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ERIC Number: EJ784259
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 48
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 128
ISSN: ISSN-0169-0965
Compound Words and Structure in the Lexicon
Fiorentino, Robert; Poeppel, David
Language and Cognitive Processes, v22 n7 p953-1000 Nov 2007
The structure of lexical entries and the status of lexical decomposition remain controversial. In the psycholinguistic literature, one aspect of this debate concerns the psychological reality of the morphological complexity difference between compound words ("teacup") and single words ("crescent"). The present study investigates morphological decomposition in compound words using visual lexical decision with simultaneous magnetoencephalography (MEG), comparing compounds, single words, and pseudomorphemic foils. The results support an account of lexical processing which includes early decomposition of morphologically complex words into constituents. The behavioural differences suggest internally structured representations for compound words, and the early effects of constituents in the electrophysiological signal support the hypothesis of early morphological parsing. These findings add to a growing literature suggesting that the lexicon includes structured representations, consistent with previous findings supporting early morphological parsing using other tasks. The results do not favour two putative constraints, word length and lexicalisation, on early morphological-structure based computation. (Contains 8 figures, 7 tables and 17 footnotes.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A