Knowing the Meaning of a Word by the Linguistic and Perceptual Company It Keeps

Topics in Cognitive Science 10 (3):573-589 (2018)
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Abstract

In an evolutionary perspective Louwerse elaborates the Symbol Interdependency Hypothesis (Louwerse, 2011), arguing that language has evolved such that it maps onto the perceptual system, allowing to bootstrap meaning also when grounding is limited. The author concludes that in principle the processing of abstract and concrete words is the same and that in both cases language users tend to rely anyway on indexical relationships that words entertain with other words.

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