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MEANING AND CHANGE OF MEANING.

G. STERN ADVANCED THE NOTION THAT HISTORICAL CHANGES OF MEANING WITHIN LANGUAGES STEM PRINCIPALLY FROM PSYCHOLOGICAL CAUSES. THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS NOTION ARE EXPLORED IN A SERIES OF EXPERIMENTS, CARRIED OUT UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT 3 ASPECTS OF MEANING MAY CHANGE MORE OR LESS INDEPENDENTLY: (1) THE PHONEMIC OR GRAPHEMIC REPRESENTATION WITHIN A LANGUAGE, (2) THE EXTERNAL REFERENTS OF A LINGUISTIC ELEMENT, AND (3) THE COGNITIVE REPRESENTATION OF THE LINGUISTIC ELEMENT IN THE MINDS OF PEOPLE WHO USE THE CONCEPT. CHANGES IN THE 3RD ASPECT MAY DEPEND UPON CHANGES IN THE COGNITIVE STRUCTURE OF THE CONCEPT, OR THEY MAY SIMPLY REFLECT CHANGES IN THE CONTENT. EXPERIMENTS DEMONSTRATING CHANGE OF MEANING ARE PRESENTED. THESE ARE SERIAL REPRODUCTION CONCEPT ATTAINMENT EXPERIMENTS, IN WHICH VERBALLY ENCODED CONCEPTS ARE PASSED FROM S TO S. THE RESULTS OF SEVERAL EXPERIMENTS SHOW THAT CHANGES IN EXTERNAL REFERENTS AND IN THE COGNITIVE CHARACTER OF CONCEPTS ARE ORDERLY AND INDEPENDENT. CHANGES IN MEANING ARE SENSITIVE TO THE INTRODUCTION OF SUCH EXPERIMENTAL VARIABLES AS CORRELATIONS AMONG INSTANCES OF VARIOUS CONCEPTS AND DIFFERENCES IN METHODS OF ASSESSING THE CHARACTER OF CONCEPTS. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Psychologist PsycARTICLES®

MEANING AND CHANGE OF MEANING.

Abstract

G. STERN ADVANCED THE NOTION THAT HISTORICAL CHANGES OF MEANING WITHIN LANGUAGES STEM PRINCIPALLY FROM PSYCHOLOGICAL CAUSES. THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS NOTION ARE EXPLORED IN A SERIES OF EXPERIMENTS, CARRIED OUT UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT 3 ASPECTS OF MEANING MAY CHANGE MORE OR LESS INDEPENDENTLY: (1) THE PHONEMIC OR GRAPHEMIC REPRESENTATION WITHIN A LANGUAGE, (2) THE EXTERNAL REFERENTS OF A LINGUISTIC ELEMENT, AND (3) THE COGNITIVE REPRESENTATION OF THE LINGUISTIC ELEMENT IN THE MINDS OF PEOPLE WHO USE THE CONCEPT. CHANGES IN THE 3RD ASPECT MAY DEPEND UPON CHANGES IN THE COGNITIVE STRUCTURE OF THE CONCEPT, OR THEY MAY SIMPLY REFLECT CHANGES IN THE CONTENT. EXPERIMENTS DEMONSTRATING CHANGE OF MEANING ARE PRESENTED. THESE ARE SERIAL REPRODUCTION CONCEPT ATTAINMENT EXPERIMENTS, IN WHICH VERBALLY ENCODED CONCEPTS ARE PASSED FROM S TO S. THE RESULTS OF SEVERAL EXPERIMENTS SHOW THAT CHANGES IN EXTERNAL REFERENTS AND IN THE COGNITIVE CHARACTER OF CONCEPTS ARE ORDERLY AND INDEPENDENT. CHANGES IN MEANING ARE SENSITIVE TO THE INTRODUCTION OF SUCH EXPERIMENTAL VARIABLES AS CORRELATIONS AMONG INSTANCES OF VARIOUS CONCEPTS AND DIFFERENCES IN METHODS OF ASSESSING THE CHARACTER OF CONCEPTS.
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