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It would not have been possible for me to finish this graduation thesis
without help and support from the kind people around me, to only some of
whom I can give particular mention here.
First and foremost, I am indebted to my supervisor, Ms. Pham Thi Thu
Hang for the continuous support of my thesis, for her patience, motivation,
enthusiasm, and immense knowledge. Throughout my thesis-writing period,
she provided encouragement, sound advice, good teaching, good company,
and lots of good ideas. I would have been lost without her.
It is difficult to overstate my gratitude to teachers in Foreign Languages
Department. They build the initial foundation of my knowledge and offer me
the opportunity to complete my graduation thesis.
In my work, I have been blessed with a stimulating and fun
environment in which to learn and grow provided by my many friends. My
sincere thanks go to them for helping me get through the difficult times, and
for all the emotional support, entertainment, and caring they provided.
Last but not least, to my family, I bid them hearty thanks. They have
been a solid anchor on which I rely again and again. Words cannot express
how grateful I am to be in their support and how much this work was
enhanced and made easier by them being in mine.

a_study_on_english_and_vietnamese_idioms_which_contain_words

 

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BỘ GIÁO DỤC VÀ ĐÀO TẠO
TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC DÂN LẬP HẢI PHÒNG
——————————-
ISO 9001 : 2008
KHÓA LUẬN TỐT NGHIỆP
NGÀNH NGOẠI NGỮ
HẢI PHÒNG – 2012
HAIPHONG PRIVATE UNIVESITY
FOREIGN LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT
———————————–
GRADUATION PAFER
A STUDY ON ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE IDIOMS
WHICH CONTAIN WORDS DENOTING TIME
By:
PHAM THI TUOI
Class:
NA1202
Supervisor:
PHAM THI THU HANG, M.A
HAI PHONG – 2012
BỘ GIÁO DỤC VÀ ĐÀO TẠO
TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC DÂN LẬP HẢI PHÒNG
————————————–
Nhiệm vụ đề tài tốt nghiệp
Sinh viên: …………………………………………………..Mã số:……………………….
Lớp: ………………………..Ngành:…………………………………………………………
Tên đề tài: …………………………………………………………………………………..
………………………………………………………………………………….
………………………………………………………………………………….
………………………………………………………………………………….
Nhiệm vụ đề tài
1. Nội dung và các yêu cầu cần giải quyết trong nhiệm vụ đề tài tốt
nghiệp
( về lý luận, thực tiễn, các số liệu cần tính toán và các bản vẽ).
..
..
..
..
..
2. Các số liệu cần thiết để thiết kế, tính toán.
..
..
..
..
..
..
3. Địa điểm thực tập tốt nghiệp.
..
..
..
CÁN BỘ HƯỚNG DẪNĐỀ TÀI
Người hướng dẫn thứ nhất:
Họ và tên:…………………………………………………………………………………
Học hàm, học vị:………………………………………………………………………..
Cơ quan công tác:………………………………………………………………………
Nội dung hướng dẫn:………………………………………………………………….
Người hướng dẫn thứ hai:
Họ và tên:…………………………………………………………………………………
Học hàm, học vị:………………………………………………………………………..
Cơ quan công tác:………………………………………………………………………
Nội dung hướng dẫn:………………………………………………………………….
Đề tài tốt nghiệp được giao ngày tháng năm 2012
Yêu cầu phải hoàn thành xong trước ngày tháng năm 2012
Đã nhận nhiệm vụ ĐTTN Đã giao nhiệm vụ ĐTTN
Sinh viên Người hướng dẫn
Hải Phòng, ngày tháng năm 2012
HIỆU TRƯỞNG
GS.TS.NGƯT.Trần Hữu Nghị
PHẦN NHẬN XÉT TÓM TẮT CỦA CÁN BỘ HƯỚNG DẪN
1. Tinh thần thái độ của sinh viên trong quá trình làm đề tài tốt
nghiệp:
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
2. Đánh giá chất lượng của khóa luận (so với nội dung yêu cầu đã đề ra
trong nhiệm vụ Đ.T. T.N trên các mặt lý luận, thực tiễn, tính toán số
liệu):
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
3. Cho điểm của cán bộ hướng dẫn (ghi bằng cả số và chữ):
..
..
..
Hải Phòng, ngày ..tháng .. năm 2012
Cán bộ hướng dẫn
(họ tên và chữ ký)
NHẬN XÉT ĐÁNH GIÁ
CỦA NGƯỜI CHẤM PHẢN BIỆN ĐỀ TÀI TỐT NGHIỆP
1.Đánh giá chất lượng đề tài tốt nghiệp về các mặt thu thập và phân tích tài
liệu, số liệu ban đầu, giá trị lí luận và thực tiễn của đề tài.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
2. Cho điểm của người chấm phản
biện :………………………………………………………….
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
(Điểm ghi bằng số và chữ)
Ngày………. tháng……… năm 2012
Người chấm phản biện
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
It would not have been possible for me to finish this graduation thesis
without help and support from the kind people around me, to only some of
whom I can give particular mention here.
