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The role of morphological structure in the processing of complex forms: evidence from Setswana deverbative nouns

Kgolo, Naledi and Eisenbeiss, Sonja (2015) 'The role of morphological structure in the processing of complex forms: evidence from Setswana deverbative nouns.' Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 30 (9). pp. 1116-1133. ISSN 2327-3798

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Abstract

The morphological structure of poly-morphemic words (e.g. government) can affect processing, but it is unclear whether this effect is due to morphological structure or combined formal/orthographic and semantic effects. Setswana, a Bantu language, allows us to explore morphological, formal, and semantic effects: It has a noun derivation with an agglutinative agentive affix (Class-1, mo-rer-i “preacher”) and a noun derivation with vowel changes and little form-overlap (Class-9, ther-o “sermon”) that both apply to verbs (rer-a “preach”). In our masked-priming experiments (SOA = 60 ms), Class-9-forms were even more effective as primes for verbs than Class-1-forms, despite reduced formal overlap, suggesting that abstract morphological structure affects processing independently of formal or semantic relationships. Moreover, Class-1-targets showed reduced priming, indicating that unprimed morphological target material (the affix) reduces priming.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: morphology, derivational processing, Setswana, visual word recognition, masked priming
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2015 10:15
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2015 15:56
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/14901

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