A Study of Semantic Shifting in Persian Proverbs



Semantic shifting which is one of the most important semantic processes forming the meaning of some linguistic structures was first introduced by Safavi (1379). The meaning of different structures such as proverbs, are made by semantic shifting which takes place on the syntagmatic axis, but is shown on the paradigmatic axis. The corpus used in this study consists of 10 Persian proverbs which are derived from some old stories. On the basis of this study, the validity of semantic shifting is proved. It is interesting to find out that there are some unconscious Persian speakers who cause some semantic changes in proverbs without paying attention to the stories from which they are derived.