ERIC Number: ED240501
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr-29
Reference Count: 0
Steps in the Child's Grasp of Ambiguities through Word Play.
Geller, Linda Gibson
A study examined the differences in the appreciation of language ambiguity as represented in the word play of children aged 6 through 11 years. In six weekly play sessions, students were read stories containing many lexical ambiguities and pictures and were invited to verbalize and to draw similar ambiguities. Criteria necessary to the construction of an adequate response were the definition of two incongruously related meanings for a single phonetic sequence and the juxtaposition of these meanings in words and pictures to suggest that each is a legitimate interpretation of the other. The results indicated that appreciation of ambiguity in this age range develops from a clarification of sound/meaning relations of potentially ambiguous words or phrases to the exploitation of these relations through play. Moreover, in later years the shift to play with ambiguities represented by literal interpretations of figurative expressions has implications for children's development of metaphoric competencies. Finally, the study's design suggests that word play is a potential contributor to program development in language education. (Several drawings produced by the subjects are appended.) (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Lexical Ambiguity; Word Games
Note: Expanded version of a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association (27th, Chicago, IL, April 26-30, 1982).