Early morphological decomposition of suffixed words

Masked priming evidence with transposed-letter nonword primes

Elisabeth Beyersmann*, Jon Andoni Duñabeitia, Manuel Carreiras, Max Coltheart, Anne Castles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Many studies have previously reported that the recognition of a stem target (e.g., teach) is facilitated by the prior masked presentation of a prime consisting of a derived form of it (e.g., teacher). We conducted two lexical decision experiments to investigate masked morphological priming in Spanish. Experiment 1 showed that equal magnitudes of masked stem-target priming are obtained for both morphologically complex word primes (e.g., doloroso-DOLOR [painful-PAIN]) and morphologically complex nonword primes that included letter transpositions within the stem (e.g., dlooroso-DOLOR). Experiment 2 used morphologically complex nonword primes comprising lexically illegal combinations of stems and suffixes (e.g., total + ito [a little total]). Priming was obtained for morphologically related nonword primes (e.g., totalito-TOTAL), but not for nonword primes that included letter transpositions within the pseudostem (e.g., ttoalito-TOTAL). Our data suggest that morphoorthographic parsing mechanisms benefit from semantic constraints at early stages in the reading system, which we discuss in the context of current morphological processing accounts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)869-892
Number of pages24
JournalApplied Psycholinguistics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2012 Cambridge University Press. Article originally published in Applied psycholinguistics, Vol. 34, Issue 5, pp. 869-892. The original article can be found at http://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716412000057.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Early morphological decomposition of suffixed words: Masked priming evidence with transposed-letter nonword primes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this