A category-wide attribute is the primary feature of a superordinate level category, which serves as an abstract but defining feature of the basic level categories that are included in the superordinate level. Category-wide attributes are typically salient aspects of the experience of, or interaction with the stimuli that seres as basis of the basic level categories.
Some examples are:
- The category-wide attribute of FURNITURE is LARGE MOVABLE OBJECT THAT MAKES A ROOM SUITABLE FOR LIVING.
- The category-wide attribute of VEHICLE is USED IN ORDER TO TRANSPORT PEOPLE AND OBJECTS.
- The category-wide attribute of ANIMAl is ANIMATE LIFE FORM.
- The category-wide attribute of PLANT is INANIMATE LIFE FORM THAT GROWS OUT OF THE EARTH.
Category-wide attributes allow the conceptualizer to highlight the functionally most salient features of basic level categories.
- Ungerer, Friedrich & Hans-Jörg Schmid (1996). An Introduction to Cognitive Linguistics. London: Longman.