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Intonation and Prosodic Structure

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Academic Paper


Title: Feature types and object categories: Is sensorimotoric knowledge different for living and nonliving things?
Author: Carrie A. Ankerstein
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Saarland University
Author: Rosemary A. Varley
Institution: University of Sheffield
Author: Patricia E. Cowell
Institution: University of Sheffield
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics; Semantics
Abstract: Some models of semantic memory claim that items from living and nonliving domains have different feature-type profiles. Data from feature generation and perceptual modality rating tasks were compared to evaluate this claim. Results from two living (animals, fruits/vegetables) and two nonliving (tools, vehicles) categories showed that sensorimotoric features were important in object knowledge across both domains. In addition, significant cross-domain similarities and within-domain differences indicated that feature profiles were not determined simply as a function of the living and nonliving domain distinction. The current data support a model of semantic memory rooted in perceptual and motor processes with reduced salience for the “living/nonliving” construct.

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This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 33, Issue 3.

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