This page is part of the ongoing
Project Categorization
Aristotelian category
Category boundaries
Levels of categorization
Basic level
Category-wide attribute
Collective function
Subordinate level
Superordinate level
Parasitic categorization
Prototype category
Bad member
Degree of membership
Flexible adaptability
Goodness of exemplar
Good member
Informational density
Radial structure
Structural stability
Class inclusion
Degree of generality
Expert taxonomy
Folk taxonomy
Multiple parenting
Scientific taxonomy
Superordinate level categories have a collecting function. The collecting function of superordinate level categories is to collect as many generic level categories under the same superordinate category as possible based on a shared category-wide attribute.

The notion of collective function is a principle of cognitive economy in that it is assumed that it is easier to retrieve units that are stured in the same category than units stored in different categories (see also informational density).


  • Ungerer, Friedrich & Hans-Jörg Schmid (1996). An Introduction to Cognitive Linguistics. London: Longman.
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