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Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language Evolution

14.03.23 - Mila Feuerstein & Kim Gfeller

«Metaphors in the light of language acquisition and language change»

SIG Metaphors explores topics related to metaphor, concreteness, and colexifica- tion in the lexical distributions of languages from the perspectives of both language acquisition and language evolution. In this talk, we will share preliminary results from our study based on a state-of-art metaphor detection algorithm (MelBERT). We compare three different adult speech registers in terms of the distributions of metaphor-coded words in their corpora: child-directed speech, adult-directed speech, and the written modality. We also look at concreteness scores of lexical units across these genres. Our findings contribute to a more thorough understand- ing of how child-directed speech is optimized for early language acquisition.