Publication details [#6510]

Katz, Albert N. 1989. Review of 'The Point of Words: Children's Understanding of Metaphor and Irony' by Ellen Winner. 1988. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 212 pages (hardcover). Bakhtiniana: Revista de Estudos do Discurso 4 (2) : 117–119.
Publication type
Publication language


In nine short, well-written chapters, Winner examines the development of our competence to understand and produce statements that are not true literally. Most of the research she cites in this book was generated at Harvard's "Project Zero" by Winner, Howard Gardner, and their colleagues. But the book is more than an elaborated research monograph, because the research is used to launch discussion of a wide range of issues, including brief forays into philosophical issues (e.g., the differences between pragmatic and semantic approaches to understanding metaphor), methodological issues (e.g., measurement pitfalls), and issues too often ignored in metaphor research articles (e.g., the relationships between comprehension and production). (Albert Katz)