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Prototype in Sweden and Great Britain - a study of ten categories
2000 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

What makes humans different from animals is that we have, as far as we know, the most highly developed way of communicating. When we speak or write we use words to form our thoughts. Words are grouped together in categories and a typical member of a category is called a prototype. When learning a new language one usually learns the prototypes first. Sometimes it can be difficult to draw lines between categories since the borders can be fuzzy. It is likely that different cultures have some differences in their choice of prototypes, and the colours they connect to each category. Prototype studies belong to cognitive linguistics and psychological studies. To gather the necessary information I distributed questionnaires to a number of informants, not selected at random. The results observed in my study indicate that there are some gender differences and also differences between Swedish and British people. For instance, only women mentioned skirt as a prototype of clothes. The reason for this can be that skirt is a woman’s piece of clothing. Further, the Swedish informants seem more comfortable with using very common members as prototypes. The British informants mentioned more examples, in many categories, than the Swedes. Both cultures agreed on the same colours in 50% of the categories.

Abstract [en]

What makes humans different from animals is that we have, as far as we know, the most highly developed way of communicating. When we speak or write we use words to form our thoughts. Words are grouped together in categories and a typical member of a category is called a prototype. When learning a new language one usually learns the prototypes first. Sometimes it can be difficult to draw lines between categories since the borders can be fuzzy. It is likely that different cultures have some differences in their choice of prototypes, and the colours they connect to each category. Prototype studies belong to cognitive linguistics and psychological studies. To gather the necessary information I distributed questionnaires to a number of informants, not selected at random. The results observed in my study indicate that there are some gender differences and also differences between Swedish and British people. For instance, only women mentioned skirt as a prototype of clothes. The reason for this can be that skirt is a woman’s piece of clothing. Further, the Swedish informants seem more comfortable with using very common members as prototypes. The British informants mentioned more examples, in many categories, than the Swedes. Both cultures agreed on the same colours in 50% of the categories.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. , 29 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53966Local ID: ENG D-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53966DiVA: diva2:1102526
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf