Exploring the impact of lexical context on word association responses
In word association tasks, participants respond with the first word that comes to mind on seeing a given cue. These responses are generally assumed to be influenced by a number of factors, including cue semantics, form, and textual distribution. Previous studies exploring the third of these influences have used pairwise association measures, such as mutual information, to evaluate the extent to which textual distributions influence response selection. In the current paper, a different approach is taken. Rather than examining co-occurrences between a cue and its observed responses, this paper explores the possibility that the cue’s holistic collocational environment shapes its associative profile. Regression modelling demonstrates that the predictability of this textual distribution is a significant predictor of variance in the cue’s response profile. Overall, however, the amount of variance explained is small. A subsequent qualitative examination of distributional and associative profiles suggests several semantically based constraints to response generation.
- 2.The construct of lexical context, and its explanatory properties
- 3.Exploring distributional predictability and WA responses
- 3.2Comparing associative and collocational entropy
- 3.3Does collocational entropy predict overlap between primary associates and most frequent collocates?
- 4.What is revealed by comparison of collocational and associative environments?