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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Frequencies of Metaphorical Expressions in Asperger Syndrome and Typical Development


Language studies in Asperger Syndrome (AS) report problems in intention interpretation, figurative language and pragmatic abilities. Those abilities require to differentiate constructional and contextual meaning. Previous research use a functional framework to look for literal and figurative language processes. Method. We use Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) and Steen's five steps analysis to compare metaphorical expression frequencies in AS and Typical Development (TD) from an experiential-based perspective. We documented the conceptual metaphors (A is B form), and the metaphor's types: Structural, Orientational, and Ontological. We applied three tasks to elicit speech: (a) conversation task, (b) narration task, and (c) description task. Results. Our Mexico City’s data indicates that AS children are able to produce common metaphorical expressions at the same levels as TD children, at equal ages in Spanish. We found both populations use intentional and contextualized metaphor expressions, and the metaphors are mostly conventionalized expressions previously not considered.

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