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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Mystery of Early Taxonomic Development

  • Author(s): Yim, Hyungwook;
  • Savic, Olivera;
  • Barkhimer, Alexandria;
  • Sloutsky, Vladimir;
  • Dennis, Simon
  • et al.

Research has long investigated how knowledge about the world is connected by meaningful, semantic links. Much of this research has focused on a specific type of semantic link known as a taxonomic link, which connects concepts belonging to the same semantic category. However, many inconsistencies have emerged regarding how and when this specific type of semantic link is formed. The goal of the present study was to investigate this contradicting research and provide an explanation for the inconsistent results. To do this, we examined the linguistic environment of stimuli sets from three studies that either supported or did not support protracted taxonomic development. Results provided evidence that the idea that semantic links between members of taxonomic categories in early development may be based on simple co-occurrences in language.

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