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Producing morphologically complex words: an ERP study with children and adults.

Budd, Mary-Jane and Paulmann, Silke and Barry, Christopher and Clahsen, Harald (2015) 'Producing morphologically complex words: an ERP study with children and adults.' Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 12 (1). pp. 51-60. ISSN 1878-9293

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A widely studied morphological phenomenon in psycholinguistic research is the plurals-inside-compounds effect in English, which is the avoidance of regular plural modifiers within compounds (e.g., *rats hunter). The current study employs event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to investigate the production of plurals-inside-compounds in children and adults. We specifically examined the ERP correlates of producing morphologically complex words in 8-year-olds, 12-year-olds and adults, by recording ERPs during the silent production of compounds with plural or singular modifiers. Results for both children and adults revealed a negativity in response to compounds produced from regular plural forms when compared to compounds formed from irregular plurals, indicating a highly specific brain response to a subtle linguistic contrast. Although children performed behaviourally with an adult-like pattern in the task, we found a broader distribution and a considerably later latency in children's brain potentials than in adults', indicating that even in late childhood the brain networks involved in language processing are subject to subtle developmental changes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brain; Humans; Language; Language Development; Evoked Potentials; Linguistics; Adult; Child; Female; Male
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2015 10:59
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:20

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