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Paradigmatic Relations Interact During the Production of Complex Words: Evidence From Variable Plurals in Dutch

Authors
  • Zee, Tim1
  • ten Bosch, Louis1
  • Plag, Ingo2
  • Ernestus, Mirjam1
  • 1 Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen , (Netherlands)
  • 2 Department of English Language and Linguistics, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2021
Volume
12
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.720017
PMID: 34539520
PMCID: PMC8442732
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Psychology
  • Original Research
License
Unknown

Abstract

A growing body of work in psycholinguistics suggests that morphological relations between word forms affect the processing of complex words. Previous studies have usually focused on a particular type of paradigmatic relation, for example the relation between paradigm members, or the relation between alternative forms filling a particular paradigm cell. However, potential interactions between different types of paradigmatic relations have remained relatively unexplored. This paper presents two corpus studies of variable plurals in Dutch to test hypotheses about potentially interacting paradigmatic effects. The first study shows that generalization across noun paradigms predicts the distribution of plural variants, and that this effect is diminished for paradigms in which the plural variants are more likely to have a strong representation in the mental lexicon. The second study demonstrates that the pronunciation of a target plural variant is affected by coactivation of the alternative variant, resulting in shorter segmental durations. This effect is dependent on the representational strength of the alternative plural variant. In sum, by exploring interactions between different types of paradigmatic relations, this paper provides evidence that storage of morphologically complex words may affect the role of generalization and coactivation during production.

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