I falsi amici negli idioms gestuali italiani e inglesi
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This paper will propose an analysis of false friends between English and Italian gestural idioms, that is cases where in the two languages a seemingly identical idiom exists that describes or refers to the same gesture but has a totally different meaning: portare qualcuno in palmo di mano means “to hold someone in great esteem” while to have someone in the palm of one’s hand means “to control”, tirare qualcuno per la giacca means “to force someone to act in a certain way” while to pull someone’s coat means “to warn”. Unlike one-word false friends, idiomatic false friends are not due to a misleading formal resemblance but only to semantic reasons. False friends in gestural idioms are particularly interesting from this point of view, since they show how the same bodily behaviour may be given different and yet equally motivated metaphorical meanings. Cross-linguistic and cross-cultural variation thus appears to be a crucial variable in comprehending gestural idioms.