Yasushi Hino

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The effects of polysemy (number of meanings) and word frequency were examined in lexical decision and naming tasks. Polysemy effects were observed in both tasks. In the lexical decision task, polysemy was additive with frequency. Polysemy effects appeared for both high and low frequency words. In the naming task, however, polysemy effects interacted with frequency, with polysemy effects being limited to low frequency words. When degraded stimuli were used in both tasks, the interaction appeared not only in naming but also in lexical decision. When pronounceable nonwords were replaced by pseudohomophones in lexical decision tasks, however, polysemy was once again additive with frequency regardless of stimulus quality. The differential patterns of results can be explained in terms of whether the task required orthographically based or phonologically based responses. Since polysemy effects are assumed to be evidence of semantic access, the differential results seem to reflect two independent access routes to semantic representations. The nature of these access routes is discussed.



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