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Original scientific paper

Vedran Galetić, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., The interdisciplinary postgraduate doctoral study programme "Language and Cognitive Neuroscience", University of Zagreb, Croatia
Ericsson Nikola Tesla, d.d., Zagreb, Croatia

 

 

Abstract

This work is focused on formal approaches in cognitive semantics, namely, the formalisation of the conceptual level of representations as the intermediate level between the symbolic and the connectivist one. An account of a selection of existing models is given. It is argued that one of the most important shortcomings that keeps the existing models from being truly cognitively plausible is the fact that they do not properly address the correlations between objects' perceptible features, which are argued to be causally linked to the underlying, essential properties. The argumentation is supported by empirical evidence, implying the existence and importance of the causal effects in categorisation and inductive learning. It is therefore claimed that any cognitively plausible model of semantic representations needs to be able to adequately describe these cognitive phenomena, which has not been achieved so far. The paper qualitatively sketches out a cognitively motivated semantic representation model based on Gärdenfors' conceptual space theory, endowed with the capability of describing the correlation of surface properties, thus supporting the notion of psychological essentialism.

 

Keywords

cognitive semantics, prototype theory, categorisation, psychological essentialism, property correlations

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