The word frequency effect in picture naming: Contrasting two hypotheses using homonym pictures

K.B. Shatzman*, N.O. Schiller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Models of speech production disagree on whether or not homonyms have a shared word-form representation. To investigate this issue, a picture-naming experiment was carried out using Dutch homonyms of which both meanings could be presented as a picture. Naming latencies for the low-frequency meanings of homonyms were slower than for those of the high-frequency meanings. However, no frequency effect was found for control words, which matched the frequency of the homonyms' meanings. Subsequent control experiments indicated that the difference in naming latencies for the homonyms could be attributed to processes earlier than word-form retrieval. Specifically, it appears that low name agreement slowed down the naming of the low-frequency homonym pictures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-169
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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