The "standard picture of meaning" suggests that natural languages are composed of two different kinds of words: concrete words whose meaning rely on observable properties of external objects and abstract words which are essentially linguistic constructs. In this study, we challenge this picture and support a new view of the nature and composition of abstract concepts suggesting that they also rely to a greater or lesser degree on body-related information. Specifically, we support a version of this new view which we call "x-ceptive theory" (Dellantonio et al, 2014) maintaining that abstract concepts rely on internal information of a proprioceptive, interoceptive and affective kind. Secondly, we address a methodological issue concerning the so-called concreteness and imageability measures, two tools that are widely used in (mainly psycholinguistic) empirical research to assess the degree of concreteness of specific words. On the basis of this analysis we argue that - even though the classical concreteness and imageability measures were developed in relation to the standard picture of meaning|they can also be used in the new framework of x-ceptive theory. In particular, we suggest that the discrepancy between these two measures provides a clue as to whether a word relies on internal information. By contrast, we argue that a new measure for concreteness recently proposed in order to address some problems with the old measure is completely inappropriate for this aim.

On the nature and composition of abstract (theoretical) concepts: the x-ception theory and methods for its assessment / Pastore, Luigi; Dellantonio, Sara; Mulatti, Claudio; Job, Remo. - STAMPA. - 20:(2015), pp. 35-58. [10.1007/978-3-319-18479-1_3]

On the nature and composition of abstract (theoretical) concepts: the x-ception theory and methods for its assessment

Dellantonio, Sara;Mulatti, Claudio;Job, Remo
2015

Abstract

The "standard picture of meaning" suggests that natural languages are composed of two different kinds of words: concrete words whose meaning rely on observable properties of external objects and abstract words which are essentially linguistic constructs. In this study, we challenge this picture and support a new view of the nature and composition of abstract concepts suggesting that they also rely to a greater or lesser degree on body-related information. Specifically, we support a version of this new view which we call "x-ceptive theory" (Dellantonio et al, 2014) maintaining that abstract concepts rely on internal information of a proprioceptive, interoceptive and affective kind. Secondly, we address a methodological issue concerning the so-called concreteness and imageability measures, two tools that are widely used in (mainly psycholinguistic) empirical research to assess the degree of concreteness of specific words. On the basis of this analysis we argue that - even though the classical concreteness and imageability measures were developed in relation to the standard picture of meaning|they can also be used in the new framework of x-ceptive theory. In particular, we suggest that the discrepancy between these two measures provides a clue as to whether a word relies on internal information. By contrast, we argue that a new measure for concreteness recently proposed in order to address some problems with the old measure is completely inappropriate for this aim.
Philosophy and cognitive science II
Berlin
Springer
9783319184784
Pastore, Luigi; Dellantonio, Sara; Mulatti, Claudio; Job, Remo
On the nature and composition of abstract (theoretical) concepts: the x-ception theory and methods for its assessment / Pastore, Luigi; Dellantonio, Sara; Mulatti, Claudio; Job, Remo. - STAMPA. - 20:(2015), pp. 35-58. [10.1007/978-3-319-18479-1_3]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/107889
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