Effects of Subjective Type Frequency and Phonetic Structure on L2 Morphological Processing: A Constructional Perspective

  •  Xiaomei Yu    


Little research has been conducted to investigate the effects of subjective type frequency and phonetic structure on morphological processing. From the perspective of construction, this study carried out two experiments to examine whether these two factors have impacts on the processing of derivatives by Chinese EFL learners. In Experiment 1, the masked priming paradigm produced facilitation effect for the prefixed words rather than the suffixed ones. However, participants with higher subjective type frequency of the target words did not differ significantly from their counterparts in response times (RTs). In Experiment 2, words whose phonetic structure is consistent with the morphological structure took significantly longer RTs than the inconsistent group and the monomorphemic words in the unprimed lexical decision task. These findings demonstrated that subjective type frequency may be a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the generalization of morphological constructions, while phonetic structure can affect the perceptual salience of affix, thus playing an important part in morphological decomposition.

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