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ERIC Number: EJ901552
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-0578
An Improper Assumption? The Treatment of Proper Nouns in Text Coverage Counts
Brown, Dale
Reading in a Foreign Language, v22 n2 p355-361 Oct 2010
The calculation of text coverage, that is the proportion of a text covered by a vocabulary of a given size, has become a standardized procedure in recent years. Such calculations provide important information for research and pedagogy about issues such as the goals of vocabulary learning and the ease or difficulty of particular texts. Chujo and Utiyama (2005) have pointed out that it is important to ensure that methodological issues involved in such calculations are properly addressed, and their research delineates the vocabulary size, sample size and text length needed to secure reliable results. However, one methodological issue that remains open to debate is how to deal with proper nouns. In studies of text coverage it has become standard practice to assume that proper nouns cause no problems for second language (L2) readers. This paper questions the way proper nouns are dealt with in text coverage calculations. After first looking at the various ways proper nouns are actually treated, the paper examines in detail the assumption that proper nouns are unproblematic for L2 readers. The roots of the assumption are traced back and examined, before a number of other issues that cast doubt on it are raised. The paper concludes with some questions that arise as a result. (Contains 1 table and 1 note.)
Reading in a Foreign Language. National Foreign Language Resource Center, 1859 East-West Road #106, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A