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 ?
For reasons of space, I will not repeat my semantic analysis of adjectival periphrasis here, for which I refer to Bentein (2013a).
From the data analysed we can conclude that when the infinitive is part of a verbal periphrasis, it shows a different profile compared to the English gerund.
Keywords: gerund, verbal politeness, Colombian Spanish, verbal periphrasis, attenuation.
Again, the result has been to strip away the insidious periphrasis that so often muffles the power of the Hebrew in previous translations (including the King James).
When a patient talks to us, he is usually using metaphors, analogies, comparisons, periphrasis and others modalities of elements of speech.
During an age that favored periphrasis and narrative exposition in poetry, Dickinson employs compression and syntactic deletion, aligning her more closely with the imagists and Modernist poets than with her contemporaries.
He explains the houses, exaltations, termini and faces of the zodiacal signs, using mythological periphrasis as well as astrological terminology taken from technical manuals--such as putei and azemena.
And the Salo Pills, which were probably intended to cause the miscarriage of unwanted pregnancies, were described in language which used the euphemisms common in much contemporary medical advertising, exploiting periphrasis to permit a less scandalous interpretation than the one presumably intended, that of an illegal abortifacient (certainly the high price of the Pills--around 50 [pounds sterling] a box in today's terms--suggests such a purpose).
The fear of cancer is so compelling in fact, that critics themselves do not utter the word, referring to the novel "by allusion and periphrasis, carefully avoiding the unspeakable word, and so continuing the silence" (162).
Periphrasis is one of its favorite techniques, as is already apparent from these opening lines.
In the manner of scrolling news programs and commercials on TV or refreshable pages on the Internet, Gerstler's texts mobilize and highlight elements of dissonance, juxtaposition, seriality, periphrasis, parataxis, and non sequitur.
Secondary predications as expansions of complements are to be distinguished from the expansion of the predicate itself, which is traditionally termed verbal periphrasis, that is, the multiverbation of the predicate.