Based on findings from previous studies (Gold & Faust, 2010Gold, Faust, & Goldstein, 2010), the present paper presents a theoretical framework for the understanding of semantic processing in AS. We suggest that semantic processing involves both rule-based and rule violating aspects. These two poles of semantic processing are represented by literal and novel metaphoric expressions, respectively. Literal comprehension requires straightforward, conventional, familiar and predictable association between concepts, thus representing relatively systemized, rule-based, linguistic functions. As opposed to this, the comprehension of novel metaphoric combinations is based on the ability to process new, abstract and relatively unpredictable associations. Thus novel metaphor comprehension involves creation of new associations that might violate the rules underlying literal comprehension. These two aspects of language processing are elaborated and discussed in light of previous research on hemispheric involvement during semantic processing in healthy individuals as well as research on language processing in AS.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) grant (number 724/09) to Miriam Faust.