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In this article, the titles containing Telugu proverbs in election journalese are analyzed.
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    ADAPTATION OF TELUGU PROVERBS BY LEXICAL VARIATION: A SOCIOLINGUISTIC (SOCIOSTYLISTIC!) ANALYSIS OF 1999 ELECTION JOURNALESE Chilukuri Bhuvaneswar, bhuvanesvarc@yahoo.com Abstract  Research work available on adaptation of proverbs is scanty and is mainly concerned with a survey and explanation of such innovated formulaic expressions and their perlocutionary effect (on the readers) - making reading interesting. Nevertheless, the ‘sociostylistic’ mechanics of the  processes of adaptation have not been adequately discussed.  In this paper, more than 25 proverbs in Telugu and English that are adapted to communicate 1999 election news in newspapers are examined  from a sociolinguistic perspective. It is found out that the writers, in their attempt to make news interesting, have ‘indexed’ (Bhuvaneswar 1998b) an important characteristic of proverbs, namely, containing systems of  practices obtained in the society. I. Introduction Proverbs are frequently used in Telugu journalese in different contexts and different forms. A usual practice of using proverbs is inside an article to comment on a point of view or an action. There are also a few newspapers that devote special columns to report humorous incidents with proverbs or such similar expressions that summarize or initiate such incidents. / tu:ki:ga:/ of Eenadu and / avi: ivi: / of Vartha belong to this category. Once in a way, a proverb is used as a title of a news report or an article. Generally, such headings contain the proverbs in their srcinal form; sometimes, they are mentioned only partly. However, during the election period (May-October, 1999), there is a spurt in the use of proverbs, especially, adapted ones to convey election news. Apart from making reading interesting, these variations illumine the significant linguistic process of proverbial adaptation.   Chilukuri Bhuvaneswar 13 In this paper, an attempt is made to explicate that process and throw light on the internal mechanics that regulates such a process. 1. 1. Materials and Methods The materials for this ‘research paper are the adapted versions of proverbs that are used as headings for articles and news reports. They contain more than 25 samples mainly from Telugu, and a few from Indian English that will be used to support the observations on Telugu adaptation of proverbs. These are collected from the daily newspapers  Andhra Prabha, Vartha, Eenadu, Andhra Jyothi and Vijetha in Telugu and  Deccan Chronicle in English. A framework for variations in proverbs that are linguistically possible is developed first. Since the main focus of our research is on lexical variation, the samples are further classified according to the grammatical categories to which they belong and then the change in meaning that is conveyed by such a variation is analysed. Finally, the relationship between the srcinal and the adaptation is established and interpreted sociolinguistically. II. Literature Review A number of research articles in English listed by Mieder (1989) and in Telugu by Bhuvaneswar (1998a) deal with various aspects of proverbs. Among them, Mieder (1987:118-156) and Sri Lakshmi (1996:91-96) only discuss variation in proverbs. Meider’s article involves a detailed historical survey of ‘four major aspects of the traditional and innovative use of proverbs’ (ibid 119). They are: 1. a general analysis of proverbs from the Middle Ages to modern cartoons and caricatures; 2. misogynous proverbs in modern sexual politics; 3. use of well-known proverbs or their critical variations in lyrical poetry and 4. a case of study of the proverb ‘Wine, Page 2 of 38      Adaptation of Telugu Proverbs OPiL.37:2011 14 Women and Song’. Sri Lakshmi’s article considers 8 important Telugu proverbs and illustrates with a few other examples (both in English and Telugu) how the modified versions reflect the writers’ attempt to make news interesting and effectively communicated. All the same, these articles do not offer an in depth linguistic analysis of the adaptations. Leech (1969:42-44) in his treatment of lexical deviation quotes examples from poetry and offers a theoretical exposition of the topic which is applicable to proverbs also since they share characteristics of poetry. III. Data Presentation and Analysis In this section, first, the theoretical foundation for variation will be worked out. Next, the collected proverbs will be analysed according to the laid out procedure in the theoretical framework. Finally, a comparison between the srcinal and innovated versions of proverbs will be made to find out the underlying principles that decide what aspects of proverbs are adaptable.  3. 1. A Theoretical Framework for Linguistic Variation in  Proverbs (Flvp ) There are tree levels involved in the communication of an adapted proverb. The first is the social plane in which an event that is to be communicated takes place. The second is the communicator’s plane in which a communicator (i.e., a  journalist) decides the channel (spoken or written mode), the form (the adaptation of the proverb), the code (Telugu, English, etc.) and the topic and the comment (the content of communication). The third is the mediator’s  plane ( the adapted proverb itself). Let us discuss each of these planes. 3. 1. 1. The Proverbial Plane 3. 1. 1. 1. The Linguistic Form of the Proverb Leech (1969:42-52) mentions eight types of deviation: Page 3 of 38      Chilukuri Bhuvaneswar 15 grammatical; phonological; graphological; semantic; dialectal; registral; historical. Out of these eight types, the first six from lexical to dialectal are very important as far as deviation in proverbs is concerned. Graphological deviation is restricted only to written proverbs. Phonological deviation on the other hand applies to both written and spoken proverbs and the deviation that produces sound parallelism and rhythm is favoured and that which does not is condemned. Since phonological deviation is implied in lexical deviation, it can be merged with lexical deviation and studied as a part of it. Dialectal deviation has its own importance, especially, in indexing the qualities of the writer and the occasion but it is not considered here since all the proverbs are written in only one dialect, namely, the standard dialect. Excluding graphological, phonological and dialectal deviations, variation in the formation of srcinal proverbs or their subsequent adaptation occurs in the following permutations and combinations: 1. Constant Lexis with Varying a. Syntax; b. Semantics 2. Constant Syntax with Varying a. Lexis; b. Semantics 3. Constant Semantics with Varying a. Lexis; b. Syntax. In 1, the same lexical items may be used in different syntactic patterns to form different syntactic classes of sentences such as the declarative, interrogative, imperative and exclamatory, as shown in (1). (1) Look not a gift horse in the mouth. (srcinal proverb - in the imperative) a. Do you look a gift horse in the mouth? (interrogative - a rhetorical question) b. He looked a gift horse in the mouth! (exclamatory) c. People (you) do not look a gift horse in the mouth. (declarative) Page 4 of 38   

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Jul 23, 2017

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