How do Spanish speakers read words? Insights from a crowdsourced lexical decision megastudy

Jose Aguasvivas, Manuel Carreiras, Marc Brysbaert, Paweł Mandera, Emmanuel Keuleers, Jon Andoni Duñabeitia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Vocabulary size seems to be affected by multiple factors, including those that belong to the properties of the words themselves and those that relate to the characteristics of the individuals assessing the words. In this study, we present results from a crowdsourced lexical decision megastudy in which more than 150,000 native speakers from around 20 Spanish-speaking countries performed a lexical decision task to 70 target word items selected from a list of about 45,000 Spanish words. We examined how demographic characteristics such as age, education level, and multilingualism affected participants' vocabulary size. Also, we explored how common factors related to words like frequency, length, and orthographic neighbourhood influenced the knowledge of a particular item. Results indicated important contributions of age to overall vocabulary size, with vocabulary size increasing in a logarithmic fashion with this factor. Furthermore, a contrast between monolingual and bilingual communities within Spain revealed no significant vocabulary size differences between the communities. Additionally, we replicated the standard effects of the words' properties and their interactions, accurately accounting for the estimated knowledge of a particular word. These results highlight the value of crowdsourced approaches to uncover effects that are traditionally masked by small-sampled in-lab factorial experimental designs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBehavior Research Methods
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Feb 2020

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