Idioms : Processing, Structure, and Interpretation book cover
1st Edition

Processing, Structure, and Interpretation

ISBN 9780805810387
Published July 1, 1993 by Psychology Press
356 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

"The book draws on a lot of research, is friendly to the reader, and will be of good value to teachers."

Paul Nation, Victoria University of Wellington, Australia

This comprehensive, up-to-date, and accessible text on idiom use, learning, and teaching approaches the topic with a balance of sound theory and extensive research in cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics, corpus linguistics, and sociolinguistics combined with informed teaching practices. Idioms is organized in three parts:

  • Part I includes discussion of idiom definition, classification, usage patterns, and functions.
  • Part II investigates the process involved in the comprehension of idioms and the factors that influence individuals’ understanding and use of idioms in both L1 and L2.
  • Part III explores idiom acquisition and the teaching and learning of idioms, focusing especially on the strategies and techniques used to help students learn idioms.

To assist the reader in grasping the key issues, study questions are provided at the end of each chapter. The text also includes a glossary of special terms and an annotated list of selective idiom reference books and student textbooks.

Idioms is designed to serve either as a textbook for ESL/applied linguistics teacher education courses or as a reference book. No matter how the book is used, it will equip an ESL/applied linguistics students and professionals with a solid understanding of various issues related to idioms and the learning of them.

Table of Contents

Contents: P.N. Johnson-Laird, Foreword. Preface. Part I:Idiom Interpretation and the Literal Figurative Distinction. S. Glucksberg, Idiom Meanings and Allusional Content. C. Cacciari, The Place of Idioms in a Literal and Metaphorical World. R.W. Gibbs, Why Idioms Are Not Dead Metaphors. G.B. Flores d'Arcais, The Comprehension and Semantic Interpretation of Idioms. Part II:Acquisition and Processing of Idioms. M.C. Levorato, The Acquisition of Idioms and the Development of Figurative Competence. T. Botelho da Silva, A. Cutler, Ill-Formedness and Transformability in Portuguese Idioms. P. Tabossi, F. Zardon, The Activation of Idiomatic Meaning in Spoken Language Comprehension. L. Colombo, The Comprehension of Ambiguous Idioms in Context. R.R. Peterson, C. Burgess, Syntactic and Semantic Processing During Idiom Comprehension: Neurolinguistic and Psycholinguistic Dissociations. Part III:Meaning and Structure. O. Stock, J. Slack, A. Ortony, Building Castles in the Air: Some Computational and Theoretical Issues in Idiom Comprehension. S.G. Pulman, The Recognition and Interpretation of Idioms. C. Fellbaum, The Determiner in English Idioms. A. Makkai, Idiomaticity as a Reaction to L'Arbitraire du Signe in the Universal Process of Semeio-Genesis.

View More


"...does an excellent job of presenting the state of the art in the study of idioms. Its strength is in raising important issues, which is precisely what one would want from a book that should serve to motivate the future investigation of idioms."
American Journal of Psychology