Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1871-1340
  • E-ISSN: 1871-1375
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


In fusional languages, inflectional affixes may encode multiple morphosyntactic features such as case, number, and gender. To determine how these features are accessed during both native (L1) and non-native (L2) word recognition, the present study compares the results from a masked visual priming experiment testing inflected adjectives of German to those of a previous overt (cross-modal) priming experiment on the same phenomenon. While for the L1 group both experiments produced converging results, a group of highly-proficient Russian L2 learners of German showed native-like modulations of repetition priming effects under overt, but not under masked priming conditions. These results indicate that not only affixes but also their morphosyntactic features are accessible during initial form-based lexical access, albeit only for L1 and not for L2 processing. We argue that this contrast is in line with other findings suggesting that non-native language processing is less influenced by structural information than the L1.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Anderson, S
    (1992) A-morphous morphology. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511586262
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511586262 [Google Scholar]
  2. Aronoff, M
    (1994) Morphology by itself. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Baayen, H. , Piepenbrock, R. , & van Rijn, H
    (1993) The CELEX lexical database (CD-ROM). Philadelphia, PA: Linguistic Data Consortium.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Basnight-Brown, D.M. , Chen, L. , Hua, S. , Kostić, A. , & Feldman, L.B.
    (2007) Monolingual and bilingual recognition of regular and irregular English verbs: Sensitivity to form similarity varies with first language experience. Journal of Memory and Language, 57, 65–80. doi: 10.1016/j.jml.2007.03.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2007.03.001 [Google Scholar]
  5. Blevins, J.P.
    (2000) Markedness and blocking in German declensional paradigms. In B. Stiebels & D. Wunderlich (Eds.), Lexicon in focus (pp. 83–103). Berlin: Akademie Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bosch, S. , Krause, H. , & Leminen, A
    (2016) The time-course of morphosyntactic and semantic priming in late bilinguals: A study of German adjectives. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. doi: 10.1017/s1366728916000055
    https://doi.org/10.1017/s1366728916000055 [Google Scholar]
  7. Boudelaa, S. , & Marslen-Wilson, W.D
    (2005) Discontinuous morphology in time: Incremental masked Arabic priming. Language and Cognitive Processes, 20, 207–260. doi: 10.1080/01690960444000106
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01690960444000106 [Google Scholar]
  8. Carstairs, A
    (1987) Allomorphy in inflexion. London: Croom Helm.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Chen, L. , Shu, H. , Liu, Y. , Zhao, J. , & Li, P
    (2007) ERP signatures of subject-verb agreement in L2 learning. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 10, 161–174. doi: 10.1017/S136672890700291X
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S136672890700291X [Google Scholar]
  10. Clahsen, H. , Balkhair, L. , Schutter, J.-S. , & Cunnings, I
    (2013) The time course of morphological processing in a second language. Second Language Research, 29, 7–31. doi: 10.1177/0267658312464970
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658312464970 [Google Scholar]
  11. Clahsen, H. , Eisenbeiss, S. , Hadler, M. , & Sonnenstuhl, I
    (2001) The mental representation of inflected words: An experimental study of adjectives and verbs in German. Language, 77, 510–543. doi: 10.1353/lan.2001.0140
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2001.0140 [Google Scholar]
  12. Clahsen, H. , & Neubauer, K
    (2010) Morphology, frequency, and the processing of derived words in native and non-native speakers. Lingua120, 2627–2637. doi: 10.1016/j.lingua.2010.06.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2010.06.007 [Google Scholar]
  13. Coughlin, C.E. , & Tremblay, A
    (2015) Morphological decomposition in native and non-native French speakers. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 18, 524–542. doi: 10.1017/S1366728914000200
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728914000200 [Google Scholar]
  14. Crepaldi, D. , Rastle, K. , Colheart, M. , & Nickels, L
    (2010) ‘Fell’ primes ‘fall’, but does ‘bell’ prime ‘ball’? Masked priming with irregularly-inflected primes. Journal of Memory and Language, 63, 83–99. doi: 10.1016/j.jml.2010.03.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2010.03.002 [Google Scholar]
  15. DeKeyser, R
    (2005) What makes learning a second-language grammar difficult? A review of issues. Language Learning, 55, 1–25. doi: 10.1111/j.0023‑8333.2005.00294.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0023-8333.2005.00294.x [Google Scholar]
  16. Dimroth, C
    (2008) Age effects on the process of L2 acquisition? Evidence from the acquisition of negation and finiteness in L2 German. Language Learning, 58, 117–150. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2007.00436.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2007.00436.x [Google Scholar]
