Periphrasis

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Periphrasis

 

(1) In stylistics and poetics, a trope expressing one concept by means of several. Periphrases of varying complexity are possible, from the simplest (“he sank into sleep” instead of “he fell asleep”) to the most complex; the latter approach metonymy, personification, and other tropes. An example is N. V. Gogol’s rendering of “a gray moustache” as “a long moustache powdered by that inexorable barber who, uninvited, appears to both the beautiful and the ugly and who for several thousand years now has been forcibly powdering the whole human race.” A particular type of periphrasis is euphemism, descriptive expression of “low” or “forbidden” concepts (“the evil one” instead of “the devil”). Periphrasis should not be confused with paraphrase.

(2) Sometimes periphrasis refers also to perepev, a type of parody in which the object of satire is not the form of the work parodied but its new content. An example is N. A. Nekrasov’s parody of M. Iu. Lermontov’s “Spi, mladenets moi prekrasnyi” (“Sleep, my beautiful child”) as “Spi, postrel, poka bezvrednyi!” (“Sleep, my little imp, and harmless yet!”).

M. L. GASPAROV

References in periodicals archive ?
Thirdly, we group together such participles as having nothing in their signification which would lead them to be used as adjectives, but are nevertheless occasionally so used in these periphrases.
2011b The substance of language, 2: Morphology, paradigms, and periphrases.
Then there is George Canning, whose speeches are "so many different periphrases for this one word--Legitimacy" (11:156).
gt;> Lieuvain, le conseiller qui prononce le discours de cloture des comices, incarne la langue de bois officielle : periphrases emphatiques, metaphores eculees, personnifications se succedent dans une parodie devastatrice.
Verbal periphrases in Romance: aspect, actionality and grammaticalization.
The "person" in Homer is clearly interchangeable with the idea of "force" and "might," and the genitive in these phrases denotes not possession, but predication (a certain grammatical inconsistency in the employment of these periphrases makes this point unambiguously clear: though bie and is are feminine nouns, and menos a neuter, the periphrastic phrase as a whole is regularly treated as masculine, reflecting the gender of the hero himself--cf.
Virgil's periphrases, which in their wordiness I count as another type of pleonasm, can sound quite affected.
The hacer verb is a morphosyntactic dummy auxiliary in these constructions, yet its repeated presence in different bilingual periphrases appears to be a function of its lexical nature.