Honors College
 

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Major

Communication Sciences & Disorders

Advisor(s)

Christopher Grindrod

Committee Members

Susan Bennett-Armistead, Julie DellaMattera, Sarah Howorth, Judith L. Stickles

Graduation Year

May 2020

Publication Date

Spring 5-2020

Abstract

Figurative language, also known as nonliteral language, is the use of words in a way that deviates from their intended or literal meaning. Idioms are a specific form of figurative language, where the words of the phrase are not reflective of the meaning of the idiom. For example, to tie the knot means to get married, which is different from the physical act of tying a knot in a string. A great deal of research has focused on idiom comprehension in children with reading difficulties, while few studies have examined this issue in adult struggling readers. Many of the skills needed to understand figurative language are developed as children and adolescents. However, the presence of a reading disorder may prevent full acquisition of these skills. Using the developmental literature as a model, the goal of the current study is to investigate if there is a relationship between reading ability in adults and these individuals’ understanding of idioms. Due to the lack of research focused on idiom comprehension in adult struggling readers, a study that would investigate idiom comprehension in this population is proposed.

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