Projects

Morphological decomposition: more than islands of regularity?

A wealth of psycholinguistic evidence has shown that words, before being visually recognized, decompose into smaller units which seem to correspond to morphemes (Rastle et al., 2000, 2004). Such a procedure of morphological decomposition seems to occur in words that are made of more than one morpheme, independently of whether they are semantically transparent (e.

Phonological underspecification

Since at least the 1970s, much research in theoretical phonology has been devoted to determining how speech sounds are represented in the human mind. Recently, Eulitz & Lahiri (2004) have demonstrated that EEG, and in particular the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) response, can be a powerful tool for investigating the featural specifications within the mental representations of speech sounds (Näätänen, 2001).

EEG/MEG response comparability

Over the past few decades, a bulk of psycholinguistic evidence have shown that words decompose in morphemes when they are recognized (morphological decomposition). A series of magnetoencephalographic (MEG) studies have recently suggested that the brain response to morphological properties originates from a region of the inferior temporal cortex known as `Visual Word Fom Area' (VWFA; Cohen et al.

Allomorphy: when, how, why

In recent year, much effort in theoretical linguistics has devoted to defining the grammatical restrictions governing morphological alternations, in which the exponence of an element x depends on the context in which x occurs.

Dominance-driven morphological decomposition

The term dominance refers to the relative frequency of a given derived or inflected word form with respect to its stem word form. For example, a plural form such as worlds is labeled as singular-dominant because the inflected form worlds is less frequent than the stem form world; conversely, a plural form such as windows is labeled as plural-dominant because the inflected form windows is more frequent than the stem form window.

Lexical selectivity in visual morphological decomposition

In some preliminary results reported in my dissertation, priming effects are shown to arise for specific affixes: i.e., -able, -ful, im-, -ity, -ment, -ness, -s; but not for others: dis-, in-, -er.

Phonology-driven decomposition

This project asks whether decomposition is affected by phonologically-conditioned morphological alternations, in which the alternants realize the same value of a given morpho-syntactic feature and can be accounted for by assuming language-wide, regular phonological operations triggered by the surrounding phonological context.

Prime masking in the auditory modality

Most psycholinguistic research on morphological decomposition has been conducted in the visual modality. The main reason for this is that our current behavioral methodologies seem unable to investigate auditory decomposition at the subliminal level of processing.

Priming effects and prime time processing

The current psycholinguistic literature on visual morphological decomposition makes a great use of the visual masked priming design. Generally speaking, the priming design consists of two stimuli being presented one after the other; the first stimulus is called prime, the second is called target.