[Lingtyp] Metaphorical subject-object order in proverbs with parallel sentences
JOO, Ian [Student]
ian.joo at connect.polyu.hk
Fri Jun 18 04:08:23 UTC 2021
in Korean proverbs consisting of two parallel sentences, the metaphorical object precedes the metaphorical subject:
* 호랑이는 죽어서 가죽을 남기고, 사람은 죽어서 이름을 남긴다. A tiger leaves its hide when it dies, and a person leaves their name when they die.
* 열 길 물 속은 알아도 한 길 사람 속은 모른다. You can see through ten feet deep water, but you cannot see through a one foot deep heart.
In these proverbs, the metaphorical objects (tiger, water) precede the metaphorical subjects (person, heart).
I have been assuming that this is the “natural” way of making a parallel comparison, until I came across Mongolian proverbs today that have the opposite structure:
* Хүн ёс дагана, нохой яс дагана. A person follows traditions, and a dog follows bones.
* Уур биеийг зовоодог, уул морийг зовоодог. The anger torments the body, and the mountain torments the horse.
I assume here that the person and the body are being compared to the dog and the horse (and not the other way around).
Is this metaphorical subject - metaphorical object order common in proverbs of other languages as well?
From Hong Kong,
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