Comparative study of phraseology on related languages recreates a common phraseological fund for a language family. Consideration of phraseological units with a zoonym component reveals their communicative aspect and the ability to interpret the reality metaphorically. Commonly, the key word of the entire phraseological unit is represented by one of the words-components. The study of vocabulary as part of phraseological units provides specific information about the mentality, the linguistic view of the world, nation, and people. The universal properties contained in the semantics of phraseological units with a zoonym component of the Yakut and Kazakh languages have not been sufficiently studied in comparative terms. The work aims to study the universality of the zoomorphic code in phraseological units with the zoonym component of the Yakut and Kazakh languages. The main research methods are inductive and deductive ones. The methods of thematic classification and systematization of language material, component analysis and phraseological identification were applied in studying the corpus of phraseological units with a zoonym component. The paper investigates the interlingual correlation of phraseological units with zoonym components, considers the frequency of using zoonyms as part of phraseological units to determine common features in the cultural and value codes of related languages, and identifies linguistic and extralinguistic factors that affect the figurative perception of zoonyms in the Yakut and Kazakh languages. Further comparative study of individual layers of vocabulary and phraseology of the Turkic languages is of great interest to researchers.
In Russian studies, the question of phraseology considered as a separate linguistic area was first deeply motivated and broadly raised by Vinogradov (1947). His semantic classification was crucial in the development of phraseology not only in Russian, but also in other languages. Its further in-depth development is associated with the names of Gak, Kopylenko and Popova, Mokienko, Telia and others.
Phraseological units make up a rich figurative layer in the linguistic system of the Yakut language, which is evidenced by the continuing interest of researchers in this topic. Detailed reviews of the Yakut language phraseology are presented in the works of Nelunov (1981), Prokopieva (1996). Separate phraseological units are presented in the works of Betlingk (1990). Despite having a relatively limited material, the author fixed and gave accurate definitions to the available phraseological units. Together with proverbs and sayings, Kulakovsky collected phraseological units of the Yakut language (1925). He not only interpreted their meanings, but also explained their origin, conditions and circumstances of using many phraseological units.
The scientific study of phraseological units of the Yakut language began in the 60s with Grigoriev’s works (1960, 1976), devoted to the relationship of phraseological units and the word, the semantics of some idioms and the comparison of phraseological units with the language material of other Turkic and Mongolian languages. Of special importance is his Phraseological Dictionary of the Yakut Language (Grigoriev, 1974). Afanasiev devoted a special section of the phraseology of the Yakut language in the “Lexicology of the Yakut language” and considered phraseological units to be figurative stable expressions (Afanasiev, 1993). In the work “The Dialect of the Verkhoyansk Yakuts”, Afanasiev (1965) cited dialectal forms of using some phraseological units of the Yakut language. Antonov (1967) observed a wide range of phraseology, included proverbs and sayings in its composition and perceived phraseological units as reproducible stable combinations of words. Ubryatova addressed phraseological units through the lens of a narrow approach to the study of the phraseological composition of the language (Ubryatova, 1972). Nelunov’s monograph “Verbal phraseology of the Yakut language” (Nelunov, 1981) was the first in-depth study of phraseology and the breadth of coverage of verbal phraseological units of the modern Yakut language; his “Yakut-Russian Phraseological Dictionary” was the first bilingual phraseological dictionary in two volumes (Nelunov, 1998, 2002). Prokopieva explored universal typological and nationally specific elements in phraseological imagery in terms of the objective parameters of its creation: tropes underlying the creation of phraseological units of the Yakut language, their prototypes, and motives for the transfer of meanings and directions of transfer (1996). A typological analysis of the central layer of German and Yakut phraseology is presented in her monograph “Typologische Analyse der Phraseologie des Deutschen und des Jakutischen” (Prokopieva, 2001) and other publications.
