Syllables and Morphemes: Contrasting Frequency Effects in Spanish

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Abstract
Three types of sublexical units were studied in Spanish visual word recognition: the syllable, the basic orthographic syllabic structure (BOSS), and the root morpheme. In Experiment 1, using a lexical-decision task, a typical inhibitory effect of the first-syllable frequency was found (while keeping constant the BOSS frequency) as well as the word-frequency effect. Experiment 2 examined the role of both the BOSS frequency and the word frequency, also in a lexical-decision task. Syllable frequency was controlled. Both the BOSS frequency and the word frequency showed facilitatory effects. However, in Experiments 3A and 3B, a facilitatory effect of the root frequency (when controlling for BOSS frequency) and a null effect of BOSS frequency (when controlling for root frequency) were found, suggesting that the BOSS effect is in fact reflecting a morpheme effect. A review of the current models shows that it is difficult to integrate syllables and morphemes in a unique model.
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Author(s)
Alvarez, Carlos
Carreiras, Manuel
Taft, Marcus
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Publication Year
2001
Resource Type
Journal Article
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UNSW Faculty