Comprehension interpretation of proverbs in l2 by cieslicka anna 2002
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Comprehension & interpretation of proverbs in L2 by Cieslicka, Anna.(2002) Rebecca Chiu General question What is the comprehension & interpretation of proverbs by L2 learners?

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Comprehension interpretation of proverbs in l2 by cieslicka anna 2002 l.jpg

Comprehension & interpretation of proverbs in L2byCieslicka, Anna.(2002)

Rebecca Chiu


General question what is the comprehension interpretation of proverbs by l2 learners l.jpg
General questionWhat is the comprehension & interpretation of proverbs by L2 learners?


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*Figurative language poses problems even for advanced L2 learners*metaphorical in nature (e.g., the fish rots from the head first).


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Review learners

*Traditional approaches

*The Extended Conceptual Base Theory (ECBT)

*The Conceptual Metaphor Hypothesis.


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Traditional approaches learnersMultistage Model (Temple and Honeck, 1999)

1. Computation of the literal meaning of the utterance


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2. Determine if this literal rendering is appropriate. learners

Contextual constraints:

*immediate situation

*relevant background knowledge



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* learnersNumerous recent reaction-time studies(Kemper 1987, Gibbs 1986, Glass 1983)have repeatedly shown that figurative utterances need not take longer time to process.


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*Honeck (1999): the expression’s learnersfigurative meaning is understood faster than its literal meaning.Direct Access Model: figurative meanings are automatically accessed from memory*Lima 1984, Estill & Kemper 1982:Lack of difference between literal and figurative processing timeParallel Model: both literal and figurative meanings are generated independently and simultaneously.


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Recent experimental literature in proverbs: learners

  • Familiar proverbs can take less time to comprehend than their literal paraphrases

  • The process of novel proverbs, when presented in context, need not require additional process time


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Purpose of Current Work learners*Which of the opposing theories (EBCT vs. CMH) offers a better explanation for L2 proverb comprehension?*By replicating Gibbs’ proverb study: How do bilingualisms perform on a mental imagery task?


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Two contrasting accounts: learners* Extended Conceptual Base Theory (EBCT): -emerging from multistage model -a problem-solving process * Conceptual Metaphor Hypothesis (CMH): Proverbs are based on image schemas or built-inmetaphors which can be automatically accessed.


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Extended Conceptual Base Theory learners(Honeck, Riechmann and Hoffman, 1975)

  • Problem recognition phase

  • Literal transformation phase

  • Figurative phase

  • Instantiation phase

    A peacock should frequently look at its legs.


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Conceptual Metaphor Hypothesis (CMH): learners

  • Originates from Lakoff and Turner’s

    Great Chain Metaphor Theory (1989):

  • Gibbs, Johnson & Colson (1996)

    conceptual mapping

    one specific-level schema from the source domain

    onto

    a generic-schema from the target domain.

    One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel

    Bad people


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Gibbs’ study (1997) learners*Subjects: 24 undergraduates*Material & Procedure: -participants were presented a questionnaire asking them to write down mental images (16 proverbs from Penguin Dictionary of Proverbs) -participants answer two yes-no questions two open-ended questions


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  • A rolling stone gathers no moss. learners

  • Too many cooks spoil the broth.

  • Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  • The early bird catches the worm.

  • One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.

  • Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  • Don’t put all your eggs in one baskets.

  • Let sleeping dogs lie.

  • You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.

  • Look before you leap.


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A rolling stone gathers no moss learners

  • Yes-no question

    • Intentionality

      Does the stone roll out of its own will or because somebody else made it do so?

    • Stopability of the action

      Once the stone starts rolling, is it easy to stop it?

  • Open-ended question

    • Causation of the action

      • What caused the stone to start rolling?

    • Manner

      • How does the stone roll? Quickly or slowly?...


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* learnersRationalIntentionality, Stopability, Causation, manner -- central characteristics of one’s knowledge of objects and events in the real world*Results Mental images were consistent and detailedA rolling stone gathers no moss:One round or smooth stone, rolling down a grassy hillside and bouncing around on a bumpy road down the slope.



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Gibbs claimed: learners*People tacitly use pervasive conceptual metaphors in order to understand figurative meanings of proverbs


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Current Study learnersMethod:*Subjects. 30 Polish students of English (3rd year students at Adam Mickiewicz University.)*Material & Procedure.A list of 10 proverbs( taking from Gibbs et al.’s 19970 mental imagery task.)


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Subjects were presented with learnersa questionnaire starting with a proverb-definition-matching task

Describe their mental image for each proverb

Answer four probe questions about causation, intentionality, manner, and stopability of the actions depicted in each proverb (two yes-no questions, and two open-ended questions)



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  • Mental image: learners

    • 2 judges compared the participants’ description with the appropriate general schema for the proverb.

  • Stopability

    • Once the stone starts rolling, is it easy to stop it?

      stoppable:7

      unstoppable:21

      75%

  • Intentionality

    • Does the stone roll out of its own?

      intentional:11

      unintentional:13

      other:4

      46%

  • Overall, the bilingual participants only yield 56% similar image schemas, compared to Gibbs’ 89% of consistence. It shows a significant less degree of consistence.


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Discussion learners

  • Generally, L2 learners’ performance not as good as that of native speakers

  • Bilingual learners have not yet fully developed the essential links between conceptual metaphors and figurative meanings of the proverbs


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Discussion learners

  • Gibbs’ assumption:

    • high degree of consistency should be attributed to the conceptual metaphors motivating figurative meanings of proverbs.

    • The author suggested more caution in drawing direct conclusions about the presence of conceptual metaphors

  • The mental imagery task: rely more on post-access analytical mechanisms than on immediate on-line processes

  • Many of the responses provided by the L2 participants indeed indicate a possibility that L2 learners’ proverb comprehension within the framework of the ECBT (problem-solving task).


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Time is learnersmoney

  • Mary was worried about her upcoming linguistic exam.

  • The final was in two weeks, and she was not ready for it.

  • She had wasted countless hours that should have been spent studying.

  • With so little time left, she would have to get started right away.

  • She set up a strict schedule for herself and budgeted her time carefully.

  • Mary spent almost every spare minute studying.

  • When she took the test, she could tell the time had been well spent.

    conclusive sentence:

  • Her investment had paid off. (Schema-matching version)

  • Her hours spending on the work is worthwhile. (Neutral version)

  • Her investment had not paid off. (Schema-matching version)

  • Her hours spending on the work is not worthwhile. (Neutral version)



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Discussion learners

  • overall results: different version of yes/no question do not yield significant different process time=> confirm with the results of previous experimental studies:

    • with appropriate context, metaphorical statement do not necessarily take longer process time,

    • sometimes even shorter, especially with conventional metaphors (high frequency or high familiarity)

  • English L1 speakers: whether the question is phrased in the neutral or schema-matching version doesn’t make a big difference for the outcome

  • L2 learners: the results are quite different

    • owing to different /unfamiliar with the English metaphor schemas, L2 learners process literal sentences faster than the metaphorical ones

  • Application on L2 pedagogy: the need to emphasize the extra training in metaphor recognition for L2 students.


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