Age-of-acquisition ratings for 30,000 English words Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We present age-of-acquisition (AoA) ratings for 30,121 English content words (nouns, verbs, and adjectives). For data collection, this megastudy used the Web-based crowdsourcing technology offered by the Amazon Mechanical Turk. Our data indicate that the ratings collected in this way are as valid and reliable as those collected in laboratory conditions (the correlation between our ratings and those collected in the lab from U.S. students reached .93 for a subsample of 2,500 monosyllabic words). We also show that our AoA ratings explain a substantial percentage of the variance in the lexical-decision data of the English Lexicon Project, over and above the effects of log frequency, word length, and similarity to other words. This is true not only for the lemmas used in our rating study, but also for their inflected forms. We further discuss the relationships of AoA with other predictors of word recognition and illustrate the utility of AoA ratings for research on vocabulary growth.

publication date

  • December 2012