Idiom Priming Effect in Translation : Processing Chinese Idioms in English
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Formulaic expressions, such as idioms and common sayings gain inclusive impression and make communications more efficient when speaking a new language. The purpose of the current study is to test if the idiom priming effect (idioms are processed faster than novel expressions) is transferable across language. We hypothesized that Chinese-English speaking participants with Chinese as L1 are able to recognize the English translation of a list of Chinese idioms and realize the target words faster both in a literal context and a figural context in comparison to a non-formulaic expression. Moreover, the reflection time would be longer for idioms in a figural context than in a literal context according to previous study results. We placed 16 idioms within figural and literal context in audio files as well as 32 filler trials, and played them pseudo-randomly with the last words of each idioms or filler expressions and three other distractor words displayed on the four corners of the computer screen. An eye-tracking device was used to detect the response speed and time spent by the participants on each word. This is a pilot study, and only 10 participants were included. Data analysis is not finished at this point. Therefore, no results are provided in this paper.