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Abstract

Abstract

Aging involves a variety of cognitive and language changes. Word association norms (WANs), which describe the first word people say or write after reading or hearing a stimulus word, reflect the organization of semantic knowledge. The aim of this study was to create a WAN corpus for Mexican older adults, with 114 participants responding to 117 nouns. The results of eight measures of word-word relationships showed that participants generated an average of 38.14 different response words for each stimulus word. Of these responses, 41.88% were of high associative strength and 20.70% were idiosyncratic, demonstrating the uniqueness of responses of older adults. In addition, we compared their responses to a corpus for younger adults ( ). A qualitative analysis categorizing the responses into syntagmatic and paradigmatic types showed that the older group tended to respond with words from a different grammatical class. Responses of the younger adults were also more cohesive and less varied than those of the older group. This corpus for older adults is an essential resource for evaluating age-related changes in semantic memory, and it provides a point of comparison for responses from people with neurodegenerative diseases.

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/content/journals/10.1075/ml.22001.ari
2022-10-06
2022-12-08
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: semantic memory ; word association norms in Spanish ; older adults ; lexical relations
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