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Priamels as Carriers of Cultural Information Joanna Szerszunowicz, Ph.D. The University of Bialystok, Poland.

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Presentation on theme: "Priamels as Carriers of Cultural Information Joanna Szerszunowicz, Ph.D. The University of Bialystok, Poland."— Presentation transcript:

1 Priamels as Carriers of Cultural Information Joanna Szerszunowicz, Ph.D. The University of Bialystok, Poland

2 Priamel a string of words, phrases or short sentences followed by a point, explaining the enumeration of previously listed elements (Szpila 2003: 80) a semi-literary form (Lipińska 2007: 92); the number of its elements is not formally limited, with a minimum of two components, e.g. Building and marrying of children are great wasters (PDP: 24), Muck and money go together (PDP: 278), Medici e guerre spopolano le terre lit. Doctors and wars depopoulate lands, DPI: 680

3 Most frequent pattern a, b, c – d the Polish proverb Sól, wino, dobra wola – bankietów omasta (lit. Salt, wine, good will – the liquid fat added to food of banquets, NKPP 1: 56), English: Patience, time, and money accommodate all things (PDP: 279), Play, women, and wine undo men laughing (PDP: 74), Italian: Cane veccchio, cecchio amico e vecchio vino sono i migliori (An old dog, a blind friend and old wine are the best, DPI: 1225)

4 ... are the best Carne vicino all’osso, cuore d’insalata, coreccia di pane, cacio con la goccia, culo di cappone, arrosto di castrone, acqua di fontone, petto d’anatra ala d’oca, cigliegia beccata, primo carciofo, ultimi maccheroni, ultima uva, prosciutto a metà, ricotta in cima, formaggio in mezzo, miele in fondo, salame in cima e in fondo, cipolla novella, olio vuovo, vino vecchio, pesce piccolo, cavolo che ha avuto il ghiaccio, pesce fresco, latte appena munto, brodetto poco a poco. (DPI: 198-199)

5 Priamel the point is not obligatory (Szpila 2003: 81- 82), e.g. the Polish proverb Słono, kwaśno i kraśno (lit. Saltily, sourly and fattily) has an implicit one: „you should eat so”, it may be of jocular character (Lipińska 2012)

6 Priamel it mostly performs a moralising function (Pan, urząd, marszałek – ma być jak kryształ (MG: 232), much less frequently a descriptive one Uczeni w artylerii, rośli w kawalerii, pijący na flotę, głupcy w piechotę (MG: 236)

7 Priamels and their cultural load proverbs as carriers of culture (Mieder 2007), elements of a code of folk culture (Piirainen 2008: 214) culture-bound vs. culture-specific (Sabban 2008) universal: referring to the common cultural (Oleśkiewicz 2007; Mokijenko 2011) as well as similar observation made by various nations (Lipińska 2012: 79), revealing traces of social concepts handed down from generation to generation (Piirainen 2008: 215)

8 A woman is variable.


10 Woman in priamels Polish: Niewiasta, ogień, morze – to chodzi w jednej sforze (lit. A woman, fire, sea – all go in one pack, MG: 220) Pióro lżejsze od wody, powietrze od pióra, kobieta od powietrza (The feather is lighter than water, air – than the feather, the woman – than air, MG: 241) Italian: Tempo, vento, favor, donna, fortuna vengono e vanno come la luna (Weather, wind, grace, woman, luck come and go like the moon, DDPI: 343)

11 Women! We don’t know! At once! Who are we? What do we want? When do we want to have it?

12 Woman in priamels Polish: Wieśniak pragnie pola, szlachcic godności, żołnierz wojny, kupiec pieniędzy, gospodarz pokoju, rzemieślnik roboty, malarz piękności, a kobieta – całego świata (A farmer wants a field, a nobleman – dignity, a soldier – war, a merchant – money, a host – a room, a craftsman – work, a painter – beauty, and a woman – all the world, NKPP 2: 89). English: Women, priests and poultry have never enough (PDE: 144)

13 Culture-bound constituents of priamels: onomastic components Polish: Gdańsk bogaty, Królewiec wielki, Toruń piękny, Elbląg obronny (lit. Danzig – rich, Krolevets – big, Thorn – beautiful, Elbing – defensive, NKPP: 607)

14 Onomastic components Gdańska dzieweczka, krakowska wódeczka (lit. A girl from Danzig, vodka from Cracow, NKPP1: 607) Gdańska gorzałka, toruński piernik, krakowska panna, warszawski trzewik (Vodka from Danzig, gingerbread from Thorn, a girl from Cracow, a shoe from Warsaw, NKPP1 : 607)

15 Onomastic components English: A Royston horse and a Cambridge master of arts will give way to nobody (PDP: 58) Sutton for mutton, Carshalton for beeves, Epsom for whores, and Ewell for thieves (PDP: 58) Sutton for good mutton, Cheam for juicy beef, Croydon for a pretty girl, and Mitcham for thieves (PDP: 58) Oxford for learning, London for wit, Hull for women, and York for a tit (PDP: 58)

16 Ethnonyms

17 The Irishman for a hand, the Welshman for a leg, the Englishman for a face, and the Dutchman for a beard (PDP: 205) The Dutchman or the Chin Strap

18 Onomastic components Italian: Lo zafferano d’Acquila, le saponette d’Atri, i panni di Arpino, la paglia di Firenze, i merletti di Genova, gli ori di Penne, la carta di Loreto, i vasi di Castelli, l’accaio di Campobasso, le tavole di Venezia, la maiolica di Faenza, sono i migliori di cui si ha conoscenza.

19 Onomastic constituents (lit. Saffron from Aquila, soap from Atri, clothes from Arpino, straw from Florence, lace from Genova, gold from Penne, paper from Loreto, vases from Castelli, steel from Campobasso, tables from Venice, majolica from Faenza, are the best ones one knows of, DPI: 63)

20 Conclusions Priamels are valuable sources of cultural information. It should be emphasized that retrieving cultural information is a complex process. In a cross-linguistic and cross- cultural perspective many similarities can be observed, for instance priamels reflecting commonly accepted concepts. The preliminary analysis of Polish, English and Italian priamels show that there are some patterns which occur in a cross-linguistic perspective, many of which contain components which are culture-bound. Apart from theoretical importance, the results of research on priamels can be implemented practically, for instance in lexicography, translation as well as mother tongue and foreign language teaching.

21 One more priamel to finish off: Far tacere le donne / Make women go silent Far correre i vecchi / Make the edlerly run E far star fermi i bambini / Make children sit still Sono cose che non sa fare neanche il diavolo. /Are the things that even the devil cannot do. Diavolo no, but of course, Professor Krikmann can. So, thank you very much

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