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Word association patterns: unpacking the assumptions

Fitzpatrick, Teresa 2007. Word association patterns: unpacking the assumptions. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 17 (3) , pp. 319-331. 10.1111/j.1473-4192.2007.00172.x

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L2 word association research is driven by the belief that association behaviour can reveal information about the development and organisation of the mental lexicon. However, studies have failed to produce consistent findings. This article explores a potentially problematic assumption underlying previous studies: that native-speaker responses are relatively homogeneous and predictable. A group of L1 English speakers completed two word association tasks. Associations were allocated to response-type categories, creating a response profile for each completed task. Considerable variation was found in the response preferences, implying that subjects are not homogeneous in their response behaviour. However, individual response behaviour is consistent; individuals responded to word association tasks in a predictable way. These findings have implications for the way we use word association tasks in future research.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0802-6106
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2020 05:00

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