Fixed comparisons with zoonym component describing human qualities

The article considers the fixed comparisons describing human qualities and their emotional-expressive meaning. The object of the research is fixed comparisons with zoonym component that describe human qualities. The use of animal names in Turkic languages, their associative image in national perception was analyzed by comparative method. Based on scientific findings on associative types of fixed comparisons during language analysis, the fixed comparisons of human characteristics are classified into associative types. Associations that appear by means of the images of a wolf, a lion, a tiger, a fox, a bear, a hare in Kazakh perception are analyzed. The role of comparative components in using emotional-expressive meaning of fixed comparisons is defined. Comparisons describing qualities of heroism, courage, cowardice, weakness, beauty are divided into functional emotional-expressive comparisons and attributive emotional-expressive comparisons by their emotional-expressive meanings. It is proved that heroism, courage qualities are given by the images of a wolf, a lion and a tiger, severity, cruelty is expressed by a wolf's image, quality of cowardice is depicted by the image of a hare, cunning, disingenuity, beauty are given by the image of a fox. The importance of fixed comparisons with zoonym component in describing the level of expressiveness and artistry in human qualities in the use of language are defined.

While recognizing objective truth, a person is trying to make a picture of the world in which language can be expressed. Language is a key tool in human life. Communication between people occurs through language. Existence of a person is given through the language, thoughts, inner world, outward appearance, mentality, human characteristics, behavior and character. Human problems are the subject of study of linguistics. The qualities of human are communicated in different ways in the language. One of them is comparisons.

Characteristics of a person are compared to natural phenomena, wildlife, animals, birds and plants in the language. Comparison is one of the categories which consists of national peculiarities of the world view that has accumulated national peculiarities of imaginative thinking. Comparison was studied as a cognition tool in philosophy, as a stylized method in literary science, as a figurative language in linguistics. Logical, aesthetic, linguistic features of comparison have been studied extensively in Russian linguistics. Among the scholars who have studied the origin, expressive meaning, manner of production and types, the imagery and the artistry, semantic-poetic nature of the comparison were A. Potebnya, L. Borovoy, A. Veselovsky, G. Abramovich, D. Lihachev, A. Kvyatkovsky, A. Fedorov, I. Gutarov, L. Timofeyev, S. Mezenin, A. Rubailo, B. Tomashevsky. K. Zhumaliyev, Z. Kabdolov, Z. Ahmetov, M. Bazarbayev expressed their opinions about stylistic value of comparison in Kazakh literature. The work of T. Konyrov, a scholar who conducted a prominent research on the linguistic nature of comparisons, lexical-semantic scope of Kazakh language, associative types and semantic-grammatical nature can be mentioned. The scientist, analyzing the opinions of Russian lexicographers and Kazakh literary critics, gives the following definition of comparison: «Equation is similar, based on the common features, comparing one thing to another one, enhances descriptive, artistic, emotional and expressive qualities of the character, stylized approach and means of cognition» [1; 87]. Having considered the lexical-semantic, semantic-grammatical, semantic-stylistic character of Kazakh equivalents, the scholar compiled a dictionary of fixed comparisons in Kazakh language. The scientist T. Konyrov: «Fixed comparison metaphoric construction developed from ancient times and completely assimilated in the language. For that reason, fixed comparisons are often used as figurative, stylized tools, in fiction and folklore, and even in conversational language. Kazakh language has a lot of fixed comparisons, so their semantics, structure, artistry, emotional expressive color, origin and methods of formation are various. That is why the comprehensive study of fixed comparison in Kazakh language, the discovery of its linguistic nature and its metaphoric value, the determination of the semantic groups and structures, the deeper look to its origin, to understand its historical and social significance are the work offuture» [1; 431], he defined the types of fixed comparisons on lexico-grammatical nature, and specified that their «synonymic scope was wide, so sufficient, stylistic elements of semantic meaning are a lot and its emotional effect is various».

Fixed comparisons reflect the national-cultural peculiarities, mentality, and spiritual culture of the people. We consider the use of fixed comparisons in our language on giving human qualities. Human nature is often expressed in language by comparing it with the characteristics of wildlife, animals, and birds. As a result of comparing human qualities with the traits of the animal, several fixed comparisons have been formed in our language.

