Kujundsonast eesti fraseoloogias
ABOUT FIGURATIVE WORDS IN ESTONIAN PHRASEOLOGY
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The material that the article is based on is comprised of phraseologisms (in all 20,749) included in the electronic base dictionary of Estonian idiomatic expressions. The theoretical basis is the idea that in case a linguistic unit – be it a word in its literal meaning, a phrase, or a sentence – is understood metaphorically, the metaphor is related to the literal meaning on the basis of a relationship or certain rules. This function is usually fulfilled by a trope. The article focuses on the ontological nature of analysing figurative words in Estonian phraseologisms. For this purpose, the author presents the ontological characterisation of a hundred most frequent figurative words in Estonian phraseologisms, and, based on this, makes the following conclusions about Estonian phraseology: 1) The source of the image is related to Estonians’ everyday life – the top hundred of figurative words cover the human sphere and zoology; 2) A remarkable number of phraseologisms are based on lexemes covering everyday domains, which characterise our beliefs, understandings, and everyday activities – the things needed for survival are essential; 3) Zipf’s law applies – there is a plethora of figurative words with extremely low frequency of occurrence (in one or two expressions), and a very small number of figurative words with extremely high frequency of occurrence (in a hundred or more expressions); 4) By its nature, Estonian phraseology is very commonplace and vernacular. One of the reasons for this is probably that the researched archival material mainly originates from oral speech notations.
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