The influence of known-word frequency on the acquisition of new neighbours in adults: Evidence for exemplar representations in word learning

Michael S. Vitevitch, Holly L. Storkel, Ana Clara Francisco, Katherine J. Evans, Rutherford Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous studies showed that a new word that is similar to many known words will be learned better than a new word that is similar to few known words. In the present study we created novel words that were phonological neighbours to lexical hermits – or known words that do not have any phonological neighbours – that varied in frequency of occurrence. After several exposures, participants learned a higher proportion of novel words that were neighbours of high-frequency known words than nonwords that were neighbours of low-frequency known words. The present results have implications for abstractionist versus exemplar models of the mental lexicon and language processing, as well as for accounts of word frequency in models of language processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1316
Number of pages6
JournalLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
Volume29
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Hermits
  • Neighbourhood density
  • Word frequency
  • Word learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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