Familiarity and Unfamiliarity Factor: A Variable in the Cognition of Proverbs
English Language, Literature & Culture
Volume 4, Issue 3, September 2019, Pages: 78-82
Received: Aug. 28, 2019; Accepted: Sep. 11, 2019; Published: Sep. 25, 2019
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Sukdeb Goswami, Department of Language and Literature, Utkal University of Culture, Bhubaneswar, Odisa, India
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Proverbs are a very common linguistic tool that provides a mechanism for understanding the general in terms of the specific. Their usage reveals the state of mind and mutual cognitive environment of the discourse participants in a linguistic exchange. The interpretation of a proverb involves a mapping process leading the hearer to search for a correspondence between the literal statement and its meaning within a context (Gibbs 1994). My paper aims at studying how familiarity and unfamiliarity factor of a proverb acts as a variable in the cognition of proverbs. It will examine how familiar proverbs are understood in a non-literal fashion more quickly than unfamiliar proverbs. For example, ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’ will use less processing effort than a comparatively less familiar proverb like ‘the used key is always bright’ andit will expose how ultimately greater cognitive benefits are achieved from its processing. Once the proverb is confirmed as a fixed conceptual frame, the literal and non-literal senses equally integrate into an emerging meaning structure. It will also observe how expressions of these underlying conceptual relationships in the form of verbal metaphors quickly become a part of the culture’s stock truismsand folk wisdom and how ‘conceptual integration’ and ‘frame shifting’ also depend on the familiarity and unfamiliarity of a proverb.
Proverbs, Mutual Cognitive Environment, Conceptual Integration, Frame Shifting, Cultural Fields of Meaning etc
To cite this article
Sukdeb Goswami, Familiarity and Unfamiliarity Factor: A Variable in the Cognition of Proverbs, English Language, Literature & Culture. Vol. 4, No. 3, 2019, pp. 78-82. doi: 10.11648/j.ellc.20190403.13
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