Great interest and increased attention to Kazakh phraseology was primarily determined in the 50s by the publication of the work of Kenesbaev (1944), which defined the tasks of phraseology, developed criteria for the allocation of phraseological units, their semantic and grammatical classification, problems of phraseological synonymy, variance, polysemy, homonymy, etc. Akhanov was a follower of Vinogradov and Shansky, and he singled out the following units in the Kazakh language: phraseological fusions, phraseological units and phraseological combinations in his work “Тіл білімінің негіздері” (Akhanov, 1955). The issues of semantic classification of phraseological units on the material of the Kazakh language were also considered by Kaidarov (Kaidarov, 1970) and Zhaysakova (Kaidarov & Zhaysakova, 1979). Zhaysakova (1978) identified three groups of phraseological units: 1) phraseological units, whose integral meanings are not derived from a simple sum of the meanings of their constituent components; 2) phraseological units with the components whose meanings are motivated; 3) phraseological units with the components whose meanings are distinctly separated, but do not remain free. Sarsenbaev (1961) classified proverbs and sayings as phraseological units based on their stability and reproducibility. Smagulova considered the variability of phraseological units of the Kazakh language, gave a general description of the variants of phraseological units of the Kazakh language, described their structural features, indicated the reasons for their occurrence and the methods of their formation and types (1993). The further development of phraseology in Kazakhstan was facilitated by the works of Kopylenko and Popova (1989), who proposed a method of sememe analysis of phrase combinations. The work of Sabitova (1999) “Fundamentals of German and Kazakh phraseology” was one of the first comparative works on phraseology in Kazakhstan. A huge role in the development of phraseological science was made by the “Phraseological Dictionary of the Kazakh Language” by Kenesbaev (1977) and the bilingual “Kazakh-Russian Phraseological Dictionary” edited by Kozhakhmetova et al. (1988). In Kazakh linguistics, a broad approach to the understanding of phraseological units prevails. In this light, phraseology is considered by Akhanov, Kaidarov (1970), Kozhakhmetova, Kopylenko, Smagulova and others.
One of the interesting phenomena in the vocabulary of the language is zoonyms, which are the names of representatives of the animal world associated with images from folklore, traditions and customs of native speakers. The phraseological units with the zoonym component arose based on a figurative representation of the different properties and habits of wild and domestic animals, became a kind of system comprising evaluative images of the indigenous worldview.
Since the phraseological system of a language unlike the lexical one has a more national and cultural character and is less influenced by external factors, it can become a reliable source in solving specific tasks associated with the problem of the origin of a language.
In this work, the zoomorphic code is understood as a set of names of domestic animals, pets, wild animals, domestic and wild birds, rodents, reptiles and amphibians, as well as mythological animals perceived as a whole or as their parts and their specific qualitative and quantitative characteristics and addressed as the signs of the language of culture.
The relevance of the work is that the universal and idio-ethnic properties contained in the semantics of phraseological units with a zoonym component of the Yakut and Kazakh languages have not yet been sufficiently studied in comparative terms.
Zoonyms as parts of phraseological units have not been specially studied. People and animals live next to each other, they are neighbors. Such relationships being a complex and unique phenomenon have their own linguistic reflection. In the work “Cultural-national connotations of phraseological units”, Telia emphasizes that the names of animals as nominative units of the language, “directly or indirectly, through their cultural connotations, are associated with the spiritual and material culture of the people” (1993, p. 307). Mokienko emphasizes that zoonym components are one of the most nationally marked, they are characterized by universality, on the one hand, and figurative individuality and locality, on the other hand (1980). The animal world is very important for any nation. For representatives of nomadic peoples particularly the Yakut and Kazakh people, pets are a source of livelihood. Therefore, a large number of both individual words and phraseological units are reflected in their vocabulary.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the work is to identify the universality of the zoomorphic code at the phraseological level, in particular in the structure and semantics of phraseological units with the zoonym component of the Yakut and Kazakh languages.
To achieve the goal, the following was achieved: phraseological units with short names were selected from the “Big Explanatory Dictionary of the Yakut Language” and the Kazakh dictionary “Фразеологиялық сөздік”, the semantic features of phraseological units with short names were studied, the frequency of using a zoonym as part of phraseological units was considered to determine common features in cultural and value related language codes.
According to Gak (1988), phraseology gives the researcher a unique opportunity to penetrate into the inner world of a person, to identify his/her main cultural and moral values, the main features of the national character.
The research methods were based on general scientific methods: inductive and deductive methods. In the process of working with the phraseological unit corpus with a zoonym component, the methods of thematic classification and systematization of language material, component analysis and phraseological identification were applied. Using the comparative method, the universal features of phraseological units with a zoonym component in the Yakut and Kazakh languages were determined.
