Representation of grammatical properties of Italian verbs in the mental lexicon

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Abstract

The present study focuses on the representation of verbs in the Italian mental lexicon and investigates some grammatical properties: inflectional class, mood, tense, and person. Two experiments based on free recall of single inflected forms are reported. The patterns of recall and error are taken as evidence for the grammatical and morphological information exploited in the access to the verb forms. The pattern of results provides support for the hypothesis that in the mental lexicon the information about conjugation and mood is an organizational criterion for the representation of verbal forms. An interaction between mood and conjugation, likely to arise from the difference in productivity between conjugations, is also observed.

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