A thorn in the side and its equivalents in French and Swedish : One sense realized as three different idioms

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för språkstudier

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to analyse how three idioms, in English, French and Swedish, despite different lexical compositions are capable of conveying the same meaning. The idioms in question are a thorn in the side, une épine au pied/dans le pied and en nagel i ögat. This study is concerned with how different metaphorical images are used to express the same meaning. Furthermore, it examines what it is in the semantics of the lexical items that enables these idioms to express the same idiomatic meaning. Using a cognitive linguistic approach the analysis is conducted at a linguistic and a conceptual level. The analysis shows that these three different idioms are capable of conveying the same idiomatic meaning because they are motivated by the same conceptual metaphor.

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