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Academic Paper

Title: L1 and L2 processing of compound words: Evidence from masked priming experiments in English
Author: MAN LI
Author: KIRA GOR
Author: Gerrit Kootstra
Author: Pieter C. Muysken
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: This study reports results from a series of masked priming experiments investigating early automatic processes involved in the visual recognition of English bimorphemic compounds in native and non-native processing. Results show that NSs produced robust and statistically equivalent masked priming effects with semantically transparent (e.g., toothbrush-TOOTH) and opaque (e.g., honeymoon-HONEY) compound primes, but no priming with orthographic controls (e.g., restaurant-REST), irrespective of constituent position. Similarly, advanced Chinese learners of English also produced robust and statistically equivalent priming effects with transparent and opaque compound primes in both positions. However, a clear orthographic priming effect was observed in the word-initialnoverlap position but no such effect in the word-final position. We argue that L2 compound priming originates from a different source from form priming. We conclude that these findings lend support to the sublexical morpho-orthographic decomposition mechanism underlying early English compound recognition not only in L1 but also in L2 processing.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 20, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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