The Morphological processing of derived words in L1 Turkish and L2 English /

Gacan, Pınar
The primary goal of this thesis was to investigate the L1 and L2 processing of morphologically complex words by making use of psycholinguistic experimental techniques. Specifically, the question to be answered in the present study was how native speakers of Turkish process morphologically complex (derivational) word forms in L1 Turkish and in L2 English. It was also aimed at investigating the potential developmental similarities and/or differences between different L2 groups at distinct proficiency levels. Using identical methodologies, the processing of transparent, frequent, and highly productive Turkish suffixes –lI (attributive affix; e.g. güçlü “powerful”) and – sIz (privative affix; güçsüz “powerless”) and English suffixes –ful (e.g. careful) and -less (e.g. careless) were examined in masked priming experiments. The findings of the experiments demonstrated similar priming effects for L1 Turkish and the high proficiency L2 English group, which could be taken as evidence for the fact that decompositional processes are at work during word recognition in native and second language morphological processing of derived words. Less proficient L2 speakers, on the other hand, revealed priming effects only for words derived with the –ful suffix. In addition, even though L1 processing and L2 processing of the high proficiency group seem to be identical, the results of an orthographic control task revealed that the L2 processing of derivational morphology is characterized by both the orthographic and the morphological properties of words, whereas L1 processing is influenced only by the morphological properties during early visual word recognition. It is therefore asserted that the L1 processing of derived words is distinct from the L2 processing of derived words to a certain extent. The observed L1-L2 distinction is discussed in terms of the quality of input that L2 speakers have been exposed to.


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Citation Formats
P. Gacan, “The Morphological processing of derived words in L1 Turkish and L2 English /,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2014.