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Metaphorical developing minds: The role of multiple factors in the development of metaphor comprehension

Di Paola, S; Domaneschi, F; Pouscoulous, N; (2019) Metaphorical developing minds: The role of multiple factors in the development of metaphor comprehension. Journal of Pragmatics 10.1016/j.pragma.2019.08.008. (In press).

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Abstract

Metaphor understanding is traditionally thought to emerge late in childhood. Although recent findings suggest that even pre-schoolers can understand metaphor in more age appropriate paradigms, it is still unclear which skills scaffold the development of metaphorical abilities. Metaphor comprehension is a complex process relying on multiple cognitive abilities with different developmental paths, such as Alternative Naming (i.e., accepting two labels for the same referent) and Analogy Perception (i.e., detecting similarities across objects). These two abilities may prove crucial to explain the development of metaphoric competence because difficulties in one or both of them may impose additional demands linked to children’s general cognitive development. This might contribute to slow down the development of metaphor understanding. This study aims at teasing apart the contribution of Alternative Naming and Analogy Perception in the development of metaphor understanding. Using a unified picture-matching paradigm, we tested 3- and 4-year-olds in three tasks: Metaphor Comprehension, Alternative Naming and Analogy Perception. Results reveal that children with better alternative naming and analogical abilities show a better performance in the metaphor task, suggesting that both Alternative Naming and Analogy Perception play a role in the development of metaphoric competence.

Type: Article
Title: Metaphorical developing minds: The role of multiple factors in the development of metaphor comprehension
DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2019.08.008
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2019.08.008
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Metaphor comprehension, pragmatic development, Alternative naming, Analogy perception
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085699
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