Volume 14, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1871-1340
  • E-ISSN: 1871-1375
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Previous research suggests that while free morpheme identification during visual word recognition is position-independent, suffixes are activated only when they occur after the stem. Surprisingly, prefix position coding has not yet been assessed. This point is important given that some experimental studies demonstrated clear processing differences between prefixes and suffixes. In this study we examined whether Spanish suffixes and prefixes are recognized independently of their position by adapting the Crepaldi, Rastle, and Davis’s (2010) experimental paradigm. We observed that morphologically structured nonwords in which the affix occurs in its typical position (e.g., ) are rejected more slowly and less accurately than their matched orthographic controls (e.g., ). Crucially, such morpheme interference effect is completely absent when the morphemes are inverted (i.e., and are rejected as easily as and ). Our data provide strong support to the hypothesis that all affix processing is sensitive to position.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Amenta, S., and Crepaldi, D.
    (2012) Morphological processing as we know it: An analytical review of morphological effects in visual word identification. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 1–12. 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00232
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00232 [Google Scholar]
  2. Baayen, R. H.
    (2008) Analyzing linguistic data: A practical introduction to statistics using R. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511801686
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511801686 [Google Scholar]
  3. Baayen, R. H., Davidson, D. J., & Bates, D. M.
    (2008) Mixed-effects modeling with crossed random effects for subjects and items. Journal of Memory and Language, 59, 390–412. 10.1016/j.jml.2007.12.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2007.12.005 [Google Scholar]
  4. Bai, C., Cai, S., and Schumacher, P. B.
    (2011) Reversibility in Chinese word formation influences target identification. Neuroscience Letters, 499, 14–18. 10.1016/j.neulet.2011.05.020
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2011.05.020 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bates, D., Maechler, M., Bolker, B., and Walker, S.
    (2015) Fitting Linear Mixed-Effects Models Using lme4. Journal of Statistical Software, 67(1), 1–48. 10.18637/jss.v067.i01
    https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v067.i01 [Google Scholar]
  6. Beauvillain, C.
    (1996) The integration of morphological and whole-word form information during eye fixations on prefixed and suffixed words. Journal of Memory & Language, 35, 801–820. 10.1006/jmla.1996.0041
    https://doi.org/10.1006/jmla.1996.0041 [Google Scholar]
  7. Bergman, M. W., Hudson, P. T. W., and Eling, P. A. T. M.
    (1988) How simple complex words can be: Morphological processing and word representations. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A: Human Experimental Psychology, 40, 41–72. 10.1080/14640748808402282
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14640748808402282 [Google Scholar]
  8. Beyersmann, E., Ziegler, J. C., and Grainger, J.
    (2015) Differences in the processing of prefixes and suffixes revealed by a letter-search task. Scientific Studies of Reading, 19, 360–373. 10.1080/10888438.2015.1057824
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10888438.2015.1057824 [Google Scholar]
  9. Burani, C., Dovetto, F. M., Thornton, A. M., and Laudanna, A.
    (1996) Accessing and naming suffixed pseudo-words. InG. E. Booij and J. Van Marie (Eds.), Yearbook of morphology 1996 (pp.55–72). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Caramazza, A., Laudanna, A., and Romani, C.
    (1988) Lexical access and inflectional morphology. Cognition, 28, 297–332. 10.1016/0010‑0277(88)90017‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0010-0277(88)90017-0 [Google Scholar]
  11. Colé, P., Beauvillain, C., and Segui, J.
    (1989) On the representation and processing of prefixed and suffixed derived words: a differential frequency effect. Journal of Memory and Language, 28, 1–13. 10.1016/0749‑596X(89)90025‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0749-596X(89)90025-9 [Google Scholar]
  12. Crepaldi, D., Hemsworth, L., Davis, C. J., and Rastle, K.
    (2016) Masked suffix priming and morpheme positional constraints. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69, 113–128. 10.1080/17470218.2015.1027713
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2015.1027713 [Google Scholar]
  13. Crepaldi, D., Rastle, K., and Davis, C. J.
    (2010) Morphemes in their place: Evidence for position-specific identification of suffixes. Memory & Cognition, 38, 312–321. 10.3758/MC.38.3.312
    https://doi.org/10.3758/MC.38.3.312 [Google Scholar]
  14. Crepaldi, D., Rastle, K., Davis, C. J., and Lupker, S. J.
    (2013) Seeing stems everywhere: Position-independent identification of stem morphemes. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 39(2), 510–525.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Davis, C. J., and Perea, M.
    (2005) BuscaPalabras: A program for deriving orthographic and phonological neighborhood statistics and other psycholinguistic indices in Spanish. Behavior Research Methods, 37(4), 665–671. 10.3758/BF03192738
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03192738 [Google Scholar]
  16. Domínguez, A., Cuetos, F., and Segui, J.
    (2000) Morphological processing in word recognition: A review with particular reference to Spanish data. Psicológica, 21, 375–401.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Duñabeitia, J. A., Laka, I., Perea, M., and Carreiras, M.
    (2009) Is Milkman a superhero like Batman? Constituent morphological priming in compound words. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 21, 615–640. 10.1080/09541440802079835
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09541440802079835 [Google Scholar]
  18. Feldman, L. B., and Larabee, J.
    (2001) Morphological facilitation following prefixed but not suffixed primes: Lexical architecture or modality-specific processes?Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 27(3), 680–691.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Forster, K. I., and Forster, J. C.
