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Academic Paper

Title: Morphologically complex words in L1 and L2 processing: Evidence from masked priming experiments in English
Author: Renita Silva
Institution: University of Essex
Author: Harald Clahsen
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Universit├Ąt Potsdam
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This paper reports results from masked priming experiments investigating regular past-tense forms and deadjectival nominalizations with -ness and -ity in adult native (L1) speakers of English and in different groups of advanced adult second language (L2) learners of English. While the L1 group showed efficient priming for both inflected and derived word forms, the L2 learners demonstrated repetition-priming effects (like the L1 group), but no priming for inflected and reduced priming for derived word forms. We argue that this striking contrast between L1 and L2 processing supports the view that adult L2 learners rely more on lexical storage and less on combinatorial processing of morphologically complex words than native speakers.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 11, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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