From izzy@21:1/5 to All on Tue Jun 26 22:49:57 2018
Non-compositional idioms are often formed by phono-semantic matching (PSM) and sometimes by reversal. They are relatively inflexible because not only the semantics but both the word divisions and parts of speech in the source and the target idiom may not
match. English examples: let the cat out of the bag, left holding the bag, kick the bucket, and (by reversal) conniption fit.
Idioms formed via phono-semantic matching (PSM) form an interesting class. Most of them are foreign words or expressions transliterated to common words of the target language which retain the semantics of the source. This usually involves the
substitution of a target language homograph for a usually cross-language source homophone. As such, they represent disguised code-switching, usually so well disguised that the speaker / writer and hearer / reader do not realize that a switch has
After formation, the resulting idiom may be translated to other languages. Biblical idioms such as "escape by the skin of my teeth" = barely, hardly, with difficulty (Job 19:20) and "pillar of salt" = a stroke or thrombosis (Genesis 19:26) have been
translated to many languages.
For more examples, download these Word and PowerPoint files from my Dropbox: