Inflectional Suffix Priming in Czech Verbs and Nouns


Two experiments examined if processing of inflectional affixes is affected by morphological priming, and whether morphological decomposition applies to inflectional morphemes in visual word recognition. Target words with potentially ambiguous suffixes were preceded by primes that contained identical suffixes, homophonous suffixes with different function, or different suffixes. The results partially confirmed the observation that morphological decomposition initially ignores the affix meaning. With verb targets and short stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA), homophonous suffixes had similar effects as identical suffixes. With noun targets, there was a tendency to respond faster after homophonous targets. With longer SOA in verb targets, the primes with identical suffix resulted in shorter responses than the primes with a homophonous suffix. Similar tendency was observed in some noun targets. The results confirm that it is possible to prime inflectional affixes, but that the mechanisms of morphological analysis may operate differently for different types of affixes.

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