Lexicality, morphological structure, and semantic transparency in the processing of Germanver-verbs: The complementarity of on-line and off-line evidence

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Two types of experiments investigate the visual on-line and off-line processing of German ver-verbs (e.g., verbittern ‘to embitter’). In Experiments 1 and 2 (morphological priming), latency patterns revealed the existence of facilitation effects for the morphological conditions (BITTER-VERBITTERN and BITTERN-VERBITTERN) as compared to the neutral conditions (SAUBER-VERBITTERN and SÄUBERN-VERBITTERN). In Experiments 3 and 4 (rating tasks) participants had to judge whether the target (VERBITTERN) “comes from,” “contains a form of,” or “contains the meaning of” the root (BITTER) or the root+en substring (BITTERN). Taken together, these studies revealed the combined influence of the three factors of lexicality (real word status), morphological structure, and semantic transparency.

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