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ERIC Number: ED139011
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
What Does It Take to Understand a Metaphor?
Winner, Ellen; Gardner, Howard
This paper discusses the kind of knowledge and strategies necessary to understand a metaphor. Studies of six year olds indicate that they fail to recognize that metaphors are intended nonliterally. At about the age of ten, children begin to give appropriate explanations. Children on the verge of metaphoric understanding of metaphors which link psychological and physical states show a mastery of the concept of making a link between the physical and the psychological and grasp the broad polarities of each domain, but make imprecise connections between them. Hypothesizing that the ability to articulate the underlying "core meaning" of a word was a necessary condition for correct paraphrase of a metaphoric sentence using the word, a further study showed instead that comprehension of metaphor does not require knowledge of core meanings of the key words. As an alternate explanation, it is suggested that children's understanding of metaphor is a reflection of (1) their knowledge of the real world and (2) their capacity to think analogically. (AA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at a Symposium on Metaphor and Analogy, the Society for Research in Child Development (New Orleans, Louisiana, March 1977)