Morphosemantic activation of opaque Chinese words in sentence comprehension

Jian Huang*, Yiu Kei Tsang, Wanting Xiao, Suiping Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Two cross-modal priming experiments were conducted to investigate morphological processing in Chinese spoken word recognition during sentence comprehension. Participants heard sentences that contained opaque prime words and performed lexical decisions on visual targets that were related to second morpheme meanings of opaque words or whole-word meanings. The targets were presented at the auditory onset of the second morphemes or the subsequent syllables after the opaque primes to examine the time course of effects. In a neutral sentence context (Experiment 1), opaque word morpheme meanings produced morphological priming on target word recognition, which preceded lexical priming. When context biased toward whole opaque words (Experiment 2), morphological priming disappeared, while the effect of lexical meanings remained significant and emerged earlier than the effect of lexical meanings in the neutral context. These findings suggest that morphemes play a role in Chinese spoken word recognition, but their effects depend on the prior context during sentence comprehension.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0236697
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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