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10.2: Intensions in the Mind

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    This unit considers two possible ways that intensions might be organized in our minds. It’s possible that some intensions are organized around sets of binary features (similar to phonetic features!) that divide up the world into clear categories. But binary features don’t leave room for exceptions. It’s also possible that our mind organizes word meanings around fuzzy categories, which have both prototypical members and peripheral members.
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    Check Yourself

    1. Thinking about the category animals for most speakers of Canadian English, giraffe is probably:

    • More typical than cat.
    • Less typical than dog.
    • Less typical than wildebeest.

    2. Thinking about the category pets for most speakers of Canadian English, tarantula is probably:

    • Typical.
    • More typical than goldfish.
    • Peripheral.

    3. Choose the set of features that best defines chair.

    • [+furniture, +legs, +back, +seat, -blankets].
    • [+furniture, +legs, +back, -seat, +blankets].
    • [+furniture, -legs, -back, +seat, +blankets].
    • [+furniture, -legs, -back, +seat, -blankets].

    This page titled 10.2: Intensions in the Mind is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Catherine Anderson (eCampusOntario) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.