Differences in Noun and Verb Processing in Lexical Decision Cannot be Attributed to Word Form and Morphological Complexity Alone
- 276 Downloads
It has been suggested that the effect of word category in noun and verb processing reflects typical word class properties, which can be characterized in terms of semantic as well as syntactic and morphological features. The present study is aimed at differentiating and discussing the relative contribution of these aspects with a main focus on syntactic and morphological processing. Experiment 1 established a processing advantage for nouns in German visual lexical decision, using nouns denoting biological and man-made objects as compared to transitive and intransitive verbs. Experiment 2 showed that the noun advantage persisted even when the morphological differences between word categories were reduced by using identical suffixes in nouns and verbs. Overall results suggest that the processing differences cannot be reduced to variables such as frequency, word form, or morphological complexity. Reaction time differences between transitive and intransitive verbs strengthen the role of syntactic information. In line with previous accounts the observed effects are discussed in terms of a category-specific combination of linguistic parameters.
KeywordsNoun and verb processing Visual lexical decision Morphological processing Biological and manmade objects Transitive and intransitive verbs Noun advantage
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Baayen, R. H., Piepenbrock, R., & van Rijn, H. (1993). The CELEX Lexical Database (CDROM). Philadelphia: Linguistic Data Consortium.Google Scholar
- Evans N. (2000) Word classes in the world’s languages. In: Booij G., Lehmann C., Mugdan J.(eds) Morphologie Ein internationales Handbuch zur Flexion und Wortbildung. De Gruyter, Berlin, New York, pp 708–731Google Scholar
- Jonkers R., Bastiaanse R. (1996) The influence of instrumentality and transitivity on action naming in Broca’s and Anomic Aphasia. Brain and Language 55: 37–39Google Scholar
- Kauschke, C., & von Frankenberg, J. (2008). The differential influence of lexical variables on naming latencies in German. A study on noun and verb picture naming. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research (in press).Google Scholar
- Köpke K.M. (1993) Schemata bei der Pluralbildung im Deutschen. Versuch einer kognitiven Morphologie. Narr, TübingenGoogle Scholar
- Lloyd-Jones T., Humphreys G.W. (1997) Perceptual differentiation as so source of category effects in object processing: Evidence from naming and object decision. Memory & Cognition 25(1): 18–35Google Scholar
- Lloyd-Jones T., Humphreys G.W. (1997) Categorizing chairs and naming pears: Category differences in object processing as a function of task and priming. Memory & Cognition 25(5): 606–624Google Scholar
- Maguire M.J., Hirsh-Pasek K., Michnick Golinkoff R. (2006) A unified theory of word learning: Putting verb acquisition in context. In: Hirsh-Pasek K., Michnick Golinkoff R.(eds) Action meets word: How children learn verbs. University Press, Oxford, pp 364–391Google Scholar
- Monaghan, P., Chater, N., & Christiansen, M. H. (2003). Inequality between the classes: Phonological and distributional typicality as predictors of lexical processing. In Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, pp. 810–815.Google Scholar