The effects of polysemy for Japanese katakana words

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Abstract

In these experiments, the effects of polysemy were examined as a function of word frequency for Japanese katakana words, words which have consistent character-to-sound correspondences. In the lexical decision task, an additive relationship was observed between polysemy and frequency (i.e., polysemy effects were identical for high and low frequency katakana words). In the naming task, although no word frequency effect was observed, there was a significant polysemy effect which, as in the lexical decision task, was identical for high and low frequency words. The implications of these results for conclusions about the loci of polysemy and frequency effects in lexical decision and naming tasks are discussed.

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