What makes words special? Words as unmotivated cues

@article{Edmiston2015WhatMW,
  title={What makes words special? Words as unmotivated cues},
  author={Pierce Edmiston and Gary Lupyan},
  journal={Cognition},
  year={2015},
  volume={143},
  pages={93-100}
}
Verbal labels, such as the words "dog" and "guitar," activate conceptual knowledge more effectively than corresponding environmental sounds, such as a dog bark or a guitar strum, even though both are unambiguous cues to the categories of dogs and guitars (Lupyan & Thompson-Schill, 2012). We hypothesize that this advantage of labels emerges because word-forms, unlike other cues, do not vary in a motivated way with their referent. The sound of a guitar cannot help but inform a listener to the… CONTINUE READING
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