Early morphological decomposition during visual word recognition: Evidence from masked transposed-letter priming

Elisabeth Beyersmann*, Anne Castles, Max Coltheart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present experiments were designed to explore the theory of early morpho-orthographic segmentation (Rastle, Davis, & New, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 11,1090-1098, 2004), which postulates that written words with a true morphologically complex structure (cleaner) and those with a morphological pseudostructure (corner) are both decomposed into affix and stem morphemes. We used masked complex transposed-letter (TL) nonword primes in a lexical decision task. Experiment 1 replicated the well-known masked TL-priming effect using monomorphemic nonword primes (e. g., wran-WARN). Experiment 2 used the same nonword TL stems as in Experiment 1, but combined them with real suffixes (e. g., ish as in wranish-WARN). Priming was compared with that from nonsuffixed primes in which the real suffixes were replaced with nonmorphemic endings (e. g., el as in wranel-WARN). Significant priming was found in the suffixed but not in the nonsuffixed condition, suggesting that affix-stripping occurs at prelexical stages in visual word recognition and operates over early letter-position encoding mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-942
Number of pages6
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

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