Hemispheric involvement in the comprehension of conventional metaphors in Arabic–Hebrew speakers

Ershaid, H.

Aims and objectives/purpose/research questions Previous studies in pairs of typologically distant languages showed that hemispheric processing of metaphoric expressions differs in a native versus second language. The current research explored this finding in a pair of typologically close languages, Arabic and Hebrew. Design/methodology/approach Forty-six Arabic native speakers who were proficient in Hebrew (second language; 30 women, aged 19–28) participated in a divided visual field (DVF) experiment. They were presented with conventional metaphors, literal expressions, and unrelated word pairs and asked to indicate whether the word pairs formed a meaningful expression. Participants were tested in spoken Arabic, literary Arabic, and Hebrew in separate blocks. Data and analysis Mean reaction times and accuracy were analyzed using repeated-measures three-way analysis of variance, with language, visual field, and expression type as independent variables. Findings/conclusions In contrast to previously reported findings, a left-hemisphere advantage or a bilateral pattern of processing was observed for conventional metaphors in both varieties of Arabic and in Hebrew, suggesting similar hemispheric processing in native and second language. Originality Metaphor processing is examined in a pair of typologically close languages. Significance/implications Our findings (in a pair of typologically close languages) differ from those previously reported in pairs of less similar languages, suggesting a modulatory role of language similarity in hemispheric processing of second-language metaphors.

Ershaid, H., Mashal, N. & Borodkin, K. (2022)

Hemispheric involvement in the comprehension of conventional metaphors in Arabic–Hebrew speakers. International Journal of Bilingualism, DOI: 10.1177/13670069211057634


Last Updated Date : 24/01/2022