Derivational morphology approached with event-related potentials

J. Bölte, B.M. Jansma-Schmitt, A.K. Zilverstand, P. Zwitserlood

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We investigated the processing of derived adjectives in German using event-related potentials (ERPs). ERPs were registered to existing adjectives ( freundlich , ?friendly?), to morphologically complex pseudowords that were synonymous to an existing adjective and thus interpretable (* freundhaft ), and to complex pseudowords that were structurally and semantically anomalous (* freundbar ). Stimuli were embedded in sentence contexts, displayed word by word. An ERP effect with a left-frontal maximum was observed around 450?500 ms after stimulus onset. In this window, both pseudoword types differed from existing adjectives. We interpret this data pattern as a LAN, reflecting structural problems due to morphological parsing, a process that is distinct from semantic processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-353
JournalThe mental lexicon
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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