Heroism is a collective concept that expresses courage, steadfastness, dedication, freedom, and bravery. Heroism shows patriotism in struggle for the country and land, bravery in the difficult situation, nimbleness that does not miss the life essence out. Heroism in understanding of Kazakh people is a quality that is explained also as courage. It is seen in making timely decisions, being able to withstand danger, not being afraid of difficulties and other actions. Bravery is a great sing of noble action. Noble action is formed by behavior. Bravery opens the way for heroism and courage. In Kazakh language, heroism, bravery, perseverance and heroic qualities are given by the names of wolf, tiger, leopard, lion-like predator. For example, brave like a wolf, attack like a wolf, like a fierce wolf, like a wolf that caught sheep, fearsome like a lion, stately like a lion, lion's heart, jump like a leopard and others.

Wolf is a predator from the dog family. According to historical data, a wolf was a common totem of Turkic-speaking tribes. Vestiges to consider a wolf as sacred have been preserved in language and belief. For example, until last the wolf was called «God's companion» and nobody insult him, even calling the wolf as a dog-bird, straight ear, a black ear, sharp year, an adult wolf. They say: «A wolf finds meal in the woods seven days, another seven days it takes meal from people». Usually, they ate meat of animals torn apart by wolf. Because they considered it to be a sacred thing of «God's companion». They did not feed animal's meat torn by wolf to the pregnant woman as believed that the baby would be slavering if the pregnant woman ate it. When you left to start your family and if the wolf attacked your sheep, Kazakh believed it was a good thing. This was not a usual wolf, but the sacred one, his coming to cattle-barn was as a sign of the growth of welfare. In addition, when there was epidemic, if the wolf attacked the wolf, it was considered it would recover soon. When the traveler met a wolf on his way, he considered it as a good sign and did not hurt him. If a woman does not stop giving a birth to child, wolf's ankle, teeth, and astragalus was put on last baby's chest or shoulder as a talisman. They believed that a baby would not put an evil eye upon him and would live long. There was also a ritual for a woman who did not have a child to spread a wolf's liver on the body or wear it as an amulet. When people fought or feuded with each other, they have been trying to kindle a wolf tendon and casted a spell over and conjured. Our people call a regular hero as «a real wolf». The game «kokbar» (the game kokbori) when you attack your enemy as a wolf and press with a knee lasts till now. M. Auyezov told that the game «kokbori tartu» was the games «Kokbori» and «Kyz bori» which are kept since old times. People fight and when a nanny goat was pressed under knee it was called as «Kokbori» according to the mythic interpretation, because a wolf was a symbol of the victory. When two parties were in fight, who had a wolf in his hand, that party was considered to succeed [2; 34], citing those facts as an example, K. Gabithanuly told that a wolf was not just a sacred animal, it was a special totem.

In «Historical and Comparative Grammar of Turkic Languages»: «Wolk in Turkic culture is a symbol of manhood, power and firmness. Almost in all other Turkic languages a common Turkic word *bo:ri is used to name a wolf except Oguz languages, where they use another word *ku:rt» [3; 160] to name, so we see that a wolf is a symbol of courage, heroism, and power in the Turkic languages. The above-mentioned comparisons to the wolf are given to define the heroic, persistent, courageous qualities of the human being, however, such comparisons as malicious like a wolf, has no kindness like a wolf, devastate like a wolf, to tear to pieces like a wolf mean the mercilessness, the cruelty; comparisons as to become obstinate like a wolf, to look like a wolf, to bare the teeth like a wolf, to bend to the dog like a wolf mean such qualities as violence. In some Turkic languages, if a person who speaks a lot, betrays secrets, says gossips is depicted by a wolf's semantics, a person who has seen a lot is depicted by an old wolf.

The king of animals is a lion. Its appearance, attractive and rough mane that looks like a crown, his regal look, staring proudly — these all show importance, finery, presentability and confidence inherent to the king. Characteristics of human beings, such as solemnity, strength, restraint, finery, reliability are expressed through a lion's image. When we compare a person to a lion, we see his dreadfulness and courage. When a person is compared to an old lion, we understand that it is a wise elder with thoughts to share with youngergeneration and show an example. Dreadful like a lion, brave like a lion, to have a lion's heart comparisons in the language describe dreadful, brave, proud, imperious characteristics of the person.

