The Role of Cognitive Mechanisms and Semantic Motivation in Business English Idioms Acquisition: An experimental study

Milošević, Ivan (2015) The Role of Cognitive Mechanisms and Semantic Motivation in Business English Idioms Acquisition: An experimental study. Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, 2 (2). (In Press)

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Abstract

This paper aims to explore the possible application of cognitive semantics in the process of teaching and learningBusiness English idioms. The theoretical assumptions of this study are based on the cognitivist view that idioms are, to a certain extent, semantically motivated by cognitive mechanisms, with the conceptual metaphor being the most dominant one. This study is an attempt to test the hypothesis that metaphoric conceptualisation can contribute to a more successful acquisition of idioms, especially in comparison to pure memorisation of the same linguistic expressions. This small-scale experiment was carried out with 20 Business and Economics students divided into the experimental group and the control group. The students in the experimental group were introduced to the semantic motivation of idiom meaning, whereas the control-group students were taught the same idioms in the traditional way. After being presented with the carefully selected idioms in two different ways, the students in both groups were required to do four different types of exercises with a view to testing the semantic motivation hypothesis. As a result, the research findings and the results obtained in this experimental study suggest that the awareness of cognitive mechanism and semantic motivation behind the meaning of idioms can significantly assist students in the process of a somewhat systematic and consistent acquisition of Business English idioms. Keywords: Idiomatic expressions, Business English, cognitive mechanisms, conceptual metaphor, semantic motivation, language acquisition

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: J-FLTAL
Depositing User: Alma Milisic
Date Deposited: 25 Dec 2014 10:47
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2016 11:50
URI: http://eprints.ibu.edu.ba/id/eprint/2813

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