Interactions of age of acquisition and lexical frequency effects with phonological regularity: An ERP study

Yen Na Cherry YUM, Sam-Po LAW

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Across languages, lexical frequency and age of acquisition (AoA) are important predictors of word reading that are naturally correlated, and both variables have been shown to interact with phonological regularity. Previous behavioral findings in Chinese have shown stronger regularity effects in low frequency relative to high frequency characters. Meanwhile, the arbitrary mapping hypothesis predicts stronger interference effects in late‐acquired irregular words. This study examined the neural bases of these phenomena in Chinese using a delayed naming task with 480 single characters. Single‐trial ERP analyses were conducted to contrast the interactions of frequency or AoA effects with phonological regularity, while controlling for the other factor. Results showed differential and significant effects of AoA and frequency at the N400 and late positive component (LPC), respectively, indicating their independence. ERP interaction patterns of frequency and regularity in Chinese were observed for the first time in the LPC time window and suggested semantic interference from sublexical units during character reading. Interaction of AoA and regularity at the N400 could be explained by the semantic hypothesis but appeared inconsistent with the arbitrary mapping hypothesis. Copyright © 2019 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13433
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume56
Issue number10
Early online dateJul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

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Citation

Yum, Y. N., & Law, S.-P. (2019). Interactions of age of acquisition and lexical frequency effects with phonological regularity: An ERP study. Psychophysiology, 56(10). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13433

Keywords

  • Age of acquisition
  • ERP
  • Frequency
  • Word naming