An Analysis of the Cognitive Dimension of Proverbs in English and Spanish: the Conceptual Power of Language Reflecting Popular Believes

Ana Moreno
In this paper I examine the role of generic cognitive mechanisms in language structure and use through an analysis of proverbs related to dogs in English and Spanish. I give an outline of proverb cognition based on universal principles, which constitutes an alternative view to that of Lakoff & Turner (1989), and is in line of Ruiz de Mendoza (1999b: 54), who puts forward a more economic and motivated conceptual model. Besides, by means of a corpus of study I carry out contrastive cognitive and
more » ... ociolinguistic analysis between English and Spanish proverbs. Such analysis shows how proverbs share a common underlying schema of cognition, while they reflect different cultural believes. Thus, proverbs constitute a rich resource to analyse the way we process experience and conceptualise the world. The conclusion can be reached that proverbs are a conceptual universal phenomenon with high communicative and cross-cultural value.