Word processing is influenced by psycholinguistic variables, such as grammatical class and frequency of usage. The degree of abstractness/concreteness of a word also influences the ease with which that word is processed. The concreteness effect has been repeatedly documented in normal and aphasic subjects; and, a reversed concreteness effect has been demonstrated in some aphasic speakers. This study provides normative values of abstractness/concreteness for 500 Italian words, controlled for grammatical class (238 nouns, 161 verbs, 101 adjectives) and frequency of usage. The corpus was administered to 50 normal control subjects (25 males, 25 females). Each subject was asked to assign to each word a score ranging from 1 (very abstract) to 5 (very concrete). Values thus obtained are expressed as z scores. The corpus reported in this study can be used to construct lists of words in which abstractness/concreteness, grammatical class and frequency of usage, are controlled. Such lists can be used to test the effects of these variables on word processing in normal and brain-damaged patients, and to evaluate the efficacy of treatment programs. A collateral result of this project is the demonstration that grammatical class and abstractness/concreteness are not totally independent - nouns are on average more concrete than verbs, which are in turn more concrete than adjectives.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Nuova Rivista di Neurologia|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2000|
- Grammatical class