Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
Print version ISSN 0102-7972
TONIETTONT, Lauren et al. Early acquisition of the verbal lexicon and semantic approximations in Portuguese. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2007, vol.20, n.1, pp. 114-123. ISSN 0102-7972. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722007000100015.
The analogical reasoning that allows relating concepts, permits the construction of the conceptual system. In the early phase of lexicon acquisition, mainly between 2 and 4 years of age, linguistic productions are observed resulting from the analogical reasoning, sometimes named metaphors. According to Duvignau (2002, 2003), these emissions result from the semantic approximation by analogy, a mechanism that allows approaching concepts more or less distant from the available lexicon. This study dimensions the importance of verbal semantic approximations for the early lexical development of monolingual children of the Portuguese language and studies the resource to generic versus specific items. Eighty monolingual children between 2 and 4 years old and 75 undergraduate students took part of this study, answering the Actions Naming and Reformulation Tasks. The results conclude that the semantic approximation by analogy is a fundamental linguistic strategy for lexicon development and reveals the cognitive flexibility which is present in typical development.
Keywords : Lexicon acquisition; semantic approximation; metaphor; analogy; concept.