What's in a Name? Uncovering the Connotative Meanings of Animal Names

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Osgood's Semantic Differential technique was used with a sample of 12 animal names to see if they elicited responses that were distinctively characteristic, and therefore useful in uncovering connotative meaning. The 100 survey participants responded with unanimity to some species, whereas their responses to others were highly variable. Results disclosed a taxonomy of grouping animal names that differed from the normal zoological taxonomy. This suggests that the technique may be useful for discovering the connotations that animals have, and what various animal species may mean to people.

Document Type: Short Communication

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/089279300786999888

Publication date: June 1, 2000

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