Modern Greek Phraseological Units Containing Zoonym As Compound Nominal Predicate


The processes that take place in the mind of native speakers during the communication, have often been an object of various contemporary linguistic studies based on the anthropocentric approach to the linguistic picture of the world. The processes of semantic change and transformation are of peculiar interest. This article analyses the Modern Greek zoonyms functioning as components of predicative phraseological units (idioms) in the sentences with a compound nominal predicate. The material features 359 idioms with syntactic formula CopfΧ, where Copf is the auxiliary verb ( είμαι ‘to be’, φαίνομαι ‘to appear’, παρουσιάζομαι ‘to be perceived as’, γίνομαι ‘to become’, etc.), and Χ is nominal predicate. The analysis aims to provide their structural characterization and to describe their role in communication. For each of them quantitative, qualifying, and axiological characteristics are also presented. The zoonyms developed metaphorical meaning in Ancient Greek, so it inevitably affects their idiomatic use in Modern Greek. The paper reveals the main functions of zoonyms in the cultural code of the Greek linguistic picture of the world, analyses the structure of sentences with a zoonym component, and also provides a hierarchy of positive, negative and neutral connotations of zoonyms in the Greek linguistic picture of the world.

Keywords: Idiom as predicativeModern Greek phraseologyzoomorphic metaphorzoomorphismzoonyms


Realizing himself as a part of living nature, a man, nevertheless, is inclined to distinguish himself from other living beings, many of which for centuries and even millennia have been his faithful companions. Of course, animals occupy a special position among them, since “the animal world and the relations ... of its representatives traditionally served a person as a model that could act ... as a visual model of the life of human society” (Litvinova, 2015, p. 177). Zoomorphism, i.e., the property of human thinking to transfer the qualities of an animal to a person, leads to the formation in the consciousness of the latter of relatively stable connections (connotations) between the name of the animal and the characteristics that it possesses, which as a result leads to the formation of metaphors - tokens regularly used in figurative meaning and in this sense possessing a “ready-made” imagery (Sklyarevskaya, 1993, p. 12) (such, for example, a swine token that characterizes a person as unclean and unworthy (Сf. the use of the lexeme in examples Ты посмотри, что в комнате у тебя творится, свинья ты такая! [Alexey Slapovsky. Life of Lagarpov (1999)]; «Ай да Хрипушин! Ай да свинья! Нашёл что придумать!» ― подумала она с омерзением и уважением.) [Yu. O. Dombrovsky. Faculty of unnecessary things, part 5 (1978)]. Examples are borrowed from the National Corpus of the Russian Language (, accessed 02/27/2019). ) ). Metaphors with a zoononym component that transfer the properties or signs of animals to humans are among the most commonly used in different languages, and their main feature is qualificativity, due to which a series of models are formed that describe either social types and standards of appearance, or behavior and internal qualities of a man (Arkhangelskaya, 2006).

Problem Statement

The set of zoomorphic metaphors of each language “is unique for each particular society, since in different languages figurative meanings ... have different lexical units” (Shumilina, 2014, p. 241). This means that the study and interpretation of such metaphors can be considered as a means of studying the linguistic picture of the world (LPW) of a particular language (Gavrilyuk, 2012).

Already in late antiquity, various paremiographs such as Zenobius, Diogenian, Plutarch, and in Byzantine times, Gregory of Cyprus and Mikhail Apostolius compiled lists of paremias that contain a sufficient number of stable expressions with zoonymic components (cf., for example, analysis of the zoononym βοῦς in (Zabudskaya & Tresorukova, 2019). Studies of this kind are very few on modern Greek material and consider a limited number of zoonyms (Kamilaki et al., 2016), while the authors continue the ancient Greek tradition of “cataloging” such phenomena, practically without grammatical, syntactic and semasiological analysis of data of phraseological units.

This article attempts to analyze the predicative phraseological units of the Greek language comprehensively, in which both their semantic and syntactic features are taken into account.

