Morpho-orthographic segmentation without semantics

Elisabeth Beyersmann*, Johannes C. Ziegler, Anne Castles, Max Coltheart, Yvette Kezilas, Jonathan Grainger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Masked priming studies have repeatedly provided evidence for a form-based morpho-orthographic segmentation mechanism that blindly decomposes any word with the mere appearance of morphological complexity (e.g., corn + er). This account has been called into question by Baayen et al. Psychological Review, 118, 438–482 (2011), who pointed out that the prime words previously tested in the morpho-orthographic condition vary in the extent to which the suffix conveys regular meaning. In the present study, we investigated whether evidence for morpho-orthographic segmentation can be obtained with a set of tightly controlled prime words that are entirely semantically opaque. Using a visual lexical decision task, we compared priming from truly suffixed primes (hunter-HUNT), completely opaque pseudo-suffixed primes (corner-CORN), and non-suffixed primes (cashew-CASH). The results show comparable magnitudes of priming for the truly suffixed and pseudo-suffixed primes, and no priming from non-suffixed primes, and therefore provide further important evidence in support of morpho-orthographic segmentation processes operating in the absence of any possible role for semantics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • morphological processing
  • morpho-orthographic priming
  • pseudo-affixes
  • masked priming

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