  17. Feldman, L.B. , Kostic, A. , Basnight-Brown, D.M. , Filipovic Djurdjevic, D. , & Pastizzo, M.J.
    (2010) Morphological facilitation for regular and irregular verb formations in native and non-native speakers: Little evidence for two distinct mechanisms. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 13, 119–135. doi: 10.1017/S1366728909990459
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728909990459 [Google Scholar]
  18. Forster, K.I. , & Azuma, T
    (2000) Masked priming for prefixed words with bound stems: Does submit prime permit?Language and Cognitive Processes, 15, 539–561. doi: 10.1080/01690960050119698
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01690960050119698 [Google Scholar]
  19. Forster, K.I. , & Davis, C
    (1984) Repetition priming and frequency attenuation in lexical access. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 10, 680–698. doi: 10.1037/0278‑7393.10.4.680
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0278-7393.10.4.680 [Google Scholar]
  20. Forster, K.I. , & Forster, J.C.
    (2003) DMDX: A windows display program with millisecond accuracy. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 35, 116–124. doi: 10.3758/BF03195503
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03195503 [Google Scholar]
  21. Gonnerman, L. , Seidenberg, M. , & Andersen, E
    (2007) Graded semantic and phonological similarity effects in priming: Evidence for a distributed connectionist approach to morphology. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136, 323–345. doi: 10.1037/0096‑3445.136.2.323
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-3445.136.2.323 [Google Scholar]
  22. Heyer, V. , & Clahsen, H
    (2015) Late bilinguals see a scan in scanner AND in scandal: Dissecting formal overlap from morphological priming in the processing of derived words. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 18, 543–550. doi: 10.1017/S1366728914000662
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728914000662 [Google Scholar]
  23. Jackson, C.N.
    (2008) Proficiency level and the interaction of lexical and morphosyntactic information during L2 sentence processing. Language Learning, 58, 875–909. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2008.00481.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2008.00481.x [Google Scholar]
  24. Jackson, C.N. , & Bobb, S.C.
    (2009) The processing and comprehension of wh-questions among second language speakers of German. Applied Psycholinguistics, 30, 603–636. doi: 10.1017/S014271640999004X
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S014271640999004X [Google Scholar]
  25. Jackson, C.N. , & Dussias, P.E.
    (2009) Cross-linguistic differences and their impact on L2 sentence processing. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 12, 65–82. doi: 10.1017/S1366728908003908
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728908003908 [Google Scholar]
  26. Jacob, G. , Fleischhauer, E. , & Clahsen, H
    (2013) Stem allomorphy and affixation in morphological processing: A cross-modal priming study with late bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16, 924–933. doi: 10.1017/S1366728913000291
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728913000291 [Google Scholar]
  27. Jiang, N
    (2004) Morphological insensitivity in second language processing. Applied Psycholinguistics, 25, 603–634. doi: 10.1017/S0142716404001298
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716404001298 [Google Scholar]
  28. (2007) Selective integration of linguistic knowledge in adult second language learning. Language Learning, 57, 1–33. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2007.00397.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2007.00397.x [Google Scholar]
  29. Keating, G
    (2009) Sensitivity to violations of gender agreement in native and nonnative Spanish: An eye-movement investigation. Language Learning, 59, 503–535. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2009.00516.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2009.00516.x [Google Scholar]
  30. Kirkici, B. , & Clahsen, H
    (2013) Inflection and derivation in native and non-native language processing: Masked priming experiments on Turkish. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16, 776–794. doi: 10.1017/S1366728912000648
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728912000648 [Google Scholar]
  31. Leminen, A. , & Clahsen, H
    (2014) Brain potentials to inflected adjectives: Beyond storage and decomposition. Brain Research, 1543, 223–234. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.10.038
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2013.10.038 [Google Scholar]
  32. Lew-Williams, C. , & Fernald, A
    (2007) Young children learning Spanish make rapid use of grammatical gender in spoken word recognition. Psychological Science, 18, 193–198. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑9280.2007.01871.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01871.x [Google Scholar]
  33. Longtin, C.-M. , Segui, J. , & Hallé, P.A
    (2003) Morphological priming without morphological relationship. Language and Cognitive Processes, 18, 313–334. doi: 10.1080/01690960244000036
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01690960244000036 [Google Scholar]
  34. Longtin, C.-M. , & Meunier, F
    (2005) Morphological decomposition in early visual word processing. Journal of Memory and Language, 53, 26–41. doi: 10.1016/j.jml.2005.02.008
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2005.02.008 [Google Scholar]
  35. Marslen-Wilson, W
    (2007) Morphological processes in language comprehension. In G. Gaskel (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of psycholinguistics (pp. 175–193). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Marslen-Wilson, W.D. , Bozic, M. , & Randall, B
    (2008) Early decomposition in visual word recognition: Dissociating morphology, form and meaning. Language and Cognitive Processes, 23, 394–421. doi: 10.1080/01690960701588004
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01690960701588004 [Google Scholar]
  37. Meisel, J
    (2011) First and second language acquisition: Parallels and differences. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511862694
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511862694 [Google Scholar]
  38. Neubauer, K. , & Clahsen, H
    (2009) Decomposition of inflected words in a second language: An experimental study of German participles. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 31, 403–435. doi: 10.1017/S0272263109090354
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263109090354 [Google Scholar]
