Publication details [#63461]

Jiang, Nan, Kira Gor and Man Li. 2017. L1 and L2 processing of compound words: Evidence from masked priming experiments in English. Bilingualism 20 (2) : 384–402.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Cambridge University Press


This inquiry reports results from a range of masked priming experiments exploring early automatic processes implicated in the visual recognition of English bimorphemic compounds in native and non-native processing. Results display that NSs generated 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. Alike, advanced Chinese learners of English also generated robust and statistically equivalent priming effects with transparent and opaque compound primes in both positions. However, a clear orthographic priming effect was discerned in the word-initial overlap position but no such effect in the word-final position. It is claimed that L2 compound priming stems from a divergent source from form priming. It is concluded 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.