Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1871-1340
  • E-ISSN: 1871-1375
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The present work investigated how morphological generalization, namely the way speakers extend their knowledge to novel complex words, is influenced by sources of variability in language and speaker properties. For this purpose, the study focused on a Semitic language (Hebrew), characterized by unique non-concatenative morphology, and native (L1) as well as non-native (L2) speakers. Two elicited production tasks tested what information sources speakers employ in verbal inflectional class generalization, i.e., in forming complex novel verbs. Phonological similarity was tested in Experiment 1 and argument structure in Experiment 2. The analysis focused on the two most common Hebrew inflectional classes, and , which also constituted the vast majority of responses in the two tasks. Unlike the commonly found outcomes in Romance inflectional class generalization, the results yielded, solely for Piel, a graded phonological similarity effect and a robust argument structure effect, i.e., more Piel responses in a direct object context than without. The L2 pattern partially differed from the L1: (i) argument structure effect for L2 speakers was weaker, and (ii) L2 speakers produced more Paal than Piel responses. The results are discussed within the framework of rule-based and input-based accounts.


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Keyword(s): generalization; Hebrew; inflectional classes; morphology; non-native speakers
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