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The Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics

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Academic Paper


Title: The Processing of Root Morphemes in Hebrew: Contrasting localist and distributed accounts
Author: Hadas Velan
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://micro5.mscc.huji.ac.il/~frost/Hadas.Velan.html
Institution: Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Author: Ram Frost
Homepage: http://atar.mscc.huji.ac.il/~frost/
Institution: Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Author: Avital Deutsch
Institution: Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Hebrew
Abstract: The present paper investigates whether Semitic languages impose a rigid triconsonantal structural principle on root-morpheme representation, by examining morphological priming effects obtained with primes consisting of weak roots. For weak roots, the complete three-consonantal structure is not kept in most of their derivations, and only two letters are consistently repeated in all derivations. In a series of masked priming experiments subjects were presented with primes consisting of the weak roots letters which are repeated in all derivations. The results showed that the two consistent letters of weak roots facilitated the recognition of targets derived from these roots. In contrast, any two letters of complete roots did not facilitate the recognition of complete root derivations. The implications of these results to parallel-distributed models and to localist-representational approaches, are discussed.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed


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