SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION OF SPATIAL METAPHORS IN ENGLISH AND CHINESE WRITINGS: INSIGHTS FROM NATIVE AND LEARNER LANGUAGE CORPORA
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
Chinese as a foreign language
English as a foreign language
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractFirst outlined by Lakoff and Johnson (1980), Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) continues to thrive (e.g. Lakoff&Johnson 1992, Lakoff, 1993, 1999, 2008), by first challenging the traditional view on metaphor as a matter of language and something extraordinary and poetic. CMT claims that metaphor is pervasive and essential in language and thought. Furthermore, metaphor is considered as the locus for abstract reasoning in this theory.Since its proposal, CMT has triggered plethoric research. However, few empirical studies have examined metaphors in second language (L2) acquisition and the importance of metaphor has not been fully recognized as an indispensable dimension in second language teaching and learning (Littlemore, 2009; Littlemore&Low, 2006b). However, metaphors present a hurdle for L2 learners (Danesi, 1992); L2 learners misinterpret metaphors for cultural reasons (Littlemore, 2003); teaching conceptual metaphor as a learning strategy facilitate language learning (Littlemore&Low, 2006a; Li, 2009).Thus, the current study investigates metaphor in learner language in light of CMT via a corpus-based approach. The study particularly examines how L2 learners of Chinese and English express vertical spatial metaphors in L2 English and L2 Chinese writings and how they differ from learners' target languages and learners' native languages.The findings reveal that L2 language development is a dynamic process and four key factors are found to interplay in learners' acquisition of conceptual metaphors: frequency of the metaphor, L2 proficiency, topic familiarity, and linguistic factors. In particular, the frequency of the metaphor as reflected in the target language has the most important impact on learners' acquisition of conceptual metaphors, overriding the factor whether a metaphor is shared in L1 and L2 or not; secondly, L2 proficiency influences how learners are affected by their first languages: learners with lower proficiency are more affected; thirdly, learners acquire the metaphors associated with a familiar topic; finally, L2 learners are constrained by the main semantic unit in the metaphorical expressions. Overall, the study demonstrates that figurative language development is a dynamic process: learners' metaphoric competence demonstrates a developmental pattern, in particular, a pendulum effect and it eventually emerges over L2 proficiency.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Acquisition versus long-term retention of Japanese words and syntax by children and adults: Implications for the critical period hypothesis in second language learning.Boswell, Paul Duane; Reyna, Valerie; Brainerd, Charles; Aleamoni, Lawrence M. (The University of Arizona., 1993)The critical period hypothesis for second language learning, which states that young children learn additional languages better than adults, lacks unambiguous empirical support as well as a coherent theoretical model. An experimental study was conducted which analyzed child-adult differences in difficulty of acquisition and long-term retention for rules of syntax and words in Japanese, a language unfamiliar to the subjects. The results of this study found no advantage for children over adults either in acquisition or long-term memory. However, relative to the difficulty of acquisition, the children had lower forgetting rates for words than for rules when both materials were learned completely. In the lexical study, the children's performance at retention was closer to the adults' than at acquisition, whereas in the syntax study, the opposite was the case. These results confirm the existence of developmental differences in the forgetting rates of different materials. Such results imply that, if there is an advantage for learning language at an early age, it might be localized in lexical retention.
A unified theory of tone-voice.Archangeli, Diana B.; Peng, Long; Hammond, Michael; Demers, Richard (The University of Arizona., 1992)This thesis studies the interactions of vowel tone with consonantal voice. Briefly, tone-voice interactions refer to: (i) voiced--not voiceless--onsets block high tone spreading; (ii) voiceless--not voiced--onsets block low tone spreading; (iii) sonorant onsets are transparent to both tonal processes. There are many variations to these archetypical patterns of tone-voice interactions. I argue that these variations as well as the archetypical patterns can receive a revealing account from the phonological theory. Specifically, this thesis explores the Prosodic Hypothesis of Tone-Voice, which claims: (i) tone must be represented prosodically (namely, tone is associated to mora); and (ii) tone-voice relations must be expressed by conditions (namely, path conditions, proposed in Archangeli and Pulleyblank (in prep)). By exploiting tonal representations and conditions on tone-voice, the Prosodic Hypothesis provides a principled account of tone-voice in Ngizim, Ewe, and Nupe. The result is a principled theory that unifies the known phonetic and phonological facts about tone-voice and that makes testable predictions about the nature and type of expected tone-voice interactions. In addition to tone-voice, this thesis investigates a range of theoretical issues from tonal representations, to onset representations, to the privative voicing theory to Grounded Phonology (Archangeli and Pulleyblank in prep.). I demonstrate that detailed formal analyses of tone-voice can not only uncover facts about tone-voice, but can also make important contributions to phonological theory.