Chapter published in:Norms and Conventions in the History of English
Edited by Birte Bös and Claudia Claridge
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 347] 2019
► pp. 129–148
The proverbial discourse tradition in the history of English
A usage-based view
The present contribution sheds light on the mental representation of proverbs in relation to the norms and conventions of discourse traditions (cf. Koch, 1997; Oesterreicher, 1997). While the proverbial tradition is seen as a very important discourse tradition of medieval England (for example Schaefer, 1992; Shippey, 1994; Aurich, 2012a), it is widely acknowledged that it is no longer as influential in modern times. The article introduces a new model of mental representation (“dual layer storage model of proverb representation”) which is a modified version of the “superlemma model of idiom representation” (Sprenger et al., 2006). This new model incorporates a facilitation process in line with the usage-based view (e.g. Bybee, 2013). The article argues that the particular norms and conventions of discourse traditions in the history of English which are connected with the proverbial tradition have an effect on the strength of the representation of proverbs in the mind.
Keywords: mental representation of proverbs, usage-based view, lexical access, discourse traditional norms and conventions, history of English
Published online: 27 May 2019
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