【摘要】：The present thesis starts in the earIy chapters with a preliminary job on
the explanation of the reIationship betWeen idiom -- an indispensable element
of language -- and culture with a wish to consolidate the status of cultural
acknowledgement in learning English idioms. In the later chapters,
approaches are offered to help cope with the trearment of cultUral information
in the lexicographical description of English idioms in bilingUal dictionaries
primarily intended for foreign Iearners, English-Chinese dictionaries. for
instance, as the thesis focuses upon. The points of view of the present author
are manifested in the following eight chapters.
Chapter 1 begins with the clarification of the aim for the cultural studv of
English idioms. That is, to expIore a good access into proper understanding
and use of English idioms popular in all walks of life in the English-speaking
world. English idioms are widely used, but they are difficult to grasp for
foreign learners, and the dictionary compiler is sure to encounter the hard
task of describing English idioms in the microstructUre of the dictionary ready
Chapter 2, after a brief argument on the relationship betWeen language
and culture, probes into the close relationship between the basic feature of an
idiom --- semantic opacity and the cu1tural background that nurtUres the
formation of the idiom.
Chapter 3 offers a brief account of the main sources of English idioms.
Many an idiom has a story of its own, and English idioms came into their
current use through the following channe1sf the Bible, world's famous works,
historical stories and legends, customs and superstitions, professions and
works, animals, proper names and human body.
ln Chapter 4 space is consumed for the embodiment of the interrelation
between the literal meaning of an idiom and its idiomatic meaning, which
appears in forms of figures of speech f simile, metaphor, metonymy,
synecdoche, euphemism, allusion and so on. The presentation of this
interrelation serves to unmask the mystery of association. especially recessive
associaltion, betWeen understanding the implied meaning of an idiom and its
literal construction in idiom learning, which has proved to be problematic for
many foreign learners.
After stating the interrelation betWeen the literal meaning and the
idiomatic meaning of an idiom in Chapter 4, Chapter 5 comes to the cultural
factors that determine the selection of vehicles as a composing element in
figures of speech. The cultUral factors that help to form English idioms are
mainly as follows f natural environment, historical deveIopment, custom and
tradition, entertainment, religious belief.
The previous five chapters present the basic theory on the relationship
between English idioms and the English culture. In the following two
chapters the focal point is the lexicographical treatment of English idioms in
bilingual dictionaries, say, English-Chinese dictionaries.
Chapter 6 raises the question of "what is expected of a dictionary for
description of idioms" as far as cultUraI information is concerned. This
chapter analyzes briefly the functions of general dictionaries, special-purpose
dictionaries, monolingual dictionaries, and bilingual dictionaries with an
intention to present the status of idioms in the above dictionaries respectlvely.
After this, words are said about the types of transformation -- substitution,
addition, permutation, deletion etc. -- in English idioms as evident of the
difficulty in correct understanding and use of idioms, the purpose of which is
to reiterate the importance of including culttiral information in the
Chapter 7 suggests a tentative approach to the provision of cultural
information in bilingual dictionaries in describing English idioms from three
perspectives, namely, translational definition, exemplification and cultural
Chapter 8, followed by a bibliography, draws a general conclusion on
the subject bei