CLEARPOND: Phonological and orthographic neighborhood information for multiple languages

Abstract

Past research has demonstrated that neighborhood variables (e.g., neighborhood density) influence lexical processing (Andrews, 1989; Vitevitch & Luce, 1999), but can have distinct effects for different languages (Vitevitch and Stamer, 2006). To explore how neighborhoods can vary both within and across multiple languages, we have developed CLEARPOND (the Cross-Linguistic Easy-Access Resource for Phonological and Orthographic Neighborhood Densities), a database of phonological and orthographic neighborhood information for five languages: Dutch, English, French, German, and Spanish. Analyses using the CLEARPOND database revealed consistent effects of lexical frequency and word-length on neighborhood size across languages, while also highlighting how the languages differed in the distribution of neighbor-types (phonological/orthographic). CLEARPOND not only provides a tool that can be used to study differences between languages but also provides detailed information about characteristics of individual words in multiple languages. The CLEARPOND database is freely-available online and can be accessed at http://clearpond.northwestern.edu.


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