Figurative language, such as verbal irony, metaphor, hyperbole, idioms, and other forms is an increasingly important subfield within the empirical study of language comprehension and use. Figurative Language Comprehension: Social and Cultural Influences is an edited scholarly book that ties together recent research concerning the social and cultural influences on figurative language cognition. These influences include gender, cultural differences, economic status, and inter-group effects, among others. The effects these influences have on people's use, comprehension, and even processing of figurative language, comprise the main theme of this volume. No other book offers such a look at the social and cultural influences on a whole family of figurative forms at several levels of cognition.
This volume is of great interest to scholars and professionals in the disciplines of social and cognitive psychology, psycholinguistics, and second language acquisition, as well as cognitive and other fields of linguistics where scholars have interests in pragmatics, metaphor, symbol, discourse, and narrative. Some knowledge of the empirical and experimental methods used in language research, as well as some familiarity with theories underlying the use, comprehension, and processing of figurative language would be helpful to readers of this book.
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Herbert L. Colston earned his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1995. He is currently Associate Professor and Chair of the Psychology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. He completed postdoctoral positions at the University of California, Santa Cruz and at Interval Research Corporation, a privately funded research institute associated with Stanford University. His current research interests include the comprehension and use of figurative and indirect language, nonverbal communication, embodiment in language meaning and other related topics in psycholinguistics and cognitive linguistics. He has recently published over 25 articles in books and journals such as the Journal of Pragmatics, Cognitive Linguistics, Pragmatics and Cognition, Discourse Processes, The Journal of Language and Social Psychology, Language and Speech, and Metaphor and Symbol.
Albert N. Katz is Full Professor at University of Western Ontario where he also earned his PhD. in 1976. His current research interests are, first, the understanding and processing of nonliteral language; and, second, in understanding everyday and autobiographical memory. He has published over 50 articles in refereed journals, has written 10 chapters in edited books, and has edited and written two books. He is Associate Editor of the journal, Metaphor and Symbol (and guest editor for the special issue on Irony, vol.15, nos.1 and 2, 2000). He was elected a fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association in 1999.
...this book deals simultaneously with two relatively marginalized areas of language processing. This fact alone makes the book an important and welcome contribution.
—Language in Society
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