Do late bilinguals access pure morphology during word recognition?

  • This study extends research on morphological processing in late bilinguals to a rarely examined language type, Semitic, by reporting results from a masked-priming experiment with 58 non-native, advanced, second-language (L2) speakers of Hebrew in comparison with native (L1) speakers. We took advantage of a case of ‘pure morphology’ in Hebrew, the so-called binyanim, which represent (essentially arbitrary) morphological classes for verbs. Our results revealed a non-native priming pattern for the L2 group, with root-priming effects restricted to non-finite prime words irrespective of binyanim type. We conclude that root extraction in L2 Hebrew word recognition is less sensitive to both morphological and morphosyntactic cues than in the L1, in line with the Shallow-Structure Hypothesis of L2 processing.

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Author details:Yael FarhyGND, Joao Marques VerissimoORCiDGND, Harald ClahsenORCiDGND
Title of parent work (English):Bilingualism : language and cognition
Subtitle (English):a masked-priming study on Hebrew as a second language
Publisher:Cambridge Univ. Press
Place of publishing:New York
Publication type:Article
Year of first publication:2018
Completion year:2018
Release date:2021/07/19
Tag:Hebrew; behavioural measurements; grammatical processing; healthy normal subjects; morphology
Number of pages:7
First page:945
Last Page:951
Funding institution:Minerva Fellowship Program; Alexander-von-Humboldt Professorship award
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Kognitionswissenschaften / Department Linguistik / Multilingualism
DDC classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache