Producing morphologically complex words: An ERP study with children and adults

Article


Budd, M., Paulmann, Silke, Barry, Christopher and Clahsen, Harald 2014. Producing morphologically complex words: An ERP study with children and adults. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. 12 (Apr.), pp. 51-60.
AuthorsBudd, M., Paulmann, Silke, Barry, Christopher and Clahsen, Harald
Abstract

A widely studied morphological phenomenon in psycholinguistic research is the plurals-inside-compounds effect in English, which is the avoidance of regular plural modifiers within compounds (e.g., *rats hunter). The current study employs event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to investigate the production of plurals-inside-compounds in children and adults. We specifically examined the ERP correlates of producing morphologically complex words in 8-year-olds, 12-year-olds and adults, by recording ERPs during the silent production of compounds with plural or singular modifiers. Results for both children and adults revealed a negativity in response to compounds produced from regular plural forms when compared to compounds formed from irregular plurals, indicating a highly specific brain response to a subtle linguistic contrast. Although children performed behaviourally with an adult-like pattern in the task, we found a broader distribution and a considerably later latency in children's brain potentials than in adults’, indicating that even in late childhood the brain networks involved in language processing are subject to subtle developmental changes.

KeywordsERPs; Morphology; Linguistics; Language production
JournalDevelopmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Journal citation12 (Apr.), pp. 51-60
ISSN1878-9293
1878-9307
Year2014
PublisherElsevier
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.dcn.2014.11.002
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2014.11.002
Publication dates
Print26 Nov 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Jun 2017
Accepted19 Nov 2014
FunderLeverhulme Trust
Leverhulme Trust
Copyright information© 2014 Elsevier
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