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Gulf Arabic nouns and verbs: A standardized set of 319 object pictures and 141 action pictures, with predictors of naming latencies

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David Howard



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© 2018 Psychonomic Society, Inc. Standardized pictorial stimuli and predictors of successful picture naming are not readily available for Gulf Arabic. On the basis of data obtained from Qatari Arabic, a variety of Gulf Arabic, the present study provides norms for a set of 319 object pictures and a set of 141 action pictures. Norms were collected from healthy speakers, using a picture-naming paradigm and rating tasks. Norms for naming latencies, name agreement, visual complexity, image agreement, imageability, age of acquisition, and familiarity were established. Furthermore, the database includes other intrinsic factors, such as syllable length and phoneme length. It also includes orthographic frequency values (extracted from Aralex; Boudelaa & Marslen-Wilson, 2010). These factors were then examined for their impact on picture-naming latencies in object- and action-naming tasks. The analysis showed that the primary determinants of naming latencies in both nouns and verbs are (in descending order) image agreement, name agreement, familiarity, age of acquisition, and imageability. These results indicate no evidence that noun- and verb-naming processes in Gulf Arabic are influenced in different ways by these variables. This is the first database for Gulf Arabic, and therefore the norms collected from the present study will be of paramount importance for researchers and clinicians working with speakers of this variety of Arabic. Due to the similarity of the Arabic varieties spoken in the Gulf, these different varieties are grouped together under the label “Gulf Arabic” in the literature. The normative databases and the standardized pictures from this study can be downloaded from

Publication metadata

Author(s): Khwaileh T, Mustafawi E, Herbert R, Howard D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Behavior Research Methods

Year: 2018

Volume: 50

Issue: 6

Pages: 2408-2425

Print publication date: 01/12/2018

Online publication date: 15/02/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

Date deposited: 02/05/2018

ISSN (print): 1554-351X

ISSN (electronic): 1554-3528

Publisher: Springer New York LLC


DOI: 10.3758/s13428-018-1019-6


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