Zinovieva E.I., Alyoshin A.S. Verbalizing the Conceptual Opposition of “Us vs Them” in Proverbs: Comparative Paremias in Swedish and Russian

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2022.5.7

Elena I. Zinovieva

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor, Department of Russian as a Foreign Language and Methods of Its Teaching, St. Petersburg State University

Universitetskaya Emb., 7-9-11, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6253-9739

Alexej S. Alyoshin

Candidate of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Head of the Department Foreign Languages, The Bonch-Bruevich Saint Petersburg State University of Telecommunications

Prosp. Bolshevikov, 22, Bld. 1, 193232 Saint Petersburg, Russia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6058-8844


Abstract. The paper highlights correlation of mental structures and their linguistic content in the comparative proverbs in Swedish and Russian that verbalize the opposition of "us vs them". The study was carried out using a cognitive-and-comparative approach as part of linguistic study of the relationship between language and culture, authoritative dictionaries of Swedish and Russian proverbs provided material for the analysis. A cognitive modeling of the units was carried out, which implied stating the structural-and-semantic models of Swedish and Russian proverbs, their identification and comparison. The study found that both Swedish and Russian proverbs, which express the opposition of "us vs them", have a common basic concept with a frame pattern associated with it. However, differences in the conceptual foundations of comparative proverbs in the Swedish and Russian languages derive from the discrepency between conceptual constituency of their domains that are reflected in the proverbs. Thus, Swedish proverbs verbalize the concept of "House" with the domain "Space", whereas Russian units convey the concept "Person" by the domain "Interpersonal relations". The Swedish proverbs are noted to be more categorical and didactic than the Russian proverbs. The study findings can be used in the analysis of similarities and differences in the traditional mentality of Swedes and Russians, as reflected in proverbs related to various fragments of the world.

Key words: opposition of "us vs them", proverb, frame, concept, structural-and-semantic model, Swedish, Russian.

Citation. Zinovieva E.I., Alyoshin A.S. Verbalizing the Conceptual Opposition of "Us vs Them" in Proverbs: Comparative Paremias in Swedish and Russian. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2022, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 73-82. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2022.5.7

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