The aim of this paper is to study the occurrence of colour words in proverbs, their cross-linguistic and cross-cultural convergences/divergences, and the difficulties in understanding them in intercultural communication. On the grounds of the literature and of the data resulting from questionnaires mainly filled by Chinese and Italian infomants, colour words in proverbs, though significantly culturally-bound, show (partial) correspondences, common tropi, and even the same pattern and propositional content, as in the following English saying and its equivalent in other languages (that is, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, etc.): Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning. Furthermore, like idioms and formulas, proverbial sayings seem to perform significant functions on a cultural/social level, that is, transmitting beliefs within a given community, marking social identity, and, in Chinese culture, showing a significant function in argumentation; but further testings are necessary. In the interface between language and communication, our analysis will discuss the data taken from our ongoing research on colour words, compare the different uses by Italian and Chinese speakers, and, in general, touch upon the comprehension issue and the related, intercultural difficulties, only partially solved by local and global contextual parameters (Akman & Bazzanella, 2003).

Colour word in proverbs

BAZZANELLA, Carla;RONGA, IRENE
2012

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to study the occurrence of colour words in proverbs, their cross-linguistic and cross-cultural convergences/divergences, and the difficulties in understanding them in intercultural communication. On the grounds of the literature and of the data resulting from questionnaires mainly filled by Chinese and Italian infomants, colour words in proverbs, though significantly culturally-bound, show (partial) correspondences, common tropi, and even the same pattern and propositional content, as in the following English saying and its equivalent in other languages (that is, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, etc.): Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning. Furthermore, like idioms and formulas, proverbial sayings seem to perform significant functions on a cultural/social level, that is, transmitting beliefs within a given community, marking social identity, and, in Chinese culture, showing a significant function in argumentation; but further testings are necessary. In the interface between language and communication, our analysis will discuss the data taken from our ongoing research on colour words, compare the different uses by Italian and Chinese speakers, and, in general, touch upon the comprehension issue and the related, intercultural difficulties, only partially solved by local and global contextual parameters (Akman & Bazzanella, 2003).
The International Symposium on Language and Communication: Research trends and challenges
Izmir, Turchia
10-12 Giugno 2012
Proceedings Book of The International Symposium on Language and Communication: Research trends and challenges
Mega Press
1
359
370
9786058686670
http://www.inlcs.org
Proverbs; Colour Words; Context; Socio-cultural Functions; Comprehension; Intercultural Communication
Bazzanella Carla; Salvati Luisa; Ronga Irene
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/117869
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact