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Cultural and Linguistic Encounters

Arab EFL Learners Encoding and Decoding Idioms


Anissa Daoudi

Idioms are universal to all languages, and figurative language is pervasive in everyday discourse. However, idiom studies rarely touch on the problems figurative language can present to non-native speakers. This book sets out to provide an original analysis of the issue, focusing on a number of languages, including Arabic, Berber, French and English. The author addresses the question of idiomaticity from linguistic, psycholinguistic and pedagogical perspectives, highlighting in particular the strategies used by Arab learners (primarily Saudis and Algerians) to decode and encode idioms.
The book explores in detail the process of identifying idioms and the factors that affect comprehension. The author also analyses the current state of bilingual Arabic-English-Arabic dictionaries and asks to what extent learners can rely on them as a source for decoding idioms.


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List of Tables and Figures vii


List of Tables and Figures Table 1‑1 Frozenness hierarchy (Fraser, 1970) 29 Table 3‑1 Cognate idioms 72 Table 3‑2 False cognates 72 Table 3‑3 Idioms with similar pragmatic equivalents 73 Table 3‑4 Idioms with no translational equivalents 73 Table 3‑5 Processing of idioms with no equivalents 84 Table 3‑6 Scores of both groups in idioms with no equivalents 85 Table 3‑7 Processing analysable idioms 95 Table 3‑8 Processing non‑analysable idioms 96 Table 4‑1 Dictionary types used by Algerians and Saudis 117 Table 4‑2 Dictionary look‑ups by Saudis 120 Table 4‑3 Algerian scores out of 30 subjects 120 Figure 3‑1 Scores related to true cognates 77

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