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Universal and particular in morphological processing

  • Do properties of individual languages shape the mechanisms by which they are processed? By virtue of their nonconcatenative morphological structure, the recognition of complex words in Semitic languages has been argued to rely strongly on morphological information and on decomposition into root and pattern constituents. Here, we report results from a masked priming experiment in Hebrew in which we contrasted verb forms belonging to two morphological classes, Paal and Piel, which display similar properties, but crucially differ on whether they are extended to novel verbs. Verbs from the open-class Piel elicited familiar root priming effects, but verbs from the closed-class Paal did not. Our findings indicate that, similarly to other (e.g., Indo-European) languages, down-to-the-root decomposition in Hebrew does not apply to stems of non-productive verbal classes. We conclude that the Semitic word processor is less unique than previously thought: Although it operates on morphological units that are combined in a non-linear way,Do properties of individual languages shape the mechanisms by which they are processed? By virtue of their nonconcatenative morphological structure, the recognition of complex words in Semitic languages has been argued to rely strongly on morphological information and on decomposition into root and pattern constituents. Here, we report results from a masked priming experiment in Hebrew in which we contrasted verb forms belonging to two morphological classes, Paal and Piel, which display similar properties, but crucially differ on whether they are extended to novel verbs. Verbs from the open-class Piel elicited familiar root priming effects, but verbs from the closed-class Paal did not. Our findings indicate that, similarly to other (e.g., Indo-European) languages, down-to-the-root decomposition in Hebrew does not apply to stems of non-productive verbal classes. We conclude that the Semitic word processor is less unique than previously thought: Although it operates on morphological units that are combined in a non-linear way, it engages the same universal mechanisms of storage and computation as those seen in other languages.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:João VeríssimoORCiD, Yael Farhy, Harald ClahsenORCiDGND
URL:http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/17470218.2017.1310917
DOI:https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2017.1310917
Parent Title (English):Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Subtitle (English):Evidence from Hebrew
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2018/05/01
Year of Completion:2016
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2018/09/26
Tag:Language universals , morphology , priming , Semitic
Volume:71
Issue:5
First Page:1125
Last Page:1132
Funder:Taylor & Francis Open Access Agreement
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, 4.0 International
Notes extern:Zweitveröffentlichung in der Schriftenreihe Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe ; 168