TOWARDS A METAPRAGMATIC DESCRIPTION OF IDIOM MEANING
ABSTRACT Idioms constitute one of the most interesting and fascinating linguistic phenomena, the study of which continues to bring new findings from different theoretical and applied perspectives. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive approach to idiom meaning conceived as an eminently pragmatic matter with some idiosyncratic traits (Dobrovol'skij & Piirainen, 2005; Timofeeva-Timofeev, 2012). For this reason, the focus adopted is a metalinguistic reflection (Verschueren, 1999; 2000) on the communicative role of idioms. This general framework leads us to propose a two-level metapragmatic idiom meaning model, whose purpose is to systematically depict the discursive behavior of idioms according to their inherent semantic complexity (cfr. Telija, 1996; Timofeeva-Timofeev, 2012). Such an approach can prove useful in a variety of applied fields including, amongst others, translation studies, foreign language learning and teaching, figurative language acquisition and clinical linguistics.