Volume 91, Issue 2 p. 167-180

Real age of acquisition effects in word naming and lexical decision

Catriona M. Morrison

Corresponding Author

Catriona M. Morrison

Cardiff University, UK

School of Psychology, Cardiff University, P.O. Box 901, Cardiff CF1 3YG, Wales, UK (e-mail: [email protected]).Search for more papers by this author
Andrew W. Ellis

Andrew W. Ellis

University of York, UK

Search for more papers by this author
First published: 24 December 2010
Citations: 139


Age of acquisition (AoA) has been reported to be a predictor of the speed of reading words aloud (word naming) and lexical decision, with early-acquired words being responded to faster than later-acquired words in both tasks. All previous studies of AoA effects have, however, relied upon adult estimates of word learning age the validity of which it is easy to cast doubt upon. Using objective age of acquisition norms derived from children s naming data, this study shows that AoA effects do not depend upon the use of adult ratings In addition to effects of real AoA, influences of word frequency and orthographic neighbourhood size were obtained in both word naming and lexical decision. Image ability affected lexical decision but not word naming, while the characteristics of the words initial phoneme affected word naming but not lexical decision.