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语言文化论文-浅谈英语谚语的来源、功能及其修辞.doc

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语言文化论文-浅谈英语谚语的来源、功能及其修辞.doc

语言文化论文浅谈英语谚语的来源、功能及其修辞[Abstract]Proverbs,incolorfulandvividlanguage,reflectimportanttypicalculturalvaluesofeveryculture.Simpleandpopular,conciseandpithy,theyarepassedonfromgengerationtogenerationinthereadableoralformandhavegraduallybecomeacomponentindispensabletothedominantcultureofthatnation.ThispapercontainsthreepartsthesourcesofEnglishproverbs、thefunctionsofEnglishproverbsandtherhetoricaldevicesofEnglishproverbs.Firstly,itintroducesthesourcesofEnglishproverbs.Proverbshavealonghistory.Theyarebriefandwellpolishedexpressionsembeddedinphilosophicalideasconcerningdifferentaspectsoflife.Theyarethesummaryofpeopleexperienceineverydaylife,sotheyoriginatedfrompeoplesdailylifeandexperience.Tobespecific,theycomefromfolklife,religion,mythology,literaryworks,otherlanguages,famouswriterswisdom,anationshistoryandsoon.Secondly,itmentionsthefunctionofEnglishproverbs.Itsfunctionistoteachandadvisepeoplewhattheyseeintheirlives.ManyEnglishproverbsguidepeopletoadoptacorrectattitudetowardslifeandtotakeaproperwaytogetalongwellwithothers.Someotherproverbstellpeoplewhattodoandhowtodoit,sotheproverbsguidepeoplesdailylife.Fromthem,peoplemaybroadentheirknowledgeandoutlook.Thirdly,itdescribestheirrhetoricaldevices.Englishproverbsarerichandcolorful.WithregardtotheeverlastingcharmoftheEnglishproverbs,therearemanydifferentreasons.Themostimportantoneistheextensiveuseofrhetoricaldevicesandrhythmaticalways,sotheirlanguageisfullofimageandvividnessandhasastrongartisticbeautyandpower.[KeyWords]Englishproverbssourcesfunctionsrhetoricaldevices【摘要】谚语丰富多彩,生动隽永,反映了每个民族追崇的重要而独特的文化价值观。谚语简单通俗,精辟凝练,尤其以朗朗的口语形态承传沿用,渐渐成为民族主流文化不可缺少的一部分。这篇论文包含三个部分英语谚语的来源,英语谚语的功能及其修辞。第一部分是介绍英语谚语的来源,英语谚语源远流长,是人类日常生活经验的结晶。它来源于日常生活与经验,确切地说,来源于民间生活,宗教,神话,文学著作,其他语言,名人名言以及国家历史等。第二部分是介绍英语谚语的功能,谚语的功能是教育和指导人们在日常生活中所遇到的情况,同时它们引导人们采取正确的态度对待生活。从谚语中,人们可以拓宽自己的知识面,避免出错,具有敏锐的观察力的人从中受益非浅。第三部分是介绍英语谚语的修辞英语谚语丰富多彩,具有永恒的魅力,其原因之一就是应用了大量的修辞格和押韵方法,这就使谚语更形象,生动并具有强烈的艺术美和感染力。【关键词】英语谚语来源功能修辞格1.IntroductionProverbsareshortsayingsoffolkwisdomofwellknownfactsortruthscompendiousexpressedandinawaythatmakesthemeasytoremember.Becausetheproverbsaresobrief,theyhaveuniversalappeal.Manypeoplelovetopickupproverbs.Theuseofoneortwointheoriginallanguageisoftenaminorvictoryforthebeginningforeignlanguagelearners.Proverbsmayprovideinterestinglittleglimpsesorcluestoapeoplesgeography,history,socialorganization,socialviews,andattitudes.Peoplewholivealongseacoastsandwhoselivelihoodisdependentontheseawillhaveproverbsaboutsailing,aboutbravingtheweather,aboutfishandfishing.Incultureswhereoldageisrevered,therewillbeproverbsaboutthewisdomoftheelders.Andinsocietieswherewomensstatusislow,therewillbeanumberofsayingsdemeaningthem.Proverbstellmuchaboutapeoplestraditionalwaysofexperiencingreality,abouttheproperorexpectedwaysofdoingthings,aboutvaluesandwarnings,andrulesandwisdomstheelderswanttoimpressonthemindsoftheiryoung.Theimportantcharacterofproverbstheshorterthebettermakesiteasytocommitthemtomemoryforreadyrecallwhentheoccasioncallsforseriousorhumorouscommentorwarning.Createdbypeopleinhighandlowstatus,humblefolkandgreatauthors,borrowedfromancientorneighboringcultures,proverbshavebeenaccumulatingovermanycenturies.Someareonlylocallyknownmanyaresharedaroundtheworld.