In this chapter, we examined the different ways that the meanings of words might be represented in the mind. Evidence from psycholinguistics tells us that prototypes play a role in the organization of our intensions, since words that refer to prototypical things are accessed more quickly than words that refer to peripheral things. Through our experience of encountering various extensions in the world (that is, various exemplars that belong to categories), our minds build up intensions for word meanings. These intensions allow us to categorize new exemplars that we encounter.
Essentials of Linguistics by Catherine Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.