Playfulness: Influence of age Peculiarities on the Verbal Behavior of the Respondents

  • Iya V. Hordiyenko-Mytrofanova Kharkiv National Pedagogical University named after H. S. Skovoroda
  • Serhii L. Sauta Kharkiv National Pedagogical University named after H. S. Skovoroda
Keywords: psycholinguistic experiment, free associative experiment, stimulus, playfulness, verbal behaviour, age


The article is focused on the results of psycho-linguistic experiment which aim was to elicit influence of psychological age peculiarities on the verbal behaviour of the respondents while studying the stimuli “playfulness” is a relevant lexeme in the linguistic consciousness of the residents of Ukraine speaking Russian fluently. The sample consisted of 400 people in equal correlation of males and females in each age category (“juvenility” – 17-21, “youth” – 22-30, “maturity” – 31-59 и “old age” – 60 plus). The overall number of reactions amounted to 1981 – 617 unique associations, including 44 word combinations and sentences, 212 among them occurring more than once, 405 singular reactions, and total absence of refusals. Common features in the verbal behaviour of the respondents reflected in the lexemes “merry-making” (6,71%), “children” (4,44%), “kitten” (4,24%), “delight” (3,78%), “mood” (3,23%), “smile” (2,42%), “champagne” (1,66%), “joke” (1,56%). The total for all age groups is also a positive emotional evaluation characteristic. Specific features in the verbal behaviour of the respondents in “juvenility”, reflected in the lexemes “humour” (3%), “young girl” (2,4%), “fervour” (1,6%); in “youth” – were depicted in such lexemes as “sex” (4,7%), “champagne” (2,86%), “woman” (1,43%); in “maturity” – in “hazard” (2,02%); in “old age” – reflected in the lexemes “laughter” (6,83%), “delight” (5,62%), “mood” (4,62%), “smile” (4,22%), also in “coquetry” (0,8%), “flirting” (0,4%), “sex” (0,2%). Individual features of the verbal behaviour of the “youth” and “old age” expressed themselves in the new psycholinguistic meaning “adaptation”.


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Hordiyenko-Mytrofanova, I. V., & Sauta, S. L. (2016). Playfulness: Influence of age Peculiarities on the Verbal Behavior of the Respondents. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, (20(1), 50-64. Retrieved from