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The overlap between idioms and clichés is one of the problematic meaning issues. This overlap can simply be detected in online as well as academic sources. The existence of the overlap between idioms and clichés springs from the absence of a model that can work out some demarcation boundary between them. The present study aims at drawing a demarcation line between these two essential colloquial elements by resorting to linguistic features, contextual functions, nature of community of practice based on interlocutors’ relationship, and the degree of informality to fulfill this purpose. This study makes use of a qualitative approach to carry out the process of analysis based on a model designed to assist the procedures of determining the features of each element. With reference to data, the analysed idioms and clichés have been extracted from 20 discourses (10 written texts and 10 recorded interactions) of 10 different topics.
The most significant concluding points come in three angles: structure (an idiom is mostly a part of a meaningful statement, whereas a cliché is mostly a full meaningful statement by itself); function (idioms are usually used for three different purposes: emphasis, creativity, and persuasiveness, whereas clichés are used either to simplify the idea or to state an idea without exerting any effort by making use of overused statements and common ritualized expressions); and formality ( Idioms are detected in less informal discourses compared to clichés).
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