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Synonyms and Structural Variants of Proverbs with the Zoonym Component in English, French and Russian. P. 99–105

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Section: Philology




Evgeniya M. Maklakova
Branch in Naberezhnye Chelny, Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University;
ul. 40 let Pobedy 68/19 (1/18), Naberezhnye Chelny, 423812, Respublika Tatarstan, Russian Federation; e-mail:
Svetlana O. Magfurova
Branch in Naberezhnye Chelny, The University of Management TISBI;
ul. Tatarstan 10, Naberezhnye Chelny, 423825, Respublika Tatarstan, Russian Federation; e-mail:


The development of comparative linguistics has contributed to the mainstreaming of multidimensional approach to the study of phraseological units (PUs) in different languages from the point of view of the study of their structure, semantics, as well as nationally and culturally significant features. Therefore, on the material of English, French and Russian proverbs interpreting the information content and the effect of the spoken word in various speech situations, it was discovered that figurative proverbs, being grammatically and semantically stable, in certain contexts undergo modifications in structural-semantic and functional terms, which, as a result, produces structural variants and synonyms. The authors use the classification proposed by N.N. Amosova based on the contextual principle: PUs are divided into four structural varieties and arranged on a special – contextualized – scale. The closest to the structural variants of a single idiom are synonymous idioms having equal number of different and coinciding components and the same motivation. More distant from the structural variants is the second type of synonymous idioms, in which different components prevail over the coinciding ones while the motivation remains the same. Next is the third type of synonymous idioms having similarities in motivations but completely different in terms of lexical composition and sometimes even in structure. The fourth type of synonymous idioms is characterized by somewhat divergent motivations and completely different lexical compositions, which makes the difference between them even more pronounced, although the whole meaning remains the same. The comparative analysis of proverbs and sayings with the zoonym component confirmed that all of the above models are subjected to semantic and grammatical modifications. The choice of a certain idiom for a particular context is largely governed by the intensification of meanings and connotations that create a structural-semantic, axiological and emotional-evaluative precedent of English, French and Russian proverbs.


comparative linguistics, phraseological unit, proverb, synonymous idiom, structural variants, contextualized scale
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