Processing Differences Across Regular and Irregular Inflections Revealed Through ERPs
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
American Psychological Association
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Research strongly suggests that printed words are recognized in terms of their constituent morphemes, but researchers have tended to consider the recognition of derivations and inflections in separate theoretical debates. Recently, Crepaldi et al. (2010) proposed a theory that claims to account for the recognition of both derivations and inflections. We investigated brain potentials in the context of masked priming to test 2 key predictions of this theory: (a) that regular inflections should prime their stems to a greater degree than irregular inflections should prime their stems and (b) that priming for regular inflections should arise earlier in the recognition process than priming for irregular inflections. Significant masked priming effects were observed for both regular and irregular inflections, though these effects were greater for regular inflections. ERP data further suggested that masked priming effects for regular and irregular inflections had different time courses. Priming for regular but not irregular inflections emerged in a time window reflecting processing up to 250 ms post target onset, and although priming for regular and irregular inflections was observed in a time window reflecting processing 400 to 600 ms post target onset, these effects arose earlier and were of greater magnitude for the regular inflections. These findings support a form-then-meaning characterization of the visual word processing system such as that proposed by Crepaldi et al. (2010) and raise challenges for alternative approaches. (PsycINFO Database Record
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Copyright © 2015 American Psychological Association
Vol. 41 (3), pp. 747-760