Created by Amanda Ray

The "prototype theory" was proposed by Eleanor Rosch. She suggested that when people categorize items they match them against "the prototype", or "ideal exemplar", which contains the most representative features inside the category. Objects that do not share all the characteristics of the prototype are still members of the category but not prototypical ones. She argued that prototypes represent a "basic level of categorization", e.g. "chair", as opposed to a "superordinate", e.g. "furniture" and a "subordinate" level, e.g. "kitchen chair". The prototype theory has been particularly fruitful in providing several researchers with a convenient explanation of some phenomena in studies of vocabulary acquisition and teaching, mental lexicon, as well as in studies of cognitive linguistics and linguistic data. It has also been suggested that categorization based on prototypes is the basis for human development, and that this learning relies on learning about the world via embodiment.

LINKS This link gives a general overview of what Prototype Theory consists of. This link uses the prototype theory to answers problems found with the Classical Theory. This link gives the general definition of Prototype Theory and also explains its parts in more detail. This link contains an article written on how to use the Prototype Theory when creating a web page. This link has an overview of Linguistics which is influenced by the Prototype Theory. This link explains Prototype Theory and gives some examples from research done on the theory. This link takes you to the home page of Dr. Eleanor Rosch who introduced the Prototype Theory. This link has more information about Dr. Eleanor Rosch and her background. This Link gives you an overview of Cognitive semantics which Prototype Theory plays a major role. This Link takes you to an article on Prototype Theory and the attractiveness of faces.