[b-greek] Prototype theory (was: Decker on Olsen)

From: Kimmo Huovila (kimmo.huovila@helsinki.fi)
Date: Mon Mar 05 2001 - 13:26:58 EST

"Jon D. Boyd" wrote:
> My question:
> Could someone briefly describe this "prototype approach"?

For a brief description, check Peter Kirk's message on b-hebrew Dec 13,
1999 titled Prototype Theory and Hebrew Tense/Aspect.

The basic idea is that linguistic categorization does not follow
necessary and sufficient conditions but a comparison to a prototype (a
typical exemplar of the category). A category may consist of several
prototypes (if the category is polysemous). These prototypes generally
are related. What they have in common is called a schema (it can be
viewed as another prototype of a different level of abstraction).
Category membership is not clear-cut, but there are clear examples of
inclusion and exclusion and some gray area in between.

Kimmo Huovila

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