A Critical Assessment of L1 Idiom Comprehension and Processing Models

Despoina Panou


When faced with the issues of idioms and idiomaticity, one inevitably stumbles over their comprehension and processing. That is, perhaps, the case because both the concepts of idiom-comprehension and processing are inextricably linked with idiom meaning. The aim of the present paper is to critically discuss the most influential views that have been put forward with regard to L1 idiom-comprehension as well as to provide a critical overview of the L1 idiom-processing models that have been proposed so far. In doing so, an effort will be made to provide a more holistic view to the issue of idiom comprehension and processing, thus pinpointing to all those concerned with such issues, that there is no ‘default’ model of idiom comprehension and processing and that, when trying to decipher idiomatic meaning, the literal and figurative aspect of idioms always interplay one way or another.


critical assessment, idiom comprehension, processing models

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