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LINGUIST List 18.1485

Tue May 15 2007

Diss: Cognitive Science/Morphology/Psycholing: Smolka: 'The Basic I...'

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        1.    Eva Smolka, The Basic Ingredients of Lexical Access and Representation: Evidence from German participles


Message 1: The Basic Ingredients of Lexical Access and Representation: Evidence from German participles
Date: 15-May-2007
From: Eva Smolka <esmolkaull.es>
Subject: The Basic Ingredients of Lexical Access and Representation: Evidence from German participles


Institution: Philipps University Marburg
Program: Department of Psychology
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2005

Author: Eva Smolka

Dissertation Title: The Basic Ingredients of Lexical Access and Representation: Evidence from German participles

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science
                            Morphology
                            Psycholinguistics

Dissertation Director:
Frank Rösler
Pienie Zwitserlood

Dissertation Abstract:

This study investigated whether German participles are accessed by means of
a rule-based morphological decomposition mechanism or rather by means of a
memory-based retrieval mechanism. German participle formation is of
particular interest, since it is concatenative for both regular and
irregular verbs and results from combinations of regular/irregular stems
with regular/irregular suffixes. In four lexical decision experiments,
nonword responses for 'illegal combination participles' (ICPs, e.g.
geworft) were compared with those for pseudostem participles (e.g.
geworst). Responses to ICPs were slower in comparison to pseudostem
participles, indicating that items were decomposed into constituents so
that the stem meaning was accessed. Importantly, decomposition occurred for
ICPs of both regular and irregular verbs, which fails to support a contrast
between a rule-based 'default' mechanism and a retrieval system. In
contrast to existing stems of different syntactic categories (e.g.
gewurft), nonexistent but phonologically likely stem patterns did not
impair responses compared to pseudostem participles, indicating that
phonological stem patterns are not represented in the mental lexicon. An
additional priming experiment showed that ICPs functioned as primes for
related target verbs with similar effectiveness as did correct participles,
confirming that ICPs are decomposed for stem access, even if no overt
response is required. A single system model is presented that integrates
these findings.





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