One of the biggest predator among the animals is the tiger and strong, powerful qualities are described by this animal too. «According to scientific data, it is noticed that the name of the one of the largest predatory species tiger included in the list of taboo words. For example, if the Indians did not use the word «tiger» directly, but instead use the Persian word «sher» (tiger) as an euphemism alternative, there are proofs that in old times Kazakh and Kyrgyz people also did not name a tiger directly and called it with euphemism «sher» or «sheri»…

Along with calling a tiger «sheri», the Kazakhs called it «black ear» too. Among the population: «when the tiger approaches, you give voice and say «black ear», a dangerous predator will not hurt and leave» such legend proves it [4; 265], said A. Akhmetov noting that the tiger's name is included in taboo words of Kazakh people. Such comparisons as to behave heinously like a tiger, strong like a tiger, to become furious like a tiger, to bend like a tiger, noble like tiger, to shoot ahead like a tiger, to rip apart like a tiger in tiger's appearance, movements, powerfulness in the voice are compared to human qualities.

In Turkic languages, bear image is used to describe braveness, power. According to A. Akhmetov, «... in the wild woods it is strictly forbidden to call the name of one of the largest animals — bear due to hunting. There are also reasons for it, as many nations believed a bear to be a strong and fierce animal. In addition to it, a bear walks on both legs like a human and knows how to use front legs as hands. It is no less smart and sly as a man. Therefore, there are many people who consider it as a king of the woods and animals» [4; 254] and K. Gabithanuly explained that a bear was believed to be totem in Turkic languages «In early times, a bear was considered as a totem and people used its hoof, teeth and paw as a talisman for children, to keep them safe from troubles, illness and an evil eye» [2; 37], we understand due to these opinions that it was forbidden to name a bear directly, they used indirect names and had different superstitions. In Turkic languages, a brave man was described by a bear's heart and also: «The image of the bear as a part of the phraseological units in the Turkic languages also conveys the emotional state of the person, the state of ferocity, severity: to be fierce like a bear» [5; 10]. In Kazakh language, the bear's image has fixed comparisons, reflecting the man's behavior, movement, voice, character and personality, such as: to growl like a bear, to waddle like a bear, to yawn like a bear in the cave, to speak in bass voice like a bear in a lair, like bear's paw, bend back like bear's one, like a wounded bear, like an old bear, like a black bear, to be fierce like a furious bear, to bite like a bear, to roar like a bear, like bear's thick fur, to hunt to extinction like a bear. These comparisons took origin from comparing powerful, strong qualities in a man's movement, voice, character and behavior and appearance to qualities that inherent to a bear.

The quality opposite of heroism is cowardice. Cowardice is a quality that born of fear. «Fear is a feeling that appears when you lose courage and boggle». When making decisions in the life, as well as taking on new initiatives, cowardice can have a negative effect on a person and causes people to feel uncertainty. In Kazakh tales, legends and perception, the symbol of this quality is hare. In the Turkic languages, the cowardice is associated with the rabbit's heart. There are the following fixed comparisons in the language to express a coward: like a hare riding a dragon, to run away like a hare that saw a dog, like a hare in a tree hollow, hide like a hare, to fear like a hare, to dart off like a brown hare.

The cunning quality of a man is explained by the concepts of wiliness, meanness, disingenuity, dishonesty. In all Turkic languages, cunning and guile are depicted by a fox among all animals. In Altai, Khakas, Tuva languages, cunning is expressed by fox's eyes, in Yakutian language, it is represented by fox's brains in the fixed comparisons. In Kazakh language, the following fixed comparisons like: quick like a fox, to wag a tail like a red fox, to fawn like a fox took origin from comparing cunning and smart qualities of a man to a fox. The fox differs from other animals with its cautiousness and it is rarely trapped unlike other animals. A very cautious person is also called a fox. The fox also features feminine beauty. For example, such fixed comparisons as to stand out vividly like the Altaic fox, to roll in the snow like a fox, a red fox of the ridge describe the women's beauty.

