Sensitivity to morphological composition in spoken word recognition: Evidence from grammatical and lexical identification tasks

Laura E. Gwilliams, Philip J. Monahan, Arthur G. Samuel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Access to morphological structure during lexical processing has been established across a number of languages; however, it remains unclear which constituents are held as mental representations in the lexicon. The present study examined the auditory recognition of different noun types across 2 experiments. The critical manipulations were morphological complexity and the presence of a verbal derivation or nominalizing suffix form. Results showed that nominalizations, such as "explosion," were harder to classify as a noun but easier to classify as a word when compared with monomorphemic words with similar actionlike semantics, such as "avalanche." These findings support the claim that listeners decompose morphologically complex words into their constituent units during processing. More specifically, the results suggest that people hold representations of base morphemes in the lexicon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1663-1674
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Decomposition
  • Derivational suffixation
  • Morphological processing
  • Spoken word recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

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