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

Informational density is a principle of cognitive economy, posed by Dirk Geeraerts as a basic aspect of prototype categorization. The principle holds that it is easiest to store as much information as possible in the same category, and easiest to retrieve information from the same category as well, in stead of having to look for it in a lot of different categories. This principle should account for the high ammount of polysemy in human languages.


  • Geeraerts, Dirk (1997). Diachronic Prototype Semantics: a Contribution to Historical Lexicology. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

See alsoEdit

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