Familiarity and relatedness of word meanings: Ratings for 110 homographs

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22 Scopus citations


Although prior research has provided descriptive statistics for homographic words, most studies have concentrated only on dominance or frequency of meanings. The present study extended such research by examining homograph meanings, particularly subordinate meanings, in finer detail. Common English words (N = 110) were rated for meaning familiarity and relatedness among meanings. In a meaning collection task, subjects listed all possible meanings for each word. The number of meanings provided for words varied widely. In a familiarity rating task, other subjects rated each meaning on its familiarity. It was expected (and found) that familiarity ratings would be more sensitive than meaning collection to knowledge of subordinate meanings. In a comparison task, subjects made relatedness judgments for all meaning pairs within each word. The results provide a database of complex relationships among word meanings that can be used to investigate the effects of relatedness and other semantic variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-124
Number of pages16
JournalBehavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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