Imageability has been shown to be one of the critical psycholinguistic variables that help us understand lexical processing across many languages, but it is a less studied variable in non-alphabetic Chinese with a large population of native speakers. The present study sought to build up the first large-scale imageability database for Chinese by collecting imageability ratings for 10,426 Chinese two-character words from the Common Lexical Database for Compulsory Education in China. A total of 415 native Mandarin speakers from mainland China participated in the ratings, with an average of 22 participants rating the imageability of each word on a 7-point scale. The results supported the high reliability and validity of the present imageability ratings. Furthermore, the current work examined the contribution of the imageability ratings to Chinese lexical processing while controlling for existing psycholinguistic variables, including concreteness, age of acquisition (AoA), valence, and arousal, as well as other lexical variables such as word frequency. The results suggest the additional explanatory power of imageability to Chinese lexical processing after controlling for the aforementioned variables. Interestingly, further analysis revealed that concreteness, which is thought to be similar to imageability, explained a smaller amount of variance in Chinese lexical processing compared to imageability. Therefore, the findings point to the important contribution of imageability to Chinese lexical processing and its advantage over concreteness. The current imageability database is downloadable in the supplemental materials, thus open to all researchers and practitioners. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
CitationSu, Y., Li, Y., & Li, H. (2023). Imageability ratings for 10,426 Chinese two-character words and their contribution to lexical processing. Current Psychology, 42(27), 23265-23276. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-022-03404-4
- Lexical decision
- Psycholinguistic norms
- Two-character words