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On the Evidence for Prelinguistic Concepts

Gauker, Christopher (2005) On the Evidence for Prelinguistic Concepts. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 20 (3). pp. 287-297. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

Language acquisition is often said to be a process of mapping words into pre-existing concepts. If that is right, then we ought to be able to obtain experimental evidence for the existence of concepts in prelinguistic children. One line of research that attempts to provide such evidence is the work of Paul Quinn, who claims that looking-time results show that four-month old infants form “category representations”. This paper argues that Quinn’s results have an alternative explanation. A distinction is drawn between conceptual thought and the perception of comparative similarity relations, and it is argued that Quinn’s results can be explained in terms of the latter rather than the former.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Gauker, Christopherchristopher.gauker@uc.edu
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: concept acquisition, language learning, similarity
Depositing User: Users 15304 not found.
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 17:31
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2014 17:31
Item ID: 10471
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL: http://www.ehu.es/ojs/index.php/THEORIA/article/vi...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.563
Date: September 2005
Page Range: pp. 287-297
Volume: 20
Number: 3
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10471

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