Morpho-orthographic segmentation without semantics

Abstract : Masked priming studies have repeatedly provided evidence for a form-based morpho-orthographic segmentation mechanism that blindly decomposes any word with the mere appearance of morphological complexity (e.g., corn + er). This account has been called into question by Baayen et al. Psychological Review, 118, 438–482 (2011), who pointed out that the prime words previously tested in the morpho-orthographic condition vary in the extent to which the suffix conveys regular meaning. In the present study, we investigated whether evidence for morpho-orthographic segmentation can be obtained with a set of tightly controlled prime words that are entirely semantically opaque. Using a visual lexical decision task, we compared priming from truly suffixed primes (hunter-HUNT), completely opaque pseudo-suffixed primes (corner-CORN), and non-suffixed primes (cashew-CASH). The results show comparable magnitudes of priming for the truly suffixed and pseudo-suffixed primes, and no priming from non-suffixed primes, and therefore provide further important evidence in support of morpho-orthographic segmentation processes operating in the absence of any possible role for semantics.
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Elisabeth Beyersmann, Johannes Ziegler, Anne Castles, Max Coltheart, Yvette Kezilas, et al.. Morpho-orthographic segmentation without semantics. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Psychonomic Society, 2016, 23 (2), pp.533-539. ⟨10.3758/s13423-015-0927-z⟩. ⟨hal-02087747⟩

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