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Functional features in language and space: insights from perception, categorization, and development

By Laura Carlson and Emile van der Zee


This book examines the role of functional features in language and space. Let us start by exploring what functional features might play a role in spatial language. Consider the above quote above hammers. A paraphrase of that quote could be having a hammer encourages one to view others in light of their potential interactions with the hammer. For example, if a spider were crawling across the floor, you might think of a squashing function that involves the head of the hammer. In contrast, if a lid were stuck on a jar, you might think of a prying function that involves the claw of the hammer. In this way, various perceptual features or affordances of the object (hammer) in conjunction with the goal of the user (kill the spider, open the lid) dictate the type of interaction between the objects. The concept of functional features thereby contains the following elements: perceptual properties or affordances of the objects (features); the functions or uses that such features enable (functions); and the means by which such features are used in the context of satisfying a goal (features that are functional)

Topics: C800 Psychology, C850 Cognitive Psychology, C820 Developmental Psychology
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:738
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