Avoidance of idioms in a second language: The effect of L1-L2 degree of similarity

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The study investigates whether avoidance of L2 (English) idioms is determined by the degree of similarity to their L1 (Hebrew) counterparts. Four degrees of similarity were established through a three-dimensional framework for L1-L2 comparison. 56 university English majors were tested on 20 idioms (5 per each type), elicited by a fill-in translation test. The totals of idiomatic and non-idiomatic responses were compared for each student, for each idiom type. Results showed that idioms as a category were not avoided, that L2 proficiency was a factor in idiom avoidance and that avoidance of specific idiom types was related to L1-L2 degrees of similarity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-196
Number of pages11
JournalStudia Linguistica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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