University of Twente Student Theses


Processing of Metaphors in the Context of Bilingualism

Pomp, Jennifer (2013) Processing of Metaphors in the Context of Bilingualism.

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Abstract:The processing of literal, novel metaphorical and semantically anomalous expressions in native Dutch speakers and German Dutch learners was examined using event-related potentials. The N400 component was determined for expressions which were formulated in an “A is a B” form and varied in their degree of figurativeness. A three-choice task was used in which the participants had to decide whether an expression is literal, metaphorical or anomalous. An increase in negativity for the N400 was found in the Dutch group, being less negative for literal expressions, more negative for novel metaphors and most negative for anomalous expressions. For German participants, this pattern was different, as anomalous expressions could not be distinguished from metaphorical expressions. Metaphorical and anomalous expressions both evoked a greater N400 component than literal expressions. The results were interpreted to indicate that the N400 component is a representation of semantic astonishment with less expected expressions resulting in the greatest N400 components. This was supposed to be similar for the first and second language.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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