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Explaining universal color categories through a constrained acquisition process

Tony Belpaeme (UGent) and J Bleys
(2005) ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR. 13(4). p.293-310
Author
Organization
Abstract
Color categories enjoy a special status among human perceptual categories as they exh bit a remarkable cross-cultural similarity. Many scholars have explained this universal character as being the result of an innate representation or an innate developmental program which all humans share. We will critically assess the available evidence, which is at best controversial, and we will suggest an alternative account for the universality of color categories based on linguistic transmission constrained by universal biases. We introduce a computational model to test our hypothesis and present results. These show that indeed the cultural acquisition of color categories together with mild constraints on the perception and categorical representation result in categories that have a distribution similar to human color categories.
Keywords
TASK, INFANTS, CHILDREN, DISTANCE, EVOLUTION, HYPOTHESIS, WORDS, TERMS, color, color categories, linguistic relativism, language game, universalism

Citation

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MLA
Belpaeme, Tony, and J Bleys. “Explaining Universal Color Categories Through a Constrained Acquisition Process.” ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR 13.4 (2005): 293–310. Print.
APA
Belpaeme, T., & Bleys, J. (2005). Explaining universal color categories through a constrained acquisition process. ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR, 13(4), 293–310. Presented at the Symposium on Language Evolution and Acquisition held at the Meeting of the Human-Behavior-and-Evolution-Society.
Chicago author-date
Belpaeme, Tony, and J Bleys. 2005. “Explaining Universal Color Categories Through a Constrained Acquisition Process.” Adaptive Behavior 13 (4): 293–310.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Belpaeme, Tony, and J Bleys. 2005. “Explaining Universal Color Categories Through a Constrained Acquisition Process.” Adaptive Behavior 13 (4): 293–310.
Vancouver
1.
Belpaeme T, Bleys J. Explaining universal color categories through a constrained acquisition process. ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR. LONDON: SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD; 2005;13(4):293–310.
IEEE
[1]
T. Belpaeme and J. Bleys, “Explaining universal color categories through a constrained acquisition process,” ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 293–310, 2005.
@article{8197844,
  abstract     = {{Color categories enjoy a special status among human perceptual categories as they exh bit a remarkable cross-cultural similarity. Many scholars have explained this universal character as being the result of an innate representation or an innate developmental program which all humans share. We will critically assess the available evidence, which is at best controversial, and we will suggest an alternative account for the universality of color categories based on linguistic transmission constrained by universal biases. We introduce a computational model to test our hypothesis and present results. These show that indeed the cultural acquisition of color categories together with mild constraints on the perception and categorical representation result in categories that have a distribution similar to human color categories.}},
  author       = {{Belpaeme, Tony and Bleys, J}},
  issn         = {{1059-7123}},
  journal      = {{ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR}},
  keywords     = {{TASK,INFANTS,CHILDREN,DISTANCE,EVOLUTION,HYPOTHESIS,WORDS,TERMS,color,color categories,linguistic relativism,language game,universalism}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{Berlin, GERMANY}},
  number       = {{4}},
  pages        = {{293--310}},
  publisher    = {{SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD}},
  title        = {{Explaining universal color categories through a constrained acquisition process}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/105971230501300404}},
  volume       = {{13}},
  year         = {{2005}},
}

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