Title

A study of word frequency in written Urdu.

Date of Award

2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

Keywords

Psychology, Cognitive.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Performance on word processing tasks is known to be influenced by the frequency with which words occur in a language. Large and robust effects of word frequency occur across languages and the processes thought to be sensitive to word frequency are considered fundamentally important characteristics of the mental lexicon (Monsell, 1991). A major role of these frequency sensitive processes is embedded in most models of word recognition. Indeed the adequacy of models of word recognition hinges upon their ability to explain this pervasive effect. Thus, it is imperative to understand the effects of frequency in the processing of any language under study and it is crucial that this ubiquitous effect be controlled when examining less robust and influential effects. To my knowledge, no frequency data exists for Urdu, a South Asian language of Perso-Arabic origin. My ultimate goal is to study language processing in native and bilingual speakers of Urdu, and before I embark on this endeavour, it is essential to provide a word frequency database for the language. I have thus constructed a word frequency database for written Urdu. The frequency counts from this database will help psycholinguists and cognitive psychologists conduct and control future studies on the mental lexicon using Urdu. The credibility of this database has been demonstrated by conducting a lexical decision task using words from this database. A frequency effect was obtained which not only indicated that this database is a valid research tool, but also replicated the robust word frequency effect for Urdu.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2006 .K43. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 45-01, page: 0485. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2006.