How do preschool children justify the use of figurative language. Data from research with irony comprehension task
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The aim of the described study was to check how preschool children justify using ironic statements. In the Irony Comprehension Task adopted for examining young children, the participants were asked to explain the use of six examples of verbal irony. There were 231 participants – 77 four-year-olds, 89 five-year-olds and 65 six-year-olds. The data revealed that with increasing age, children are more likely to indicate the duality of ironic statements. Younger children stop at noticing a dissonance between literal and intended meaning, whereas six-year-olds refer also to the inner states of the story’s main character or they introduce interesting metalinguistic explanations.
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