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Proverbs typically considered to be traditional sayings that give advice or express general truths based on age-old human experience. Nevertheless, they have never been considered as items expressing the absolute truth. It was their didactic wisdom that was appreciated and passed onto the next generations. People also noticed that proverbs were not always to be accepted and followed as universal laws of behaviour, so they reacted humorously or satirically to these folk sayings by creating a new form of proverb — the anti-proverb. Both proverbs and anti-proverbs are therefore considered parts of the natural language and have nowadays become a subject of linguistic studies.The present paper conducts a research on Bulgarian anti-proverbs compiled from the Internet, with a special regard to their pragmatic characteristics. Numerous databases and other sources enable the researcher to emphasize certain that anti-proverbs have inherited from traditional sayings; these functions include the expression of invocation, suggestion, warning, and regulations. In addition, the present paper discusses some new functions of proverb-parodies, namely the questioning of popular opinion and norms, as well as the act of denial. Such function-changes are the results of paremiological adaptations to contemporary social, cultural, and economic needs.

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Proverbs have never been considered sacrosanct; on the contrary, they have frequently been used as satirical, ironic or humorous comments on a given situation. Wolfgang Mieder has coined the term “Antisprichwort” (anti-proverb) for such deliberate proverb innovations (also known as alterations, mutations, parodies, transformations, variations, wisecracks, fractured proverbs). The focus of this study is on different mechanisms of variation in Anglo-American, German, French, Russian and Hungarian anti-proverbs. The mechanisms discussed and exemplified in the study include replacing a single word, substituting two or more words, changing the second part of the proverb, adding new words, adding literal interpretations, repeating identical or phonetically similar words, mixing two or more proverbs, word-order reversal, rhyme, changing the first part of the proverb, and omission of words.

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On the basis of French, Hungarian, English, German and Russian corpora of anti-proverbs (deliberate proverb innovations, also known as alterations, mutations, parodies, transformations, variations, wisecracks, and fractured proverbs), we examine word play based on polysemy, homonymy, and homophony. After a survey of the proverbs most frequently used for these types of alteration, this study investigates anti-proverbs linked to the theme of sexuality. Finally, we explore the use of proper nouns in proverb transformations based on polysemy, homonymy, and homophony.

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Acta Ethnographica Hungarica
Authors:
Hrisztalina Hrisztova-Gotthardt
,
Anna Litovkina
,
Péter Barta
, and
Katalin Vargha

Paronomasia is a popular form of wordplay often used to transform proverbs into antiproverbs (deliberate proverb innovations, also known as alterations, mutations, parodies, transformations, variations, wisecracks, and fractured proverbs) by replacing certain phonemes with similar ones, or by adding or omitting phonemes. The present paper describes and exemplifies this sort of pun by using selected German, Hungarian, English, French and Russian language data. The first part of the paper focuses on the linguistic aspects of paronomasia; the second part stresses semantic characteristics. This study also examines the role of wordplay on the theme of sexuality, and then comments on the use of proper nouns in proverb transformations. We conclude that all five of the languages in our research corpus use similar, if not identical, approaches to forge a “twisted wisdom” out of a simple proverb.

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Acta Ethnographica Hungarica
Authors:
József Andor
,
Dóra Boronkai
,
Éva Páli
,
Margit Daczi
,
Олег ФЕДОСОВ
,
Melita Aleksa
,
Kevin McKenna
,
Hrisztalina Hrisztova-Gotthardt
, and
Péter Barta
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