LINGUIST List 10.491

Sun Apr 4 1999

Sum: Idiomatic Expressions

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <karenlinguistlist.org>


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  1. elkareh/tharwat, idiomatic expressions

Message 1: idiomatic expressions

Date: Sat, 03 Apr 1999 22:08:26 +0200
From: elkareh/tharwat <cltinetalex.ie-eg.com>
Subject: idiomatic expressions


dear subcribers:
I have received a number of replies to my query about idiomatic
expressions and its relation to pragmatics .

 In my pragmatic course a student has suggested a topic of research :
 Idiomatic expressions and its relation to pragmatics (with special
 mention to teaching languages, learning languages, understanding
 utterances) I am asking if some researches have already been published
 or your reaction from your own experience in the field thanks a lot
 for your valuable help!

 many, many thanks. Some of the key references follow:

from katja mantyla

"reasearch has been carried out on the field, particularly in the past
few years now that the significance of vocabulary has been recognised,
as has been the value of 'language chunks' i.e. word strings rather
than single words in language learning. some sources that come readily 
to my mind are, for instance,

Arnaud, Pierre J.L. & Sandra J. Savignon. 1997. "Rare words, complex
lexical
units and the advanced learner." in James Coady & Thomas Huckin (eds.)
Second language vocabulary acquisition. Canbridge: Cambridge University
Press, 157-173.


Bahns, Jens & Moira Eldaw. "Should We Teach EFL Students Collocations?"
System. 21, 1, (1993), 101-114.

Bobrow, Samuel A. and Susan M. Bell. 1973. "On catching on to idiomatic
expressions." Memory & Cognition. Vol 1, No 3, 343-346.

Fernando, Chitra. Idioms and idiomaticity. 1996. Oxford: Oxford
Univ.Press.

Idioms. Processing, Structure, and Interpretation. 1993. Cristina
Cacciari &
Patrizia Tabossi (eds.). Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum
Associates,
1993.


Irujo, Suzanne. 1986a. "Don't Put Your Leg in Your Mouth: Transfer in
the
Acquisition of Idioms in a Second Language." TESOL Quarterly. 20, 2,
287-304.

- --------. 1986b. "A Piece of Cake: Learning and Teaching Idioms." ELT
Journal. 40, 3, 236-242.

- --------. 1993. "Steering Clear: Avoidance in the Production of
Idioms."
IRAL. 31, 3, 205-219.


Kvvecses, Zoltan & Piter Szabs. 1996. "Idioms: A view from cognitive
semantics." Applied linguistics, Vol. 17, No. 3, 326-355.

Lattey, Elsa. "Pragmatic Classification of Idioms as an Aid for the
Language
Learner." IRAL, XXIV, 3, (August 1986), 217-233.


Laufer, Batia. "The Development of L2 Lexis in the Expression of the
Advanced Learner." Modern Language Journal. 75, 4, (1991), 440-448.


Nattinger, James R. & Jeanette S. DeCarrico. 1992. Lexical Phrases and
Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Weinert, Regina. 1995. "The role of formulaic language in second
language
acquisition: A review." Applied Linguistics. Vol 16, No 2. 180-205.


I'd particularly recommend Nattinger & DeCarrico. Fernando offers a
valuable
discussion on various idiomatic expressions and quite a good
categorisation
of them. There is also a fairly recent book on vocabulary teaching, but
I'm
afraid I can't find the reference just now. I think it was edited by
Norbert
Schmitt but am not sure. Sorry.

I hope this is of some assistance. I'm writing my PhD thesis on English
idioms from the point of view of Finnish learners of English myself, so
i've
been mostly concentrating on idioms rather than idiomatic expressions
also
in my readings. The topic your student has chosen sounds very
interesting
and is definitely worth studying!



a special thanks is also due to 1)Zouhair Maalej from Tunisia he had
the kindness to send me a bibliography related to the subject


2) Diana Van Lancker
Professor of Research Neurology
University of Southern California
who offered to send some printed material
3)lexesmindspring.com

 He wrote in 1992 a Ph.D. dissertation, Idiomatic Body-Part Lexemes in a
Corpus of the
MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour: Approaching an Applied Cognitive Linguistics.
It
includes discussion about definitions of the term *idiom* and a
bibliography
that might be of interest to your student. The Pullen Library of
Georgia
State University, Atlanta, GA, USA has copies (and it may be purchased
from
the University of Michigan's dissertation publishers).
 Here is its abstract:

 This dissertation's thesis is that the study of nonliteral lexemes
in
English rewards both the scholar interested in applying theories about
language and the scholar involved in the development of those theories.
 The work contributes a set of lexemes and concordances to aid in
prioritizing American English idiomatic vocabulary for
higher-education-bound students of English to speakers of other
languages
(ESOL). It supports ideas about semantics that are foundational in
cognitive linguistics and provides corpora for analyses of such
vocabulary.
Discussions of the dissertation's purpose, significance, basic concepts,
and
preparation relate relevant literature to theoretical, descriptive, and
pedagogically applied--"educational"-- linguistics.
 After placing idiom instruction within vocabulary instruction and
relating both to the role of meaning in linguistics, the author
discusses
the concept, idiom. The encyclopedic view of semantics, espoused by
cognitive linguistics, is recommended. In it idioms are elements in
processes similar to the ontogenetic processes of biological organisms.
Among the structural schemas in those processes is a semantic field that

includes names of human body parts.
 The computer-enabled study reported here focuses on nonliteral
expressions that include body-part names because of their utility in
ESOL,
and because the author believes that further study of such lexemes can
contribute to a better understanding if interrelationships between
cognition, culture, and language. Forty-five body-part names were
discovered in nonliteral expressions. They are ranked by number of
occurrences in those expressions. Appendixes show each body-part lexeme
in
its word-form concordances.
 The corpus consisted of scripted and unscripted discourse in the
public
affairs genre--more than 1,000,000 words transcribed from 113 broadcasts
of
the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Hardware included a Macintosh LC and an
Apple
OneScanner; software included Calera's Wordscan and two key word in
context
(KWIC) programs. Those programs were written in MaxSPITBOL by Mark
Emmer of
Catspaw, Inc.

Clifford L. Lutton
Learning EXperiencES
Decatur, GA, USA
lexesmindspring.com

4)Jaakko Leino <jaaleinocc.helsinki.fi>
Organization: Helsingin yliopiston suomen kielen laitos

This type of research is in fact done within the framework of
Construction Grammar. It has been claimed that the question of the
relation between idiomaticity and pragmatics is one of the "big
questions" that the theory grew out of in the first place.

I especially recommend the following article, although it is not very
recent:

Charles J. Fillmore - Paul Kay - Mary Catherine O'Connor 1988:
Regularity and Idiomaticity in Grammatical Constructions: the Case of
Let Alone. - Language, vol. 64, # 3, pp. 501-538.

The abstract of this article says, among other things,

"It is suggested that an explanatory model of grammar will include
principles whereby a language can associate semantic and pragmatic
principles with syntactic configurations larger and more complex than
those identifiable by means of single phrase structure rules."

There has been a lot of work on the framework since the publication of
this article, some of which apparently is relevant to the relation of
idiomaticity and pragmatics. The theory has a home page, albeit a rather

informal one, at

http://www.icsi.berkeley.edu/~kay/bcg/ConGram.html

In its present form, the page seems to be dedicated mostly to a
formalistic variant of the theory; please note that this is _not_ the
only variant around. I'll be happy to give you more references on
Construction Grammar if you're interested.
5)Jamil Daher <jamildearthlink.net>

I think the topic of Idiomatic Expressions is an interesting one. I do
not know of any published work of this kind; however, I would like to
offer some insight from personal experience. For the last several years,

I have been teaching Arabic to undergraduate and graduate students at
three different universities in the United States. At the same time, I
was working on and learning languages such as Russian, Italian, Spanish,

Japanese, Turkish. I found that learning an expression (proverb, phrase,

short joke, idiom, famous saying) is helpful in many ways. I always
introduced my students to idiomatic expressions from the very beginning.

Learning such expressions not only introduces students to some cultural
aspects of the language they are learning, but it also makes them feel
confident in using the expressions and repeating them when the chance
arises. When you learn a proverb in a foreign language, for instance,
you feel that you own something from that language probably forever.
When I speak Russian to my neighbors and use proverbs, they seem
impressed that I include idiomatic phrases in a language I rarely use.
After all, such expressions beautify the language and make speech more
eloquent. I hope this brief insight will provide some help.

Jamil Daher

6)Jaakko Leino <jaaleinocc.helsinki.fi>
Organization: Helsingin yliopiston suomen kielen laitos

This type of research is in fact done within the framework of
Construction Grammar. It has been claimed that the question of the
relation between idiomaticity and pragmatics is one of the "big
questions" that the theory grew out of in the first place.

I especially recommend the following article, although it is not very
recent:

Charles J. Fillmore - Paul Kay - Mary Catherine O'Connor 1988:
Regularity and Idiomaticity in Grammatical Constructions: the Case of
Let Alone. - Language, vol. 64, # 3, pp. 501-538.

The abstract of this article says, among other things,

"It is suggested that an explanatory model of grammar will include
principles whereby a language can associate semantic and pragmatic
principles with syntactic configurations larger and more complex than
those identifiable by means of single phrase structure rules."

There has been a lot of work on the framework since the publication of
this article, some of which apparently is relevant to the relation of
idiomaticity and pragmatics. The theory has a home page, albeit a rather

informal one, at

http://www.icsi.berkeley.edu/~kay/bcg/ConGram.html

In its present form, the page seems to be dedicated mostly to a
formalistic variant of the theory; please note that this is _not_ the
only variant around. I'll be happy to give you more references on
Construction Grammar if you're interested.

I hope this will help you forward. All the best,
Jaakko Leino
PhD student
University of Helsinki
Department of General Linguistics|

thanks a lot to every body
seham el kareh









































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