First and foremost, I am indebted to my supervisor, Ms. Pham Thi Thu
Hang for the continuous support of my thesis, for her patience, motivation,
enthusiasm, and immense knowledge. Throughout my thesis-writing period,
she provided encouragement, sound advice, good teaching, good company,
and lots of good ideas. I would have been lost without her.
It is difficult to overstate my gratitude to teachers in Foreign Languages
Department. They build the initial foundation of my knowledge and offer me
the opportunity to complete my graduation thesis.
In my work, I have been blessed with a stimulating and fun
environment in which to learn and grow provided by my many friends. My
sincere thanks go to them for helping me get through the difficult times, and
for all the emotional support, entertainment, and caring they provided.
Last but not least, to my family, I bid them hearty thanks. They have
been a solid anchor on which I rely again and again. Words cannot express
how grateful I am to be in their support and how much this work was
enhanced and made easier by them being in mine.
There are many others I should mention here, people who helped me
along the way and provided me support. Listing all of them would fill a book
itself, so I merely will have to limit myself to a few words: I thank you ALL!
Hai Phong, November 2012
Pham Thi Tuoi
TABLE OF CONTENT
PART ONE: INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………….. 1
1. Rationale …………………………………………………………………………………… 1
2. Aims of the study ……………………………………………………………………….. 2
3. Scope of the study ……………………………………………………………………… 2
4. Design of the study …………………………………………………………………….. 2
PART TWO: DEVELOPMENT …………………………………………………………. 4
Chapter 1: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND ………………………………….. 4
1. Some Related Theoretical definitions …………………………………………. 4
1.1. Idioms…………………………………………………………………………………… 4
1.2. Time …………………………………………………………………………………….. 5
1.3. Idioms which contain Words Denoting Time (IT) ………………………. 5
2. Principal features of idioms ……………………………………………………….. 6
2.1. Structural Stability …………………………………………………………………. 6
2.2. Semantic Opacity …………………………………………………………………… 7
2.3. Cultural Features …………………………………………………………………… 8
3. Overview of Phrase, Clause and Sentence Structures …………………. 9
3.1. Phrase ………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
3.2. Clause ………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
3.3. Sentence ……………………………………………………………………………… 10
Chapter 2: METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES ……………………… 12
1. Research Design ………………………………………………………………………. 12
2. Research Methods ……………………………………………………………………. 12
3. Research Procedures ……………………………………………………………….. 12
4. Description of the Sample ………………………………………………………… 12
5. Data Collection ………………………………………………………………………… 13
6. Reliability and Validity ……………………………………………………………. 13
Chapter 3: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION …………………………………….. 15
1. Syntactic Features ……………………………………………………………………. 15
1.1. IT with Noun Phrase Structure (42) ……………………………………….. 15
1.2. IT with Verb Phrase Structure (70) ………………………………………… 16
1.3. IT with Adjective Phrase Structure (21) (7E + 14V) …………………. 17
1.4. IT with Prepositional Phrase Structure (12) ……………………………. 18
1.5. IT with Adverb Phrase Structure (15) …………………………………….. 19
1.6. IT with Sentence Structure (27) ……………………………………………… 19
1.7. IT with Parallel Structure (16) (3E + 13V) ……………………………… 20
1.8. Similarities and Differences of Syntactic Features of English and
Vietnamese Idioms which contain Words Denoting Time ………………… 21
a. Similarities …………………………………………………………………………. 21
b. Differences …………………………………………………………………………. 22
2. Semantic Features ……………………………………………………………………. 22
2.1. Advice (3E + 13V) ……………………………………………………………….. 23
2.2. Characteristics (15E + 12V) …………………………………………………. 23
2.3. Frequency (6E + 3V) ……………………………………………………………. 24
2.4. Activities (23E + 25V) ………………………………………………………….. 24
2.5. Mood (15E + 5V) …………………………………………………………………. 24
2.6. Objects (10E + 4V) ………………………………………………………………. 25
2.7. Opinion (9E + 15V) ……………………………………………………………… 25
2.8. Physical state (9E + 2V) ……………………………………………………….. 25
2.9. Time (20E + 10V) ………………………………………………………………… 25
2.10. Weather (3E + 1V)……………………………………………………………… 26
2.11. Similarities and Differences of Semantic Features of English and
Vietnamese Idioms which contain Words Denoting Time ………………… 27
a. Similarities …………………………………………………………………………. 27
b. Differences …………………………………………………………………………. 28
3. Difficulties students encounter when learning idioms ……………….. 29
3.1. Idioms are not literal ……………………………………………………………. 29
3.2. It‟s difficult to use idioms correctively ……………………………………. 29
3.3. Teaching materials are not much available …………………………….. 29
4. Some suggested solutions………………………………………………………….. 30
4.1. Learn idioms in context, never in isolation ……………………………… 30
4.2. Create conversations using idioms …………………………………………. 30
4.3. Keep an „Idioms‟ diary …………………………………………………………. 30
4.4. Amount: Not Too Many At Once ……………………………………………. 30
4.5. A lot of idioms can be found in songs ……………………………………… 30
4.6. Themes: Related To Your Topic …………………………………………….. 30
4.7. Try to see the idiom in your mind …………………………………………… 31
PART III: CONCLUSION ………………………………………………………………… 32
1. Summary of the study ………………………………………………………………. 32
2. Limitation of the study …………………………………………………………….. 34
3. Suggestions for further studies …………………………………………………. 34
APPENDIX 1: LIST OF ENGLISH IT ……………………………………………… 36
APPENDIX 2: LIST OF VIETNAMESE IT ………………………………………. 50
REFERENCES …………………………………………………………………………………. 55
1
PART ONE: INTRODUCTION
1. Rationale
Nowadays, together with growth of global connection, English
language has become more and more important. Especially in Vietnam,
learning English seems to be one of main tasks of students. In this process,
they encounter a large number of difficulties. One of them is understanding
idioms.
