Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1871-1340
  • E-ISSN: 1871-1375
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Psycholinguists have yet to reach a consensus on what role constituent morphemes play in the processing of compound words, although some recent work suggests that morphemes are activated obligatorily during processing. In the current study, we investigate whether people use morphemes to attempt meaning construction even for pseudo-compounds which are words that appear to have a compound structure, but in fact do not (e.g., is not ). We obtained relational entropies (a measure of potential relational competition) for a set of pseudo-compound words based on responses from a possible relations task. The relational entropy values as well as frequency of the prime (e.g., ) and target (e.g., ) were then used to predict the processing of the pseudo-first constituents after exposure to the pseudo-compound masked primes. We observed a significant three-way interaction between entropy, target frequency, and prime frequency. Our results suggest that meaning construction is attempted for pseudo-compound words.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): entropy; meaning construction; morphology; pseudo-compounds; semantic relations
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