Mieder, ; Mieder, b: There is no doubt that the international domination of the English language will continue this process, spreading old and new proverbs in English or as loan translations throughout the world. This is not to say that proverbs from other languages are not translated as well, but these incidents are relatively rare and usually limited to but neighboring cultures and languages. But often such individuals are not in the public eye, and for most people it is irrelevant who might have coined them. There is no doubt that especially in modernity people delight in creating proverb-like statements that could be called pseudo-proverbs.

Yet, over time, they might well reach a general currency and become bona fide proverbs Mieder, Then there are those lines turned proverbs from popular films, like If you build it, they will come from Field of Dreams that actually is based on W. Modern proverbs are also created consciously by individuals as so-called laws of the trials and tribulations of life in a stressful world.

Quite often the bits of wisdom intended for the greater public have the name of the originator attached to them, and by now entire little books have been published with such personal maxims or mottoes, as these texts might better be called at first. However, many of them have been accepted by others and they can be found in oral and written communication, either with a name attached to them or as anonymous laws that have indeed become proverbs.

Of special interest is the law If anything can go wrong, it will which together with the variants Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong and Anything that can possibly go wrong usually does has definitely developed into a well-known proverb. Nichols after hearing Edward A. Murphy, Jr. Other proverbs are created, again for the most part anonymously, by way of intentionally creating so-called counter-proverbs changing an existing positive proverb into a negative statement and vice versa or anti-proverbs the intentional manipulation of a proverb that changes the wording and meaning.

At times the originators of such playful reactions to proverbs are known, as for example aphoristic writers, journalists, and other wordsmiths. The important matter is that new proverbs get created on the basis of traditional proverbs. Of literally hundreds of them the following three might serve as telling examples: No body is perfect versus the older Nobody is perfect, Beauty is only skin versus Beauty is only skin deep, and Expedience is the best teacher versus Experience is the best teacher. While most anti-proverbs are one-day wonders that have not entered general folk speech, there are those that express new wisdom and have been accepted as innovatively expressed wisdom based on traditional proverbial structures — a process that is nothing new in the long history of creating new proverbs.

Since much of this humorous, ironical or satirical manipulation of common proverbs is taking place in the vast arena of the mass media newspapers, magazines, radio, television, film, and the Internet , anti-proverbs with a claim of some truth or wisdom can reach thousands or even millions of people who in turn might use them to such a degree that they may well become new proverbs Valdaeva, ; Mieder, This leads to the fascinating question whether proverbs can be consciously invented?

He might be right regarding especially authors of aphorisms whose texts, frequently actually based on traditional proverbs, have failed to become accepted proverbs primarily because those that might in fact be proverb-like had no chance of becoming true proverbs because of the small number of readers in most cases. However, it might be pointed out that the novelist but also philologist J.

Tolkien certainly invented proverbs for his Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings that serve as sapiential leitmotifs and might well be current among the special folk group of Tolkien enthusiasts Trokhimenko, Field research among that reader group would probably establish that the invented proverbs Every worm has its weak spot and Never laugh at live dragons from the widely read Hobbit have become proverbial among them! Be that as it may, Whiting is wrong with his negative view regarding the invention of proverbs.

They all have been or continue to be invented by someone sometime, even if at first they are at best proverb-like or pseudo-proverbs, as for example a sententious remark in a novel, a verse from a song, or an advertising slogan. The issue is that such well-turned phrases might become proverbs if they are accepted and repeated beyond the individual who came up with it all. Surely Whiting would have to agree that there must be a beginning, no matter whether it is a by-chance start or a conscious creation.

But he then goes one step further, claiming that such aspects as currency and traditionality should no longer be included in what is to be considered as proverbiality. In other words, an invented sentence that has some of the markers alliteration, rhyme, parallelism, etc. For Winick the proverbiality of an utterance is in the text itself, and that very text is a proverb without any need of such cultural or folkloristic aspects as dissemination, currency, traditionality, etc.

This approach allows for dynamic creativity within the proverb tradition. Winick, All of this makes plenty of sense from a purely linguistic or intertextual point of view. However, even if someone were to create such a proverb-like sentence and claim that it is a proverb — as Steve Winick suggests — it would still have to prove itself to be worthy of that designation by going beyond its mere creation by an individual to a state of group acceptance.

But to stress once again, there is nothing wrong with intertextually looking for possible new proverbs — how else are they to be found? But for such a text to be called a proverb in the normal sense of that word, certainly more than one contextual reference has to be found, and what is wrong with saying the more the merrier as far as proverbiality is concerned?

Richard Honeck and his co-author Jeffrey Welge gave their equally intriguing article the provocative title Creation of Proverbial Wisdom in the Laboratory , and as Winick, they argue against the cultural or folkloristic view of proverb creation by paremiologists as Taylor, Whiting, and many others. The key question in the cognitive view is whether a statement is functioning, or is likely to be capable of functioning, as proverbs function. It is true, paremiologists for the most part have not properly answered the psychological question why people produce many proverbs in the first place and why, for example the Native Americans Mieder, ; Mieder, a: , have created hardly any.

