Cognitive linguistics

§1 Prototypes and categories

This chapter looks at early psychological studies of cognitive categories, which led to the protoype model of categorization.

1.1 Colors, squares, birds, and cups: early empirical research into lexical categories

Focal colors

Prototypical shapes





1.2 The internal structure of categories: prototypes, attributes, family resemblence, and gestalt

Attributes, good birds and bad birds


Essential feature

Attributes, good birds and bad birds: an example >ROBIN<

The principle of familiy resemblences

Taken from Wittgenstein's passage on how to define 'game'

Attribute listing and attribute-based typicality ratings

Attributes and dimensions

Internal category structure and gestalt

We probably do not recognize things by evaluating specific sttributes

The cognitive status of categories, prototypes, attributes, and gestalt


1.3 Context-dependence and cultural models

The context-dependence of prototypes and of the whole internal category structure

Context, situation and cognitive models

Cultural models

Naive models and expert models


2. Discuss which attributes of 'car' are most likely to change their weight when the context changes, say from ordinary traffic to a race.

5. Compare cultural models of bachelor/spinster, gentleman/lady, master/mistress, and boy/girl.


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Inception: 10/13/99. Last revision: 10/18/99.