The material of the study was represented by two catalogues: 201 phraseological units with the zoonym component of the Yakut language and 188 phraseological units with the zoonym component of the Kazakh language, selected by the method of continuous sampling from bilingual phraseological and explanatory dictionaries of the studied languages.
In this work, phraseological units with a zoonym component are divided into 4 thematic groups:
1) “Domestic animal” with subgroups: “Livestock” and “Pet”, 2) “Wild animal”, 3) “Wild bird”, 4) “Fish”.
The group “Domestic animal” in the Yakut language includes 107 phraseological units, which is 53.2 % of the total number of phraseological units studied. It ranks first in terms of the number of phraseological units. In general, the group is dominated by a negative connotation (59.8 %). In the Kazakh language, this group is also the most significant and includes 153 phraseological units (81.4 % of the total number of phraseological units). Kazakh phraseological units have mostly positive connotations (64.1 %).
The “Domestic animal” group consists of two subgroups: “Livestock” and “Pet”. In the Yakut language, the number of phraseological units with a component denoting livestock is 23.4 % of the total number of all phraseological units, i.e. 47 out of 201, in Kazakh it is even more, specifically, 56.9 %, which is 107 out of 188.
The first phrase-forming component of the subgroup of phraseological units with the name of livestock in the Yakut language are the following zoonyms: meaning horse/horse,meaning stallion, meaning mare, meaning foal, meaning horse. There are 47 phraseological units in total. All zoonyms are unproductive, i.e. they are phrase-forming only for 1 to 8 phraseological units. These phraseological units have a predominantly positive connotation (63.2 %).
In the Kazakh language, 64 phraseological units are formed with zoonyms meaning horse/horse, meaning mare, meaning foal. The largest group of phraseological units is the one which comprises 34 % of the total number of phraseological units considered. Zoonym has a high degree of productivity; it is part of 52 phraseological units. Phraseological units with the zoonym horse/horse have a predominantly positive connotation. Thus, in both languages, phraseological units with the zoonym convey various life situations mainly with a positive connotation (63.2 % in Yakut, 70.3 % in Kazakh), which confirms the great importance of the horse in both cultures. The negative characteristic of human activity is most often expressed by actions through harming or committing any destructive actions in relation to the horse.
The Kazakh zoonym has a high degree of Zproductivity; it is part of 52 phraseological units. The group of phraseological units with zoonyms meaning horse is the most numerous and includes 64 phraseological units, which is 34 % of the total number of phraseological units under study. There are only 19 phraseological units in the Yakut language. Semantically, these phraseological units in the Yakut and Kazakh languages express social and interpersonal relationships (friendship, violence), the emotional state of a person (strong excitement), physiological action and position in space, movement and speed, a qualitative assessment of physical abilities, appearance and age of a person. The foal is a symbol of youth, fun and enthusiasm.
The second phrase-forming component of the subgroup of phraseological units with the name of livestock in the Yakut and Kazakh languages are zoonyms denoting cattle. The Yakut zoonyms meaning cow, meaning bull, meaning calf are part of 26 phraseological units. The zoonym meaning bull is a component of the average degree of phraseological activity, 11 phraseological units are formed by it. These phraseological units also have a predominantly positive connotation (65.4 %). Kazakh zoonyms and have a low degree of phraseological activity, 3 and 5 phraseological units, respectively, which also have a positive connotation (62.5 %).
The general situations that the phraseological units of this subgroup convey are situations of a strong manifestation of abominable behaviour, disregard of a person. Yakut phraseological units can also express an evaluative characteristic of a quiet, gentle person, a simple soul of tranquil nature, as well as the inappropriateness, futility of something. Kazakh phraseological units express silence, hard work, the uncertainty of something.
Another universal phrase-forming component in both languages is the zoonym pig. In the Yakut language, it is denoted by the archaic meaning of the word. Due to the fact that pigs appeared in the cultures under consideration relatively recently and do not have great cultural and historical significance, the number of phraseological units in both languages is small, only 2 in Yakut and 3 in Kazakh. In both languages, the analyzed phraseological units have exclusively negative connotations. In the Yakut language, the image of a pig is associated with shamelessness and anger, in Kazakh – with stupidity, grubbiness, arrogance and laziness of a person.
