Age of acquisition effects in picture naming: Evidence for a lexical-semantic competition hypothesis

Eva Belke*, Marc Brysbaert, Antje S. Meyer, Mandy Ghyselinck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In many tasks the effects of frequency and age of acquisition (AoA) on reaction latencies are similar in size. However, in picture naming the AoA-effect is often significantly larger than expected on the basis of the frequency-effect. Previous explanations of this frequency-independent AoA-effect have attributed it to the organisation of the semantic system or to the way phonological word forms are stored in the mental lexicon. Using a semantic blocking paradigm, we show that semantic context effects on naming latencies are more pronounced for late-acquired than for early-acquired words. This interaction between AoA and naming context is likely to arise during lexical-semantic encoding, which we put forward as the locus for the frequency-independent AoA-effect.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCognition
Volume96
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2005

Keywords

  • Age-of-acquisition
  • Lexical retrieval
  • Picture naming
  • Semantic context

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