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Semantic influences on morphological facilitation: Concreteness and family size

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Two semantic variables, concreteness and morphological family size, were examined in a single word and a primed lexical decision task. Single word recognition latencies were faster for concrete relative to abstract targets only when morphological family size was small. The magnitude of morphological facilitation for primes related by inflection was greater than by derivation although both revealed a very similar interaction of concreteness and family size. In summary, concreteness influenced morphological processing so as to produce slower decision latencies for small family abstract than concrete words both in a single word and in a morphologically primed context. However, magnitudes of facilitation in isolation from baselines provided an incomplete account of morphological processing.
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Keywords: LSA; concreteness; morphological facilitation; morphological family size; semantic coherence

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Haskins Laboratories 2: University at Albany, State University of New York 3: State University of New York at Geneseo

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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