1990．第18卷第1期（Vol. 18 No. 1）．pp. 39
Study of Word Frequency Effect
Due to the lack of formal rules to form two-character words in Chinese, the word frequency effect has to be based on the experiential encounters or cognitive automation. A total of 267 Form I, III, and VI students participated as samples. High-, medium-, and low-frequency words were drawn from the two- character word lists in "The Statistic Study of Chinese Lexical Units". A pseudoword group was formed and two groups of 'special pseudoword were also made up by replacement of the homophones or positional rearrangement. The results showed (1) word frequency positively affected the correct rate, but the low-frequency word did not differ with the pseudoword group in decision measures. Form Vl students outperformed the lower Form students in all word lists while Form III exceeded Form I in the medium- and low- frequency word lists; (2) word frequency correlated negatively with response latency except that the pseudoword and 'special pseudoword' groups yielded no difference in latency measures; and (3) no significant difference was found among the three Forms in each of the five word lists. Categorically, the findings confirmed that word frequency did have effects on the response latency and correct rate in the lexical decision task.