Psycholinguistic Study of the Speech of Older Preschool Children: Specific Features of Understanding the Figurative Meaning of Phrases and their Use in Spontaneous Speech

Abstract.

The acquisition of native language phraseology is important for the speech and mental development of preschool children, because with the help of phraseology children can expressively reproduce a variety of social events in speech, impartially characterise people, their actions and deeds. The purpose of the study was to investigate psycholinguistic features of children's development of operations of understanding figurative meaning of phraseological expressions and their verbalisation in speech. To this end, the authors used methods of assessing the understanding of figurative meaning of proverbs and metaphors, direct interpretation of a word, choosing one variant of meaning from several paraphrases, interviewing children, recording their statements on a voice recorder, and talking to children. The analysis of children's speech was carried out according to the criteria and corresponding indicators: semantic (lexical, metaphorical, conceptual), pragmatic (active use of phrases, correct reproduction, appropriateness of actualisation), expressive-stylistic (evaluative, emotional, figurative speech). Four levels of children's operations of understanding figurative meaning of phraseological expressions and their use in speech were identified: high, sufficient, average, low, each of which correlated with certain psychological and psycholinguistic characteristics. It was found that children acquire phraseology spontaneously, under the influence of the speech of others, and selectively. It has been revealed that preschool children understand the meaning of phraseological units better than they use them in oral speech; the use of phraseological units in spontaneous speech is a more complex speech operation for children than the operation of decoding the figurative meaning of a phraseological unit. However, both the operations of understanding the figurative meaning of phraseological units and the operations of verbalising phraseological units in spontaneous speech require further development. The practical value of the research lies in the development of a diagnostic technique for studying the operations of understanding figurative meaning of phraseological expressions and their use in spontaneous speech in the zone of a child's speech activity and thinking development

Keywords: understanding of figurative meaning of phraseological units, explication of phraseological units, speech learning, phraseological units

https://doi.org/10.52534/msu-pp.7(2).2021.25-37