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Nguyen Ngoc Vu Nguyen Thi Thu Van

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1 Nguyen Ngoc Vu Nguyen Thi Thu Van
Understanding English idioms from the conceptual metaphor theory of cognitive linguistics Nguyen Ngoc Vu Nguyen Thi Thu Van

2 Why do we use the past tense?
Did you know that the conference has started? Could you open the door for me? I wish you would stop smoking. I would rather you didn’t talk in class. If I were you, I would not do that. I wish I were rich.

3 What is an idiom?

4 What is an idiom? A phrase or sentence whose meaning is not clear from the meaning of its individual words and which must be learnt as a whole unit (Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary. 1995)

5 Can you predict the meaning of this?
Loins des yeux, loins du coeur

6 Other cases To be at the crossroad To run out of steam
The right hand man The head of the company Look up/ Feel up/ Feel down

7 Why do we use past forms in present time?
How do we predict the meaning of idioms?

8 Conceptual metaphor Defined as understanding one conceptual domain in terms of another conceptual domain. Source domain: the conceptual domain from which we draw metaphorical expressions. Target domain: the conceptual domain that we try to understand.

9 Target domain: Argument
ARGUMENT IS WAR defend attack demolish win lose Shoot down Right on target Your claims are indefensible. He attacked every weak points in my arguments. I demolished his argument. I’ve never won an argument with him He shot down all my arguments. His criticisms were right on the target. Source domain: War Target domain: Argument

10 Structural metaphor a conventional metaphor in which one concept is understood and expressed in terms of another structured concept. Examples: They are at a crossroads in their relationship. This relationship isn't going anywhere. They're in a dead-end relationship. This marriage is on the rocks. This relationship has been spinning its wheels for years. Their marriage has really gone off the track.

11 Orientational metaphor
An orientational metaphor is a metaphor in which concepts are spatially related to each other, as in the following ways: Up or down In or out Front or back On or off Deep or shallow Central or peripheral

12 Orientational metaphor
Ex: “HAPPY IS UP”; “SAD IS DOWN” I'm feeling up. That boosted my spirits. Thinking about her always gives me a lift. I'm feeling down. I fell into a depression.

13 Ontological metaphor An abstraction, such as an activity, emotion, or idea, is represented as something concrete, such as an object, substance, container, or person Ex: THE MIND IS A MACHINE He has a screw loose. He slipped a cog. I could see the wheels turning. He churns out ideas.

14 MORE IS UP; LESS IS DOWN They put up the price on that model by five dollars. They brought their children up in the countryside. Production went up at the plant by 15 percent. The car sped up and passed the slow driver. It's really heated up these past few days. Can you turn the sound up? The local economy has really picked up since the new factory was built. The quarterly profits went down from the second to the third quarter. Turn down that horrible music! Please keep the noise down in this room! It's really cooled down these past few days. Computer prices have really come down recently.

He was lording it over me. The Emperor ruled over a vast area. They have come up in the world. She's been moved up to a more responsible job. The police clamped down on drinking in the streets. The rebellion was swiftly put down. Prisoners are kept under constant surveillance. We had to knuckle under and do what we were told.

Could you open the door for me? It’s high time you stopped smoking. Would you mind my staying here? Did you know that Tom has arrived? If I were you, I would take the job.

17 Coke versus Pepsi; Nike versus Reebok; Nintendo versus Sega - the battle is on amongst the world’s top brands. Aggressive competitive advertising has now reached fever pitch; extra millions are pouring into R & D, and the market leaders are under constant pressure to slash their prices in a cut-throat struggle for market domination. When Philip Morris knocked 40c off a packet of Marlboro, $ 47-and-a-half billion was instantly wiped off the market. Value of America’s top twenty cigarette manufacturers lesser brands went to the wall. And that’s just one example of how fair competition within a free market has rapidly escalated into all-out brand war..

18 Implications for teaching
Conventional knowledge plus conceptual metaphor motivate meanings of idioms. Explicit teaching of conceptual metaphors help improve language learning Ts should try to get their Ss guess meanings of idioms rather than do rote learning.

19 What is an idiom? A group of words whose meaning is different from the meanings of the individual words. (Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary. 2010)

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