This article examines changes in the internal structure of semantic categories as a result of cultural transition. Assuming that the typicality of the members of a semantic category determines the category's internal structure, this work investigates typicality shifts in semantic categories of Jewish Argentine immigrants in Israel. To assess a possible shift toward the host (destination) culture, typicality ratings of the items were measured in the origin, immigrant, and destination populations. A distinction was made between typicality strengthening that occurs when an item strengthens its typicality rating, and typicality weakening that occurs when an item's typicality is weakened. The results indicate a typicality shift among immigrant subjects, reflecting the change and adaptation processes that result from the cultural transition. Typicality strengthening was found to be more common than typicality weakening reflecting the “integration—assimilation” nature of the immigrant subjects. A mathematical model that maps typicality shift patterns onto acculturation patterns is presented. The model discerns the kinds of acculturation an immigrant experiences.
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - 1 Mar 1995|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language