The subgroup “Domestic animal (pet)” in the Yakut language includes only the zoonym “dog”, in Kazakh – “dog” and “cat”. In the Yakut language, the zoonym “dog” is the most productive; it is part of 60 phraseological units of different semantics. This is 29.8 % of the total number of the considered phraseological units. The connotation of phraseological units with this zoonym is predominantly negative (76.7 %). In the Kazakh language, this zoonym is also very productive, but to a lesser extent. Specifically, 41 phraseological units are formed based on it and 51.2 % of phraseological units have a positive connotation.
In the Yakut culture, when metaphorizing the word, the aspects of grubbiness, ignorance, unworthy behavior, and negative emotions are emphasized. There are a lot of swear words in the Yakut language with the word. There are almost none of them in the Kazakh language. This word is widely used for the moral assessment of a mean and dishonorable person and to express disregard of a person. Also, in both languages there are many phraseological units to characterize the negative behavior of a person. There are a number of phraseological units to denote the state of hatred, rage and anger. In the Yakut language, phraseological units with the zoonym “dog” are often used for a negative characterization of a person, in Kazakh, on the contrary, for a positive one. In both languages, phraseological units express such physiological states as severe fatigue, hunger, and also the plight of a person. Yakut phraseological units can also convey situations of ridiculous death. A large number of Yakut phraseological units denote fruitless actions, lack or absence of smth. In the Kazakh language, on the contrary, there is a phraseological unit that expresses a situation of abundance. In both languages, the image of an old dog is associated with an experienced person, an old stager.
The zoonym “cat” is not represented in the Yakut phraseology, except for the tracing paper from the Russian language “lead a cat and dog life”. In the Kazakh language, this zoonym is part of 5 phraseological units, mainly with a negative connotation. The image of a cat in them is associated with malevolence and deceit, at the same time it also acts as a symbol of vitality.
The second group “Wild animal” in the Yakut language is the third-biggest in terms of the number of phraseological units, specifically, 36 phraseological units, which is 17.9 % of the total number. In the Kazakh language it is the third-biggest as well, specifically, 16 phraseological units (8.5 %). The percentage of positive connotation in both languages is practically the same: 41.7 % and 43.7 %, respectively. Common images for both cultures are bear, wolf, fox and hare.
The Yakut zoonyms “bear” and “wolf” are part of 6 phraseological units with both positive and negative connotations. Zoonyms and are often used together as part of phraseological units. Kazakh zoonyms “bear” and “wolf” form 2 phraseological units each, also with both positive and negative connotations. The attitude of the two peoples towards these animals coincides only in terms of images, specifically, the image of a wolf is associated with the image of a brave man, and the image of a bear is associated with ferocity.
In the Yakut language, we have identified 7 phraseological units with and 2 phraseological units with, in Kazakh – 3 with a fox, 2 – with a hare. In both cultures, the images of the fox and the hare are associated with a cunning and cowardly person. At the same time, other associations and connotations develop in the Yakut phraseological units. The image of a fox in the Yakut language has not only a negative connotation, but also a positive one, and denotes a cautious and enterprising person, as well as a person who stands out from others due to positive qualities.
The third group “Wild Bird” in the Yakut language is the second-biggest in terms of the number of phraseological units. Specifically, there are 41 phraseological units, which is 20.4 %. In the Kazakh language, it is also the second-biggest: 17 phraseological units, which is 9 %. The connotation in both languages is positive: 51.2 % in Yakut and 52.9 % in Kazakh. The main zoonym in this group on the material of the Yakut language is the zoonym meaning duck. In both languages, images of a goose, a falcon, a crane, a coot, a lark, a sparrow, a partridge and a hawk are universal. General semantic situations are the expression of the physical abilities and emotional state of a person, freedom in life, and concern for a person. The transmission of negative traits, mental abilities, appearance, age and experience of a person addressing close people, as well as the designation of a gun are characteristic only for the Yakut language. Kazakh phraseological units are characterized by the expression of wretchedness and poverty.
The fourth group “Fish” is the smallest in both languages. However, phraseological units with the component “fish” are widely represented in Yakut phraseology. We have identified 17 phraseological units with the main components, which mostly convey a negative connotation (53 %). In the Kazakh language, only 2 phraseological units with the zoonym “fish” have been identified. In the Yakut language, phraseological units with a component “fish” are used to characterize not only a simple soul and silent person, but also a quirky, cunning person, to indicate the physiological quality (toothless, bloodied) and the emotional state of a person (blankness, uncertainty), to assess the external environment (gloomy) and properties of an object or phenomenon (quantity and size). Kazakh phraseological units can express physical abilities (dexterous, fast), emotional state (free), social status (poor) of a person.
