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Avoidance of idioms : an ethnic group identity issue?

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Avoidance of idioms : an ethnic group identity issue?

Ayed, Souha (2008) Avoidance of idioms : an ethnic group identity issue? Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The intimate link between language and ethnic identity is well documented in the literature. Language choice, accents, phonetic segments, and specific vocabulary items have been shown to be easily manipulated to express ethnic group affiliation. Idiom use is often socially motivated, suggesting the possibility that they could also be manipulated to express identity issue. This paper reports a study investigating, whether Tunisian students resist learning North American English idioms and whether this resistance, if it exists, is an identity negotiation strategy. Forty intermediate proficiency Tunisian learners of English as a foreign language listened to the matched-guise recordings peers reading three versions of a scenario, differentiated from one another only on the basis of their idiom content. After listening to each voice, the participants rated the speaker in terms of personality traits and perceived in-group and out-group loyalty as measured by an ethnic group affiliation questionnaire. They also completed an idiom recognition test to assess their idiom familiarity. Finally, they indicated their pride and loyalty to the Tunisian ethnic group by filling out self-rated loyalty scales. The findings highlighted a significant association between idiom use and Ethnic group affiliation, particularly Engagement in Tunisian culture, which affects the participants' perception of idioms. In terms of status and refinement, the participants rated the American text and the neutral text positively. Thus, contrary to what was predicted, they had a positive view towards idiom use. The participants' ability to recognize idioms and gender had an effect on their reactions to idiom use

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Ayed, Souha
Pagination:xii, 88 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Applied Linguistics
Date:2008
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gatbonton, Elizabeth
ID Code:976037
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:19
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:41
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