First Advisor

L. David Ritchie

Date of Publication

Fall 1-7-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Communication






Idioms, English language -- Idioms



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 73 pages)


The discourse community surrounding the study of idioms often disagree regarding the proper classification of idioms. Some scholars believe that the figurative meaning of many idioms cannot be determined through the deconstruction of their lexical parts, and therefore should be classified as an irreducible lexical unit. Others believe that even though the figurative meaning of some idioms are obscured, people process these opaque idioms as they would a metaphor, constructing meaning through an integration process that includes the component pieces of the idiom, the surrounding context, and the message receiver's knowledge network. This study forwards research concerning whether idioms should be regarded and studied as lexical units or multiword constructs. Results were inconclusive and did not support the study's hypotheses. Additional analysis of the data and literature surrounding language and conversation suggest the study was confounded by the participants' ability to predict meaning in the audio stimuli before the utterances in the stimuli were complete.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier