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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Linguists have estimated vocabulary of the average person


A group of Belgian researchers from Ghent University, found out how many words on average you know under the age of twenty people, native language which is American English. As it turned out, the figure is 42 thousand.


photo: Gennady Cherkasov

Experts note that we are talking about words in a basic form, that is, one in which they can be seen in the dictionary. The names in the list are also not included. During their study, researchers used the list, which included about 62 thousand words.

Researchers conducted a test involving more than 220 thousand people. Each of them was shown a list that includes 67 “real” words, and 33 combinations of letters that look like English words, but in fact are not. Study participants had to say, the value of any from before them of the words they know. The choice of the non-existent words were removed from the participants “points”, so it was not profitable to try to describe those or other words at random. In addition to direct testing, the volunteers had to provide some information about yourself, including about your age and level of education.

Based on the number of correct answers scientists using a previously developed algorithm was able to predict how many words in the English language each of the people tested know. For participants whose age was 22 years, this figure was approximately equal to 42 thousand.

According to scientists, after reaching the age of twenty one continues to replenish its vocabulary with new words roughly every two days, that is, the sixtieth anniversary number of well-known man of words grows approximately six thousand.

The results of a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psycology. As reported previously a similar test was conducted for native speakers of Dutch.

source

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