Linguistic labels: Conceptual markers or object features?

Date of Original Version




Abstract or Description

Linguistic labels affect inductive generalization; however, the mechanism underlying these effects remains unclear. According to one similarity-based model, SINC (similarity, induction, naming, and categorization), early in development labels are features of objects contributing to the overall similarity of compared entities, with early induction being similarity based. If this is the case, then not only identical but also phonologically similar labels may contribute to the overall similarity and thus to induction. These predictions were tested in a series of experiments with 5-year-olds and adults. In Experiments 1–5 participants performed a label extension task, whereas in Experiment 6 they performed a feature induction task. Results indicate that phonological similarity contributes to early induction and support the notion that for young children labels are features of objects.


Published In

Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 111, 1, 65-86.