Crystal Jia-yi Lin
National Taiwan University of Sport,Taiwan
Idiom transparency refers to how speakers think the meaning of the individual words contributes to the figurative meaning of an idiom as a whole (Gibbs, Nayak, & Cutting, 1989). However, it is not clear how speakers or language learners form their assumptions about an idiom’s transparency level. This study set out to discover whether there are factors that can affect EFL learners’ transparency judgement. It compared four groups of students’ transparency ratings of 18 number idioms. A total of 191 students participated in the study. For the first two groups, the students were asked to make transparency judgements with the meanings of the idioms provided in L2 and L1 respectively. For the third and fourth groups, the students were asked to engage in different activities before they made transparency judgements. For the third group, the students were asked to choose a number to complete the number idioms; while for the fourth group, the students had to choose a number idiom to complete the sentences. Results showed that translation did not help the students to relate the literal meanings of the idioms to their figurative meanings. However, asking students to choose an appropriate idiom to complete the sentences could significantly raise students' transparency ratings. A closer examination found that students’ ratings could be related to the internal and external semantic compatibility of the idioms. The implication of the study is that translation is not always necessary in the instruction of idioms; however, guiding students to think about the relationships between words and concepts can help them connect the literal and figurative meanings of the idioms.
Key Words: idiom transparency, transparency intuitions, decomposability, number idioms, semantic compatibility
成語透明度是指說話者對成語裡個別字義引伸出成語整體意 義的看法（Gibbs, Nayak, & Cutting, 1988）；然而我們並不清楚 說話者或語言學習者對成語透明度的臆斷是如何產生的。本研 究旨在探討是否有因素能影響外語學習者對透明度的判斷。本 研究比較四組學生對 18 個數字成語透明程度的評斷，共有 191 位學生參與本研究。 前兩組成語的意思分別以中文及英文呈 現，學生須依成語的意思做透明度判斷。第三組及第四組學生 在做透明度判斷之前，則分別參與了不同活動。第三組的學生 須選填數字來完成數字成語，而第四組的學生則須填入數字成 語來完成句子。研究結果顯示將成語意思譯成中文對學生連結 成語字面與引申意並無幫助；而要求學生選填適當成語以完成 句子卻能顯著提升學生對成語透明程度的評斷。進一步的檢視 發現學生對成語透明度的評斷與成語內部及外部語意之相容 性有關。本研究指出成語教學中翻譯不一定是必須的，反而引 導學生思考字裡行間語意概念的關係更能幫助學生連結成語 字面與引申意義。
關鍵字: 成語透明度、透明度的判斷、可分解性、數字成語、 語意相容性