Publication details [#4712]

Fourment-Aptekman, Marie-Claude. 1996. La compréhension de métaphores et de pseudo-métaphores chez des enfants agés de 4 à 8 ans (Comprehension of metaphors and pseudo-metaphors in children aged 4-8). Journal of Shenzhen University(Humanities & Social Sciences) 96 (3) : 443–457. 15 pp.


Counterevidence to the idea of a discrepancy between the ages of production and comprehension of metaphors is provided by an experiment in which metaphors and pseudo-metaphors are distinguished. Subjects (Ss), upper-class native speakers of French, were divided into three groups: middle preschool, average age 4:7; upper preschool, average age 5:11; and elementary grade CE1, average age 7:11 (N = 24, 25, and 17 respectively). Small, manipulable toys were used to represent referents of four sentence types (three sentences per type): pseudo-metaphors ("This plate is a hat"), metaphors of "speed ("This car is a tractor"), behavioral metaphors ("This cat is a lion"), and transitive filler sentences. For each stimulus, Ss were presented with the topic toy in a central position and the vehicle toy in a rear side position and were asked to show what the sentence was about; Ss were subsequently interviewed regarding their actions, and Ss' recorded statements were analyzed as evidence of their degree of comprehension. Results showed good comprehension of pseudo-metaphors at all ages studied; comprehension of metaphors was distinctly poorer than that of pseudo-metaphors, but improved with age. (Copyright 1997, Sociological Abstracts, Inc., all rights reserved.) (J. Hitchcock in LLBA 1997, vol. 31, n. 5)