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

15 - Metaphor and Metonymy in Acquisition

from Part III - Figurative Language and Layered Interpretations


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.