The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The Origin of Words: A Psychophysical Hypothesis

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

It is hypothesized that words originated as the names of perceptual categories and that two forms of representation underlying perceptual categorization -- iconic and categorical representations -- served to ground a third, symbolic, form of representation. The third form of representation made it possible to name and describe our environment, chiefly in terms of categories, their memberships, and their invariant features. Symbolic representations can be shared because they are intertranslatable. Both categorization and translation are approximate rather than exact, but the approximation can be made as close as we wish. This is the central property of that universal mechanism for sharing descriptions that we call natural language.

HTML harnad96.word.origin.html - Other
Download (47kB)

Citation

Harnad, Stevan, (1996) The Origin of Words: A Psychophysical Hypothesis Velichkovsky, B. and Rumbaugh, D. (eds.) In Communicating Meaning: Evolution and Development of Language. Erlbaum., pp. 27-44.

More information

Published date: 1996
Additional Information: Address: New Jersey
Venue - Dates: Communicating Meaning: Evolution and Development of Language, 1996-01-01
Organisations: Web & Internet Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 252901
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/252901
PURE UUID: 2fa7115e-c843-4449-bcfa-33ad6ad9e7c8

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Mar 2000
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 10:00

Export record

Contributors

Author: Stevan Harnad
Editor: B. Velichkovsky
Editor: D. Rumbaugh

University divisions


Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×