Metaphor-Based Schemas and Text Representations in English and Tunisian Arabic: The Case of M.A.Students of English at ISLT

Rakia Ghozzi


Four experiments were conducted to investigate the role of metaphor-based schemas in text comprehension and representation in English and Tunisian Arabic among 80 Tunisian MA students of English. The study explores specifically, the extent to which topic shifts, familiarity with metaphors, and semantic relatedness, are responsible for connecting elements within a text. The data were collected through two tasks: Priming in item recognition task and two off-line questionnaires. Results revealed that: (1) Schemas facilitate recognition judgments for schema-related sentences presented in texts in English and Tunisian Arabic. (2) Priming effect is not evident between words referring to the same domain. (3) Priming effect is evident between words referring to different domains. (4) Priming effect does not result from topic shifts, semantic relatedness, and the degree of familiarity. Interestingly, connections between primes and targets are attributed to their shared relationship to a metaphor-based schema and not merely to a shared reference to a common subject matter. These findings point to the role of metaphor-based schema in fostering coherence within readers’ text representations in English and Tunisian Arabic.



Text comprehension, Metaphor-based schemas, Priming effect, Familiarity, Semantic relatedness, Topic shifts.

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