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Morphological priming by itself: a study of Portuguese conjugations.

Veríssimo, João and Clahsen, Harald (2009) 'Morphological priming by itself: a study of Portuguese conjugations.' Cognition, 112 (1). pp. 187-94. ISSN 0010-0277

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Abstract

Does the language processing system make use of abstract grammatical categories and representations that are not directly visible from the surface form of a linguistic expression? This study examines stem-formation processes and conjugation classes, a case of 'pure' morphology that provides insight into the role of grammatical structure in language processing. We report results from a cross-modal priming experiment examining 1st and 3rd conjugation verb forms in Portuguese. Although items were closely matched with respect to a range of non-morphological factors, distinct priming patterns were found for 1st and 3rd conjugation stems. We attribute the observed priming patterns to different representations of conjugational stems, combinatorial morphologically structured ones for 1st conjugation and un-analyzed morphologically unstructured ones for 3rd conjugation stems. Our findings underline the importance of morphology for language comprehension indicating that morphological analysis goes beyond the identification of grammatical morphemes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Morphological priming; Stem formation; Conjugation classes; Portuguese morphology
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Admin
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2011 10:08
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2014 11:20
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/273

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