SUBTLEX-UK: A new and improved word frequency database for British English

Walter J. B. van Heuven*, Pawel Mandera, Emmanuel Keuleers, Marc Brysbaert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

333 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present word frequencies based on subtitles of British television programmes. We show that the SUBTLEX-UK word frequencies explain more of the variance in the lexical decision times of the British Lexicon Project than the word frequencies based on the British National Corpus and the SUBTLEX-US frequencies. In addition to the word form frequencies, we also present measures of contextual diversity part-of-speech specific word frequencies, word frequencies in children programmes, and word bigram frequencies, giving researchers of British English access to the full range of norms recently made available for other languages. Finally, we introduce a new measure of word frequency, the Zipf scale, which we hope will stop the current misunderstandings of the word frequency effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1176-1190
Number of pages15
JournalThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume67
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Word frequency
  • Visual word recognition
  • Zipf scale
  • LEXICAL DECISION DATA
  • FILM SUBTITLES
  • CONTEXTUAL DIVERSITY
  • ACQUISITION
  • PROJECT
  • AGE
  • IDENTIFICATION
  • CHOICE
  • NORMS
  • TIMES

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