Journal Article

Constituent frequency effects in the written production of Spanish compound words


The debate about whether compound words are accessed as whole-words or via their constituents remains unresolved, especially in the field of language production. In the present study, three experiments using a copying task examined whether compound words are accessed via their constituents in handwriting production. In Experiment 1, production of compound words and noncompounds was compared. The last inter-letter interval within the first constituent of compounds was observed to be shorter than the same interval in noncompounds, revealing that writing durations are sensitive to morphological processing. In Experiments 2 and 3, the first and second constituent frequency was manipulated respectively. The frequency of both constituents affected writing onset times. Interestingly, the interval between the last two letters of the first constituent was shorter when the second constituent was of high-frequency, suggesting that the effect obtained in this position in Experiment 1 was related to the anticipation of the second constituent. Our findings indicate that both constituents are activated before the initiation of the written response and that the second component is reactivated before the production of the first constituent has finished.

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Afonso, Olivia
Álvarez, C.J.

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-04-05

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