Production of Complex English Words
Most of the words we speak are complex: they are built by combining smaller parts (morphemes like roots and affixes). However, much of the research to date has focused on simple words. In this project we are interested in the ways that multimorphemic words are stored in the mind and how they are treated in production. Current evidence suggests that there is a difference between the representations of multimorphemic words in production and perception. In perception, it is widely believed that both whole-word and root representations exist, while in production there is little evidence for whole-word representations. Our work demonstrates that whole-word and root frequency independently predict the duration of words suffixed with –ing, –ed, and –s, which reveals that both root and word representations play a role in the production of inflected English words. We have also found that inflected words that are stored in the lexicon can influence how monomorphemic words are produced. Specifically, when producing a monomorphemic target, the number of inflected words a person knows that are phonologically related to the target will influence the duration of the word. This work suggests that both root and word representations of inflected words are stored in the lexicon, and are relevant for the production of both monomorphemic and multimorphemic words (Caselli & Cohen-Goldberg, 2015). Interestingly, we find that only whole-word frequency predicts the duration of compound words (Cohen-Goldberg & Caselli, in prep).