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    STUDIA PHILOLOGIA - Issue no. 2 / 2020  

DOI: 10.24193/subbphilo.2020.2.15
Published Online: 2020-05-10
Published Print: 2020-06-29
pp. 217-234

The Vegetal Model in Conceptualising Creation. Our study intends to formulate a number of hypotheses about the manner in which the idea of creation has been conceptualised both in the case of the largest and most fascinating of all creation acts, namely genesis, and in the case of the creation of other forms of existence, on a number of its levels: human, vegetable, animal or mineral. Our reflections start from a number of conceptual metaphors of creation, identified in the biblical text, in order to compare them to those from cosmogonic myths, popular beliefs or folkloric texts (folktales, incantations, carols, etc.) that refer to various types of creation: the creation of the Earth or of the Sun and the periodic regeneration of time, the conception of the human being or of baby animals, the creation of familial and social relationships, the generation of speech, of feelings or of the qualities of beings and things or even of disease. Their analysis emphasises the predominance of a vegetal pattern, which constitutes a factor of coherence for various types of creation representation, seemingly extremely different. By keeping in mind what profound significance the “modest” seed, which sheltered the mystery and force of the universal creation, has had in the mythic-magical mentality, the study shows in what way this mentality has influenced the individual’s manner of understanding the world and of relating to it. Although, at first glance, it is about a micro-metaphor negligible through its dimensions, completely ignored by today’s speakers, especially after the removal of human from agricultural occupations and from nature, in general, we consider that it deserves recovering its fundamental significations. It is only this way that we will be aware of its status as a nucleus of a conceptual scheme that is intimately connected to the vegetal cycle of wheat, started by sowing and concluded not by harvesting, but by its transformation into bread. The latter, in its turn, conserves the fertilizing strength of the wheat grain, which it can return, through magical means, to the seed put into the ground the next year. In fact, even if today’s speakers have forgotten its former deep significations, it is one of the perpetual metaphors whose life continues through the daily use of linguistic expressions that encode it.

Keywords: creation, cosmogony, birth, seed, germination, dough, bread, conceptual metaphor, cognitivism, ethnolinguistics.
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