Psycholinguistic Study: Factors Affecting the Comprehension and Interpretation of Animal Metaphors in a Foreign Language

Nidal Zaki Amarin, Mahmoud Ali Qudah


The present study discusses animal metaphor from both a cognitive and cultural perspective to get more insightful understanding on animal metaphor comprehension in a foreign language. The study examines the understanding of animal metaphors associated with personal characteristics by foreign language learners and those key factors that can interplay in the foreign learners’ acquisition of metaphors. It attempts mainly to find out to what extent English learners’ first language may influence metaphoric processing in the target language and what factors promote this influence. The study concludes that first language interference in the interpretation of animal metaphorical expressions can be attributed to two main factors which are the degree of frequency and saliency of the metaphorical meaning in both the native and target language and the type or nature of meaning involved in the metaphorical processing.

الكلمات المفتاحية

Comprehension, animal metaphors, acquisition of metaphors cognitive perspective

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