Behavior Research Methods

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 1085–1094 | Cite as

childLex: a lexical database of German read by children

  • Sascha Schroeder
  • Kay-Michael Würzner
  • Julian Heister
  • Alexander Geyken
  • Reinhold Kliegl


This article introduces childLex, an online database of German read by children. childLex is based on a corpus of children’s books and comprises 10 million words that were syntactically annotated and lemmatized. childLex reports linguistic norms for lexical, superlexical, and sublexical variables in three different age groups: 6–8 (grades 1–2), 9–10 (grades 3–4), and 11–12 years (grades 5–6). Here, we describe how childLex was collected and analyzed. In addition, we provide information about the distributions of word frequency, word length, and orthographic neighborhood size, as well as their intercorrelations. Finally, we explain how childLex can be accessed using a Web interface.


Lexical database Child language Reading development 


Author Note

We thank Alexa Brand, Svenja Brinkmeier, Sarah König, Laura Nohr, Kristina Ruff, Sarah Salin, and Felix Seidel for their help in selecting and preparing the corpus material. We are also grateful to Ursula Flitner, Library of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, and Benjamin Scheffler, State Library Berlin, and the ZEIT for supporting this study, providing library loan statistics, and making children’s self-reports available.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sascha Schroeder
    • 1
  • Kay-Michael Würzner
    • 2
  • Julian Heister
    • 3
  • Alexander Geyken
    • 2
  • Reinhold Kliegl
    • 3
  1. 1.MPRG Reading Education and Development (REaD)Max Planck Institute for Human DevelopmentBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Digital Dictionary of the German Language ProjectBerlin–Brandenburg Academy of SciencesBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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