Hernán Labbé Grunberg MA, Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication, Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam
Using the MMN response to probe lexical memory traces: A study about lexical and morphosyntactic processing and representation
Hernán Labbé Grunberg is the guest speaker at this ACLC seminar, the title and abstract of this lecture are now available.
How is the mental lexicon organized, and how do we store and process monomorphemic and morphologically complex words? Recently, the amplitude of the MMN response has been used to probe the strength of lexical memory traces. Assuming that morphologically complex words are not stored as wholes, but through their constituent elements, we expected to find no signs of consolidated memory traces for such words. Our experiments confirmed that memory trace of simple words can be probed with the MMN response, but the results on inflected and derived words, as well as syntactic number and gender agreement show inconclusive results. Some complex words seem to be stored through their constituent elements, while others seem to be stored as indivisible words. Furthermore, our results suggest that the combinatorial mechanisms behind the syntactic responses are not affected by transitional probabilities, suggesting the existence of discrete grammatical principles at play.
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