A scholar T. Konyrov considering associative types of Kazakh comparisons links one words that associates with other ones through associative nest in foreign and Russian linguistics with «expansion of paradigmatic and syntagmatic aspects of the comparison parts (image, subject, sign)» and shows 5 different types of associating possibility of comparison members: «1) Аn – Cn – B — in this type, there is only one subject and the number of images depicting it and signs originating from it are a lot»; 2) А – С – Вn — in this type one image depicts several subjects. There different subjects are similar to each other by «qualities» and have common signs; 3) А – Cn – Вn — in this type one single image describes various objects and defines individual signs of each object; 4) Аn – С – Вn — in this type different images describe various objects, both image and the subject have common signs; 5) Аn – С – В — in this type different images describe only one subject. Nevertheless, their signs are common» [1; 417].

In the above-mentioned fixed comparisons, heroism, cowardice, and cunning qualities of a person are associated with the animal names. Let us consider these fixed comparisons by T. Konyrov's associative types. According to a scholar, the type Аn – Cn – B: «A particular thing or phenomenon is associated with many things and phenomena in the world. That is, the subject of comparison according to the law of artistic representation and visualization are associated with dozens things and phenomena, as a result, objects and phenomena are transformed into images of comparison. As there is a sign of comparison, the qualities of the things and phenomena transformed into the image become the signs of comparison. After all, one object is described through dozen images and has dozens of signs» [1; 419]. For instance, in the sentences Majestic like a lion, overtaking the rain (S. Mukanov), Battle-axe, nimble woman seeing her brother-in-law untimely simply got embarrassed (G. Mustafin), Having lion's heart, deft like a tiger (Heroic Epos) heroism quality is described by images of a wolf, a lion and a tiger. The basis for associating the heroism with animal names is peculiar quality inherent to a brave man and a wolf, a lion and a tiger. The quality of a man is associated through the appearance of the mentioned animal names; the image appears and affects the feeling.

The above-mentioned fixed comparisons describing various qualities of a person, which are made by the images of the wolf and the fox, belong to the third type. Т. Konyrov gives an explanation in A – Cn – Вn type: «... one image is associated with many objects, and every single object has unique feature. These many features are combined with many objects, in response considered to be different signs of one im- age» [1; 422]. For instance, How did you know that these maledictions weren't addressed to you, your son Azimbay vicious like a wolf? (M. Auyezov). Kunanbay has no time to be shy, to think! Like a wolf eating his wolf cub itself (M. Auyezov). The commanding officer turned red when he saw a soldier bending like a wolf and could not be strict (H. Yessenzhanov), All desperate people attacked like a pack of wolves (M. Auyezov) in these sentences apart of brave quality, heartlessness and severity are depicted by a wolf. These qualities are associated with the signs of appearance and movements of the wolf. Cunning like a fox, coming closer under wardship (I. Zhansugirov), Like a fox throwing its tail, enough punishment for you (Shalkiiz), A beautiful lady blooming like a red fox of the ridge (S. Mukanov), This girl is beautiful like a fox rolling in the snow (S. Mukanov), Red as a fox and tricky movements like fox's one (G. Mustafin) — in these examples a cunning person, his beauty is described by a fox and its features.

Blinking like a running hare, he told that Marshal Govorov was inviting him (A. Nurpeisov), Hiding in the thick woods like a hare, waiting news from people and sending a rider, he looked around fearfully (S. Seifullin). When people were sheltering a large tree yesterday like hares forced into a corner, he realized that the platoon was in a difficult position, and confirmed his opinion (T. Akhtanov) in these sentences cowardice quality is associated with the rabbit image and the signs of its movements.

