Are word meanings corresponding to different grammatical categories organised differently within lexical semantic memory?
We report on two experiments that examined lexical semantic memory. Experiment 1 included semantically related word-pairs (similarity of meaning) and unrelated word-pairs from three grammatical categories (nouns, verbs, adjectives). Experiment 2 included semantically related word-pairs (contrasting meaning) and unrelated word-pairs from the same three categories. Results of both experiments showed similar levels of semantic priming across same versus different grammatical category word-pairs (e.g., verb–verb pairs vs. verb–adjective pairs). Additional analyses of each experiment showed similar levels of priming within each of the three grammatical categories (i.e., noun–noun vs. verb–verb vs. adjective–adjective pairs). These findings suggest that there are no sharp architectural distinctions amongst words from different grammatical categories within lexical semantic memory.
Keywords: lexical decision, semantic priming, grammatical category, semantic relationships, nouns, verbs, adjectives
Published online: 30 August 2006