The word frequency effect and lexical access

  title={The word frequency effect and lexical access},
  author={Juan Segui and Jacques Mehler and Ulrich H. Frauenfelder and J. Morton},
Some recent experiments suggest that only open class words show a frequency effect. Closed class items are accessed independently of their frequency. We carried out five experiments to test the validity of this hypothesis for the French language. All our results suggest that the frequency effect applies equally well to the open and closed class items. 

Topics from this paper

The word frequency effect for open- and closed-class items
Abstract A previous attempt (Segui, Mehler, Frauenfelder,&Morton, 1982) to assess in French the putative computational asymmetry between open- and closed-class words failed to reveal a difference inExpand
Lexical Access of Function versus Content Words
It is confirmed that lexical access for function words is indeed faster than for content words as predicted by neurolinguistic theory and electrophysiological evidence, but that this difference can be attributed to word predictability and word familiarity. Expand
Effects of Frequency and Vocabulary Type on Phonological Speech Errors
Experiments that elicit phonological speech errors revealed strong requency effects and no effect of vocabulary type-the segments of function morphemes were as likely to slip as those of homophonic content items (e.g. buy). Expand
Grammatical incongruency and vocabulary types
The results suggest that the grammatical link existing between the two words of a pair is more immediately computed when the first one is a closed-class item and argue for a distinct computational role of open- and closed- class words in sentence processing. Expand
Frequency Effects in Auditory Word Recognition: The Case of Suffixed Words
Abstract This research studied the role of surface and cumulative word frequency in the processing and representation of morphologically complex suffixed words. Experiment 1 showed that auditoryExpand
Dual Processing of Open- and Closed-Class Words
Dysfluencies were greater on closed-class items and contributed to greater overall reading time for the closed- class words, consistent with a two-route model for the production of closed- and open-class lexical items in Broca's aphasics and, thus, normals. Expand
Levels of processing and vocabulary types: Evidence from on-line comprehension in normals and agrammatics
The combined results of normal and agrammatic subjects provide evidence for a computational distinction of different vocabulary types, and consequently, their attribution to different levels of sentence processing, and suggest that lexical and non-lexical information is generally processed at different levels, even if both types of information are carried by one item. Expand
Influences of semantic and syntactic context on open- and closed-class words
Event-related potentials were recorded as subjects read semantically meaningful, syntactically legal but nonsensical and random word strings, indicating that formal sentence structure placed greater restrictions on closed- class words than it did on open-class words. Expand
Lexical processing of functionally constrained words
Abstract A series of experiments examines lexical decision and naming times to single words which, when used in a sentence, are functionally constrained. Closed class words which cannot meaningfullyExpand
Two lexical decision experiments were performed to investigate the lateralization of the word frequency effect and the interaction with word class. Positive results would support proposals ofExpand


Word and Sentence Perception
In what follows we will be concerned broadly with questions of language comprehension, and specifically, with the perception of words in sentences. I emphasize, however, that in every case theExpand
Interaction of information in word recognition.
The model has as its central feature a set of "logogens": devices which accept information relevant to a particular word response irrespective of the source of this information when more than a threshold amount of information has accumulated in any logogen. Expand
Lexical decision for open- and closed-class words: Failure to replicate differential frequency sensitivity
Comparisons of the members of the two classes which might straddle the function’s inflection point must be made with extreme caution, because reaction time may be a nonlinear function of log frequency, and because there is relatively little overlap between the frequency ranges of theTwo classes. Expand
Lexical Access and Naming Time.
Naming times and word-nonword classification times (lexical decision times) for samples of words, nonwords, and unfamiliar words were compared. It was found that naming times for words were shorterExpand
Structure and Search of the Internal Lexicon.
The aim of the paper is to examine alternative views of how the internal lexicon is structured and searched and shows effects of list composition that rule out frequency-ordered, serially searched models. Expand
Computational dissociation of two vocabulary types: Evidence from aphasia
In an oral reading task of homophonic items two aphasic patients, a fluent and a non-fluent type of aphasia show reverse pattern of impairment, and the results suggest that there are distinct recognition devices for the two classes of items. Expand
Effects of sentential stress and word class upon comprehension in Broca's aphasics
Results are interpreted as support for the theory that Broca's aphasics lack the functional underlying open/closed class word distinction used in word recognition by normal listeners. Expand
The subjective estimation of relative word frequency
Experiments reported here demonstrate the relationship between measures of relative word frequency in terms of (a) frequency counts of textual material and (b) subjective scaling procedures. With twoExpand
On the Relation between the Intelligibility and Frequency of Occurrence of English Words
The threshold of intelligibility for a word in a wide‐spectrum noise is shown to be a decreasing function of the frequency with which the word occurs in general linguistic usage (word frequency). TheExpand
On the interpretation of word frequency as a variable affecting speed of recognition.
  • D. Howes
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Journal of experimental psychology
  • 1954
The object of the present study is to test experimentally an assumption basic to one interpretation of the frequency of occurrence of the word in large samples of written English, which serves as an estimate of base probability. Expand