    (2003) DMDX: A Windows display program with millisecond accuracy. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers, 35, 116–124. 10.3758/BF03195503
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03195503 [Google Scholar]
  20. Giraudo, H., and Grainger, J.
    (2001) Priming complex words: Evidence for supralexical representation of morphology. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 8, 127–131. 10.3758/BF03196148
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03196148 [Google Scholar]
  21. (2003) On the role of derivational affixes in recognizing complex words: Evidence from masked affix priming. InR. H. Baayen and R. Schreuder (Eds.), Morphological Structure in Language Processing, (pp.209–232). Berlin, Germany: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110910186.209
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110910186.209 [Google Scholar]
  22. Grainger, J., and Beyersmann, E.
    (2017) Edge-aligned embedded word activation initiates morpho-orthographic segmentation. InB. H. Ross (Ed.), The Psychology of Learning and Motivation (pp.285–317). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Grainger, J., Colé, P., and Segui, J.
    (1991) Masked morphological priming in visual word recognition. Journal of Memory and Language & Speech, 30, 370–384. 10.1016/0749‑596X(91)90042‑I
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0749-596X(91)90042-I [Google Scholar]
  24. Harm, M. W., and Seidenberg, M. S.
    (2004) Computing the meanings of words in reading: Cooperative division of labor between visual and phonological processes. Psychological Review, 111(3), 662–720. 10.1037/0033‑295X.111.3.662
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.111.3.662 [Google Scholar]
  25. Heathcote, L., Nation, K., Castles, A., and Beyersmann, E.
    (2017) Do ‘blacheap’ and ‘subcheap’ both prime ‘cheap’? An investigation of morphemic status and position in early visual word processing. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71(8), 1645–1654. 10.1080/17470218.2017.1362704
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2017.1362704 [Google Scholar]
  26. Jaichenco, V., and Wilson, M.
    (2013) El rol de la morfología en el proceso de aprendizaje de la lectura en español. Interdisciplinaria, 30(1), 85–99.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Kim, S. Y., Wang, M., and Taft, M.
    (2015) Morphological decomposition in the recognition of prefixed and suffixed words: Evidence from Korean. Scientific Studies of Reading, 19(3), 183–203. 10.1080/10888438.2014.991019
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10888438.2014.991019 [Google Scholar]
  28. Kuznetsova, A., Brockhoff, P. B., and Christensen, R. H. B.
    (2017) lmerTest Package: Tests in Linear Mixed Effects Models. Journal of Statistical Software, 82(13), 1–26. 10.18637/jss.v082.i13
    https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v082.i13 [Google Scholar]
  29. Meunier, F., and Segui, J.
    (2002) Cross-modal morphological priming in French. Brain and Language, 81, 89–102. 10.1006/brln.2001.2509
    https://doi.org/10.1006/brln.2001.2509 [Google Scholar]
  30. Rastle, K., and Davis, M. H.
    (2008) Morphological decomposition based on the analysis of orthography. Language and Cognitive Processes, 23, 942–971. 10.1080/01690960802069730
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01690960802069730 [Google Scholar]
  31. R Core Team
    R Core Team (2017) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria.: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Real Academia Española
    Real Academia Española (1931) Gramática de la Lengua Española. Madrid: Espasa Calpe.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Rueckl, J. G., and Raveh, M.
    (1999) The influence of morphological regularities on the dynamics of a connectionist network. Brain and Language, 68, 110–117. 10.1006/brln.1999.2106
    https://doi.org/10.1006/brln.1999.2106 [Google Scholar]
  34. Seidenberg, M. S., and Gonnerman, L. M.
    (2000) Explaining derivational morphology as the convergence of codes. Trends in Cognitive Science, 4, 353–361. 10.1016/S1364‑6613(00)01515‑1
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S1364-6613(00)01515-1 [Google Scholar]
  35. Shoolman, N. and Andrews, S.
    (2003) Racehorses, reindeers and sparrows: Using masked priming to investigate morphological influences on word identification. InS. Kinoshita and S. Lupker (Eds.), Masked Priming: The State of the Art (pp.241–278). New York, NY: Psychology Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Taft, M.
    (1985) The decoding of words in lexical access: A review of the morphographic approach. InD. Besner, T. G. Waller, and G. E. MacKinnon (Eds.), Reading Research: Advances in Theory and Practice (pp.83–126). New York, NY: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Taft, M., and Forster, K. I.
    (1975) Lexical storage and retrieval of prefixed words. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 14, 638–647. 10.1016/S0022‑5371(75)80051‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5371(75)80051-X [Google Scholar]
  38. (1976) Lexical storage and retrieval of polymorphemic and polysyllabic words. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 15, 607–620. 10.1016/0022‑5371(76)90054‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-5371(76)90054-2 [Google Scholar]
  39. Taft, M., Zhu, X., and Peng, D.
    (1999) Positional specificity of radicals in Chinese character recognition. Journal of Memory and Language, 40, 498–519. 10.1006/jmla.1998.2625
    https://doi.org/10.1006/jmla.1998.2625 [Google Scholar]
  40. Val Álvaro, J. F.
    (1999) La composición. InI. Bosque and V. Demonte (Eds.), Gramática Descriptiva de la Lengua Española (pp.4757–4841). Madrid: Espasa Calpe.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Varela Ortega, Soledad
    (1990) Fundamentos de morfología. Madrid: Síntesis.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Varela, S., and Martín García, J.
    (1999) La prefijación. InI. Bosque and V. Demonte (Eds.), Gramática Descriptiva de la Lengua Española (pp.4993–5040). Madrid: Espasa Calpe.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

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