Presentation on theme: "Morphology and Meaning in the English Mental Lexicon By William Marlsen-Wilson, Lorraine Komisarjevsky Tyler, Rachelle Waksler, and Lianne Older Presented."— Presentation transcript:
Morphology and Meaning in the English Mental Lexicon By William Marlsen-Wilson, Lorraine Komisarjevsky Tyler, Rachelle Waksler, and Lianne Older Presented by Robyn Maler
Questions How are lexical entries represented in the mental lexicon? Are their representations based on whole phonetic words (full listing hypothesis) or morphemes (morphemic hypothesis)? Are there differences between lexical representations at different levels?
Background Lexical entry is distinct from access representation Morphological category: the basic linguistic characteristics of the affixes (derivational vs. inflectional, prefix vs. suffix) Semantic transparency: whether the form is synchronically compositional Phonological transparency: whether the form has the same phonetic shape for both its affixed and unaffixed versions
Experimental Task Design Cross-modal immediate repetition priming: subject hears a multimorphemic spoken word (prime) and immediately after sees a visual probe (target) Subject must make a lexical-decision response to this probe Response facilitation (priming) is measured by response latency relative to a baseline condition (subject’s response to same probe following unrelated prime)
Questions for Experiments 1-3: Is the lexical entry for derived suffixed words in English morphologically structured? How does the semantic and phonological transparency of stem and affix morphemes affect the representation of a derived form?
Experiment 1 Purpose: to determine whether there is evidence for a level of morphologically structured lexical representation that abstracts away from shared surface phonetic properties
Results and Discussion Results are consistent with hypothesis that derived suffixed forms prime their free stems because of lexical entry processes and not just surface phonetic overlap
Experiment 2 Purpose: to determine whether the priming observed in [+Morph] conditions in Experiment 1 are simply due to semantic relationships between morphologically related pairs instead of shared morphemes in a morphologically structured mental lexicon
Results and Discussion Priming only occurs when there is a synchronically semantically transparent relationship between derived and stem forms Semantic links alone can produce priming, but semantic relatedness is not the only factor affecting facilitation!
Experiment 3 Purpose #1: to study effects of morphological type and semantic transparency more rigorously Purpose #2: to investigate a new prime-target combination (stem- derived)
Results and Discussion Like the suffixed pairs, only [+Sem] prefixed pairs showed priming Prefixed [+Sem] derived-derived pairs show strong priming effects, consistent with idea that they are not cohort competitors Prefixed [-Sem, +Morph] forms (e.g. mistake) are represented as monomorphemic items WHEREAS prefixed [+Sem, +Morph] forms (e.g. refasten) are broken down into abstract stems and prefixes at the level of lexical entry
Experiment 5 Purpose: to investigate stem-derived order in prefixed pairs
Results and Discussion Condition 3 results provide more evidence that there is no facilitation when there is no synchronic semantic basis for representing a word form as morphologically complex Results consistent with a model of lexical representation in which there are inhibitory links between suffixes but not prefixes that share the same stem
Experiment 6 Purpose: to explore relationship between prefixed and suffixed forms
Results and Discussion Consistent with a cohort-based model in which there are inhibitory links between competing suffixed forms but not prefixed and suffixed forms
In summary… Semantically transparent suffixed pairs prime each other except in the case of two suffixed forms, which demonstrate a cohort- based inhibitory effect Semantically transparent prefixed pairs always prime each other Semantically opaque pairs do not prime each other Thus, semantically transparent forms are decomposed at the level of lexical entry, while semantically opaque forms are represented monomorphemically
…cont’d Phonological opacity had no effect on results Thus, morphemes are phonologically abstract
What does it all mean? Results suggest that there is a modality- independent and morphologically structured lexical level The basic unit in terms of which the lexicon is organized, at least for derivational forms in English, is the developmentally-defined morpheme The findings are (kind of) consistent with a partial decomposition view of the lexicon