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RLA. Revista de lingüística teórica y aplicada

versión On-line ISSN 0718-4883

Resumen

CRESPO, NINA  y  CACERES, PABLO. ORAL COMPREHENSION OF IDIOMS: A LATE LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT PHENOMENON. RLA [online]. 2006, vol.44, n.2, pp.77-90. ISSN 0718-4883.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-48832006000200006.

This article reports on the development of school children's oral comprehension of idioms having a metaphorical content. Once the criteria for classifying the idiomatic units into collocations, phrases, and sayings (Corpas, 1997) have been reviewed, the Levorato & Cacciari (1992) model, which accounts for the development of this ability after the age of five, is presented. Likewise, the results yielded by the measurement of the comprehension of idioms in 900 children between the ages of 5 and 13 by means of interactive software (IMIP) are presented. Significant differences in the degree of comprehension of metaphorical utterances in all age groups are reported as the children's ages increase. Non-parametric contrasts help determine that -although all utterances were relatively easy to understand- the collocations obtained a better score, followed by the sayings, the phrases being the most difficult to understand. It was further established that a child showing a high level of comprehension of collocations also reaches a high level of comprehension of phrases and sayings; the opposite occurs among the children who present a low level. Finally, it is concluded that the results coincide with the Levorato & Cacciari (1992, 1995) acquisition model, although it is necessary to consider other factors influencing the oral comprehension of idioms

Palabras clave : Oral comprehension; idiom; metaphor; development.

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