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Imageability, familiarity, and age of acquisition ratings for Arabic abstract nouns, abstract verbs and adjectives

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David Howard


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© John Benjamins Publishing Company To date, normative psycholinguistics research has mainly focused on establishing norms for producing databases for concrete words using standardized pictures, while abstract words have been subject to much less attention. Understandably, the fact that the first can be represented visually helps in formulating picture-naming tasks to elicit verbal identification for pictures representing nouns and verbs, which greatly contributes to language experiments in both theoretical and clinical studies. The present study argues for the equal importance of studies that aim to develop databases for abstract words, as language use is not restricted to picturable/concrete concepts. We provide norms for a set of 165 abstract nouns, 56 abstract verbs and 109 abstract adjectives, collected from healthy speakers of Arabic. Using rating tasks, norms for imageability, age of acquisition, and familiarity are established. Linguistic factors such as syllable length and phoneme length are also accounted for. We also include orthographic frequency values (extracted from AraLex; Boudelaa and Marslen-Wilson, 2010). The norms for the processing of abstract words collected in the current study present a valuable resource for researchers and clinicians working with speakers of Arabic. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first dataset of abstract words for the Arabic language.

Publication metadata

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

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Mental Lexicon

Year: 2018

Volume: 13

Issue: 3

Pages: 354-387

Print publication date: 01/12/2018

Online publication date: 14/05/2019

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

ISSN (print): 1871-1340

ISSN (electronic): 1871-1375

Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company


DOI: 10.1075/ml.18016.khw


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