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Mechanisms of Different Types of Figurative Expressions Processing 28
Modern models of figurative language processing postulate that figurative expressions (FE), e.g. metaphors, are processed through inclusion of one FE component to the category of another. However, some FE can simply be understood by finding commonalities between FE components. This way of processing is better explained by the early semantic network model, on which modern models of figurative language processing are based. The current study attempts to reveal capabilities of categorization approach and semantic network model to explain mechanisms of different FE processing. Subjects (N=67) performed semantic decision tasks, which required answering the question whether the meaning of the presented adjective corresponds to the meaning of an adjective in the context of an expression presented earlier. The results of reaction time analysis suggest that categorization approach is not exhaustive for the explanation of figurative language processing and some of the effects might be explained in terms of the semantic network model. This indicates that it is necessary to include some semantic network model postulates into modern approaches of figurative language comprehension.
Keywords: metaphor, figurative expression, semantic network, categorization, language processing
Column: Cognitive Psychology