Precedent hagionyms as means to verbalize the concept of FAITH/UNBELIEF in contemporary German novels

Abstract

The article analyses the use of precedent proper names of biblical origin from contemporary German novels through the perspective of cognitive linguistics. The precedent hagionyms are seen as markers of the religious mindset and a means to verbalize religious involvement and the linguo cultural concept of FAITH/UNBELIEF. The precedent hagionyms in artistic discourse are used denotatively, in comparative constructions, and as part of biblical phraseology; they act as means of expressing figurative and value components of the concept of FAITH due to their strong implicational features. When used denotatively, the hagionyms manifest not only their nominative identifying function but a characterizing one as well, since every such hagionym is supported by a precedent, either an event or a text. Phraseological units containing hagionyms act as reference models for evaluation of current events, phenomena or states; they are also used humorously and ironically and as such demonstrate scepticism and negative attitudes of the speaker towards the objects of their speech, thus manifesting the concept of UNBELIEF. Hagionyms in the speech of contemporary characters contribute to the emotionality of their utterances. On the one hand, precedental hagionyms in contemporary German fiction testify that a layer of Christian culture still exists in the German language. On the other hand, the peculiarities of their usage demonstrate that linguocultural concept of FAITH is being transformed and filled with everyday phenomena and a new ‘patchwork’ religious identity is being formed

About the authors

Y. A. Blinova

Samara National Research University

Author for correspondence.
Email: jublinova@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2876-8826

Candidate of Philological Sciences, associate professor at the Department of German Philology

Russian Federation, 34, Moskovskoye shosse, Samara, 443086, Russian Federation

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