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Toward a theory of semantic representation

  • Gabriella Vigliocco (a1), Lotte Meteyard (a1), Mark Andrews (a1) and Stavroula Kousta (a1)


We present an account of semantic representation that focuses on distinct types of information from which word meanings can be learned. In particular, we argue that there are at least two major types of information from which we learn word meanings. The first is what we call experiential information. This is data derived both from our sensory-motor interactions with the outside world, as well as from our experience of own inner states, particularly our emotions. The second type of information is language-based. In particular, it is derived from the general linguistic context in which words appear. The paper spells out this proposal, summarizes research supporting this view and presents new predictions emerging from this framework.


Corresponding author

Correspondence addresses: Gabriella Vigliocco, Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences Research Department, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London, WC1H OAP, UK. E-mail:


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Toward a theory of semantic representation

  • Gabriella Vigliocco (a1), Lotte Meteyard (a1), Mark Andrews (a1) and Stavroula Kousta (a1)


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