Norms for name agreement, familiarity, subjective frequency, and imageability for 348 object names in Tunisian Arabic.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Behav Res Methods, Volume 48, Issue 2, p.585-99 (2016)


<p>Normative databases for pictorial stimuli are widely used in research on language processing in order to control for a number of psycholinguistic variables in the selected stimuli. Such resources are lacking for Arabic and its dialectal varieties. In the present study, we aimed to provide Tunisian Arabic (TA) normative data for 348 line drawings taken from Cycowicz, Friedman, Rothstein, and Snodgrass (1997), which include Snodgrass and Vanderwart's (1980) 260 pictures. Norms were collected for the following psycholinguistic variables: name agreement, familiarity, subjective frequency, and imageability. Word length data (in numbers of phonemes and syllables) are also listed in the database. We investigated the effects of these variables on word reading in TA. We found that word length and frequency were the best predictors of word-reading latencies in TA. Name agreement was also a significant predictor of word-reading latencies. A particularly interesting finding was that the semantic variables, imageability and familiarity, affected word-reading latencies in TA. Thus, it would seem that TA readers rely on semantics even when reading individual Arabic words that are transparent in terms of orthography-to-phonology mappings. This database represents a precious and much-needed psycholinguistic resource for researchers investigating language processing in Arabic-speaking populations.</p>

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