Research Questions

A detailed semantic analysis of modern Greek predicative phraseological units with a zoonym component is given below. From the point of view of syntax, in most cases their structure preserves the syntactic model of a free phrase (cf. Russian sly fox, Greek πονηρή αλεπού) and less often represents a sentence. Many researchers (e.g., F.F. Fortunatov, E.D. Polivanov, N.M. Shansky, V.L. Arkhangelsky, etc.) divide the phraseological units into non-predicative and predicative ones. In terms of predicative phraseological units, the following are distinguished: a) partially predicative phraseological units in which the first, grammatically leading member has an addition (direct, indirect, circumstantial) or definition in the form of a subordinate clause; and b) predicative phraseological units, which, in turn, are divided into predicative phraseological units with a closed structure, expressing a finished thought and syntactically designed as simple or complex sentences, and predicative phraseological units with an open structure, expressing an unfinished thought and requiring spreading in speech with variable words (as cited in Nazaryan, 1987).

Compound nominal predicate in classical school theory means a predicate consisting of “auxiliary part (connective) and nominal (main, semantic) part” of the type Ivan – teacher (Bagryantseva et al., 2011). The same definition is accepted in the Greek syntactic tradition, where this type of predicate also consists of a linking verb (συνδετικό ρήμα) and a nominal part (κατηγορούμενο) (Tompaidis, 2004), compare, for example, Ο Αριστείδης 'έγινε στρατιώτης . Such a formal approach allows us to understand the structure of the phraseological units considered in the article, but this is not enough for a full analysis of their communicative properties.

For complex syntactic and semantic analysis, it is worthwhile to turn to works on functional-communicative grammar (Zolotova et al., 2004), where the basic principle is the analysis of “the correlation of form and its expressed content” (Ibid.). Such an approach, not used on modern Greek material up to now, will allow us to comprehensively analyze predicative phraseological units at the syntactic and semantic levels of a sentence, namely, to isolate sentence models with certain typical values (that is, “generalized semantic results of predicative conjugation of subject and predicative components” (Ibid.)). It is worth noting that “the conjugation of a predicative attribute with the subject - its carrier, expressing in the language categories of modality, time and person the relevance of the sentence to reality” is understood as predicativity in functional-communicative grammar (Zolotova et al., 2004).

A compound nominal predicate is one way of expressing a predicative component in a sentence. Phraseological units including this type of predicate, the syntactic formula of which can be represented as CopfΧ, where Copf is an auxiliary verb ( είμαι ‘to be’, φαίνομαι ‘to appear’ , παρουσιάζομαι ‘to be perceived as’, γίνομαι ‘to become’, etc.), and Χ - the name predicate, belong to the class of substantive sentences that have a typical value - assignment to the class of objects (qualifying attribute) (Zolotova et al., 2004). This model as invariants can also contain phase, i.e., incomplete verbs (Ibid.), which are modifications of the substantive model with the verb γίνομαι 'become' (compare. e.g. γίνομαι βδέλλα literally 'become a leech' i.e. 'become intrusive', γίνομαι παπί 'become a duckling', i.e. 'get wet to the skin').

Purpose of the Study

This article attempts to consider predicative phraseological units with the closed structure of a simple sentence containing a zoononym component as part of a nominal predicate. It analyzes not only the semantics of the corresponding phraseological units, but also their communicative properties. It is assumed that the obtained material will allow not only to single out the frequence phraseological units for the Greek language and to characterize them from the semantic, syntactic and communicative point of view, but also to draw conclusions about what “symbolic load” the zoonyms included in them have in modern Greek LPW.

Research Methods

As a result of the analysis of the corpus of texts of the modern Greek language ΕΘΕΓ ( , elTenTen2014 ( , ΣΕΚ ( by the continuous sampling method, we have selected 359 predicative phraseological units with a zoonym component. Of these, 73 phraseological units are considered in this paper, containing a compound nominal predicate expressed by a combination of the verbs είμαι ‘be’ and γίνομαι ‘become’ with a nominal predicate. Such a limitation of material is due, firstly, to the requirements for the volume of work, and secondly, that it is idiomatic combinations of this kind that are unambiguously interpreted as phraseological units, as evidenced by the corresponding dictionary mark in the explanatory dictionaries of the Greek language (Kharalampakis, 2014; LKN: Leksiko tis kinis neoellinikis glossas. Idrima Manoli Triantafillidi, 2015; Katos: Katos, G. V. Leksiko tis laikis kai tis perithoriakis mas glossas, 2016).

As a quantitative analysis of the use of phraseological units of this type in text bodies, in Google, Yandex search engines, and on Twitter and Telegram channels showed namely this model of phraseological units is most often used in the Greek language after language metaphors (LM), which are usually separate lexemes as part of free sentences.


