The development of metaphoric competence in French and Japanese learners of English

Turner, Sarah Lucy (2014). The development of metaphoric competence in French and Japanese learners of English. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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The study of metaphor has enjoyed a great deal of interest in recent years. Far from being considered a mere rhetorical or poetic device, metaphor has now been shown to play a fundamental role in human language and cognition. However, despite its prominence and utility in discourse, learners of English have been shown to struggle with both the production and comprehension of metaphor. The concept of ‘metaphoric competence’ should thus be considered an important aspect of language teaching and learning, but its definition and measurement remain problematic.
This thesis uses an investigation of metaphor use in the written examinations of French and Japanese learners of English to address four main areas. The first investigates the development of metaphor use across different levels of written language. The second seeks to exemplify the way in which metaphor use is related to other aspects of language in this context, particularly lexis and phraseology, while the third explores the functions learners use metaphor to perform. The fourth area draws together these insights to explore what ‘metaphoric competence’ might mean in the context of learners’ exam-based written language, and how it might be measured.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Language and Linguistics
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English


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