Dominance Norms and Data for Spoken Ambiguous Words in British English

New pre-print from @BeckyAGilbert and @JenniRodd:

We collated data from a number of published experiments and pre-tests to construct a dataset of 29,533 valid word association responses for 243 spoken ambiguous words from participants from the United Kingdom. We provide summary dominance data for the 182 ambiguous words that have a minimum of 100 responses, and a tool for automatically coding new word association responses based on responses in our coded set, which allows additional data to be more easily scored and added to this database. All files can be found at:

Recruiting: 2yr Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Research Fellow position funded by our @ESRC grant “Individual Differences in Comprehension across the Lifespan” working with @JenniRodd @LenaMBlott @ReadOxford @DrMattDavis

Position funded for 2 years with a start date or 1st July 2021, but there is some flexibility in this. Ideally we would like somebody in post by 1 October 2021.

The deadline for applications is April 25th. Interviews will likely take place in the week commencing 4th May (via zoom).

See here for more info

New Paper on Word-Meaning Learning

Greg Maciejewski (now at the University of the West of Scotland) has published a paper entitled

The cost of learning new meanings for familiar words” together with Jenni Rodd (@jennirodd), Mark Mon-Williams and Ekaterini Klepousniotou (University of Leeds)


Research has shown that adults are skilled at learning new words and meanings. We examined whether learning new meanings for familiar words affects the processing of their existing meanings. Adults learnt fictitious meanings for previously unambiguous words over four consecutive days. We tested comprehension of existing meanings using a semantic relatedness decision task in which the probe word was related to the existing but not the new meaning. Following the training, responses were slower to the trained, but not to the untrained, words, indicating competition between newly-acquired and well-established meanings. This effect was smaller for meanings that were semantically related to existing meanings than for the unrelated counterparts, demonstrating that meaning relatedness modulates the degree of competition. Overall, the findings confirm that new meanings can be integrated into the mental lexicon after just a few days’ exposure, and provide support for current models of ambiguity processing.