Publication details [#10645]

Temple, Jon G. and Richard P. Honeck. 1999. Proverb comprehension: The primacy of literal meaning. Journal of psycholinguistic research 28 (1) : 41–70. 30 pp.
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According to the multistage model of figurative language understanding, literal meanings must be developed before figurative meanings. Although the model implies that figurative understanding should take longer than literal understanding, Kemper (1981) reported that figuratively biased proverbs were processed more quickly than literalized proverbs. By contrast, in the present study the results from six experiments yielded the opposite conclusion. These results support the multistage model and the conceptual base theory of proverb comprehension (Honeck, 1997; Honeck & Temple, 1994; Honeck, Voegtle, Dorfmueller, & Hoffman, 1980) which incorporates it. Discrepancies between studies that have examined the multistage model may crucially depend on methodological factors such as type of experimental design, materials, and, as apparent in the present case, the task and dependent measure used. (Jon Temple and Richard Honeck)