Cognitive and Empirical Pragmatics: Issues and perspectives
  • ISSN 0774-5141
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9676
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Many experimental studies from the 70s and 80s show that children do not understand metaphors until fairly late in development (not until adolescence, some claim). I will argue that children’s metaphorical abilities may not be as weak as they first appear. Findings suggesting a poor comprehension of metaphor by young children might be better explained by factors other than purportedly inadequate pragmatic abilities. Furthermore, attested cases of metaphor production by children have often been re-analysed either as cases of overextension (i.e., erroneous extension of the term’s conventional denotation) or as cases of pretence, and are thus not considered to be genuine metaphors. I would like to explore the hypothesis that such re-analyses do not preclude the possibility that young children possess the necessary abilities to produce metaphors. Instead, some aspects of overextension and pretence may pave the way to metaphorical abilities.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error