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Department of Cognitive Science

Seminar Abstract

Lexical quality, semantic diversity and reading development.

Speaker : Professor Kate Nation, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, UK.
Date : 19th of September 2018, 1:00PM until 2:00PM
Location : Australian Hearing Hub, 3.610, Macquarie University.

    Words vary in lexical quality: we all know some words well, others less so. Where does this variability come from and how does it relate to people’s lexical processing? In current work we are investigating the hypothesis that that variations in lexical quality are a product of language experience, especially reading experience. I will describe two experimental approaches designed to test this hypothesis in complementary ways. First, large scale corpus analyses that chart the content and nature of children’s reading experience and relate this to children’s lexical processing in a range of tasks tapping word reading, semantic judgment and reading comprehension. Second, small scale and tightly controlled laboratory training experiments that directly manipulate features of the learning environment and measure how this influences lexical learning and lexical processing. I will conclude by framing lexical quality as the dynamic and on-going product of encounters with language, starting in childhood but continuing throughout life.

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