Evidence for frequency-based constituents in the mental lexicon: Collocations involving the word of

Anna V Sosa, James MacFarlane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, it is hypothesized that units larger than the traditional word, such as two-word collocations and phrases, may be stored in the mental lexicon and accessed holistically. Following previously published work on the Network or Usage-based model of lexical storage (Bybee, 1985, 1995), we suggest that the mechanism determining this constituency is the frequency with which items occur together in natural, connected speech: the collocational frequency. The present study uses a word-monitoring paradigm to investigate reaction times to the English function word of in collocations of varying levels of frequency. A significant effect of collocational frequency was observed; response latencies were longer when the target word of occurred in the very frequent collocations, indicating holistic processing of the frequent phrases. Furthermore, response latencies presented here are considerably longer than those reported in previous studies. This is explained as a result of the hypothesized holistic representation as well as a function of the use of stimuli extracted from natural conversation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-236
Number of pages10
JournalBrain and Language
Volume83
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Reaction Time
evidence
stimulus
conversation
monitoring
paradigm
Constituent
Collocation
Mental Lexicon
time
Latency

Keywords

  • Chunking
  • Collocational frequency
  • Frequency effects
  • Frequent phrases
  • Function words
  • Holistic storage
  • Lexical access
  • Lexical representation
  • Usage-based
  • Word-monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Evidence for frequency-based constituents in the mental lexicon : Collocations involving the word of. / Sosa, Anna V; MacFarlane, James.

In: Brain and Language, Vol. 83, No. 2, 2002, p. 227-236.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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