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Definitions of Lexicons and their origins.

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Question Answer
What is the mental lexicon? Mental storehouse of words in long term memory
Gough (1972): word length Gough (1972) argued that during word recognition letters are taken out of a short-term visual buffer one by one at a rate of 15ms per letter. The transfer rate is slower for poorer readers. Therefore it would not be at all surprising if long words were harder to identify than short words. However, a length effect that is independent of frequency has proved elusive.
What is one complication for word length effects? One complication is that there are 3 ways of measuring word length: how many letters there are in a word, how many syllables, and how long it takes you to say the word.
Word length: Chumbley and Balotta (1984) found length effects in lexical decision times when the words and nonwords were matched for length and the regularity of their pronouncation.
Word length as a factor of lexical access time: Weekes (1997) found that word length (measured in letters) had little effect on naming words when other properties of words (such as #words similar to target word) were controlled for (although length had some some effect on reading nonwords). It seems that the number of letters in a word has little effect for short words, but has some effect on words between 5 and 12 letters long. Furthermore, word length effects in naming words probably reflect the larger number of similar words with similar pronunciation found for shorter words.
Word length as a factor of lexical access time: Eriksen et al., 1970 Naming time increases as a function of the number of syllables in a word (Eriksen et al., 1970). There is at least some contribution from preparing to articulate these syllables in addition to any perceptual effect. We find a similar effect in picture naming. We take loner to name pictures of objects depicted by long words compared with pictures of objects depicted by short words, and longer to read numbers that have more syllables in their pronouncation, such as the number 17 compared with the number 16.
Polysemous When a word has more than one meaning (lexically ambiguous word) e.g. straw, bank
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