Are morphological effects modulated by semantic similarity? A study of priming in Quebec French

AbstractGraded effects in morphological processing have been shown in lexical decision tasks in English (e.g., Gonnerman et al., 2007; Quémart et al., 2017). However, most studies in other languages support a decomposition view of the processing of complex words (e.g., Longtin and Meunier, 2005). To determine whether graded priming effects for morphologically complex words can be found in other languages, Quebec French speakers participated in a cross-modal lexical decision task in which auditory primes varied in degree of semantic similarity with visual targets (e.g., bergerie-berge; infirmerie-infirme; fromagerie-fromage). Results indicate that morphological priming requires the prime and target to be both semantically and phonologically similar, with semantic similarity modulating priming effects in morphologically related words. This pattern of results is similar to graded morphological priming previously reported for English and supports an emergentist view of morphological processing (Gonnerman et al., 2007).

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