Visual and auditory perceptual strength norms for 3,596 French nouns and their relationship with other psycholinguistic variables

Résumé

Perceptual experience plays a critical role in the conceptual representation of words. Higher levels of semantic variables such as imageability, concreteness, and sensory experience are generally associated with faster and more accurate word processing. Nevertheless, these variables tend to be assessed based mostly on visual experience. This underestimates the potential contribution of other perceptual modalities. Accordingly, recent evidence stresses the importance of providing modality-specific perceptual strength norms. In the present study, we developed French Canadian norms of visual and auditory perceptual strength (i.e., the modalities that have a major impact on word processing) for 3,596 nouns. We then explored the relationship between these newly developed variables and other lexical, orthographic and semantic variables. Finally, we demonstrated the contribution of visual and auditory perceptual strength ratings to visual word processing beyond that of other semantic variables related to perceptual experience (e.g., concreteness, imageability and sensory experience ratings). The ratings developed in this study are a meaningful contribution toward the implementation of new studies that will shed further light on the interaction between linguistic, semantic and perceptual systems.