IfonewantstohavebetterknowledgeofEnglishculture,heshouldbefamiliarwiththesourcesandfunctionsofEnglishproverbs.2.ThesourcesofEnglishproverbs2.1OriginatingfromfolklifeProverbsarethesummaryofpeopleexperienceintheireverydaylife.Thesummarizedexperienceandreasonareabstractedfromthepracticeofpeopleslifeandwork.Theyexpresspeoplessimpleandhealthythoughts,feelingsandsentiments.Moreoftenthannot,itrevealsauniversaltruthfromaparticularpointsoastoenlightenpeople.Agreatnumberofproverbswerecreatedbyworkingpeoplesuchasseamen,hunters,farmers,workmen,housewivesandcooksandsoon,usingfamiliartermsthatwereassociatedwiththeirowntradesandoccupations.Forexample,LivingwithouttheaimislikesailingwithoutacompasswasfirstusedbyseamenIfyourunaftertwohares,youwillcatchneitherbyhuntersAprilrainsforcorn,May,forgrassbyfarmersNewbroomsweepscleanbyhousewivesandToomanycooksspoilthebrothbycooks,etc.Suchexpressionswereallcolloquialandinformalandonceconfinedtoalimitedgroupofpeopleengagedinthesametradeoractivity.Buttheywereprovedtobevivid,andforcibleandstimulating,solatertheybrokeoutoftheirboundsandgraduallygainedwideacceptance.Asaresult,theirearlystylisticfeaturesfadedinsomewayandmanyhavecometobecomepartofthecommoncoreoflanguage,nowbeingusedindifferentoccasions.Someproverbsarerelatedtosomefolkpracticeandcustoms.Forexample,Goodwineneedsnobush.1ThisproverbisfromanancientpopularEnglishpractice.Inthepast,Englishwinemerchantstendedtohangsomeivybushesorapictureofivybushesontheirdoorsasasymbolofwineselling.Butsomemerchantswinewassogoodthatitcantbeignoredwithoutsign.Thisinfactshowsthepastcommonpracticethatmerchantsofdifferenttradeswouldhangdifferentparticularthingsassignsfortheirgoods.Anotherexampleisinvolvedwithpeoplesweddingpractice.Englishpeoplebelievedthatiftheweatherwerefineandsunnyonagirlweddingday,thegirlwouldmostprobablyenjoyahappymarriagelife.Otherwise,allsortsofmisfortunesandtragedieswouldbefallonher.Becauseofthiscustom,EnglishpeoplehavegotaproverbHappyisthebridethatsunshineson.2ThisproverboriginatedfromthecommonpracticeinancientChina.Inthepast,younggirlsdidnthavetherighttodecidewhomtomarry.Theirparentshadthefinaldecisionintheirmarriage.Usually,theparentswouldaskamatchmakerforhelp.Thematchmakerwentbetweentwofamiliesandpassedonthemessages.Finally,thegirlsparentsmadethefinaldecisionwhetherthegirlwouldmarrythechosenboyornot.Thisisknownasarrangedmarriage.Suchamarriage,moreoftenthannot,wouldleadthecoupletoanunhappylife.Becausetheyseldomorevenneversaweachotherbefore,theyknewevenlittleabouttheotherpartysbehaviorormanners,letalonehis/herpersonalityorvirtues.Itwasoftenbeyondthecoupleshopestoenjoyahappymarriage.Someproverbscamefromancientpeopledeeplyrootedbeliefssuchastheirsuperstitioustendencyandbelief.Inthepast,Englishpeoplebelievedthatifapersonspoiledsaltfromthesaltbottle,misfortuneandbadluckwouldfollow.Thenthispersonmustscatterthespoiledsaltfromtheirleftshoulderssoastodriveofftheirillluck.Inturn,EnglishpeoplehavegottheproverbHelpmetosaltandyouhelpmetosorrow.3Someproverbscomefrompeoplesdistinctionbetweensexessuchastheirdiscriminationagainstwomen.Itcomesfromadeeplyrootedtraditionalviewpoint.SuchasThreewomenandagoosemakeamarketLonghairandshortwitThemorewomenlookintheirglass,thelesstheylooktotheirhouse.2.2OriginatingfromreligionBibleisessentialforBritishandAmericancultures.ItissaidthattheirculturesarenotintegratedwithoutBible.ItissafetosaythatBibleinfluenceseveryaspectofitsdiscipleslife.Consequently,manysayingsandsentencesinBiblehavebeenpopularlyaccepted.Theyhavebeendeeplyrootedamongpeopleandpeoplefrequentlyusethemtociteatruthorexpresstheirideaswithoutpayinganyattentiontotheiroriginsanymore.ThesesayingsarenolongeronlyconfinedtoreligionandtheyhavebecomeproverbswhichreflectEnglishpeoplereligiousfaithsuchasEverymanmustcarryhisowncrossThisproverbisfromBible,Matthew,onthegroundsofMatthew,themainideaislikethisAsthesoldierswentout,theycameuponamanfromCyrenenamedSimontheycompelledthismantocarryJesuscross.AndwhentheycametoaplacecalledGolgothawhichmeansPlaceofaskull,theyofferedJesuswinetodrink,mixedwithgallbutwhenhetastedit,hewouldnotdrinkit.Andwhentheyhadcrucifiedhim,theydividedhisclothesamongthemselvesbycastinglotsthentheysatdownthereandkeptwatchingoverhim.Overhisheadtheyputthechargeagainst,whichread,ThisisJesus,thekingoftheJews.4Fromthis,wecanknowthatcrossmeanssufferings.Theproverbtendstotellusthateveryoneshouldputupwithmiseryindailylifeandundertakethelifesburden.AnotherproverbisalsofromtheBibleOnedoesntliveonlybybread.ItisfromtheBible,Deuteronomy,thegeneralideaisRememberthelongwaythattheLordyourGodhasledyouthesefortyyearsinthewilderness,inordertohumbleyou,testingyoutoknowwhatwasinyourheart,whetherornotyouwouldkeephiscommandments.Hehumbledyoubylettingyouhunger,thenbyfeedingyouwithManna,withwhichneitheryounoryourancestorswereacquainted,inordertomakeyouunderstandthatonedoesnotlivebybreadalone,butbyeverywordthatcomesfromthemouthoftheLord.5Fromthis,wecanknowthatmaterialisnottheonlythingthatisindispensabletomen.Spiritisalsoveryimportant.Isoneisonlysearchedformaterial,hewillbeconsideredasanimals,forthemostdistinctivecharacteristicbetweenmenandanimalsisthatmenhavepursuitofspiritbutanimalshavent.Manyimagesintheseproverbshavedidacticmeanings.EnglishpeoplebelieveinChristianity,whichisbyfarthemostinfluentialreligioninthewest.Everyaspectofmanslifeistouchedbythisreligion,sothatithasbecomepartofwesternculture.AndtheBible,whichincludestheOldTestamentandtheNewTestament,isregardedasthescriptures.AlmosteveryfamilyhasaversionofBible,soithascometobeoneofthemajorsourcesofEnglishculture.ManyEnglishproverbsshowthedoctrinesoftheirreligion.Forexample,Letnotthylefthandknowwhatthyrighthanddoeth.6AccordingtothedoctrinesofBibleallhumanbeingsarebrothersandsisters,andtheyshouldhelpeachother.Sowhenyougivehandstoothers,neverkeepthememorythatyouhavehelpedthem.Anotherexample,Iftheblindleadtheblind,bothshallfallintotheditch.7Itimpliesthatifonehaslittleknowledge,itisdifficultforhimtoteachotherssomeusefulthings.Evenifhetriedtohelpothers,hewoulddonothinggoodtothem.2.3OriginatingfromliteraryworksManyEnglishproverbsinvolveeventsorcharactersofEnglishliterature,especiallyfromShakespeare.Shakespearesinsightintohumanbeings,hissensitivitytotheproblemofstate,andhisgeniuswithwordshaveleftaneverlastingmarkontheEnglishlanguageandthethinkingofEnglishspeakingpeopleallovertheworld.NativespeakersofEnglishquotehisworkseveryday,oftenwithoutrealizingtheyaredoingso.Althoughhisplayswerewrittenoverthreehundredyearsago,manyEnglishproverbsfromhisplaysarecitedcommonlyindailyEnglish.Shakespearesworksareprobablythemostcolorfulliteratureoriginofproverbs.Forexample,Allisnotgoldthatglitters.ThisproverbisfromthegreatworksofShakespeareTheMerchantsofVenice.Itshowsusthatthosewhohaveagoodappearancearenotreallylearned.Soweshouldbecarefulnottobedeceivedbythosewhoaresuperficiallyflashybutwithoutsubstance.Anotherexample,Patienceperforceismedicineforamaddog8isfromShakespearesworksAntonyandCleopatra.Ittellsusthatthosewhocannotendureanythingwouldlosehistemperlikesamaddog.ManyEnglishproverbsarealsofromTheFablesofAesop.Theseproverbsareveryconciseandhumorous,andtheyreflecttheessenceandthetruemeaningoflife.Itisveryeasyforpeopletounderstandthemandtoputthemintopractice.Manyofthemarepasseddowntilltoday.Forexample,Thecamelgoingtoseekhorns,losthisears.9Thegeneralideaoftheallusionisacowshowedoffhishornsinfrontofacamel.Thecamelwasenviousofcowshorns,soherequestedZeustogiveapairofhornstohim.Zeuswasveryangry,becausehethoughtthatthecamelwasgreedytoaskforhornswithhissohugebody.Atlast,hemadeadecisionthatheletthecamelhavehornsbutwiththecostofcuttingoffapartofhisears.Thisproverbtellsusthatifoneisgreedytooccupyeverything,hewillbepunishedbyhisgreed.AnotherproverbisalsofromtheFablesofAesop.Thegrapesaresour,asthefoxsaidwhenhecouldnotreachthem.10Theallusion,whichthisproverbcamefrom,isgenerallylikethisoneday,ahungryfoxsawalotofripegrapeshangingonthegrapevine.Hebeathisbrainshardbutcouldnotfindawaytopickthegrapes.Thehungrierhefelt,theangrierhegot.Finally,hegaveup.Inordertocomforthimself,Thegrapesaresour,thefoxsaidwhilewalkingaway.Nowadays,peoplewidelyuseittoexpressthatsomeonewhowantstotakeholdofsomethingwithallhiseffortbutfailstogetitwilllowerthevalueofthisthing.Therearealsootherproverbs,suchasAbarleycornisbetterthanadiamondtoacock.11Theallusionsmainideaiswhenahungrycockwassearchedforfood,hesawadiamond.ThecocksaidtothediamondTosomeonewhoadmiresyou,youareapreciousthingbuttome,youhavenovalueatall,forallvaluablethingcannotmatchwithabarleycorn.Indeed,accordingtoourcommonsense,adiamondisfarmorevaluablethanabarleycorn.Buttoahungryman,especiallytosomeonewhoneedsgrainsbadly,hewouldchoosegrainsbutnottreasure,fortreasurecannotsatisfyhisstomach.Sothisproverbtendstoimplythatdifferentpeoplehavedifferentviewsnothesamething.Thesubmittingtoonewrongbringsonanother.12Theallusion,whichthisproverbcamefrom,isgenerallylikethisasnakewasoftenriddendownbypeople,sohecomplainedittoZeus.Zeustoldhimthatifhebitsomeonewhofirstlytrampledonhim,thenextonewouldnottramplehim.Itshowsthatifoneputupwiththemistakehemadeatthefirsttime,hewillmakeanothersimilarmistake.Soweshouldgainalessonfromtheaboveallusionsoastoavoidmakingthesamemistakes.2.4OriginatingfromGreekandRomanmythologyWesternersareheirstoGrecoRomancivilization.ManyideasnowprevailinginwesterncountriescanbetracedbacktothethinkersinancientGreeceandRoman.GreekandRomanmythologiesarewellknowninthewestandhavebeardonastronginfluenceuponpeopleslivesinwesterncountries.ItisnaturalthatitbecomesacommonsourceofEnglishproverbs.13SomeproverbsarefromGreekandRomanmythology.Eachofthemhasanallusion.Forexample,TheDeviltoohasAchillesheel.14AccordingtotheHomer,wecanknowAchilleswasaGreekhero.Excepthisheel,everypartofAchillesbodyisswordproof,sohisheelishisfataldefect.TheproverbtellsusthateventheDevilhashisweakness.Nomanisabsolutelypowerful.ThereisasimilarexamplefromRomanmythology.NotevenHerculescouldcontendagainsttwo.15Hercules,asonofZeus,wasaheroinRomanmythology.Hehadincredibleforce,whichhelpedhimgaintwelveheroicachievements.Althoughhewaspowerfulenough,hecouldntdefeatalargenumberofenemiesonhisown.Sotheproverbstellsusthatmansenergyislimitednomatterhowpowerfulheis.Anotherexample,withoutCeresandBacchus,Venusgrowscold.16CeresisRomangoddessofgrainandagricultureBacchusistheGreetgodofwineVenusisthegoddessofbeautyandlove.Fromthis,wecanknowthatCeresandBacchusstandforbasicnecessityoflife.Sotheproverbtendstoexpressthatlovecantbesweetwithoutmaterialsupport.2.5OriginatingfromotherlanguagesWiththedevelopmentofsociety,alanguagecannotavoidcontactingwithotherlanguages.Inthecontact,thecertainlanguagesurelyabsorbssomeproverbsfromothers.Withalonghistory,EnglishlanguageborrowedalargenumberofproverbswidelyfrommanyotherlanguagesincludingGreek,Latin,German,Italian,Spanish,Dutch,Hebrew,Arabic,Chinese,andotherlanguages,amongwhichLatin,GreekandFrenchprovidetherichestnutrition.MostoftheborrowedproverbsinEnglish,duetotheremotenessoftime,havealreadyassimilatedormergedintotheEnglishlanguagewiththeirtracesalmostimpossibletofollow.ManyEnglishproverbsoriginatedfromFrench.17William,DukeofNormandy,France,landedhismightyarmyatPevensyanddefeatedSaxonkingHaroldsmennearHastings.WilliamwascrownedaskingofEngland,andthenheopeneddoorstothecontinentandextendedcultureandcommercialrelationswithFrance.NormanFranceculture,languageandarchitecturewereintroduced.TheconquerorsruledEnglandinalongperiodoftime,andmostofthegovernorsusedFrenchastheirformallanguage.AlthoughEnglandfinallywonhersovereignty,therewerestillmanyborrowedwordsfromFranceremained.Especially,EnglishpeopleacceptedmanyFrenchsayings.Forexample,DontputthecartbeforethehorseVentureasmallfishtocatchagreatoneIfthelionsskincannot,thefoxsshall.ManyEnglishproverbscamefromLatin.18BecauseoftheintroductionofChristianityintoBritain,theinfluenceoftheNormanConquestandtheRenaissanceonEnglish,LatinwordshadmadetheirwayintotheEnglishlanguage.AmongtheseLatinwordstherealsoincludedmanyproverbs,whichgainedwideacceptanceofEnglishpeople.SuchasFortunefavorsthebraveHewhosayswhathelikes,shallhearwhathedoesnotlikeIfeartheGreeks,evenwhenbringinggiftsThereisnorulewithoutanexceptionandsoon.2.6OriginatingfromfamouswriterswisdomFamouswritersprovidedoneoftherichestsourcesforEnglishproverbs,whichisonlynexttotheproverbsoffolkorigin.Wealsocansaythatmostproverbs,regardlessoftheirinitial,havebeenpolishedandpreservedandpopularizedbyfamouswritersintheirworks.ItisgenerallyagreedthatsuchfamouswritersasBacon,Pope,Franklinandsooncontributedquitealottothecreation,preservationandpopularizationofEnglishproverbs.BaconisadistinguishedEnglishphilosopherandwriter.Heisnotedforastyleofthoroughexpositionandalternativemaxims.ManysentencesinBaconsworkshavebecomegoldensayingandprevailedamongpeople.Forexample,Readingmakesafullmantellspeoplethatonlybyreadingcanapersonbecomelearnedandprofound.AnotherproverbKnowledgeispoweremphasizestheimportanceofknowledgeandencouragespeopletostudymoreandlearnmore.PopeisanothercelebratedfigureinEnglishliterature.Heemphasizeseducationandknowledgeverymuch.Somesentencesfromhisworkshavebeenacceptedbythereadersandbecomedeeplyrootedamongpeople.TakeAlittlelearningisadangerousthingforexample.ThisdidacticproverbisasentenceinPopeAnEssayonCriticismanditreflectshisideasaboutknowledgeandlearning.BenjaminFranklinisafamousAmericanstatesman,scientistandwriter.Manysayingsfromhisworkswerewidelyacceptedandenlightenpeople.Forexample,Littlestrokefellgreatoaks.19Ittellsusthatonenevergivinguppursuingknowledge,becauseonlythose

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