  39. Opitz, A. , Regel, S. , Müller, G. , & Friederici, A.D.
    (2013) Neurophysiological evidence for morphological underspecification in German strong adjective inflection. Language, 89, 231–264. doi: 10.1353/lan.2013.0033
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2013.0033 [Google Scholar]
  40. Parodi, T
    (2000) Finiteness and verb placement in second language acquisition. Second Language Research, 16, 355–381.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Penke, M. , Janssen, U. , & Eisenbeiss, S
    (2004) Psycholinguistic evidence for the underspecification of morphosyntactic features. Brain and Language, 90, 423–433. doi: 10.1016/S0093‑934X(03)00453‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0093-934X(03)00453-X [Google Scholar]
  42. Rastle, K. , & Davis, M.H.
    (2003) Reading morphologically-complex words: Some thoughts from masked priming. In S. Kinoshita & S.J. Lupker (Eds.), Masked priming: State of the art (pp. 279–305). Hove, UK: Psychology Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Rastle, K. , Davis, M.H. , & New, B
    (2004) The broth in my brother’s brothel: Morpho-orthographic segmentation in visual word recognition. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 11, 1090–1098. doi: 10.3758/BF03196742
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03196742 [Google Scholar]
  44. Rastle, K. , Davis, M.H. , Marslen-Wilson, W.D. , & Tyler, L.K.
    (2000) Morphological and semantic effects in visual word recognition: A time-course study. Language and Cognitive Processes, 15, 507–537. doi: 10.1080/01690960050119689
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01690960050119689 [Google Scholar]
  45. Sato, M. , & Felser, C
    (2010) Sensitivity to morphosyntactic violations in English as a second language. Second Language, 9, 101–118.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Schriefers, H. , Friederici, A.D. , & Graetz, P
    (1992) Inflectional and derivational morphology in the mental lexicon: Symmetries and asymmetries in repetition priming. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 44, 373–390. doi: 10.1080/02724989243000073
    https://doi.org/10.1080/02724989243000073 [Google Scholar]
  47. Silva, R. , & Clahsen, H
    (2008) Morphologically complex words in L1 and L2 processing: Evidence from masked priming experiments in English. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 11, 245–260. doi: 10.1017/S1366728908003404
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728908003404 [Google Scholar]
  48. Stump, G
    (2001) Inflectional morphology: A theory of paradigm structure. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511486333
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486333 [Google Scholar]
  49. Tanner, D. , Osterhout, L. , & Herschensohn, J
    (2009) Snapshots of grammaticalization: Differential electrophysiological responses to grammatical anomalies with increasing L2 exposure. In J. Chandlee , M. Franchini , S. Lord , & G.-M. Rheiner (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 528–539). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Voga, M. , Anastassiadis-Symeonidis, A. , & Giraudo, H
    (2014) Does morphology play a role in L2 processing? Two masked priming experiments with Greek speakers of ESL. Linguisticae Investigationes, 37, 338–352. doi: 10.1075/li.37.2.10vog
    https://doi.org/10.1075/li.37.2.10vog [Google Scholar]
  51. Wunderlich, D
    (1997) Der unterspezifizierte Artikel. In C. Dürscheid , K.-H. Ramers , & M. Schwarz (Eds.), Sprache im Fokus (pp. 47–55). Tübingen: Niemeyer.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Zwicky, A.M.
    (1985) How to describe inflection. Berkeley Linguistics Society, 11, 372–386.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): inflection; late bilinguals; masked priming; morphosyntax
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error