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October 2021

Is subjective word familiarity a meter of ambient language? A natural experimemt on effects of perceptual experience

Author(s): Bernstein, L. E., Tucker, P. E.

Journal/Book: Mem Cognition. 2000; 28: 1710 Fortview Rd, Austin, TX 78704, USA. Psychonomic Soc Inc. 789-797.

Abstract: The present study examined the sensitivity of a subjective familiarity measure to differences in word exposure within and between populations that differ dramatically in their perceptual experience. Descriptive measures of language ability and subjective familiarity ratings for 450 words were collected from a group of college-educated adults with normal hearing and a group of college-educated deaf adults. The results demonstrate the sensitivity of subjective familiarity ratings to both between- and within-group differences in word experience. Specifically, the deaf participants consistently rated words as less familiar than did hearing participants. Furthermore, item-level correlations within a participant group were higher than ones between groups. Within groups, mean familiarity ratings were correlated with descriptive measures of language ability. The results are discussed in relation to a simple sampling model of word experience and the language experience of the participant groups.

Note: Article Auer ET, House Ear Inst, Spoken Language Proc Lab, 2100 W 3rd St, Los Angeles,CA 90057 USA

Keyword(s): LEXICAL FAMILIARITY; FREQUENCY; SPOKEN; RECOGNITION; ACQUISITION; HEARING; AGE; CONCRETENESS; MODALITY; DECISION


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