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*Manuscript has been accepted at Memory & Cognition, 10th May 2024* # Abstract Large-scale collection of lexical-semantic norms for words in a given language has been instrumental in the progress of psycholinguistic research. However, such norms tend to be collected from speakers of the dominant variant or dialect. This research aims to determine if there may be differences across speakers of various dialects of English in the humor of individual words. Engelthaler and Hills (2018) observed that their humor ratings were most strongly correlated with inverse word frequency: Less frequent words tended to be rated as more humorous. We hypothesized that words that are less frequently occurring in a given English dialect should be perceived as more humorous by speakers of the same dialect. We selected words of relatively higher and lower frequencies across various corpora of North American, British, or Singapore English, and presented these words to participants who were native English speakers of North American, British, or Singapore English. Study 1 compared humor ratings of North Americans and Singaporeans; Study 2 compared humor ratings of North Americans and the British. Analyses of participants' random slope coefficients of frequency extracted from cumulative link mixed-effects models indicated that humor ratings were more strongly (and inversely) associated with the word's frequency in the corpora that aligned with the rater's English dialect. These results provide evidence that people are sensitive to the statistics of their specific language environment, and importantly suggest that creators of lexical-semantic norm databases should consider how the cultural, historical, or sociopolitical context of raters might influence the nature of their ratings. # Keywords humor norms, English dialects, lexical-semantic norms, Singapore English, word frequency
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