Wednesday 6 January 2016

The Semantics of Line Drawings IX, Prosopofication

[ The Semantics of Line Drawings VIII, "The Two Giants of Our Time" | The Semantics of Line Drawings X, Recruitive versus Non-Recruitive Prosopofication]

Returning to transformations, we often see what I call "prosopofication", from the Modern Greek word for "face", το πρόσωπό. This transformation adds a face to an object that normally would not have one. It is extremely common in advertising and children's stories.

Here's a charming example. It's from a Russian book called Колобок, which tells the story of a little round bun which runs away from the house where it was baked, escapes a hare, a wolf and a bear, but is eaten by a fox. This is a fairy-tale, well-known in Russia and Ukraine (who seem to have been disputing each other's rights to it), and apparently in other East Slavic countries:

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