Metaphor and the Development of Pragmatic Competence

By Zaitul Azma Zainon Hamzah, Normaliza Abd Rahim and Ahmad Fuad Mat Hassan.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Language development among pre-school children will take place in all aspects of the language especially pragmatics, for instance, the ability to tell stories and semantics, understand the meaning of the language widely including the abstract forms. Their vocabulary will be widened which enable them to construct long and complex sentences and building up words using correct affixes. Language development at pre-school age is more creative, whereby the language creativity is enhanced by the surroundings, experiences, the metaphor that was developed through film and many other language activities. They use their developed language creativity when they communicate with friends and people in their society. Among the pragmatic competence that they have developed are pronoun, similes and metaphor language.
Therefore, in this study, focus will be on the language usage in children’s speech. The aspect of the language usage will converge on the use of symbol language used by the children to convey message, depict mind and emotion. In this study, the samples of the study are 25 Malay pre-school children. The method of the study is observation. The language data were recorded during their morning dialogue session, story telling, games and their morning tour around the kindergarten. The collected data was analyzed using the pragmatic theory, the theory of Relevance.

Keywords: Metaphor, Pragmatic Competence

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 7, pp.141-148. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 626.098KB).

Dr. Zaitul Azma Zainon Hamzah

Lecturer, Department of Malay Language, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Zaitul Azma Zainon Hamzah is a senior lecturer in the Malay Language Department, Faculty of Modern languages and Communication, University Putra Malaysia (UPM). She holds a Certificate of Education in Teaching Young Children, Bachelor of Education in Teaching Malay Language, Master Degree in Malay Studies (Semantics and Pragmatics) and Doctoral Degree in Malay Language Studies (Semantics and Pragmatics) Her area of interests are Semantic and Pragmatic, Sociopragmatic, Semantic Cognitive, Teaching Malay Language, Translation and Qualitative Research in the Malay Studies. Currently supervising Masters and Ph.D students in mastering the research in Malay Studies and the Teaching and Learning of Malay Language. She is currently heading two research projects which investigate Language and Culture Conflict Among the Malaysia Children and Youth, and The Use of SPA Module in Teaching Malay Language as a Second and Foreign Language in Malaysia. She is also a co-researcher in another research project studying” Breaking the Language Barrier in ICT Amongst the Elderly in Malaysia: A New Paradigm Towards Caring Society”. As a professional language expert at UPM, she has taught Malay Language as a foreign Language to students of Deakin University, Melbourne in 2005 and 2006.

Prof Dr. Normaliza Abd Rahim

Lecturer, Department of Malay Language, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr. Normaliza Abd Rahim is currently the coordinator for the Translation and Intepretation and Language Technology Lecturer at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Due to her keen interest in language technology in teaching and learning, and her wide experience in teaching the English language courses, she was appointed as the consultant for curriculum development for private universities and colleges in one of the states in Malaysia. As such, she provides assistance in developing activities to enhance the usage of English language by using the computer amongst the students in the university. She is also interested on special educational needs children where at present she is the consultant for one of the states in Malaysia. She involves voluntarily in giving advice to parents and teachers of the special needs.

Ahmad Fuad Mat Hassan

Student, Department of Malay Language, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Ahmad Fuad Mat Hassan is a master student in the Malay Language Department at the Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, University Putra Malaysia (UPM). He holds a Barcelor Degree in Malay Language and Linguistics. His area of interests are Semantic and Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic. Currently he is doing a research in the Malay Thought and Culture for his master thesis.


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