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Title: The ontogenetic development of lexical reference
Author: Griffiths, Patrick David
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1977
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A theory is presented according to which language users hold to employ detailed videotape-like memory traces of prototype objects in association with their lexemes for the purpose of mediating the application of lexemes. The theory is advanced by pointing to flaws in rival conceptions, which are for this purpose amalgamated under the label "theory of criterial attributes". In an extensive discussion of psychological issues the theory of prototypes is shown to be plausible in terms of what is known of human mental structures and operations. A longitudinal study (up to the age of years) of concrete nominals in the vocabularies of three young children is also offered in support of this view. The following properties of the children's words and usage are noted: accuracy, diversity within denotation classes (inclining the dispensability of even functional and contextual factors which at other times appear to be crucial in the application of the same word), vacillation in the selection of a name for an object and caution in extending denotation classes. The children's lexical structures are also examined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available