The role of inflectional suffixes in lexical processing of Greek words

Abstract

We examined differences between the processing of inflectional versus derivational morphology in visual word recognition in Greek using masked and delayed priming. A lexical decision task to target verbs and nouns preceded by morphologically related primes of the same grammatical class was used to examine inflectional morphology, whereas the same target words preceded by primes of the other grammatical class were used to examine derivational morphology. Greek, a highly inflected language, allows use of words consisting of a stable stem and verb or noun inflectional suffixes, keeping the orthographic and phonological overlap constant across conditions. Both noun and verb targets were significantly primed by the same grammatical class, consistent with inflectional processing. When preceded by primes of different grammatical class, verb but not noun targets showed priming, precluding firm conclusions about derivational morphological processing.


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