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Compositionality and Prototype Concepts

Hampton, J. A. ORCID: 0000-0002-0363-8232 (2017). Compositionality and Prototype Concepts. In: Hampton, J. A. ORCID: 0000-0002-0363-8232 & Winter, Y. (Eds.), Compositionality and Concepts in Linguistics and Psychology. (pp. 95-121). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.


In this chapter I aim to explain how psychology understands concepts, and why there is a need for semantic theory to take on the challenge of psychological data. All of the contributors to this volume are (presumably) in the business of trying to understand and explain how language has meaning, and the primary source of evidence for this has to be our intuitions of what things mean. Furthermore, if my semantic intuitions (as a theorist) are out of kilter with those of the common language user, then it is my theory which should be called into question and not the lay intuition. This chapter describes a range of results from my research program over the last 30 years, some old and some new, with the aim of giving a general account of using Prototype Theory as a way to explain semantic intuitions.

Publication Type: Book Section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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