The Conceptualization of English Phrasal Verbs by Elementary EFL Learners

Subjects: Anthropology & Ethnography View times: 243
Submitted by: Efthymia Tsaroucha


This study investigates the way Greek EFL elementary students conceptualize English phrasal verbs of the form component verb (take) plus component particle (up, down, in, out, back, off, on, apart). It is suggested image schemas play a facilitatory role in the conceptualization and interpretation of the figurative meanings of English phrasal verbs. The study argues that within the phrasal verb construct, the component particle prompts for the extension from literal to figurative meanings since the particle designates image schematic experiences (bodily-kinesthetic). The study conducted two types of test: (1) meaning of the sentence and (2) image-matching from the sentence. In test 1, participants were asked to read sentences which contained the verb take plus particles and they had to select the most appropriate meaning of the phrasal verb that matched the overall meaning of the sentence. In test 2, participants were asked to read sentences wherein phrasal verbs of the form take plus particles were highlighted. They were asked to match the meaning of the phrasal verb with one image. Each image represented a different type of image schema such as container, front-back orientation and proximity-distance.