Publication details [#10062]

Siqueira, Maiti. 2006. As metáforas primárias na aquisição da linguagem: Um estudo interlingüístico [Primary metaphors in language acquisition: A cross-linguistic study]. Pelotas, Brazil: Vilson J. Leffa. 212 pp.


Situated within the framework of Conceptual Metaphor Theory, this research focuses on the comprehension of primary metaphors, using a crosslinguistic-developmental perspective. Data come from interviews with monolingual Brazilian Portuguese and American English native speakers at the ages of 3 to 10, along with adult native speakers. The results obtained from two tasks (verbal and non-verbal) revealed several common patterns as good candidates to universals, as well as a few unusual language-specific patterns in primary metaphor comprehension, at different age-spans. The comprehension of primary metaphors followed three stages both for the Brazilian and the American participants. At 3 to 4 years of age, children presented only a moderate performance; at 5 to 6 years of age, they rendered a good performance, from seven years of age and beyond, children reached a degree of comprehension which equals that of the grown-ups. Few crosslinguistic differences were found. The results are probably related to the type of metaphors we selected for the study, i.e., primary metaphors, as well as to the fact that the research subjects are inserted into very similar cultural practices. (Maiti Siqueira)