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Physical metaphors for the mental lexicon

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A variety of metaphors inspired by contemporary developments and issues in physics are identified as potentially helpful to theory and experiments directed at the mental lexicon. The developments are very much in respect to systems regarded as complex from the perspective of established physical explanation. The issues are primarily those associated with the context dependencies of properties and functions broadly evident in natural systems at both macroscopic and microscopic scales. Ideally, the metaphors may bring new questions, methods, principles, and formalisms to bear on the investigation of the mental lexicon. Minimally, they should enhance appreciation for the scientific challenges posed by the mental lexicon’s diverse structures and functions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Connecticut and Haskins Laboratories

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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