An idiom is a phrase or set expression peculiar to a language, which has a figurative meaning that differs from a literal definition of individual words that compose it. There may be grammatical constructions or, more commonly, pictorial or metaphorical expressions. An idiom is generally untranslatable word for word, and it can be difficult or impossible to express in another language.
More strictly, an idiom is a semantically indivisible turnover, the meaning of which is not equal to the separate meaning its components and is a set phrase with its own meaning. An idiom is an essential element of expressive vocabulary. For example: the idiom “Sodom and Gomorrah” means an extreme degree of depravity, debauchery, and not just the names of the two ancient cities of Judaea, “railroad” is a special type of communication with the rails and sleepers for trains, etc., and not just road, which is paved with iron.
As a rule, the grammatical forms and meanings of idioms are not regulated by the norms and realities of contemporary language, such a phraseological fusion may be grammatical and lexical archaisms. As slang, idioms can talk about something without naming it explicitly. Thus idioms are particularly numerous in the themes of language that are more or less illegal or taboos (thieves’ cant for example), or to be considered as improper, which oppose morality or decency (erotic language for example).
Idioms are often mentioned in the context of foreign language learning (due to the fact they present a large group of exceptions to the general rules of the language), so it is very often translated by a similar set expression in the native language. It is difficult (and sometime impossible) to translate directly figurative phrases and they cannot be explained by the means of another language regulations. Many of these expressions can be found in a good dictionary, but the problem is that people do not always know that they should search for a specific phrase meaning and try to translate it literally. Thus, it is not so much individual words that cause problems, but expressions, phrases or phrases as a whole.
To write a decent research paper on idioms you should realize the complexity of the issue and understand that such set phrases can present great interest for linguists, philologist, and translators. To compose interesting and persuasive research project, you have to thoroughly study all the data from radically different sources that you can discover, process it, and present the key points of your research in a favorable light. To make such a task a little easier, we recommend you to consult free sample research proposal on idioms. They can definitely bring you some clarity on the procedure of proper research papers writing.
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