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      Early decomposition in visual word recognition: Dissociating morphology, form, and meaning

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      Language and Cognitive Processes
      Taylor & Francis

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          Abstract

          The role of morphological, semantic, and form-based factors in the early stages of visual word recognition was investigated across different SOAs in a masked priming paradigm, focusing on English derivational morphology. In a first set of experiments, stimulus pairs co-varying in morphological decomposability and in semantic and orthographic relatedness were presented at three SOAs (36, 48, and 72 ms). No effects of orthographic relatedness were found at any SOA. Semantic relatedness did not interact with effects of morphological decomposability, which came through strongly at all SOAs, even for pseudo-suffixed pairs such as archer-arch. Derivational morphological effects in masked priming seem to be primarily driven by morphological decomposability at an early stage of visual word recognition, and are independent of semantic factors. A second experiment reversed the order of prime and target (stem-derived rather than derived-stem), and again found that morphological priming did not interact with semantic relatedness. This points to an early segmentation process that is driven by morphological decomposability and not by the structure or content of central lexical representations.

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          The broth in my brother's brothel: morpho-orthographic segmentation in visual word recognition.

          Much research suggests that words comprising more than one morpheme are represented in a "decomposed" manner in the visual word recognition system. In the research presented here, we investigate what information is used to segment a word into its morphemic constituents and, in particular, whether semantic information plays a role in that segmentation. Participants made visual lexical decisions to stem targets preceded by masked primes sharing (1) a semantically transparent morphological relationship with the target (e.g., cleaner-CLEAN), (2) an apparent morphological relationship but no semantic relationship with the target (e.g., corner-CORN), and (3) a nonmorphological form relationship with the target (e.g., brothel-BROTH). Results showed significant and equivalent masked priming effects in cases in which primes and targets appeared to be morphologically related, and priming in these conditions could be distinguished from nonmorphological form priming. We argue that these findings suggest a level of representation at which apparently complex words are decomposed on the basis of their morpho-orthographic properties. Implications of these findings for computational models of reading are discussed.
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            Morphological and semantic effects in visual word recognition: A time-course study

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              Morphological priming without morphological relationship

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Lang Cogn Process
                plcp
                Language and Cognitive Processes
                Taylor & Francis
                0169-0965
                1464-0732
                18 March 2008
                April 2008
                : 23
                : 3
                : 394-421
                Affiliations
                MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK
                Centre for Speech and Language, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence should be addressed to William Marslen-Wilson, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Rd., Cambridge CB2 2EF, UK. E-mail: w.marslen-wilson@ 123456mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk

                We thank Lorraine Tyler, Kathy Rastle, Helen Moss, and Matt Davis for helpful comments on this research, and Ken Forster, David Plaut, and Marcus Taft for comments on previous versions of this manuscript. The research was funded by an MRC programme grant to Lorraine Tyler and by an ORS Award (Universities UK) and Trinity College research bursary to Mirjana Bozic.

                Article
                10.1080/01690960701588004
                2557072
                18923643
                c2c58231-92c2-44c9-9fd8-4dc4370cdc32
                © 2008 Psychology Press, an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa business

                This is an open access article distributed under the Supplemental Terms and Conditions for iOpenAccess articles published in Taylor & Francis journals , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : November 2006
                : 01 July 2007
                Categories
                Original Article

                Neurosciences
                Neurosciences

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