The meaning to define the idea by comparison figuratively, impressively and artistically is very important. Emotional-expressive qualities of fixed comparisons, which are characterized by the names of the animals in depicting human characteristics are high. Scholar T. Konyrov says, «... the emotional-expressive quality of comparative construction differs from separate words. If emotional-expressive embellishing in a single word covers the lexical meaning of that word, emotional-expressive embellishment of comparative construction is «bound» to one of three parts of comparison. For example, in order to describe a particular subject impressively (whether human or another object, whether it is a phenomenon, it does not matter), we associate the subject with something else, that is, compare it to one thing. Hence, the subject looks like associated thing (image), and a common feature (quality) appears for the object and the image out of this similarity. Then the emotional-expressive value can be seen either from the image or from the sign» [1; 464], so the emotional-expressive value often has a sign. Let us consider fixed comparisons in emotional- expressive value representing human qualities mentioned above. In comparisons to attack like a wolf, to jump like a tiger, to hunt to extinction like a wolf, to tear apart like a wolf, to look like a wolf, to bare teeth like a wolf, to roar like a tiger, to growl like a tiger, to get savage like a tiger, to stretch like a tiger, to surge like a tiger, to rip apart like a tiger, to grumble like a bear, to waddle like a bear, to speak in a bass voice like a bear in the lair, to bite like a bear, to roar like a bear, to mash like a bear, to hide like a hare, to fear like a hare, to run away like a hare, to wag like a red fox, to fawn like a fox — to attack, to jump, to hunt to extinction, to tear apart, to look like, to bare teeth, to roar, to growl, to get savage, to stretch, to surge, to rip apart, to grumble, to waddle, to speak in a bass voice, to bite, to roar, to mash, to hide, to fear, to run away, to wag, to fawn are the features, qualities of the animals that serve as figurative function of comparisons.The comparisons have an emotional value through the movements of the images and its expressive color increases. Т. Konyrov called these comparisons as «functional emotional-expressive comparisons». Positive or negative emotions arise from the actions and movements of the images in the mentioned comparisons. For example, the comparison to attack like a wolf which means heroism and courage qualities which is expressed by a wolf's image give positive emotion, comparisons to hunt to extinction like a wolf, to tear to pieces like a wolf that depict quality of rigour and comparisons to bristle up like a wolf, to look like a wolf, to bare teeth like a wolf that depict quality of severity give negative emotion.

In these comparisons, the actions and movements of a wolf, a lion, a tiger, a bear are linked to the qualities of a man, thereby «all comparative construction design has emotional-expressive feature», in comparisons like a fierce wolf, like a wolf that attacked sheep, dreadful like a lion, majestic like a lion, to have a lion's heart, to wriggle like a wolf opposite a dog, malicious like a wolf, to have kindness like a wolf, like a wounded bear, like an old bear, like a black bear, to be angered like a furious bear, like a hare that rides a dragon, like a hare that saw a dog, like a hare in a tree hollow, like a fox rolling in the snow, like a red fox of the ridge the images of a wolf, a lion, a bear, a hare, a fox are described in detail and have a figurative quality according to it. Т. Konyrov called these comparisons «attributive emotional-expressive compari- sons». The images of a fierce wolf, a dreadful, majestic lion, a wolf wriggled to a dog, a hare that rides a dragon, a hare that saw a dog, a fox rolling in the snow, a red fox of the ridge, a wounded bear, an old bear in comparisons are shown with different features and increase expressive impression and emotional color of such human qualities as heroism, courage, cowardice, beauty, helplessness and weakness.

Thus, the function of fixed comparisons in describing human qualities figuratively is enormous. The expressive and emotional values of the above mentioned fixed comparisons increase in the expression of heroism, cowardice, cunning, weakness and beauty increase figuratively through the animal names. The names of a wolf, a lion, a tiger, a bear, a fox, and a rabbit contained in the fixed comparisons describe a variety of human qualities in the use of language and cause a specific association.

 

Reference

  1. Konyrov, Т. (2007). Turakty teneuler sozdіhі [Dictionary of fixed comparisons]. Almaty: Аrys [in Kazakh].
  2. Gabithanuly, K. (2006). Kazak mifolohiiasynyn tіldі k korіnі sі [Language phenomenon in Kazakh mythology]. Almaty: Аrys [in Kazakh].
  3. Tenishev, E.R. (Еds.). (1997). Sravnitelno-istoricheskaiia hrammatika tiurkskikh yazykov. Leksika [Comparative-historical grammar of Turkic languages. Vocabulary]. Мoscow: Nauka [in Russian].
  4. Аkhmetov, A. (2009). Tubі turkі orkeniet [Turkic Civilization]. Almaty: Аrys [in Kazakh].
  5. Nadeliaev, V.M., Nasilov, D., Tenishev, E., & Shcherbak, A. (Еds.). (1969). Drevnetiurkskii slovar [Old Turkic Dictionary]. Leningrad: Nauka [in Russian].
Year: 2019
City: Karaganda
Category: Philology