Zoonyms, like the whole evaluative vocabulary of any language, contribute to the expression of feelings, reactions, emotional life of a person as a whole, forming and denoting a valuable picture of the world: assessment of objects according to the ethical and aesthetic standards of a given language collective (good - bad, beautiful - ugly, etc.). The predicative-characterizing semantic variant includes the nominative as the basis, to which the value (seme) of the characteristic is added, which complicates the structure of the variant and makes a qualitative change to it (Zabudskaya & Tresorukova, 2019). At the same time, the linguistic specificity of this meaning is manifested in the fact that the content of the characteristic is caused not so much by the qualities of a real non-linguistic object (in this case, an animal), but by qualities that are attributed to this object by a collective linguistic consciousness. The language registers, fixes these qualities as inherent in the denotatum (the object, as it is reflected in the language), which allows to regularly use the name of the object as a standard of certain qualities (Litvin, 1984).

The emergence of anthropocentric incremental meanings in zoonyms, the inclusion of zoonyms in the phraseology indicate a linguistic personality's subjective recognition of the importance of animals in the general interpretative picture of the world, which is determined by the traditional model of transfer of animal qualities to humans and vice versa. Animals are by nature closer to humans and more drawn into the world of their transformations, more connected with the historical development of civilization (compare, for example, cult images of animals in various religions, zoomorphism of mythology, etc.). In other words, animalism always remains that sense-forming background on which linguistic and cult stereotypes are formed (Maslova, 1997).

The imagery of zoononymous comparisons and metaphors, the selection of relevant features that create the image, and orientation toward the addressee - taking into account his ability to understand comparison and metaphor not only intellectually, but also, evaluating the signified and the image that underlie them, emotionally perceive this image and correlate it with a scale of emotionally positive or negative reactions determined by national-cultural concepts make them conventional (Ibid.).

As mentioned above, the main feature of phraseological units with a component-zoononym is qualification (Arkhangelskaya, 2006), which is why the following set of models will be used to analyze the collected material, giving an idea of the subjective perception of the animal world through the prism of human consciousness: character traits or emotional state; social behavior; appearance or physical condition; social type of person.

Character traits or emotional state (26 PhU)

The phraseological units included in this category contain the zoonyms θηρίο ‘beast’, γάιδαρος ‘donkey’, γάτα ‘cat’, ατσίδα ‘weasel’ , σκυλί ‘dog’, αρνάκι ‘lamb’, βόδι ‘culf bull, calf’, μουλςρά ‘mule’, λύκος ‘wolf’, αλεπού ‘fox’, φίδι ‘snake’, οχιά ‘viper’, ψάρι ‘fish’, κότα ‘chicken’, πουλί ‘bird’, αετός ‘eagle’, σαΐνι ‘hawk’ (17 tokens). In each of the cases, the meaning of the phraseological unit is motivated by the “symbolic load” of the corresponding zoononym in modern Greek LPW. Naive linguistic consciousness endows the beast with aggressiveness and anger in general, the mule and donkey with stubbornness and dullness, the cat with cunning and resourcefulness, the birds of prey with the mind and quick wit, etc. Thus, the phraseological units presented in this category actualize a large list of traits and properties of a person’s character. The analysis allows us to distinguish the following: anger, lack of self-control ( γίνομαι θηρίο < ανήμερο > literally ‘become a wild beast’, that is, lose endurance, become furious); lack of control ( είναι θηρίο < ανήμερο > literally ‘he is a wild beast’ - about a naughty, uncontrollable person); a trick, often combined with intelligence, resourcefulness and meanness ( είναι ατσίδα literally ‘he is a weason , είναι γάτα <γάτα με πέταλα> literally ‘he is a cat <with horseshoes>’, είναι μια αλελού ; stupidity, sometimes combined with obstinacy ( είναι γάιδαρος με λοφίο <με ουρά> <με πατέντα> <με περικεφαλαία> literally ‘donkey <with a tail> <with patent><with a helmet>’ about stupid and βόδια δύο ζευγάρια literally ‘three calves, two double teams’ - a characteristic of a stupid, incongruous person; είναι μουλάρι literally ‘he is a mule’ - about a stubborn person); calmness, kindness, non-malignancy ( είναι άκακο αρνάκι literally ‘he is not a weak sheep’ - a characteristic of a kind, quiet, non-malicious person); credulity ( είναι <μεγάλο> ψάριliterally ‘he is <large> fish’ - characteristic of an overly trusting person); duplicity, meanness (phraseological units είναι λύκος σε μορφή προβάτου literally ‘he is a wolf in the form of a sheep’, είναι φίδι κολοβό literally ‘he is a snake without a tail’, είναι οχιά διμούτσουη he is ‘double-faced viper’ - a characteristic of a mean, double-faced and therefore very dangerous person); cowardice (e.g., phraseological unit είναι κότα λειράτη literally ‘he is a chicken with a crest’ describes a cowardly man, indicating that his behavior does not correspond to the social norm ascribed to him); the mind ( είναι αετός literally ‘he’s an eagle’, είναι σαΐνι (in one of the meanings) literally ‘he’s a hawk’, είναι άπιαστο πουλί literally ‘he’s an elusive bird’ about a talented, smart and quick-witted person); perseverance and hard work ( είναι σκυλί μαύρο <μοναχό> literally ‘he is a black <lonely> dog’).

