, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 243-257
Date: 18 Dec 2007

The Differential Influence of Lexical Parameters on Naming Latencies in German. A Study on Noun and Verb Picture Naming

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The present study investigates the effects of word category (nouns versus verbs) and their subcategories on naming latencies in German, with a focus on the influence of lexical parameters on naming performance. The experimental material met linguistic construction criteria and was carefully matched for age of spontaneous production, frequency, and name agreement. Additional lexical parameters (objective age-of-acquisition, word length, visual complexity, imageability) were obtained. The results demonstrated a clear effect of word category on naming latencies. This effect was supported by two different observations. First, there was evidence for category and subcategory effects in naming: nouns were named faster than verbs, and intransitive verbs were named faster than transitive verbs. Second, while objective age-of-acquisition (naming age) turned out to be an important predictor of reaction times for both word categories, naming latencies for nouns and verbs were affected differentially by other lexical parameters. The results are discussed with respect to current controversies on the noun–verb-asymmetry.