László Imre Komlósi & Zsuzsanna Schnell:
Testing idiomaticity and metaphorical meaning structures in lexical semantics and inferential pragmatics: seeking evidence for a cognitive lexical theory

Standard data from everyday practices of idiom and metaphor interpretation are tested for yielding evidence in the domain of theory construction as regards the processing of figurative expressions. Specifically, the systematic lack of interpretive skill for figurative expressions at early phases of the cognitive development of infants and young children is investigated, assumed to be evidence for a developmental lexical theory of non-compositional and figurative expressions.
The authors propose a novel approach to appreciating and understanding metaphorical meaning construction based on research in cognitive lexicology and cognitive psychology. The adopted research methodology focuses on the interaction of social-cognitive skills and context-driven conceptualizations in verbal communication. Dynamic meaning construction is claimed to be an inherent property of the human-specific intention-reading skill termed Theory of Mind (ToM) which plays a central role in identifying speaker’s intentions and hence, in decoding intended meanings.

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