Morphological processing of inflected and derived words in L1 Turkish and L2 English

Şafak, Duygu Fatma
The present study aims at examining how inflected and derived words are processed during the early stages of visual word recognition in a native language (L1) and in a second language (L2). A second aim of the study is to find out whether or not the semantic and surface-form properties of morphologically complex words affect early word recognition processes. Two masked priming experiments were conducted to investigate morphological processing in L1 Turkish and in L2 English. In the first experiment, 40 L1 speakers of Turkish were tested on the processing of Turkish inflected verbs with the evidential suffix -mIş and Turkish derived nouns with the agentive suffix -(y)IcI. The second experiment examined the processing of English inflected verbs with the regular past tense suffix -ed and English derived nouns with the agentive suffix -er. This experiment was performed with 44 high-proficiency Turkish learners of L2 English. The findings indicated that native speakers of Turkish decomposed inflected and derived words into stems and suffixes during visual word recognition in both L1 Turkish and L2 English, and that these morphological processes were not influenced by semantic relatedness between inflected/derived words and their stems. However, this parallelism was not observed when the L1 and L2 processing were compared on the effects of orthographic relatedness. While early word recognition processes in L1 were purely morphological, L2 processing was dependent on both morphological and surface-form properties. Thus, this study concluded that L2 learners rely on non-native-like processing mechanisms even at an advanced level of proficiency.


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Citation Formats
D. F. Şafak, “Morphological processing of inflected and derived words in L1 Turkish and L2 English,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2015.