Phraseology of urs widmer: example of one literary text

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The article focuses on the heterogeneity of the terminology of phraseological research and on the relevance of understanding phraseology as a set of characteristic ways of linguistic expression by an individual author. The aim of the research is to reveal the peculiarities of the phraseology of the Swiss German-speaking author Urs Widmer (1938–2014) on the basis of a particular work – a series of miniatures called «Berufe!» («Professions!»). The object of the research is the phraseological units of a given text, and the tasks are the systematization of phraseological units, the determination of the features of their modifications, the establishment of the role of phraseological units in the artistic semantics of the text. The systematization of phraseological units leads to the selection of two main groups – unmodified and modified phraseological units. The modified phraseological units, in turn, in accordance with the classification of G. Burger, are divided according to the methods of modification and analyzed using several examples. It is revealed that unmodified phraseological units prevail in the text, and among the modified ones, the main ones are formal-semantic and semantic methods of modification. G. Burger's classification turns out to be the most appropriate way to organize the author's modifications of phraseological units in a literary work, since, based on the principle of semantic marking, it distinguishes a formal-semantic type of modifications that combines both structural and semantic shifts. The article also analyzes the influence of phraseological units and their modifications on the semantic and stylistic features of a literary text. It is revealed that phraseological units contribute to the creation of features of the spoken style, the reception of the «stream of consciousness» and the formation of the general expressive tonality of the work. It is also confirmed that phraseological units, due to their ambivalent nature, become generators of the language game that arises when they are modified. The results of the language game are the creation of a comic effect, the effect of ironic distancing and the transfer of the author's expressive evaluative position. The article outlines as further research prospects – the possibility of determining the features of the «phraseology of the author» within the framework of his literary work as a whole.


About the authors

I. A. Stikhina

Ural State University of Economics, Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1955-6549

Candidate of Philological Sciences, assisstant professor of the Department of Foreign Languages, Ural State University of Economics


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