Orthography-semantic links in word identification: automatic activation of embedded stem meaning in the presence or absence of pseudosuffixes


26th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, July 17-20, 2019, Toronto, Canada


July, 2019


Hasenäcker, J., Solaja, O., & Crepaldi, D.

Research shows that we access word internal structure during visual word identification. For example, we see embedded words (e.g., HAT in THAT) and we are sensitive to morphological structure (DEAL–ER, BASKET–BALL). The exact mechanisms that govern this process, however, are not well established yet—what determines access to embedded stem semantics? What is the role of affixes in this process? To address these questions, we tested the activation of meaning of embedded word stems in the presence or absence of morphological structure using two semantic categorization tasks in Italian. The study provides evidence that the lexical identification system activates the meaning of embedded word stems when the task requires semantic information, and this effect is not modulated by morphological structure.