Research Topic

Figurative Language in Typical and Clinical Populations

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Figurative language such as metaphors, irony, and idioms are common in everyday discourse. The recognition of the importance of figurative language to social communication has resulted in a proliferation of studies on the cognitive processes and the underlying neurocognitive mechanism associated with ...

Figurative language such as metaphors, irony, and idioms are common in everyday discourse. The recognition of the importance of figurative language to social communication has resulted in a proliferation of studies on the cognitive processes and the underlying neurocognitive mechanism associated with figurative language comprehension and generation.

Research suggests that clinical populations such as individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), schizophrenia, or learning disabilities, experience difficulty in comprehending the various aspects of figurative language. Despite having near-normal abilities with respect to syntactic, phonological, and semantic knowledge, individuals with atypical development demonstrate sometimes severe difficulties with the interpretation of figurative language. This implies that there is something inherently different about the comprehension of these linguistic utterances compared with the comprehension of literal language. For example, in contrast to literal language, understanding figurative language requires computing the speaker's intended meaning and intact executive abilities. However, alongside these reported difficulties in atypical populations, not all studies found group differences in figurative language comprehension, and in particular, not when the typical and the clinical groups were carefully matched in terms of vocabulary knowledge. Furthermore, emerging evidence suggests that individuals with ASD generate more creative metaphoric utterances than their typical developing peers. Thus, it is still unclear what cognitive mechanisms underlie figurative language comprehension and generation in clinical populations. A deeper understanding of the cognitive factors and the underlying neurocognitive and neurolinguistic processes may be obtained by studying figurative language comprehension and generation in typical and clinical populations.

In this Research Topic, we welcome submission of theoretical and empirical papers that investigate questions related to cognitive processes and neural mechanism involved in figurative language comprehension and creative language generation in typical and clinical populations (e.g., ASD, schizophrenia, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, brain damage). The goal is to cover many of the important aspects involved in figurative language processing obtained from various techniques (e.g., behavioral studies, fMRI, ERPs, brain stimulation) and various populations. The aim is to obtain further knowledge related to both cognitive models of figurative language and the specific abilities that impede clinical populations to understand figurative language.


Keywords: irony, idioms, metaphors, figurative language, autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, dyslexia, fMRI, creativity


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31 December 2017 Manuscript

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Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 December 2017 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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