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Rule-based morphological processing in a second language: a behavioural investigation

Pliatsikas, C. and Marinis, T. (2013) Rule-based morphological processing in a second language: a behavioural investigation. Language Studies Working Papers, 5. pp. 3-12. ISSN 2040-3461

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Official URL: http://www.reading.ac.uk/english-language-and-appl...

Abstract/Summary

According to dual-system accounts of English past-tense processing, regular forms are decomposed into their stem and affix (played=play+ed) based on an implicit linguistic rule, whereas irregular forms (kept) are retrieved directly from the mental lexicon. In second language (L2) processing research, it has been suggested that L2 learners do not have rule-based decomposing abilities, so they process regular past-tense forms similarly to irregular ones (Silva & Clahsen 2008), without applying the morphological rule. The present study investigates morphological processing of regular and irregular verbs in Greek-English L2 learners and native English speakers. In a masked-priming experiment with regular and irregular prime-target verb pairs (playedplay/kept-keep), native speakers showed priming effects for regular pairs, compared to unrelated pairs, indicating decomposition; conversely, L2 learners showed inhibitory effects. At the same time, both groups revealed priming effects for irregular pairs. We discuss these findings in the light of available theories on L2 morphological processing.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Development
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:37647
Publisher:University of Reading

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