Is meaning construction attempted during the processing of pseudo-compounds?
Psycholinguists have yet to reach a consensus on what role constituent morphemes play in the processing of
compound words, although some recent work suggests that morphemes are activated obligatorily during processing. In the current
study, we investigate whether people use morphemes to attempt meaning construction even for pseudo-compounds which are words that
appear to have a compound structure, but in fact do not (e.g., carpet is not car + pet). We
obtained relational entropies (a measure of potential relational competition) for a set of pseudo-compound words based on
responses from a possible relations task. The relational entropy values as well as frequency of the prime (e.g.,
carpet) and target (e.g., car) were then used to predict the processing of the pseudo-first
constituents after exposure to the pseudo-compound masked primes. We observed a significant three-way interaction between entropy,
target frequency, and prime frequency. Our results suggest that meaning construction is attempted for pseudo-compound words.
- Is meaning construction attempted during the processing of pseudo-compounds?
- Experiment: Possible relations task
- Using relational entropy to predict lexical decision time