Considering these phraseological units from the point of view of the assessment expressed by them, it is easy to see that in most cases, attributing the qualities of a particular animal to a person characterizes the latter negatively. More than half of the analyzed phraseological units, i.e. 15, contain a negative characteristic, In a number of cases, however, phraseological units contain potential semes of both positive and negative evaluations. For example, depending on the context and the pragmatic task of communicating phraseological units, είναι γάτα <γάτος> literally ‘he is a cat <cat>’, είναι αλεπού literally ‘he is a fox’ can contain both a positive assessment and admiration for the abilities of the characterized person, and a condemnation of his excessive cunning and resourcefulness. The unambiguously positive characteristic is contained in 7 phraseological units, actualizing such human attributes as kindness, gentleness, zeal and perseverance, intelligence, and quick wit.

Social behavior (22 phraseological units)

PhUs of this category are formed with the help of zoonyms γάιδαρος / γαϊδούρι ‘donkey’, γάτα ‘cat’, σκυλί ‘dog’, ταύρος ‘bull’, γουρούνι ‘swine’, πρόβατο ‘sheep’, βόδι ‘calf bull, calf’, άλογο ‘horse’, τράγος ‘goat’, λαγός ‘hare’, λιοντάρι ‘lion’, κροκόδειλος ‘crocodile’, ψάρι ‘fish’, σαρδέλα ‘sardine’, πουλί ‘bird’ ( πουλάκι ‘bird’), βδέλλα ‘leech’ (18 tokens). Unlike the ones considered above, phraseological units of this category, as a rule, do not endow a person with a certain permanent quality, but characterize his behavior in certain circumstances. The object of description and evaluation can be: rudeness, impertinence, impudent behavior ( γάιδαρος ασαμάρωτος <χωρίς σαμάρι> = γαϊδούρι ακαπίστρωτο <ξεκαπίστρωτο> literally, ‘unbridled donkey <unbitted>’; κυπραίικο γαϊδούρι literally ‘Cypriot donkey’, i.e., ‘impudent, arrogant, stubborn, not able to behave man’); anger ( γίνομαι <είμαι> σκυλί literally ‘become a dog’, that is, ‘get very angry’, ‘become furious’); negligence, sloppiness ( σαν ταύρος στο υαλοπωλείο literally ‘like a bull in a china shop’, compare Russian ‘elephant in a china shop’); gluttony ( τρώει σαν γουρούνι literally ‘eat like a swine’); lack of will, indecision ( είναι σαν το βόδι στο παχνί literally. ‘he’s like a calf at the feeding trough’ - about a weak-willed, uninitiated man; είναι κουτσό άλογο literally ‘he is a lame horse’ - about a man who is incapable of bringing something to an end); mock innocence ( γίνομαι <είμαι> <κάνω> σαν αθώα περιστέρα literally ‘become <be> <pretend to be> ‘an innocent dove’); importunity ( γίνομαι <είμαι> βδέλλα literally ‘become" <to be> ‘a leech’ - about an obsessive, intrusive person); fatigue, tiredness (γίνομαι άλογο literally ‘become a horse’, i.e. ‘get tired, overwork’); intoxicated ( γίνομαι <είμαι> κροκόδειλος literally become <be> a crocodile ’, compare with Russian ‘drunk as a swine’).

