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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

Part III - Figurative Language and Layered Interpretations

  • Edited by Kate Scott, Kingston University, London, Billy Clark, Northumbria University, Newcastle, Robyn Carston, University College London
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • pp 203-278


Ingrid Lossius Falkum uses data from young children’s communicative development to argue that metaphor and metonymy rely on different pragmatic mechanisms. Metaphor and metonymy do have certain characteristics in common: they both target individual words or phrases, they both contribute content to the proposition explicitly expressed, and they both lie on a continuum of literal and figurative uses. However, developmental data suggests that early metonymic uses may be the result of a more basic process than metaphorical uses, one in which the child exploits salient associative relations to compensate for gaps in vocabulary.