VLI 4(2): Higginbotham et al. (2015)

A Japanese Word Association Database of English
George Higginbotham (a), Ian Munby (b) and John P. Racine (c)
(a) Hiroshima Kokusai Gakuin University; (b) Hokkai Gakuen University; (c) Dokkyo University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v04.2.higginbotham.et.al
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In this paper, two word association (WA) studies are presented in support
of recent arguments against the use of native-speaker (NS) norms in WA
research. In Study 1, first-language (L1) and second-language (L2) WA
norms lists were developed and compared to learner responses as a means
of measuring L2 proficiency. The results showed that L2 norms provided
a more sensitive measure of L2 lexical development than did traditional
NS norms. Study 2 was designed to test the utility of native norms
databases in predicting the primary WA responses of Japanese learners to
high-frequency English cues. With the exception of only extremely frequent
cues, it was shown that native norms were not successful in predicting
learner responses. The results of both studies are discussed in terms of
cultural and linguistic differences, geographic distance, and dissimilarities in
word knowledge between respondent populations. Finally, a proposal is
made for the construction of a Japanese WA database of English responses
(J-WADE). The methods by which it will be developed, key features, and
employment in future research are outlined.

word association; database; native norms; non-native norms; L2 learners; vocabulary.

Higginbotham, G., Munby, I., & Racine, J.P. (2015). A Japanese word association database of English. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 4 (2), 1-20. doi: 10.7820/vli.v04.2.higginbotham.et.al