Semantic representation

Gabriella Vigliocco and David P. Vinson

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780198568971
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:
 Semantic representation

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
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This article explores how word meaning is represented by speakers of a language, reviewing psychological perspectives on the representation of meaning. It starts by outlining four key issues in the investigation of word meaning, then introduces current theories of semantics. Meaning representation has long interested philosophers (since Aristotle) and linguists, in addition to psychologists, and a very extensive literature exists in these allied fields. When considering semantic representation, four fundamental questions to ask are: How are word meanings related to conceptual structures? How is the meaning of each word represented? How are the meanings of different words related to one another? Can the same principles of organisation hold in different content domains? The article also discusses holistic theories of semantic representation, along with featural theories.

Keywords: word meaning; semantics; semantic representation; holistic theories; featural theories; content domains

Article.  13952 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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