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Master thesis

Title Compreensão de Metáforas Primárias e Deficiência Auditiva
Author Nádia Cristiana Pires Afonso
School Mestrado em Ciências da Fala e da Audição (M.Sc. in Speech and Hearing Sciences), Universidade de Aveiro
Month December
Year 2012
Advisor António J. S. Teixeira
Group (before 2015) Transverse Activity on Innovative Biomedical Technologies

Motivated by the cognitive, educational and social importance of the metaphor, as well as by the shortage of research in this field, the main aims of this investigation are [1] to investigate how children with moderately severe and profound Hearing Impairments understand both verbal and non-verbal Primary Metaphors (PM), and [2] to investigate whether the effect that Hearing Impairments have on the comprehension of verbal PM varies in accordance with linguistic knowledge, as well as [3] in accordance with cognitive abilities. The method consisted in using tools to evaluate linguistic knowledge (Observation Grid of Oral Language), cognitive abilities (Coloured Progressive Matrices) and comprehension of PM (an adapation of the PM Comprehension Test) among 5 children with normal hearing (control group) and 13 chidren with Hearing Impairments, of whom 7 have a moderately severe degreel of impairment and 6 have a degree of profound impairment. The results suggest that Hearing Impairments affect the comprehension of verbal PM, hampering it, but not the comprehension of non-verbal PM. Only the phonological component of language has an effect, a negative one, on the relationship between the Hearing Impairment and the comprehension of verbal PM. Nevertheless, all the linguistic components that are being studied (semantics, morphosyntax and phonology) have a predictably positive effect per si on the comprehension of verbal PM, in contrast with congition, which has no effect whatsoever on that understanding. The conclusions of this investigation are, on the one hand, that children with a Hearing Impairment, whatever its degree of Hearing Impairment, exhibit a delay in their metaphorical development in comparison with their counterparts with full hearing and, on the other hand, that a therapeutic and educational intervention based on linguistic stimulation, in particular the stimulation of phonological proficiency, is demonstrably the recommended area for enhancing the comprehension of verbal PM among these children.