But here then is the major point of their argument: If the cognitive view of proverbs is adopted, the laboratory creation of proverbiality becomes feasible. This is because this view does not make any of the implicational complex of the cultural view — traditionality, social usage, etc. What is necessary is that a statement serve the basic categorization and motivational functions that proverbs do.

Indeed, speculatively, there may be more personal than cultural-level proverbs, and if the cultural definition is accepted, all of the former would be excluded from consideration. These proverbial statements are baby proverbs that may not be recognized as such but that have the potential to become full-fledged communal proverbs.

There may therefore be a large pool of proverbs-inwaiting whose fate is determined in the crucible of larger sociohistorical forces. But notice the terms being used here for the initial and personal creation of proverbs, i. What does all of this mean other than that the creation of a proverb is a personal matter, but in order for such a proverb-like statement to become a bona fide proverb, one that is to be added to the annals of proverb collections, it does need to go beyond the original creator. This has always been the case, and in the mind of the folk with its view of proverbiality and that of most paremiologists a proverb remains an expression of a general truth that has been accepted and repeated by a folk group no matter what its size or background.

Anybody can create a sentence that includes a basic truth, that sounds like a proverb, that has all the stylistic and linguistic features of a proverb, and that appears to be full of wisdom. But there is a basic problem with such an invention, and this problem exists with every proverb that has ever been coined! Be the text ever so close to what we understand a proverb to be, it still needs elements that will turn it into a proverb. A proverb requires some currency among the folk.

In other words, it has to be accepted into general oral and written communication and appear with at least some frequency and distribution. If one looks back at the creation of proverbs over the centuries, it must be remembered that it might have taken years, dozens of years, or even centuries for a given proverb to get accepted and reach a certain currency and traditionality. Today, in the modern age of the computer and the internet, someone might make a spontaneous proverb-like statement that will literally travel across a country or even the globe in seconds.

Truly modern proverbs cover such ground with solid speed. But, of course, it remains to be seen whether they will stay in circulation for some extended period of time. How long? That is a tough question to answer. After all, proverbs have always come, stayed, and gone. A day, a week, a month, a year surely are too short, but how about a decade?


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In any case, judging from the proverbs included in The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs , some of these modern proverbs have been around for several decades and have proven that they have staying power. One thing is for certain, the age of proverb creation is not over! People will always feel the need to encapsulate their observations and experiences into easily remembered and repeated generalizations, and those that are of general interest and well formulated will, with a bit of luck, be accepted by other people.

The proverb Proverbs are never out of season is as true today as ever before, and the study of the origin of modern proverbs is indeed as intriguing as trying to reconstruct the possible start of an ancient proverb. And why is there still much to be studied regarding the origin of individual proverbs? The answer is quite simple. The minute the question is raised about the origin of a proverb, a multilayered and intricate scholarly project is started that often results in lengthy monographs with a multitude of linguistic, folkloristic, literary, cultural, and historical references.

The modern proverb Nothing is as simple as it looks certainly fits the question about the origin of proverbs, but that should not prevent paremiologists from searching for answers in their quest to uncover the process of proverb creation and dissemination. References Alster, B.

Wisdom of ancient Sumer. On the genesis and the destiny of proverbs. Kotthoff Eds.

Chapter Seven. Making Luxembourgish A Language in: Inventing Luxembourg

Barta, P. Carnes, P. Proverbia in fabula. Essays on the relationship of the fable and the proverb. Bern: Peter Lang. Chesnutt, M. Brednich Ed. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Combet, L. Paremia 5, Doyle, C. Observations on the diachronic study of proverbs. Proverbium 18, The dictionary of modern proverbs. Paremiological pet peeves. Voces amicorum Guilhelmo Voigt sexagenario pp. Guessing age and provenance. Vasenkari, P. Siikala Eds. A Festschrift for Prof.

Joensuu: Suomen Kansantietouden Tutkijain Seura. Folklore London 38, and Gallacher, S. A florilegium of proverbs and wise sayings. Journal of English and Germanic Philology 48, Goitein, S. The origin and historical significance of the present-day Arabic proverb. Islamic Culture 26 Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 26, Also in W.

A decade of North American proverb studies pp. Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag Hohengehren, Hrisztova-Gotthardt, H. On the origin of Bulgarian proverbs. Lauhakangas Eds. Tavira: Tipografia Tavirense. Hulme, F. Proverb lore. Being a historical study of the similarities, contrasts, topics, meanings, and other facets of proverbs, truisms, and pithy sayings.

London: Elliot Stock. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Company, ; rpt. Burlington, Vermont: The University of Vermont, Huxley, G. Stories explaining origins of Greek proverbs. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 81c, Litovkina, A. Anti-proverbs in contemporary societies. Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 52, Marvin, D.

The antiquity of proverbs. Fifty familiar proverbs and folk sayings with annotations and lists of connected forms, found in all parts of the world. New York: G. International bibliography of explanatory essays on individual proverbs and proverbial expressions. Bern: Herbert Lang. Vermont Proverbs. History and interpretation of a proverb about human nature.

