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date: 24 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Metaphors are pervasive in literature and everyday speech. This chapter explores how metaphors are interpreted both by adults and by children. It reviews recent findings and directions of research on four main issues: What is the relation between figurative and literal meaning in metaphor processing? How is the metaphorical meaning arrived at and which factors are at play in the interpretative process? What are the differences and similarities in processing between different types of metaphors and between metaphors and other tropes? How does metaphor comprehension develop through childhood? The chapter concludes with a few fairly clear answers the psycholinguistic literature has provided and a lot of open questions to be investigated in future research.

Keywords: metaphor, figurative language, psycholinguistics, lexical pragmatics, metaphor acquisition

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