ERIC Number: ED344492
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
A Lexical Universe for Verbal Reasoning Tests.
Breland, Hunter M.; Jones, Robert J.
The usefulness of a "lexical universe" in the development of verbal reasoning tests was studied. The lexical universe, which is a comprehensive listing of words and their frequencies based on a collection of machine-readable texts exceeding 14 million words of running text, is an outcome of a 1987 College Board study of the language in materials encountered by high school students and first-year college students. This report describes an analysis of the materials collected and presents statistics on the following: total frequencies; an index of dispersion across text categories; an estimate of frequency per one million tokens; and a standard frequency index based on a logarithmic transformation. Additional tables show some sample words and statistics for the College Board corpus as compared to the American Heritage corpus, and a comparison of frequency statistics for a selection of 20 words based on 4 different corpora. The difficulty of acquiring and maintaining a large vocabulary is discussed, along with the importance of word frequency and word frequency counts. It is concluded that the major advantage of word frequency counts is that they yield difficulty estimates for all words that are encountered in the corpus. Contains 24 references. (LB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Reasoning Tests
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).