[PS-3.90] Visual trimorphemic compound recognition in a morphographic script

Miwa, K. 1 , Libben, G. 2 & Ikemoto, Y. 3

1 Eberhard Karls Universitaet Tuebingen
2 Brock University, Canada
3 Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan

This lexical decision with eye-tracking study investigated how Japanese trimorphemic compounds are recognized. The questions answered were, in the course of decomposing and composing Japanese trimorphemic compounds, (1) whether recognition processes are tuned for a specific branching direction, (2) whether the morphological processing proceeds in a bottom-up combinatorial manner, and (3) whether the three constituents of trimorphemic compounds are equally important and processed serially. Linear mixed-effects regression analyses of response times and fixation durations revealed an approximate time course of lexical processes. A left-branching advantage appears in a late time frame and, although there was early processing of the whole from the first fixation, the pattern of processing was primarily bottom-up and character-based. Furthermore, the first and the third, but not the second, constituent frequencies contributed to compound recognition. This bathtub-like effect was further supported by corpus-based evidence: the conditional probability for the second constituent is incomparably high.