Figura etymologica

A Figura etymologica is a stylistic device in which words with the same word stem, which belong to different types of words, belong. Often these are verb and noun. By repeating, the Figura etymologica achieves emphaticness and activates the full meaning of a statement, which strengthens it. The stylistic figure is related to polyptotone and paronomasia.

The name of the stylistic figure is derived from the Latin, the translation corresponding to the German term etymological figure (etymologia ~ word origin). The term “etymology” refers to a section in linguistics that examines the emergence of words.

Note: In the context of the Figura etymologica, however, an older understanding of the concept must be used. Earlier, the etymology used to investigate the extent to which a word has an “inner truth” in which it was associated with similar words.

Examples of Figura etymologica
To illustrate the whole thing a bit, we would like to give you some examples of the figurative etymologica. In doing so, we briefly discuss the meaning and origin and give hints.

“You dear child, come, go with me!
I play beautiful games with you;
Many colorful flowers are on the beach;
My mother has many garments of gold. ”
The above example is the third stanza from Goethe’s Erlkönig, with the stylistic means hidden in the second verse. in this case, the noun play and the verb play immediately after each other. The connection is, therefore, that the Erlkönig wants to play a “game,” which reveals a strong empha- sis, and also a combination of two words of the same tribe.

Whoever digs a pit,
falls into it himself
The above proverb is on everyone’s lips, expressing the fact that someone who condescends others has to fight with the consequences. But here, too, we find in the connection of the noun “pit” and the verb “dig” an etymological figure that underlines the emphasis.

Do not even have so much shame,
to be ashamed of these pranks?
In the above example from Die Räuber, a drama by Friedrich Schiller, the Figura etymologica is even broken. Nevertheless, we find them in the combination of “shame” and “ashamed”. Since the words are at the end of each sentence, the whole thing even reminds the epiphys, albeit in the widest sense.

Other examples of the stylistic figure: The moderate moderator, a fight fight, the beautiful beauty, the deceived cheat, live a beautiful life, do a good deed.

The most important overview
The Figura etymologica connects words of the same tribe, which belong to different types of words. Often the verb and nouns are. These do not have to stand side by side.
Through the repetition, the stylistic means brings about the emphaticity of the actual statement and activates the full meaning content.
In modern linguistics, the figurative etymologica is also referred to as a cognate object.

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