A number of phraseological units describe, rather, not the person himself, but the external circumstances in which he finds himself. So, for example, phraseological units είναι σαν το λιοντάρι στο κλουβί literally ‘to be like a lion in a cell’ and γινόμαστε <στριμωχνόμαστε> <στοιβαγόμαστε> σαν σαρδέλες <παστές> σαρδέλες literally ‘become <fill> <fold> as <salty> sardines’ describe situations associated with external constraints caused by various reasons. In addition, animal images, namely the idea of the speed of their movement, motivate the phraseological units γίνομαι λαγός literally ‘become a hare’, i.e. ‘run away, wash off, evaporate’ and γίνομαι πουλυ <πουλάκι> literally ‘become a bird <birdie>’, i.e. ‘disappear, run away, evaporate’).

Finally, the phraseological units represented in this category are interesting as they describe a person from the point of view of his social status. It is significant that most often a person who is not a member of society, outside of it or rejected for some reason is given a special characteristic ( απολωλός πρόβατο literally ‘lost sheep’ - about a person who has lost the correct life guidelines ; γίνομαι <είμαι> μαύτ literally ‘become <is> a black sheep’ - a characteristic of a person who has become an outcast due to defiant behavior or negative character traits; είναι αποδιοπομπαίος τράγος literally ‘scapegoat’; είμαι σαν το ψάρι έξω από τo νερό <στη στεριά > literally ‘to be like a fish without water <on land>’, compare with Russian ‘out of one's plate’). On the contrary, only one phraseological unit was found describing a person who fully complies with the circumstances and fits into the situation: είναι σαν το ψάρι στη θάλασσα literally ‘to be like a fish in the sea’, compare with Russian ‘like a fish in water’).

19 out of 22 examined phraseological units characterize a person or a situation in which he is placed negatively. It is also especially interesting that often the reason for the negative assessment is the alienness of the person being characterized by society or the discrepancy of its behavior with circumstances, which, most likely, is explained by the wary attitude of naive linguistic consciousness to everything else, “alien” in the broad sense of the word.

Appearance and physical condition (12 phraseological units)

The phraseological units of this category include zoonyms σκυλί ‘dog’, βόδι (μοσχάρι) ‘calf, calf bull’, γίδα ‘goat’, γίδι ‘goat, kid’, ποντικός ‘mouse’, αστακός ‘lobster’, μπακαλι παπί ‘duck’, κόρακας ‘raven’, κουκουβάγια ‘owl’ (10 tokens). Their use in phraseological units emphasize various appearance traits or features of the physical condition of the described person. When describing the appearance, the following semeas are updated: ugliness ( είναι σαν σκυλί literally ‘he is like a dog’ - about a very ugly person); obesity ( γίνομαι <είμαι> σαν βόδι <μοσχάρι > literally ‘become <be> like a calf bull <bull>’, that is, ‘get fat, fat’); (too) short haircut and features of hair styling ( είναι κουράπετσα γίδα literally ‘he is a short-haired goat, είναι κουρεμένο γίδι literally ‘he is a short-haired kid’ (compare with Russian ‘cropped as a kid’; είναι λαδωμένος ποντικός literally ‘he is an oily mouse’- about too oily gelled hair); skin color different from usual ( γίνομαι <είμαι> κόκκινος σαν αστακός , literally ‘become <be> red as a lobster’) ( νομαι <είμαι> κόκκινος σαν αστακός literally ‘become <be> black as a raven’ - about a very sunburnt person); tired, weary look (phraseological unit γίνομαι κουκουβάγια literally ‘become an owl’ describes a person who did not sleep all night for any reason and is similar to an owl woken up during the day); thinness ( είναι σαν μπακαλιάρος literally ‘he's like a heck’ - about a very thin or slimmed down person).

Three physical units describe features or a change in physical state: γίνομαι <είμαι> αρματωμένος <οπλισμένος> σαν αστακός literally ‘arm yourself <be armed> like a lobster’, that is, to the teeth; γίνομαι παπί literally ‘become a duckling’, that is, ‘get wet through, soak to the skin’; γίνομαι <είμαι> περδίκι literally ‘become a partridge’, i.e. ‘get well’.

Considering the assessment expressed by the phraseological units of this category, it should be noted that a naive view of the world is characterized by a negative attitude towards everything “alien” and strange, distinguished, different from the generally accepted one. This thesis is proved in this case by the fact that 9 out of 12 analyzed phraseological units contain a negative assessment precisely because some characteristics of the described person (for example, hair length or skin color) differ from what is habitually and publicly approved.

