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LINGUIST List 22.2362

Sat Jun 04 2011

Diss: Lang Acq: Sia: 'The Metaphorical Competence of Anger for ...'

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        1.     Jennifer Sia , The Metaphorical Competence of Anger for Advanced Spanish-English L2 Users

Message 1: The Metaphorical Competence of Anger for Advanced Spanish-English L2 Users
Date: 03-Jun-2011
From: Jennifer Sia <jensiayahoo.com>
Subject: The Metaphorical Competence of Anger for Advanced Spanish-English L2 Users
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Institution: Birkbeck College, University of London
Program: Applied Linguistics and Communication
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2010

Author: Jennifer Sia

Dissertation Title: The Metaphorical Competence of Anger for Advanced Spanish-English L2 Users

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition

Subject Language(s): Spanish (spa)

Dissertation Director:
Jean-Marc Dewaele

Dissertation Abstract:

Studies of metaphor have recently impacted the field of second language
acquisition (SLA) in a number of ways. One early researcher proposed two
interesting constructs relating metaphoric understanding and language to
second language acquisition, metaphorical competence and conceptual
fluency. However, an analysis of that work and later work based on it
reveals a number of issues to be resolved for further research.

This thesis outlines the theoretical and methodological improvements,
focused on four aspects. The first is viewing proficient Spanish-English
second language (SPENL2) users as multicompetent rather than deficient
English users to establish a benchmark for other such L2 users. The second
is improved theoretical grounding in the universality and
cultural-specificity of metaphor inventories in English and Spanish, using
cross-linguistic contrastive analysis of the inventories. Thirdly, it
improves the methodology by examining both production and perceptions to
give a broader picture of the knowledge both groups hold. Finally, it
examines one abstract concept, anger, to narrow the concern to knowledge of
one concept.

In two dual-part investigations, the study reveals that SPEN L2 users share
much knowledge, i.e. metaphorical competence, with English first language
(ENL1) users in terms of distributions of metaphors of anger and
perceptions of the relatedness of metonymic effects. At the same time, it
finds differences in the nature of the linguistic expressions, which show
some degree of acquisition of English-unique forms, a greater degree of
mixed forms, and some L1 transfer. It also shows differences in the
knowledge of the linguistic forms used to carry metaphorical understandings.

This study primarily adds to studies of SLA by providing both a realistic
benchmark for SPENL2 users and identifying specific ways in which their
performance in terms of linguistic expressions and knowledge of linguistic
expressions differs from ENL1 users. It provides suggestions for those
differences based on the established inventories of metaphors and
metonymies in English and Spanish. In terms of metaphor studies, this study
contributes some information on ENL1 user expressions of anger and
perceptions of metonymic projections of anger, in a few instances
contrasting with the established literature.

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