Beinan Zhou (University of Oxford) Sandra Kotzor (University of Oxford; Oxford Brookes University)
Some evidence suggests that phonological transparency is used when processing morphologically complex words (c.f. Amenta & Crepaldi, 2012). However, in the form priming literature, the effect of phonological overlap is not conclusive (cf. Giraudo and Dal Maso, 2016). Priming experiments often show inhibition (Colombo, 1986) or null effects (Marslen-Wilson et al., 1994), rather than facilitation. We are interested in understanding form priming and how it interacts with morphological processing. 64 Bengali native speakers participated in four experiments using a cross-modal lexical decision paradigm: two with phonologically related prime-target pairs and two with morphologically related pairs. Bengali allows us to control experimental materials (a) to systematically manipulate segmental overlap between the prime/target pair and (b) to compare the results for word pairs that are phonologically or morphologically related with parallel segmental structures. Segmental overlap was strictly controlled by increasing/decreasing one segment between prime and target. Two conditions were used: in the blocked condition (N = 32) critical prime-target pairs had the same type of relationship while in the mixed condition (N = 32) phonologically and morphologically related pairs were mixed. In the blocked condition, morphologically related pairs showed robust priming effects, but not phonologically related pairs. In the mixed condition, a similar morphological priming effect was found. Additionally, a significant form priming effect emerged, suggesting that exposure to morphologically related word pairs altered the analyses for phonologically related words. The form priming effect in the mixed condition was driven by pairs where targets increased by one segment rather than those which decreased by one segment. Hence, the form priming effect in the mixing condition results from a more activated phonologically related cohort, arguably because morphological processing draws on phonological relatedness. Thus participants rely more on phonological information than in a blocked condition. Methodological implications are discussed.
Beinan Zhou (University of Oxford)