In this paper, the author presents dictionary definitions of the notion 'family' and then he analyses the results of a questionnaire survey consisting of 193 positions. The questionnaire contained twelve questions, four of which concerned the age, gender, educational level, and type of domicile of the subjects. The rest of the questions were as follows: 1. What does the word 'family' mean to you? 2. The major characteristics of a family (list as many as you can). 3. What objects do you associate with the family? 4. What is a typical Hungarian family like? 5. What is the ideal family like? 6. What is the family good for? 7. What persons does a family consist of? 8. What songs, proverbs, etc. do you know that refer to the family? It is worth pointing out that the subjects primarily took family members to include father, mother, and child(ren), but they often also mentioned grandparents or all one's relatives, including godparents. Some subjects even listed dogs, cats, and other pets, too. Of the functions of the family, the following were mentioned: (a) nurturing function, (b) nursing function, (c) socio-cultural function, (d) economic function, and (e) biological function. The typical Hungarian family was given an unfavourable description by most subjects. It is worth noting furthermore that when subjects intended to give a definition of 'family', they covered the usual lexicographic or encyclopaedic features but they additionally pointed out several novel features that are to be taken as 'necessary' (e.g., 'family' - 'home' ('house')) as they constitute a unified cognitive domain with the other conventional features. Such interpretation of the concept at hand differs from its dictionary definitions that are normally restricted to 'necessary and sufficient' features.
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