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Séminaire Psycholinguistique. Nausicaa Pouscoulous

février 13 @ 10 h 00 min - 12 h 00 min

Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences. University College London


Metaphor comprehension in (a)typical development  

Figurative terms, such as metaphors, are pervasive in daily language use. To become a competent speaker of a language a child must learn to interpret correctly metaphorical expressions never heard before (e.g., “After her bath, Ann is a hedgehogwhen Ann has spiky hair). To do so, the child needs first to recognise the syntactic structure where the metaphorical term appears, understand its literal meaning, then make a full-fledged pragmatic inference, identifying the relevant metaphorical features in context (e.g., spikiness), and ignore the inappropriate literal meaning. Early research suggests this is a slow process, yet recent findings indicate that typically developing children are competent from pre-school years at understanding metaphors when tested with paradigms controlling for the child’s vocabulary, the type of metaphor (novel or conventional) and the cognitive demands of the task. But, what happens for atypically developing children? I will present three studies investigating metaphor comprehension in children with Developmental Language Disorder, autism and Down syndrome, using a reference assignment act-out task or a picture selection task. In line with recent metanalyses, the findings suggest that difficulties with figurative language might be linked to immature linguistic skills, rather than impaired theory of mind or autistic symptomatology as is often suggested.  


Date :
février 13
Heure :
10 h 00 min - 12 h 00 min
Catégorie d’Évènement:


Université Paris Nanterre, Bat. Weber, Salle de séminaire 1
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