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Word Frequency and Age of Acquisition as Determiners of Picture-Naming Latency

Carroll, John B.; White, Margaret N.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Cognitive Development, Models, Multiple Regression Analysis, Pictorial Stimuli, Word Frequency


In multiple regression analysis of picture-naming latencies from an experiment modeled on Oldfield and Wingfield's (1965), with 94 stimuli and 37 adult Ss, two word frequency measures had insignificant beta weights, while two measures estimating age at which the word was learned had highly significant weights. Objects whose names were learned early were named faster. This result may have important implications for the interpretation of studies using word frequency as a critical variable. It is suggested that word-retrieval may be a one-stage process that depends upon the age at which a word was learned. (36pp.)

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