ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (8): 1382-1389.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.01382

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On the Time Axis of Morpho-semantic Activation: Form-then-meaning or Form-with-meaning?

ZHANG Lingyan;JIN Tan;TIAN Zhaoxia   

  1. (1 Faculty of Education, Guangdong Polytechnic Normal University, Guangzhou 510665, China) (2 Shu Tong Research Institute of International Language Education, Guangzhou 511400, China) (3 School of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China)
  • Received:2012-08-30 Online:2013-08-15 Published:2013-08-15
  • Contact: ZHANG Lingyan

Abstract: Previous studies of morphological processing have given rise to two opposing views. On one hand, the form-then-meaning account contends that during morphological processing, morpho-orthographic information is firstly decomposed, followed by morpho-semantic activation. On the other hand, the form-with-meaning account argues that morpho-orthographic decomposition and morpho-semantic activation occur simultaneously. The focus of debate is thus on the locus of morpho-semantic activation. The form-then-meaning activation allows two possibilities: (1) that both morpho-orthographic decomposition and morpho-semantic activation occur prelexically, but with the former occurring much earlier; or (2) morpho-orthographic decomposition is prelexical and morpho-semantic activation is supralexical. In contrast, the form-with-meaning activation only allows the co-occurrence of morpho-orthographic decomposition and morpho-semantic activation at a prelexical level. Both sides, evidenced by congregating data from empirical and theoretical (prelexical/supralexical models) studies, are examined here. It is suggested that future studies are expected to address issues from the perspective of research paradigms and theoretical development.

Key words: visual word recognition, morpheme, compound words, morpho-semantic activation