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Representation of Verbal Inflections in Native and Non-native French: Evidence from a Masked-Priming Word-Naming Task
Caitlin E. Coughlin
95-103 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This study investigates the question of L2 morphological decomposition using a masked-priming speeded word-naming task. A prime flashed on the screen for 50 ms, followed by a target word which the participants said aloud as fast as possible. Targets were either a stem or inflected form of a regular -er French verb. Primes were either (i) unrelated, (ii) the same verb with different inflection, or (iii) the exact same verb form as the target. Native and non-native French speakers completed the task. The results show that, like the native speakers, the L2 learners had faster production latencies for target words preceded by identically or morphologically related primes, and both of these prime types had faster production latencies than the unrelated prime condition. It is concluded that, like native speakers, L2 learners are able to decompose morphologically complex words, and that previous methodologies may not have been sensitive enough to capture this process.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 2011 Second Language Research Forum: Converging Theory and Practice
edited by Erik Voss, Shu-Ju Diana Tai, and Zhi Li
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Printed edition: $280.00