[Corpora-List] How many words do we know?

Mike Scott mike at lexically.net
Fri Jul 29 10:48:30 CEST 2016


Thanks!

Interesting article and a useful one to point students towards.

One limitation not really fully addressed though is the term "know". The test applied basically checks recognition-as-a-word. Earlier investigations of word knowledge tried to get at ability-to-define-or-explain, which is a VERY different kind of word knowledge.... I would be interested in an estimate of the ratio between these two (and other) different levels of "knowing".

Cheers -- Mike

On 29/07/2016 06:41, Marc Brysbaert wrote:
>
> Dear all,
>
>
> I'm regularly asked how many words there are in the mental lexicon. As
> you all know, much here depends on the definition of person
> (young/old, reader/non-reader) and the definition of word. Still, it
> is possible to give reasonable numbers for various definitions.
>
>
> The short answer is that an English person of 20 years old on
> average knows 42 thousand lemmas coming from 11,100 word families. A
> 60-year old knows 6,000 lemmas more.
>
>
> You can read the detailed answer in this open access article:
>
> http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01116/​
>
>
> Feel free to forward this to other people who may be interested.
>
>
> All the best,
>
>
> Marc Brysbaert
>
>
>
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-- -- Mike Scott *** If you publish research which uses WordSmith, do let me know so I can include it at http://www.lexically.net/wordsmith/corpus_linguistics_links/papers_using_wordsmith.htm *** Aston University and Lexical Analysis Software Ltd www.lexically.net

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