What can we learn from the morphology of Hebrew? A masked-priming investigation of morphological representation.

  • Frost R
  • Forster K
  • Deutsch A
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All Hebrew words are composed of 2 interwoven morphemes: a triconsonantal root and a phonological word pattern. the lexical representations of these morphemic units were examined using masked priming. When primes and targets shared an identical word pattern, neither lexical decision nor naming of targets was facilitated. In contrast root primes facilitated both lexical decisions and naming of target words that were derived from these roots. This priming effect proved to be independent of meaning similarity because no priming effects were found when primes and targets were semantically but not morphologically related. These results suggest that Hebrew roots are lexical units whereas word patterns are not. A working model of lexical organization in Hebrew is offered on the basis of these results.

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  • Ram Frost

  • Kenneth I. Forster

  • Avital Deutsch

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