The occurrence of idioms in the emotion lexicon of children
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This paper reports on two studies on the development of the emotion lexicon of German-speaking children in the age range from five to ten. Study 1 is based on a production task using picture stories to elicit the participants’ emotion lexicon. Study 2 involves a perception task in which participants are asked to sort several idiomatic and non-idiomatic lexical expressions for anger, fear, and joy with respect to similarity of meaning and intensity. While Study 1 verifies that idioms only occur from the fourth-grade on, Study 2 provides evidence for an earlier occurrence of idioms. In addition, the analysis points to major changes caused by the integration of idioms into the emotion lexicon of children.