Every country or nation has got their own idioms that are specific to
their own culture, while many idioms have synonyms in several countries,
what refers to the equal shared human nature in many cultures. Learning the
specific idioms related to a certain culture helps you learn more about the
history, customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of it.
Idioms make a language more interesting and vibrant. Mastering
idioms means you are using and understanding the language more like a
native speaker would. As for English learners, effectively communicating
with others especially native speakers is the ultimate goal. And we cannot
reach that goal if we pay little or even no attention to the idioms. So grasping
the use of idioms is an essential part of English study.
Idioms are everywhere. You will find them in newspapers, books,
magazines, on the radio, on the television, in everyday conversation and at
work.
Understanding the meaning of idioms in general and idioms which
contain words denoting time (IT) in particular is the first difficulty of learners
and the second one is the way of using idioms in each specific context.
Moreover studying idioms which contain words denoting time is a part of
language learning and it can help learners use language more naturally and
effectively.
I am interested in the way English and Vietnamese people use idioms
to satisfy their own need in daily communication. Here and there, there are
several studies on idioms with certain linguistic units. However, in range of
Hai Phong Private University, there is no study of idioms containing words
indicating time. Thus, the topic “A study on English and Vietnamese idioms
which contain words denoting time” is chosen for my thesis. Hopefully, the
result of the study will be useful for learners of English and contribute a small
2
part into the teaching and learning English as a foreign language in Vietnam,
especially at Hai Phong Private University.
2. Aims of the study
This study is carried out with the hope to reach some aims at:
– Making a systematic description of English idioms containing words
denoting time and Vietnamese idioms containing words denoting time.
– Identifying the similarities and differences between English IT and
Vietnamese IT in terms of the syntactic and semantic features.
3. Scope of the study
This research is restricted to idioms containing words denoting time. It
is focused on making a contrastive analysis in terms of syntactic and semantic
aspects. Syntactically, my study will investigate into IT with noun phrase
structure, verb phrase structure, adjective phrase structure, prepositional
phrase structure, adverb phrase structure and sentence structure. In aspect of
semantic opacity, an investigation into Advice, Characteristics (Human
characteristics and characteristics of objects), Frequency, Activities, Mood,
Objects, Opinion, Physical state, Time, Weather will be carried out.
4. Design of the study
For a clear organization, my graduation paper is divided into three main parts
in which the second is the most important part:
– Part 1 is entitled the “Introduction” where rationale, aim, scope and
design of the thesis are presented.
– Part 2 is the “Development” which consists of three chapters:
+ Chapter 1: Theoretical Background, including four main small parts:
* Some Related Theoretical definitions of idioms, time and
IDWT.
* Principal features of idioms
* Overview of Phrase, Clause and Sentence Structures
* Overview of Semantic Opacity and Semantic Field
+ Chapter 2: Methodology and Procedure, dealing with research design,
research methods, research procedures, description of the sample, data
collection, reliability and validity.
+ Chapter 3:Finding and discussion, focusing on four main matters:
3
* Similarities and differences of syntactic features of English and
Vietnamese IT.
* Similarities and differences of semantic features of English and
Vietnamese IT.
* Difficulties students encounter when learning idioms
* Some suggested solutions
– Part 3 is the “Conclusion”with the aim of performing the following
ideas:
* Summary of the study: summarizing what have been discussed
in previous parts.
* Limitation of the study
* Suggestions for further studies
4
PART TWO: DEVELOPMENT
Chapter 1: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
1. Some Related Theoretical definitions
1.1. Idioms
“If natural language had been designed by a logician, idioms would not
exist.”
(Philip Johnson-Laird, 1993)
Idioms exist in probably all languages – the definition of idiom is a
construction whose meaning cannot be logically deduced from the words that
make it up. Chiefly, their importance is that they are a major area of difficulty
for non-native learners; although illogical, idioms have to be learned because
they are used a lot in conversational native English speech.
According to Wikipedia
“An idiom is a word or phrase which means something different from what it
says – it is usually a metaphor. Idioms are common phrases or terms whose
meaning are not real, but can be understood by their popular use.”
Makkai, in his work(Idiom structure in English (1972 – page 121),
defines an idiom as “any polylexonic lexeme made up of more than one
minimal free form of word (as defined by morphotactic criteria), each lexeme
of which can occur in other environments as the realization of a monoloxonic
lexeme”.
It can be seen that idioms can mean something different from what

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