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Original scientific article

Nina Spicijarić Paškvan; Zavod za povijesne i društvene znanosti HAZU, Rijeka

Maja Opašić; Filozofski fakultet u Rijeci




This paper gives a comparative analysis of one level of phrasemes in Croatian and Italian language – that whose components are parts of body hand and its parts. The level was chosen because the parts of body are probably the richest phraseological level in most languages. The aim of this paper was to determine in what amount has the possible basic and transferred meaning of the word hand and its parts (fist, finger, palm, nail, elbow and shoulder) influenced the meaning of the whole phraseme on one hand and the symbolism of an individual phraseme on another. Thus, lexical meaning of each part of body was determined to show if they are realized in the phrasemes surrounding. The semantic phenomena of meronymy and holonymy on the examples of phrasemes are also discussed, (i.e. (im)possibility of their substitution in certain phrasemes). The conducted analysis proved that basic and transferred meaning of the word hand and its parts are generated in a large number of phrasemes (i.e. they influenced the background image and the meaning of a certain phraseme). The large correspondence in lexical meaning in both languages and phrasemes are registered, which is, of course, a consequence of the fact that the role of hand and other body parts represents a kind of universality. Therefore, the correspondence could also be expected in other European languages. However, the structural and semantic differences between Croatian and Italian phrasemes are also registered which is, as always when it comes to the phraseology, the result of national and cultural particularities. That particularly applies to the phrasemes of gestural origin because it does not mean that all gestures in all cultures have the same meaning, and some are not even used. There was a great possibility of replacement of holonyms by meronyms which then make synonymous pair, such as holonym hand by meronym fist, palm or fingers... This happens because of the wide range of meanings of the word hand, unlike his meronyms. Therefore, the replacement of some meronym by holonym hand has not been confirmed. Because of the possibility of replacement of the word hand by its parts, a great number of lexical variants have been confirmed in the Croatian phrasemes.



phraseme; somatism; phraseme background; holonym; meronym; contrastive analysis; Croatian language; Italian language


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