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Title: Effects of situational and cultural context on understanding idiomatic expressions in Najdi dialect
Author: Almahmood, Ghassan A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5357 7444
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis examines the effect of the clarity of idioms’ motivation on the recognition and comprehension of Najdi idiomatic expressions. Besides the transparency of motivation, the main factors examined are the linguistic proficiency of those encountering idioms, the compositionality’s degree of the idioms, and cultural similarities and differences. Quantitative and qualitative research methods were used in a questionnaire-based study involving 60 Najdi idioms and 90 participants, who represent three levels of linguistic proficiency: first dialect learners (henceforth D1), second dialect learners (henceforth D2), and second language learners (henceforth L2). Participants were asked to perform two tasks: familiarity with and comprehension of Najdi idioms. The results of the familiarity task showed that D1 and D2 learners recognised the majority of Najdi idioms, and they showed similar performance in accepting and rejecting the figurative meanings supplied. In contrast, L2 learners’ performance in the familiarity with Najdi idioms was much worse than D1 and D2 learners except with Islamic-related idioms, with which L2 learners demonstrated a high performance of familiarity. In addition, the results of the comprehension task showed that, due to the cultural and linguistic similarity between D1 and D2 learners, they both tended to decomposable the majority of Najdi idioms, whereas L2 learners’ judgements of compositionality varied in accordance with types of idiomatic motivation and the contribution of idioms’ individual components. Taken together, the findings of familiarity and comprehension tasks suggest that semantically transparent idioms are more likely to entrench in L2 learners’ memory than are opaque idioms, whereas D2 learners seems to be less dependent on the transparency’s degree of idioms’ motivation in the recognition process.
Supervisor: El, Mustapha Lahlali Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available