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LINGUIST List 23.734

Tue Feb 14 2012

Qs: Word Association Project

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        1.     gert storms , Word Association Project


Message 1: Word Association Project
Date: 10-Feb-2012
From: gert storms <gert.stormspsy.kuleuven.be>
Subject: Word Association Project
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Hi all,

Over the past few weeks, we (several psycholinguists from different
universities) have been trying to set up a scientific study that is
important for many researchers interested in words, word meaning,
and semantics. It is a huge word association project, in which people
are asked to participate in a small task that doesn't last langer than 5
minutes. Our goal is to build a global word association network that
contains connections between about 40,000 words, the size of the
lexicon of an average adult. Setting up such a network might learn us a
lot about semantic memory, how it develops, and maybe also about
how it can deteriorate (like in Alzheimer's disease). Most people enjoy
doing the task, but we need thousands of participants to succeed. After
sending e-mails to psychology and cognitive science students some
weeks ago, we got about 10,000 participants quickly, but unfortunately
the frequency of participation slowed down and we need more
subjects. That is why we address you. Would it be possible to forward
this call for participation to graduate and undergraduate students who
are fluent in English?
The task can be found on

http://www.smallworldofwords.com

If people would REALLY like to help us, they can forward the call to
students, friends, family, etc. or distribute the call through facebook,
twitter, etc. (In this way, we succeeded in building a word association
network in Dutch over the past years. The network comprises about
13,000 words and was built using more than 4,000,000 word
associations, gathered from 100,000 native Dutch speakers. The
problem is only: who cares about Dutch data. That is why we want to
do the same in English.)
If anyone has suggestions on how to reach more fluent English
participants for this study, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Needless to say that the network will be freely available to all interested
language researchers when it becomes substantial enough.

We thank you in advance.
If you want more information, don't hesitate to contact me.

With kind regards,
Prof. G. Storms & Dr. S. De Deyne
Department of Psychology
University of Leuven
Tiensestraat 102
3000 Leuven
Belgium

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
                            Psycholinguistics
                            Syntax


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