The abstraction of form in semantic categories.
Undergraduates were asked to generate a name for a hypothetical new exemplar of a category. They produced names that had the same numbers of syllables, the same endings, and the same types of word stems as existing exemplars of that category. In addition, novel exemplars, each consisting of a nonsense syllable root and a prototypical ending, were accurately assigned to categories. The data demonstrate the abstraction and use of surface properties of words.
Rubin, DC; Stoltzfus, ER; Wall, KL