Rhetorical Analyses of English Proverbs

Zhang Rong-gen
March 2012
US-China Foreign Language;Mar2012, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p1005
Academic Journal
Beginning with various definitions of English proverbs, the paper gives a survey of rhetorical features of proverbs from perspectives of rhythm, syntax, and semantics. Rhythmically, proverbs take the form of alliteration, assonance, consonance, single rhyme, eye rhyme, and the like; syntactically, they appear as contrast, parallelism, repetition, regression, anadiplosis, ellipsis, rhetoric question, and so on; and lexically, they are armed with devices like simile, metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, personification, paradox, allusion, hyperbole, understatement, irony, etc.. Those rhetoric rhythmic, syntactic, and lexical features, contribute a lot to English proverbs' popularity among people all over the world. Finally, the author thinks, as to the non-native speakers, grasping those rhetoric techniques in proverbs is surely to improve their oral and written skills in English.


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