A comparative Connotative Analysis of 35 Zoonyms in English and Persian
Zoonyms as part of linguistic units in each language are used to express different shades of meaning along with their referential meaning as animals. These uses are the results of several mechanisms of semantic change and are structured on the basis of some perceptual and emotive categorizations. The present research is a comparative connotative analysis of 35 English and Persian zoonyms that aims at exploring the dominant types of mechanisms of semantic change as explicated in Geeraerts (2010). Geeraerts distinguishes two major types of non-denotational semantic change including pejoration and amelioration. These mechanisms give rise to semantic changes that reveal emotive judgments. To conduct the analysis, major connotative meanings of the selected zoonyms were elicited and analyzed in terms of being pejorative, meliorative or neutral. The research results show that the most frequent mechanism of semantic change in the studied zoonyms is pejoration that mostly associates zoonyms with negative emotive judgments in both English and Persian.