Social personality type (10 phraseological units)

The category contains phraseological units denoting social status, status, occupation, and features of the social behavior of the characterized person. The considered phraseological units contain zoonyms γουρούνι ‘swine’, τράγος ‘goat’, τίγρης ‘tiger’, ελάφι ‘deer’, φίδι ‘snake’, ψάρι ‘fish’, κότα ‘chicken’, πουλί ((πουλάκι )) ‘bird’ (‘birdie’), μέλισσα ‘bee’ (10 tokens). As analysis has shown, that the use of one or another zoononym in the phraseological unit is motivated by a wide variety of stereotypes and ideas, for example, the external similarity of an animal and a person (e.g., είναι τράγος literally ‘he’s a goat’ describes a priest through his obligatory attribute - a beard; PhU γίνομαι ελάφι literally ‘become a deer’ describes a deceived husband, because he, like a deer, has horns). At the same time, in some cases, the motivation of one or another zoomorphic image lies much deeper and is based on a whole complex of associations attributed to it by the Greek people. For example, phraseological units είμαι χαρούμενη μέλισσα literally ‘to be a joyful bee’ is an analogue of the Russian live for pleasure. The use of the corresponding zoononym in this case shows that in the Greek LPW the bee is associated not only with difficulty, but also with a joyful, comfortable existence.

It should be noted that for phraseological units of this category, it is mandatory that the predicate has an agreed or inconsistent definition that motivates the formation of the meaning of the phraseological unit. For example, phraseological unit είναι φίδι literally ‘he is a snake’ (characterizes a mean, cunning, dangerous person), “expanded” due to the agreed definition of σκοτωμένο ‘killed’ is transformed into the phrase εЕναι σκοτωμωνο φοδι literally ‘he is a dead snake’ describing a penniless man.

Like phraseological units of the above categories, phraseological units describing the social type of personality usually contain a negative assessment of the person being characterized (6 out of 10 considered examples are of this kind).

Thus, as the above analysis shows, the metaphorical use of animal images in the phraseological units is due to objective knowledge about their appearance, habits and role in people's lives, which makes it possible to describe both the person’s appearance, condition or features of his character, as well as his action or manner behavior. An unconditional factor in the frequency of use of a particular zoononym is the proximity or remoteness of a given representative of the animal world from a person and the degree of participation of this animal in people's lives (see Table 1 ):

Table 1 -
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The data obtained allow us to evaluate the considered phraseological units from the point of view of the assessment expressed by them (see Table 2 ):

Table 2 -
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As shown above, most of the phraseological units with a component-zoononym in the LPW of a Greek speaker transmit negative characteristics of a person, which, of course, is associated with their cult and mythological “load” and determines their ethnically peculiar interpretation. So, for example, in all groups in the phraseological unit with zoonony components, there are γάιδαρος ‘donkey’, γίδα ‘goat’, σκύλος ‘wolf’, αλεπού ‘fox’ and a little less often λύκος ‘wolf’, which are present in the Greek LPW from ancient times, at the same time, semes with a negative value are already found in ancient and medieval texts (compare, for example, Aesop's fables, as well as (Eideneier, 2016).

From the structural point of view, most phraseological units with a zoononym component formed according to the CopfΧ scheme have auxiliary verbs είμαι ‘to be’ (in 80% of phraseological units describing a person’s appearance, 70% phraseological units characterizing behavior), while the verb γίνομαι ‘become’ is used in 18% of cases. As shown above, the verb be and its variants as part of a compound nominal predicate attribute a qualifying pattern to the subject of the sentence, while the verb becomes phase, i.e. indicates a change in state. It should be concluded that the analyzed phraseological units of the indicated categories ascribe a certain permanent sign to a person more often, than indicate his change. The opposite situation, however, is observed in the category of phraseological units describing the character of a person, where the verb γίνομαι ‘becomes’ more frequent (60%).

Summing up, it should be noted that phraseological units with a component-zoonym clearly demonstrate what place animals occupy in the LPW of a Greek speaker. Practically each of the animals is assigned one or another stable quality, which is expressed in attributing the corresponding seme in the composition of the phraseological unit to the person. At the same time, the analysis showed that the meaning of the phraseological unit is formed not only due to the connotative sem of the zoononym included in it, but is also largely determined by the linking verb (compare, for example, the difference in the meanings of the phraseological units είμαι σκυλί literally ‘be a dog’ and γίνομαι σκυλί literally ‘become a dog’, discussed above) and definitions of various types. During the analysis, it was also found that there are cases of homonymy of phraseological units, which is an interesting question for further study.


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