The Category of Colour Naming in English, German and Mari Idioms

Svetlana L. Yakovleva, Ekaterina E. Fliginskikh, Galina N. Kazyro, Marina A. Pershina, Tatyana A. Soldatkina


Colour naming is reflected in all the languages of the world, namely, in phraseological units where one of the components denotes a colour. The objective of the article is to study idioms in three unrelated languages: English, German and Mari and to reveal how they are organized around universal focal colours. The article analyses 205 idioms of the English language, where one of the components includes colour naming. The research shows that in the English language ‘black’ (47 units, 23 %), ‘blue’ (39 units, 19 %), ‘red’ (32 units, 16 %) and ‘white’ (32 units, 16 %) form the core of the category. In the German language 185 phraseological units have been found, among which ‘schwarz/black’ (42 units, 21 %), ‘grün/green’ (36 units, 20 %) and ‘blau/blue’ (35 units, 19 %) are dominating colours. In the Mari language – 18 idioms: ‘шем/black’ (8 units, 44,5 %), the same amount of ‘ош/white’ (8 units, 44,5 %),‘ ужар/green’ (1 idiom, 5,5 %) and ‘йошкар/red’ (1 idiom, 5,5 %). Taking into account their semantic meaning, all the idioms in three languages have been divided into nine groups. According to their semantic organization, four classes of idioms have been distinguished.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n3s7p33

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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