IDIOMATICITY, MOTIVATION AND OPACITY OF THE PHRASEOLOGICAL UNITS
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In some cases, the figurative motivation may be easily deduced from the transparent meaning of a phraseological unit (PU); however, decoding phraseological units that are completely idiomatic is far more difficult. Setting up the motivation presupposes either some kind of historical justification or some etymological explanation which is not always available, since the motive may date back to time immemorial. However, the fact that we do not know the background of some phraseologisms does not mean that they do not have one. The meaning of a PU may be inexplicable and opaque to the current speakers of a language but it cannot be unmotivated; this is the reason why we have chosen the concept of semantically opaque phraseological units instead of unmotivated phraseological units.
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