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The Influence of the Mother Tongue on the Use of Metaphor in English as a Second Language

8 pagesPublished: February 23, 2017

Abstract

Metaphor has been widely recognized as a central tool of our cognitive apparatus, motivating the widespread use of metaphorical words and expressions in language and discourse. Therefore, it is important for language learners to use metaphors in the target language appropriately. The influence of the mother tongue on the use of metaphors in essays written by Spanish learners of English was analysed. Three corpora were used for this study: the experimental corpus contained 100 essays of Spanish-speaking learners of English, 50 with B2 level and 50 with C1 level (CEFR). The other two corpora were used as reference corpora: the British National Corpus (BNC) and the Corpus de Referencia del Español Actual (CREA). MIPVU method (Steen et al., 2010) was used to identify metaphors in the experimental corpus. The quantitative analysis showed that the influence of Spanish on errors in metaphors is higher at B2 level than at C1 level. The results of the analysis are especially helpful for learners and teachers of English as a Foreign Language as well as for testing researchers.

Keyphrases: English, L1 influence, metaphor, second language learning, Spanish

In: Chelo Vargas-Sierra (editor). Professional and Academic Discourse: an Interdisciplinary Perspective, vol 2, pages 52--59

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BibTeX entry
@inproceedings{AESLA2016:Influence_of_Mother_Tongue,
  author    = {Oleksandra Iaroslavtseva and Hanna Skorczynska},
  title     = {The Influence of the Mother Tongue on the Use of Metaphor in English as a Second Language},
  booktitle = {Professional and Academic Discourse: an Interdisciplinary Perspective},
  editor    = {Chelo Vargas-Sierra},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Language and Linguistics},
  volume    = {2},
  pages     = {52--59},
  year      = {2017},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair, http://www.easychair.org},
  issn      = {2398-5283},
  url       = {https://easychair.org/publications/paper/LB},
  doi       = {10.29007/3mn2}}
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