Abstract

This article deals with the claim that the magnitude estimation (ME) method of gathering acceptability judgments produces data that are more informative for linguists than binary or n-point scale judgments. We performed three acceptability-rating experiments that directly compared ME data to binary and seven-point scale data. The results clearly falsify the hypothesis that data gathered by the ME method carry a larger amount of information about the acceptability of a given linguistic phenomenon. The three measures are largely equivalent with respect to informativity. Moreover, ME judgments are shown to be more liable to producing spurious variance under certain circumstances.

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