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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: How are affective word ratings related to lexicosemantic properties? Evidence from the Sussex Affective Word List
Author: Francesca M. M. Citron
Institution: University of Sussex
Author: Brendan Stuart Weekes
Institution: University of Sussex
Author: Evelyn C. Ferstl
Institution: University of Sussex
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Semantics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Emotional content of verbal material affects the speed of visual word recognition in various cognitive tasks, independently of lexicosemantic variables. However, little is known about how the dimensions of emotional arousal and valence interact with the lexicosemantic properties of words such as age of acquisition, familiarity, and imageability, that determine word recognition performance. This study aimed to examine these relationships using English ratings for affective and lexicosemantic features. Eighty-two native English speakers rated 300 words for emotional valence, arousal, familiarity, age of acquisition, and imageability. Although both dimensions of emotion were correlated with lexicosemantic variables, a unique emotion cluster produced the strongest quadratic relationship. This finding suggests that emotion should be included in models of word recognition as it is likely to make an independent contribution.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 35, Issue 2.

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