In the Yakut language, the most productive are zoonyms denoting dog, cattle and horse. In the Kazakh language, the most productive are zoonyms denoting horse, dog and camel. Since ancient times, the Yakut and Kazakh people led a nomadic lifestyle, bred livestock. Thus, numerous phraseological units reflect this traditional way of life for the Yakuts and Kazakhs. Subsequently, both peoples became settled.
Initially, the Yakuts were hunters. Thus, the images of a dog, wild animals and wild birds, in particular, ducks, are very close to them. In both languages, the image of an old dog is associated with the nomination of an experienced person, an old stager. The dog is one of the 7 riches of the Kazakh people.
The semantics of phraseological units with a zoonym component in two languages is anthropocentric. The people establish associative links between the zoonym and the metaphorical idea of the personality, the habits of the animal and the standards of human behavior. The analysis of zoonymic phraseology revealed the predominance of negative connotations in the Yakut language (56.7 %), and positive connotation in the Kazakh language (61.2 %). In the Yakut language, the prevailing number of zoonymic phraseological units is used to condemn and evaluate the negative properties (character traits, behavior) of a person.
A certain number of similar semantically motivated phraseological units in the Yakut and Kazakh languages indicate that the phraseological system of the Turkic languages has common ancient roots. The similarity of associative images can also be due to universal knowledge about the world around us, a similar way of life. The absence of a phraseological unit with a certain zoonym in the Yakut language is explained by the fact that a camel, as well as a goat, a ram, a sheep, a lamb, a donkey, a cat are not typical animals in the household of the Yakuts.
The following cases of interlingual phraseological correspondences were also revealed: full and partial. There are 40 phraseological units in total with the relevant meaning, similar component composition, structural and grammatical design, specific connotation.
Here are the examples of complete cross-language correspondence:
very slowly, literally, slow pace of a bull, steps of a pregnant woman – walk very slowly, trail, literally, oxen pace; tick, very dense, impenetrable (about thicket, forest), literally, where the dog will not stick his muzzle – impenetrable, literally, the muzzle of the dog will not stick out; very difficult, unbearable life, literally, dog’s life – dog’s life; son of a dog, literally, dog’s son– dog’s son; cowardly person, hare-hearted person, literally, hare’s heart– cowardly, timid person, hare-hearted person, literally, hare’s heart etc.
Examples of partial interlingual correspondence are identified mainly by the relevant meaning and similar component composition:
means very hastily, literally, not even having time to saddle or harness a horse – (қомында) in a hurry, in a rush, literally, when you sit on a horse’s mane or on a camel’s hump; tremble (due to fright, strong excitement), literally, like a horse having drunk cold water – to get excited inappropriately, literally, like riding a horse without a saddle;) on equal ground, literally, like the horns of a young <cow> – absolutely, very similar, literally, like twin lambs;excessively meek, quiet, characterized by a tranquil nature, literally, like a cow being scratched – timid, shy, literally, will not pluck a blade of grass from a sheep’s mouth, etc.
Thus, full interlingual equivalents are represented in both languages by a small number of phraseological units with universal zoonym components or phraseological units of the same type in structure characterized as partial equivalents; in the Yakut and Kazakh languages, one can find much more than full equivalents since there are understandable differences in structural and grammatical organization, in token components with a similar figurative basis. The similarity of phraseological units with the zoonym component indicates a certain commonality of the associative-figurative thinking of the speakers of the languages under consideration.
The significance of the work performed is determined by the further possibility of a comparative study of the phraseological layer of the Yakut and Kazakh languages, preparation for publication of bilingual lexical and phraseographic sources.
Further comparative study of individual layers of vocabulary and phraseology of the Turkic languages in a cognitive perspective is of great interest to researchers.
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23 December 2022
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Prokopieva, S. M., & Ryskulov, M. A. (2022). Universality Of Zoomorphic Code At Phraseological Level: Yakut And Kazakh Zoonymic Phrasemes. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization- ISCKMC 2022, vol 129. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 873-882). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2022.12.112