The Folk Classification of Ceramics - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124040809, 9780323158824

The Folk Classification of Ceramics

1st Edition

A Study of Cognitive Prototypes

Authors: Willett Kempton
eBook ISBN: 9780323158824
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th January 1981
Page Count: 256
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The Folk Classification of Ceramics: A Study of Cognitive Prototypes provides a general understanding of folk classification that compares cognitive structures across cultures through anthropological field studies. The topic of this book, the structure and use of folk categories, is relevant to all cognitive sciences and is distinctly anthropological in examining variation among subcultural groups and change through time. The study of variation and change illuminates aspects of category structure that would not be envisioned from experiment or introspection. This text concentrates on the study of folk classification of artifacts on ceramic vessels, focusing on gross social groupings such as “potters” or “traditional villages”. Some topics discussed include the exploring interview techniques; structure of vessel categories; subcultural variation; and semantic change. This publication is a good reference to students studying folk classification and other disciplines such as cognitive psychology, linguistic semantics, and artificial intelligence.

Key Features

  • Focuses on the process of risk assessment, management and communication, the key to the study of air pollution
  • Provides the latest information on the technological breakthroughs in environmental engineering since last edition
  • Updated information on computational and diagnostic and operational tools that have emerged in recent years

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

Folk Classification

Structures of Meaning

Inadequacies of Traditional Approaches

Prototype and Graded Extension

2 Exploring Interview Techniques

Chapter Summary

Hedges, Boots, and Shoes

Subcultural Variation in Mexican Ceramics

Folk Definitions and Dictionary Definitions

Elicitation Problems with Objects

The Drawing Sheets

Grades of Membership Elicited

Selection of Informants and Villages

3 Structure of Vessel Categories

Chapter Summary

Replication in Successive Interviews

Expected Subcultural Effects on Ceramic Classification



Traditional Villages

Older Informants

General Patterns

Weights and Measures

Measuring Category Differences

Measuring Subcultural Variation

5 Semantic Change

Chapter Summary

Change Beginning at Low Membership

Contrast Emerging

International Context of Semantic Change

Native Recognition of Variation and Change

6 Conclusions


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© Academic Press 1981
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Willett Kempton

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