Contrastive analysis of linguocultural connotations of zoonymic imagery in English, Ukrainian and Russian proverbs

Keywords: zoonym, linguocultural connotation, proverb, contrastive analysis, the English language, the Ukrainian language, the Russian language


The use of contrastive analysis as a linguistic research method is effective at all language levels, especially at lexico-semantic and lexico-phraseological levels. Zoonymic images fixed in the language are associated with national and cultural stereotypes, value standards, which testifies to the individuality of the figurative thinking of speakers of the language, as well as to differences and similarities of language worldview.

The article presents a contrastive analysis of the linguocultural connotations of zoonymic images in English, Ukrainian, and Russian proverbs.

In the analyzed languages, the imagery of the proverb with a zoonymic component is formed by two main ways: as the figurative meaning of the whole sentence with the direct meaning of its component parts; as the figurative meaning of the parts of the sentence with the figurative meaning of the whole sentence.

The following types of formal similarities and differences in English, Ukrainian, and Russian proverbs with a zoonymic image are identified: full logical and figurative similarity; logical and figurative similarity at the level of the whole statement and differences at the level of words; identity of logical meaning and complete difference in imagery; similarity of imagery and differences of logical meanings. Similarities and differences in zoonymic imagery are explained by a number of reasons: differences in folklore imagery system; differences in the national and cultural systems, which are reflected in proverbs; borrowing images from well-known religious or literary texts; typological and areal similarities and differences of the figurative systems.

In various languages, the symbolic meaning of zoonyms is based on the importance of a certain animal, bird or insect in economic activity, in social and everyday life, in the mythological and religious worldview of the people. Specific examples (bull / ox; бик /віл; бык / вол) show that zoonymic images in different languages can completely coincide in their semantic meaning, be similar, or completely different. Zoonyms are formed according to mental patterns based on metaphorical transference and have evaluative and linguocultural connotations.


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Author Biographies

Iryna Zorenko , Kryvyi Rih State Pedagogical University

PhD, Head of the Department of English Philology

Olga Kanevska, Kryvyi Rih State Pedagogical University

PhD, Associate Professor of the Department of Translatio and Slavic Philology


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How to Cite
Zorenko , I., & Kanevska, O. (2023). Contrastive analysis of linguocultural connotations of zoonymic imagery in English, Ukrainian and Russian proverbs. The Journal of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. Series “Philology”, (92), 83-92.