Adding more fuel to the fire: An eye-tracking study of idiom processing by native and non-native speakers
journal contributionposted on 01.02.2021, 01:21 by Anna Siyanova, K Conklin, N Schmitt
Using eye-tracking, we investigate on-line processing of idioms in a biasing story context by native and non-native speakers of English. The stimuli are idioms used figuratively (at the end of the day - 'eventually'), literally (at the end of the day - 'in the evening'), and novel phrases (at the end of the war). Native speaker results indicate a processing advantage for idioms over novel phrases, as evidenced by fewer and shorter fixations. Further, no processing advantage is found for figurative idiom uses over literal ones in a full idiom analysis or in a recognition point analysis. Contrary to native speaker results, non-native findings suggest that L2 speakers process idioms at a similar speed to novel phrases. Further, figurative uses are processed more slowly than literal ones. Importantly, the recognition point analysis allows us to establish where non-natives slow down when processing the figurative meaning. © The Author(s) 2011.
Preferred citationSiyanova-Chanturia, A., Conklin, K. & Schmitt, N. (2011). Adding more fuel to the fire: An eye-tracking study of idiom processing by native and non-native speakers. Second Language Research, 27(2), 251-272. https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658310382068
Journal titleSecond Language Research
Online publication date21/02/2011
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language comprehensionfigurative and literal languagemental lexicondisambiguating contextrecognition pointSocial SciencesEducation & Educational ResearchLinguisticsLEXICAL AMBIGUITYEXPRESSIONSSENTENCESCOMPREHENSIONCONVERSATIONCONSTRAINTSEQUENCESMOVEMENTSLANGUAGESTRENGTHLanguages & LinguisticsCognitive SciencesLanguage Studies