Chapter published in:Functionalist and Usage-based Approaches to the Study of Language: In honor of Joan L. Bybee
Edited by K. Aaron Smith and Dawn Nordquist
[Studies in Language Companion Series 192] 2018
► pp. 199–224
The evidence add ups
An affix shift study of prefabs
In a usage-based model of the lexicon, linguistic elements that repeatedly co-occur in sequence come to form a processing unit (Bybee 2002b). The present study supplements previous psycholinguistic research finding that multiword sequences may form a ‘prefabricated’ sequence. I describe a new experiment designed to elicit ‘affix shift’ speech errors (e.g., adds up → add ups), which give evidence of holistic processing of a multiword sequence. Analysis of the data indicates that affix positioning errors are predicted by a confluence of factors – a high-frequency stimulus sequence (settle down) in tandem with low-frequency component words (settle, down). These findings provide support for a usage-based account, in which linguistic units are not fixed, but gradient and changeable with experience.
Published online: 01 March 2018
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