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Parafoveal versus foveal processing of morphologically complex (prefixed) words

Gretchen Kambe, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Three experiments investigated whether morphological constituents influence word processing during reading. Individuals read sentences containing free stem, bound stem, and pseudo-prefixed words. In Experiments 1 and 2, a parafoveal display change manipulation indicated that the morphological constituents of a prefixed word are not available for preprocessing in the parafovea as reading times on the target word did not differ for prefixed versus pseudo-prefixed words. Interestingly, parafoveal preview of word initial and word final letters resulted in an equivalent amount orthographic facilitation for all word types. In Experiment 3, a fast priming manipulation indicated that morphological priming effects for prefixed words are obscured during sentence processing. However, the form of the prime did facilitate subsequent word processing for all three word types. The results suggest that English prefixed words are accessed via their whole word form, as there was no evidence of morphological decomposition for prefixed words during sentence processing.

Subject Area

Cognitive therapy|Psychology|Experiments|Linguistics

Recommended Citation

Kambe, Gretchen, "Parafoveal versus foveal processing of morphologically complex (prefixed) words" (2001). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3027217.