Semantic structures

  • Jürgen Heller


Semantics may be defined as the study of meaning. As a part of linguistics, semantics investigates the meaning of lexical items, e. g. words (Lyons, 1968). This paper, however, considers the meaning of lexical items from a psychological point of view. The subject of psycholinguistic research is the behavior of language speakers rather than the language itself. The psycholinguists try to uncover what people know about the meaning of lexical items, or to put it in other words, the psycholinguists investigate the verbal concepts people have in mind. From this viewpoint, a semantic structure represents the knowledge on the meaning of lexical items.


Partial Order Binary Relation Noun Phrase Semantic Relation Lexical Item 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beals, R., Krantz, D. H., and Tversky, A. (1968). Foundations of multidimensional scaling. Psychological Review, 75, 127–142.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Birkhoff, G. (1967). Lattice theory ( 3rd ed. ). Providence: American Mathematical Society.Google Scholar
  3. Colonius, H., and Schulze, H.-H. (1981). Tree structures for proximity data. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 34, 167–180.Google Scholar
  4. Davey, B. A., and Priestley, H. A. (1990). Introduction to lattices and order. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Fillenbaum, S., and Rapoport, A. (1971). Structures in the subjective lexicon. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  6. Ganter, B., and Wille, R. (1989). Conceptual scaling. In F.S. Roberts (Ed.), Applications of combinatorics and graph theory to the biological and social sciences (pp. 139–167). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  7. Heller, T. (1988). Experimentelle Untersuchung der Bildung von Oberbegriffen [Experimental investigation of the formation of superordinated concepts]. Zeitschrift für Experimentelle und Angewandte Psychologie, 35, 74–87.Google Scholar
  8. Heller, J. (1991). Experimentelle und theoretische Untersuchung zur Begriffsbildung [Experimental and theoretical investigation of concept formation]. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Universität Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.Google Scholar
  9. Johnson, S. C. (1967). Hierarchical clustering schemes. Psychometrika, 32, 241–254.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kintsch, W. (1972). Notes on the structure of semantic memory. In E. Tulving and W. Donaldson (Eds.), Organization of memory (pp. 249–308 ). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  11. Koppen, M., and Doignon, J.-P. (1990). Building a knowledge space by querying an expert. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 34, 311–331.Google Scholar
  12. Krantz, D. H., Luce, R. D. Suppes, P. and Tversky, A. (1971). Foundations of measurement (Vol. I). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  13. Lyons, J. (1968). Introduction to theoretical linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Miller, G.A. (1969). A psychological method to investigate verbal concepts. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 6, 169–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Osgood, C.E., Sud, G.J., and Tannenbaum, P.H. (1957). The measurement of meaning. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  16. Rosch, E. (1975). Cognitive reference points. Cognitive Psychology, ’T, 532–547.Google Scholar
  17. Rosch, E. (1978). Principles of categorization. In E. Rosch and B. B. Lloyd (Eds.), Cognition and categorization (pp. 27–48 ). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  18. Schulze, H.-H., and Colonius, H. (1979). Eine neue Methode zur Erforschung des subjektiven Lexikons [A new method to investigate the subjective lexicon]. In L. H. Eckensberger (Ed.), Bericht über den 31. Kongreß der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie in Mannheim 1978 (Vol. 1, pp. 85–88 ). Göttingen: Hogrefe.Google Scholar
  19. Suppes, P., Krantz, D.H., Luce, R. D., and Tversky, A. (1989). Foundations of measurement (Vol. II). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  20. Tversky, A. (1977). Features of similarity. Psychological Review, 89, 327–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Wechsler, D. (1955). Manual for the Wechsler Intelligence Scale. New York: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  22. Wille, R. (1987). Bedeutungen von Begriffsverbänden [Meanings of concept lattices]. In B. Ganter, R. Wille, and K. E. Wolff (Eds.), Beiträge zur Begriffsanalye (pp. 161–211 ). Mannheim: Bibliographisches Institut.Google Scholar
  23. Wille, R. (1982). Restructuring lattice theory: An approach based on hierarchies of concepts. In I. Rival (Ed.), Ordered sets (pp. 445–470 ). Dordrecht: Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen Heller
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für PsychologieUniversität RegensburgRegensburgGermany

Personalised recommendations