Complex words in Hebrew are composed of two non-concatenated morphemes: a consonantal root embedded in a nominal or verbal word-pattern morpho-phonological unit made up of vowels or vowels and consonants. Research on written-word recognition has revealed a robust effect of the roots and the verbal-patterns, but not of the nominal-patterns, on word recognition. These findings suggest that the Hebrew lexicon is organized and accessed via roots. We explored the hypothesis that the absence of a nominal-pattern effect reflects methodological limitations of the experimental paradigms used in previous studies. Specifically, the potential facilitative effect induced by a shared nominal-pattern was counteracted by an interference effect induced by the competition between the roots of two words derived from different roots but with the same nominal-pattern. In the current study, a fast-priming paradigm for sentence reading and a “delayed-letters” procedure were used to isolate the initial effect of nominal-patterns on lexical access. The results, based on eye-fixation latency, demonstrated a facilitatory effect induced by nominal-pattern primes relative to orthographic control primes when presented for 33 or 42 ms. The results are discussed in relation to the role of the word-pattern as an organizing principle of the Hebrew lexicon, together with the roots.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Experimental Psychology Society 2017.
- Fast priming
- Letter delay paradigm