Phraseological unit / set expression / idiom – a complex word-equivalent in which the globality of nomination reigns supreme over the formal separability of elements. It is reproduced in speech. – See Idiom proper
Typology of ph.us. (according to the degree of motivation):
- - unities, phraseological (q.v.);
- - combinations, phraseological (q.v.);
- - fusions, phraseological (q.v.).
Alongside with separate words speakers use larger blocks functioning as whole (consisting › 1 word). In any language there are certain restrictions imposed upon co-occurence of words.
They can be connected with linguistic factors or the ties in the extra-linguistic reality.
3 types of lexical combinability of words:
1). Free combination
Grammatical properties of words are the main factor of their combinability.
- Ex.: I’m talking to you. You are writing.
Free combinations permit substitution of any of its elements without semantic change of the other element.
- Ex.: to commit a murder
- Bread & butter
- Dark night
- Blue sky
- Bright day
They are the habitual associations of a word in a language with other particular words. Speakers become accustomed to such collocations.
Very often they are related to the referential & situational meaning of words.
Sometimes there are collocations, which are removed from the reference to extra-linguistic reality.
(collocations involving, colour words)
- Ex.: to be green with jealousy
- Red revolution
Idioms are also collocations, because they consist of several words that tend to be used together, but the difference – we can’t guess the meaning of the whole idiom from the meanings of its parts.
This criterion is called the degree of semantic isolation.
In different types of idioms – it is different.
- Ex.: to cry a blue murder = to complain loudly
This classification of idioms according to their structure:
1. Fixed idioms
- a) fixed regular idioms
It’s a 60-thousand dollar question = difficult question
- b) fixed irregular (can be varied on the grammatical level)
to have a bee in one’s bonnet (She has.., I have...)
2. Variable (varied on the lexical level)
- Ex.: to add fuel to the fire/flame
- to mind one’s own business /to mind one business
- to nap a cat’s nap / to have a short nap (вздремнуть)
- dialectal: BrE: to have a skeleton in the cupboard
- AmE: to have a skeleton on the closet
- The degree of semantic isolation
- The degree of disinformation
1. Opaque in meaning (трудный для понимания)
the meaning of the individual words can’t be summed together to produce the meaning of the whole.
- Ex.: to kick the bucket = to die
It contains no clue to the idiomatic meaning of this expression
The degree of semantic isolation is the highest. => phraseological fusions
one component preserves its direct meaning
- Ex.: to pass the buck = to pass responsibility – свалить ответственность
=> phraseological unities
both components in their direct meaning but the combination acquires figurative sense
- Ex.: to see the light = to understand
=> phraseological combinations
There are lots of idioms (proverbs, saying).
- Ex.: Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back
Idioms institutionalized formulas of politeness:
- · How do you do?
- · Good-bye (God be with you)
- · How about a drink?
Lots of clichés, quotations.
Clichés form a notable part of he public speaking style. They use clichés because of the intellectual laziness or in the hope of appealing to emotions of smb.
A talk based on clichés is easier to produce.
- Ex.: to see the light
- It’s high time to do smth
( these expressions are store in our mind, ready-made )
To support our arguments, to add some prominence
- Ex.: “I have a dream” M.L.King
- “To be or not to be” Shakespeare
They may be clipped or shortened.
- Ex.: To beer or not to beer (creates humorist effect)
- To bomb or not to bomb
- It was the last straw that broke the camels back.
Sources of idioms:
1. from our everyday life
- Ex.: to be born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth
- to sail under false colour (прятать истинное лицо)
- to loose track of smb (потерять кого-либо из виду, давно не видеть)
- a leopard can(’t) change its spots
2. from the Bible
- Ex.: black sheep, lost sheep (заблудшая овца)
- To cast pearls before swine (метать бисер перед свиньями)
3. World literature
- Ex.: to fight against Windmills
- an ugly duckling (Danish) – гадкий утенок
4. different languages
- Ex.: to lose face (Chinese)
- “The course of true love has never run smooth” Shakespeare “The 12th night”
- “The course of true reforms has never run smooth in Russia” – “the Times”
5. from history
- Ex.: to cross the Rubicon
- Labours of Hercules
- To bell the cat
1. Одновершинные (with one peak)
( one peak phraseological units, one form word, one notional )
- Ex.: to leave for good
- By heart
- At bay – быть в отчаянном положении
2. Phrasemes with the structure of subordinate or coordinate word combination.
- Ex.: a bitter pill to swallow
- All the world & his wife
3. Partly predicative
( a word + subordinate clause )
- Ex.: It was the last straw that broke the camels back
4. Verbal with (infinitive, passive)
- Ex.: to eat like a wolf
- The Rubicon is crossed
5. Phrasal units with a simple or complex sentence structure
- Ex.: There is a black sheep in every flock.
- It was the last straw that broke the camel’s back
Koonin: “Structural-semantic classification”.
2. Nominative –communicative
3. Interjectional & modal
Oh, my eye! (= Oh, my God!)
As sure as eggs is eggs (просто, как 2х2)
4. Communicative (proverbs, sayings)
There is no smoke without fire.
Substantive: crocodile tears
Adjective: as mad as a hatter, as cool as a cucumber
Adverbial: by & by, to & fro
Verbal: to live like a lord
Прислала Алена Жильцова