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The time-course of morphological constraints: Evidence from eye-movements during reading

Cunnings, I. and Clahsen, H. (2007) The time-course of morphological constraints: Evidence from eye-movements during reading. Cognition, 104 (3). pp. 476-494. ISSN 0010-0277

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2006.07.010

Abstract/Summary

Lexical compounds in English are constrained in that the non-head noun can be an irregular but not a regular plural (e.g. mice eater vs. *rats eater), a contrast that has been argued to derive from a morphological constraint on modifiers inside compounds. In addition, bare nouns are preferred over plural forms inside compounds (e.g. mouse eater vs. mice eater), a contrast that has been ascribed to the semantics of compounds. Measuring eyemovements during reading, this study examined how morphological and semantic information become available over time during the processing of a compound. We found that the morphological constraint affected both early and late eye-movement measures, whereas the semantic constraint for singular non-heads only affected late measures of processing. These results indicate that morphological information becomes available earlier than semantic information during the processing of compounds.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:34384
Publisher:Elsevier

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