LINGUIST List 7.1126

Sun Aug 11 1996

Sum: Word association tests

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <>


  1. "M. Lynne Murphy", sum: word association tests

Message 1: sum: word association tests

Date: Sat, 10 Aug 1996 18:06:12 GMT
From: "M. Lynne Murphy" <>
Subject: sum: word association tests

A while ago, i posted a query about word association tests/norms in
non-western cultures. Unfortunately, most of the responses i got
were requests for me to share the information--it seems there was
little information to be had!

One respondent said s/he'd give me more info if i made clearer what i
was looking for. i've been trying to respond to that person, but
their e-mail bounces back to me as "host unknown". so could please try contacting me again?

here's what summary i have:

From: (Glenn Frankenfield)

Susan Ervin-Tripp has an essay on Navaho word associations in her book
"Language acquisition and communicative choice," Stanford University
Press, 1973.

From: (George Aubin)

While not a direct answer perhaps to your recent query, you might find
pages 307-331 ('Universal (?) Phonetic Symbolism') in Insup Taylor's
'Introduction to Psycholinguistics' (Holt, Rinehart and Winston,
1976) of some interest. Several non-Western languages are discussed...

From: (M J Hardman)

This isn't exactly what you want, but in my book Hardman, MJ 1981
Monograph Series, University of Florida there is one article by
Christine Sacks Miracle on administering one of those standardized iq
tests to Aymara speaking children in Bolivia. It involved some word
association, and, of course, most everything didn't work.
Also, just FYI, when I tried, several decades ago now, to do antonyms
with Jaqi speakers (believeing them to be universal!) I quickly
learned that no way -- they don't do that, nor is that part of their
verbal play.

thanks very much to these people for their help. if anyone else has
any thoughts/experiences with administering word association tests
(i.e., "what's the first thing that comes into your mind when i say
X?") in non-western cultures, i'd love to hear more.

lynne murphy

- -------------------------------------------------------------------
M. Lynne Murphy
Department of Linguistics phone: 27(11)716-2340
University of the Witwatersrand fax: 27(11)716-8030
Johannesburg 2050
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