13.23 Common Functions for Equivalence Relations

Or consider the case when we say someone is a particular type of animal or is like a particular type of animal. When describing someone, we often provide contextual cues to respond to the person as though they are like a particular type of animal in some respect. For many animals, there are certain stimulus functions or characteristics that are typically supposed to be transferred to the person if we simply say the person is that type of animal. If no additional contextual cues are offered, the stimulus functions of the person are typically transformed to resemble these particular characteristics or stimulus functions of the animal.

Relation/Contextual CuesFunctions/Characteristics
Eric is a dog.ugly or promiscuous
Eric is a fox.good looking
Eric is a snake.dishonest, sneaky
Eric is a mouse.meek, mild, small
Eric is a tiger.aggressive, frisky
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“he’s got that dog in him!”

I wonder if certain languages need more contextual cues than other to get their point across. I think that culturally we speak in a lot of similes or metaphors that may make it more difficult to grasps certain concepts.

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