Language and Cognition

  • Mário A. Perini


Schemata are abstract templates derived from particular experiences and allow us to recognize and categorize these experiences. They include, among other components, semes, which are defining features (a DOG is an animal), and variables such as “color,” “breed” for dogs, or “eater,” “eaten thing” for EAT. One of the functions of sentences is to bind the variables of a schema with other schemata—for instance, the sentence the dog ate the cheese evokes the schema EAT, with its variables bound by DOG (“eater”) and CHEESE (“eaten thing”). The result, on the cognitive level, is a cognitive representation, which represents our final understanding of the sentence. The result is subject to cognitive well-formedness conditions, which exclude cases like ∗the cheese ate the dog, a linguistically well-formed sentence, which is excluded for cognitive reasons.


Schema Seme Closure Cognitive representation Cognitive well-formedness Variable 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Mário A. Perini
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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