Jun 22 – 24, 2017
SISSA Main Campus
Europe/Rome timezone

Is prefix identification position-specific?

Jun 22, 2017, 3:20 PM
2h 10m
Lecture Hall Paolo Budinich (SISSA Main Campus)

Lecture Hall Paolo Budinich

SISSA Main Campus

via Bonomea 265, 34136, Trieste
Poster Freely Contributed Paper Poster 1


Julia Carden (University of Buenos Aires)


How morpheme position is represented within the word recognition system is an issue of great importance to any model postulating a sublexical decomposition of morphologically-complex words. Crepaldi, Rastle & Davis (2010) and Crepaldi, Hemsworth, Davis & Rastle (2015) studied this matter focusing their attention on the processing of English suffixes, and reached the conclusion that their representations are position-specific (i.e., they are accessed by the word recognition system only when they appear following the stem). Although the evidence provided in these experiments is restricted to suffixes, the authors mention that similar results would be expected with prefixes: they are probably stripped from word onsets but not from word endings. However, some evidence has been found suggesting that derived prefixed and suffixed words are organized and accessed differently in the mental lexicon, and that the representations of prefixes and suffixes are not equivalent (Beyersmann, Ziegler & Grainger, 2015; Ferrari & Kacinik, 2014; Giraudo & Grainger, 2003; Kim, Wang & Taft, 2015). The aim of our experiment is to determine whether Spanish prefixes are recognized as such only when they are in their typical position (preceding the base), or if they are activated independently of their position, as stem representations seem to be (Crepaldi, Rastle, Davis & Lupker, 2013). For this purpose, we have adapted Crepaldi et al’s (2010) first experiment by designing morphologically-structured nonword stimuli in two conditions: prefix-plus-stem and stem-plus-prefix. If prefix representations are position-specific, a morpheme interference effect should emerge in lexical decision tasks for the prefix-plus-stem stimuli relative to matched nonwords without a morphological structure, but no such processing disadvantage should be found for the stem-plus-prefix stimuli. On the contrary, if prefixes are position-invariant, we should observe comparable interference for both type of stimuli. Results will be presented and discussed.

Primary author

Julia Carden (University of Buenos Aires)


Virginia Jaichenco (University of Buenos Aires)

Presentation materials

There are no materials yet.