Young Children's Idiom Comprehension Trying To Get the Picture Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1992
Young Children's Idiom Comprehension
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • G. G. Abkarian
    Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO
  • Alison Jones
    Nova Care, Inc. Fort Collins, CO
  • Gretchen West
    Minnetonka, MN
Article Information
Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1992
Young Children's Idiom Comprehension
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1992, Vol. 35, 580-587. doi:10.1044/jshr.3503.580
History: Received June 10, 1991 , Accepted September 30, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1992, Vol. 35, 580-587. doi:10.1044/jshr.3503.580
History: Received June 10, 1991; Accepted September 30, 1991

Young children (3.5–6.5 years of age) were tested for their comprehension of 10 common idioms in context and no-context conditions. Results revealed a significant linear trend for children to make more literal responses with increasing age. Children of this age did not find the story contexts helpful in interpreting the idioms. A range of comprehension scores was found among the individual idioms, but semantic transparency (as judged by adults) was not related to comprehension. Child-internal and methodologic variables influencing idiom comprehension are discussed.

Acknowledgments
Authors Jones and West collected the data reported in this study and presented a portion of the results at an ASHA Convention. We wish to thank the parents, children, and staff at the Colorado State University preschool and Putnam Elementary School in Fort Collins. Appreciation is extended to Glenn Johnson, who provided a copy of his master’s thesis; to Jim zumBrunnen for statistical and programming help, and to Lynn Snyder and Rita Naremore for kind words and suggestions.
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