Morpho-orthographic and morpho-semantic processing in word recognition and production: Evidence from ambiguous morphemes

Yiu-Kei Tsang*, Andus Wing-Kuen Wong, Jian Huang, Hsuan-Chih Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


Two sets of experiments were conducted to investigate the role of morphemes in word recognition and production. These experiments employed three priming procedures (i.e., masked, unmasked and long lag) to study the relatively early to late stages of morphological processing. Targets were Chinese compound words containing an ambiguous morpheme (analogous to ‘‘chair’’ in ‘‘chairman’’ vs. ‘‘armchair’’). Primes and targets shared the same ambiguous morpheme with the same interpretation (S), a different interpretation (D) or were completely unrelated (U). For word recognition, the facilitation by the S and the D primes was statistically identical in the masked priming procedure. But only the S primes continued to facilitate word recognition in the unmasked and the long-lag priming procedures. In contrast, for word production, only the D primes produced significant facilitation in masked priming. In unmasked priming, both the S and D primes facilitated the naming reaction times, as compared with the unrelated baseline. But the facilitation was stronger in the S than in the D conditions. Finally, in the long-lag priming procedure, both the S and the D primes produced facilitation of equal strength. These results indicate that the processing of ambiguous morpheme involves both morphemic form and meaning, and that the temporal dynamics of the two effects differ in recognition and production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-560
Number of pages18
JournalLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
Issue number5
Early online date24 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

User-Defined Keywords

  • morphological processing
  • word recognition
  • word production
  • Chinese


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