How Germans get it under the Knee: The Acquisition of Dutch Idiomatic Language by German Learners.
If learners of a second language aspire to acquiring native-like proficiency, the usage and understanding of idiomatic language, such as De inbreker liep tegen de lamp (in English, “The burglar walked against the lamp”, i.e., got caught) is indispensable. This study investigates to what extent three different important variables affect the accuracy with which German native speakers rate idioms in Dutch. These variables are Lexical Familiarity, Imageability, and Semantic Transparency. Further, it is examined whether there are interaction effects between those factors and to what extent the lexical knowledge in the second language of participants has an effect on the number of idioms they know in that language. A binary logistic regression analysis based on an online survey among 25 native speakers of German who speak Dutch at an advanced level showed that there were significant main effects for Lexical Familiarity, Imageability, Within-Language Transparency and Lexical Knowledge.
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