Mieder, Tradition and innovation in folk literature pp. A study of texts and contexts. Proverbs are never out of season. Popular wisdom in the modern age. New York: Oxford University Press. New York: Peter Lang, Geschichte des Sprichwortes und der Redensart im Deutschen. Proverbium 13, Wien: Edition Praesens. Schmelz Eds. History of a German proverb in the Anglo-American world.

Mieder, Strategies of wisdom. Anglo-American and German proverb studies pp. Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag Hohengehren. The history and future of common proverbs in Europe. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. From biblical proverb to Abraham Lincoln and beyond. Mieder, Proverbs are the best policy. Folk wisdom and American politics pp. Burger, D. Norrick Eds. An international handbook of contemporary research I, pp. Interplay of Traditional and Innovative Folklore.

New York: Peter Lang. International bibliography of paremiology and phraseology. The translation and distribution of Anglo-American proverbs in Europe. Korhonen, W. Mieder, E. Wien: Praesens Verlag. Origin, nature, and meaning of modern Anglo-American proverbs. Proverbium 29, The disturbing origin and cultural history of an American proverb. Proverbium 31, in print. A dictionary of American proverbs.

Nwachukwu-Agbada, J. Origin, meaning and value of Igbo historical proverbs. Proverbium 7, Olinick, S.


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On proverbs. Creativity, communication, and community. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 23, Paczolay, G. European, Far-Eastern and some Asian proverbs. Proverbium 10, European proverbs in 55 languages with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. European Proverbs. Eismann Ed.

Bochum: Norbert Brockmeyer. Universal, regional, sub-regional, and local proverbs. Pfeffer, J. Das biblische Zitat im Volksmund der Germanen und Romanen. Koeppen Eds. Quitard, P. Paris: Techener. Bern: Peter Lang, Schapira, C. Anscombre Ed. Paris: Larousse. Schneider, K. The English proverb. Poetica , Das deutsche Lehnsprichwort. Halle: Verlag der Buchhandlung des Waisenhauses. Hildesheim: Georg Olms, Beck, Singer, S. Thesaurus proverbiorum medii aevi.

Phraseologie

Strauss, E. Dictionary of European proverbs. London: Routledge. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Hatboro, Pennsylvania: Folklore Associates, Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, ; rpt. Selected writings on proverbs. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia. On the lessons in proverbs. New York: Redfield. Also with the title Proverbs and their lessons. London: George Routledge, Trokhimenko, O. The function of proverbs in J. Proverbium 20, Urbas, W. Jahrhunderts pp. Valdaeva, T. Anti-proverbs or new proverbs: The use of English anti-proverbs and their stylistic analysis.

Walther, H. Proverbia sententiaeque latinitatis medii aevi. Westermann, C. Roots of wisdom. The oldest proverbs of Israel and other peoples. Whiting, B. The origin of the proverb. Harvard Studies and Notes in Philology and Literature, 13, Also in B. Three essays on the proverb. Mieder pp. Winick, S.

Intertextuality and innovation in a definition of the proverb genre. Yankah, K. An indigenous theory of proverb authorship. Yankah, The proverb in the context of Akan rhetoric. A theory of proverb praxis pp. The history, background, aims and motives of these efforts will broaden the perspective to two serious attempts to systemize international proverb lore and open the way for new attempts to categorize this special genre of folklore.

Secondly, a critical point of view to a huge number of popular and systematic proverb collections, cultural comparisons and multilingual data banks will be offered. The idea is to develop the proverb literacy of readers so that they are able to analyze, evaluate and create questions concerning their own research material. Ultimately, we shall provide a summary of the different needs in constructing categorizations of proverb corpora and also review the possible bias in applying conventional classification methods to proverbs.

On the base of these conclusions we shall try to make an outline of the best possible universal database of proverbs that should take into account culture-specific challenges and discuss the practical conditions for it. These three aims tell about the difficulty of scientific proverb research but perhaps particularly these challenges and open questions have been one reason for the constant enthusiasm for collecting and interpreting proverbs through the centuries.

Proverbs have become separate items like esteemed quotations that seem to bear probed wisdom and useful knowledge within them. This industrious, prolonged, large-scale and often purposeful collecting has resulted in a huge number of collections of proverbs. Most of them are either unilingual or contrastive between two languages but there have also long been multilingual collections.

Paremiologists like to construct order in their material that seems to tell more about universal human experience than any other source. The long history of this genre of speech, anonymity, traditional flavor, memorable form, figurative meanings in contexts, and often universality define proverbs. Those items, which I shall call proverb-like expressions, develop this tradition and make use of memorable forms of familiar proverbs.

Daniel Andersson 28 shows from his cognitive linguistic point of view that actually every proverb should be interpreted in its whole meaning potential. If a proverb is in real use, the base meaning of it is continuously in a blending process. It is used in context-bound meaning creation. The impressive and interactive features of proverbs tell about their fitness to get over language borders.