THE COGNITIVE CATEGORY OF 'MOTHER' IN THE CROATIAN LANGUAGE (Kategoria MATKI we wspólczesnym jezyku chorwackim)
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One of the most basic features of the cognitive category of MOTHER in the Croatian language is giving birth to a child. Even a pregnant woman is conceptualized as a mother. The profile, that speaks of creating new life, allows for metaphorical description in terms of the mother of that which is the beginning or the source of something (eg majka zemlja, majka svih pogresaka). Another important element is mother's childcare, i.e. breastfeeding (dojilja), householding (majka kucanica), upbringing (majka odgojiteljica), protection and assistance (majka domovina, majka siromaha, Majka Tereza, Bozja Majka). In addition, the lexical material indicates that a mother should be referred to with respect. This is visible mainly in the construction of curses, whose vulgarity and strength come from breaking of that commandment (jebem ti majku). The last feature, characterizing mother in the Croatian language, is her age. Most of the collocations show that mother is imagined as an elderly person (stara majka, stara mama, starica majka, mama starica, stara, starateljica, baba, babica, baka, stara mu je majka). It probably results from the manner in which mother is represented in literature and folklore, as well as from the conceptualization of her from the child's point of view.
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