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Much scholarship has looked at the uses, functions, and origins of proverbs. This study describes the form of proverbs in Nuosu, a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in southwest China. A preliminary analysis demonstrates that the carefully crafted form of Nuosu proverbs reflects intricate artistry and multiple aesthetic features of the Nuosu language, making their proverbs memorable and transmissible across generations. One unusual feature of Nuosu proverbs to surface in the study is frequent negative polarity. Findings from this study provide a deeper understanding of the Nuosu language, as well as a window into linguistic aesthetic features shared with languages in the region and beyond. The research adds to our understanding of the breadth of strategies that languages employ in order to animate discourse.
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