What was, and what now is, a "proverb"? ["Atasözü" neydi, ne oldu?]
Ulusoy Aranyosi, E.
Please cite this item using this persistent URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/11693/22133
Answers to the question of how proverbs could be defined are either listings of distinctive properties that are to differentiate proverbs from other forms of verbal expression, or structuralist analyses that aim to sketch out a linguistic scheme/function in order to explain how proverbs work. These approaches do not seem to be all-encompassing and/or sufficient when proverbs, which could refer to diverse social contexts, are to be examined within the framework of semantics. In this article, I will first give a brief summary of the proposed definitions and theories of proverbs, and discuss the criticisms that address these definitions and theories. I will argue that the means of information emerged in the 20th and the 21st centuries altered the way in which the intangible cultural heritage (here, specifically verbal components of it) is preserved as a part of collective consciousness, and that proverbs too go through a process of transformation due to this change. To support this claim, examples of Turkish proverbs/proverbial expressions will be provided. These examples, I believe, show that a new phenomenon regarding the use of proverbs emerge, and the definitions/theories in the present literature do not seem to offer a satisfactory account to explain it. In the very last section, I will reinterpret Neal R. Norrick's feature matrix for proverbs and related genres, and emphasize that a new definition, hence a new term for "proverb" is called for.
- Research Paper