LINGUIST List 23.734

Tue Feb 14 2012

Qs: Word Association Project

Editor for this issue: Zac Smith <>

Date: 10-Feb-2012
From: gert storms <>
Subject: Word Association Project
E-mail this message to a friend

Hi all,

Over the past few weeks, we (several psycholinguists from differentuniversities) have been trying to set up a scientific study that isimportant for many researchers interested in words, word meaning,and semantics. It is a huge word association project, in which peopleare asked to participate in a small task that doesn't last langer than 5minutes. Our goal is to build a global word association network thatcontains connections between about 40,000 words, the size of thelexicon of an average adult. Setting up such a network might learn us alot about semantic memory, how it develops, and maybe also abouthow it can deteriorate (like in Alzheimer's disease). Most people enjoydoing the task, but we need thousands of participants to succeed. Aftersending e-mails to psychology and cognitive science students someweeks ago, we got about 10,000 participants quickly, but unfortunatelythe frequency of participation slowed down and we need moresubjects. That is why we address you. Would it be possible to forwardthis call for participation to graduate and undergraduate students whoare fluent in English?The task can be found on

If people would REALLY like to help us, they can forward the call tostudents, friends, family, etc. or distribute the call through facebook,twitter, etc. (In this way, we succeeded in building a word associationnetwork in Dutch over the past years. The network comprises about13,000 words and was built using more than 4,000,000 wordassociations, gathered from 100,000 native Dutch speakers. Theproblem is only: who cares about Dutch data. That is why we want todo the same in English.)If anyone has suggestions on how to reach more fluent Englishparticipants for this study, please don't hesitate to contact us.Needless to say that the network will be freely available to all interestedlanguage 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 DeyneDepartment of PsychologyUniversity of LeuvenTiensestraat 1023000 LeuvenBelgium

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics                             Psycholinguistics                             Syntax

Page Updated: 14-Feb-2012