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The Cognitive Processing of Idiomatic Expressions by Mandarin Native Speakers and L2 Learners: the Case of ‘wu-X-wu-Y’
construction,Chinese idioms,frequency,semantic transparency,
|Publication Year :||2019|
The past two decades have witnessed a substantial increase of learning Chinese as a second language worldwide, and numerous studies have been conducted to understand the mechanism of Mandarin acquisition by foreign language learners. Nevertheless, few studies have been conducted to investigate the acquisition of Chinese idiomatic expressions by advanced learners.
Adopting a constructional perspective, the present research focuses on ‘quadrisyllabic idiomatic expressions’ （henceforth QIEs）, and aims to probe whether construction can help learners enhance their understanding of Chinese idioms. This study also attempts to explore how frequency and semantic transparency affect the understanding of Chinese idiomatic constructions.
In this study, the construction ’wu-X-wu-Y’ （no –X – no –Y） was selected because of its productivity. Twenty Mandarin native speakers and twenty advanced L2 learners were recruited to participate in the experiment, where two types of idioms were designed: 22 [‘wu-X-wu-Y] “no-X-no-Y” idiomatic constructions divided on the basis of high /low frequency and high/low semantic transparency. （2） 22 non constructional idiomatic expressions. Participants were instructed to make a semantic congruency judgment during the presentation of a QIE.
Our results showed that frequency and semantic transparency are both important for Chinese native speakers, to comprehend Chinese idiomatic expressions. However, for foreign learners, frequency is not an important factor, while semantic transparency is key to their interpretation of Chinese idiomatic constructions.
|Appears in Collections:||華語教學碩士學位學程|
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