Volume 6, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1871-1340
  • E-ISSN: 1871-1375
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This study investigates the lifespans of lexical traces for novel morphologically complex words. In two visual lexical decision experiments, a neologism was either primed by itself or by its stem. The target occurred 40 trials after the prime (Experiments 1 & 2), after a 12 hour delay (Experiment 1), or after a one week delay (Experiment 2). Participants recognized neologisms more quickly if they had seen them before in the experiment. These results show that memory traces for novel morphologically complex words already come into existence after a very first exposure and that they last for at least a week. We did not find evidence for a role of sleep in the formation of memory traces. Interestingly, Base Frequency appeared to play a role in the processing of the neologisms also when they were presented a second time and had their own memory traces.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): lexical representation; lifespan; morphology; neologisms; sleep
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