Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session




A cross-modal priming experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that lexical access of verbs marked with a specific inflectional suffix would be facilitated by immediately prior exposure to semantically and contextually unrelated verbs with the same suffix. Such priming was not detected. Rather it turned out that bare root forms showed an absolute advantage over inflected forms in this experimental paradigm. However, an unanticipated finding appeared: responses to inflected forms were affected by the kind of discourse that was being auditorily attended to at the same time of the visual lexical decision. There was no such effect of the discourse context on responses to uninflected verbs. The results lend some support to the view that inflection triggers discourse integration.

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