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Lexical Access: Sentence Context Effects in embedded words

Grant number: 21/00377-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2021
Effective date (End): September 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Psycholinguistics
Principal researcher:Thiago Oliveira da Motta Sampaio
Grantee:Fernando Luís Sabatini
Home Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


In Psycholinguistics, studies on lexical access seek to explain how words are activated in memory during the use of language. A related topic is the processing of embedded words (Vroomen & De Gelder, 1997; words within words for Van Alphen & Van Berkum, 2010), which helps to test the efficiency of lexical access models, such as cohort (Marslen-Wilson, 1987) and TRACE (McClelland & Elman, 1986). An example of this in Brazilian Portuguese is the presence of the syllable 'fé' - which alone would correspond to a word ('faith') - within the word 'café' (coffee). Salgado (2014) seeks to understand, among other things, if these words embedded at the end of a larger (carrier) word are activated during processing. Since Salgado's study adopted as its experimental method the associative cross-modal priming of isolated words, this project aims to expand the work by adapting the experiments to sentences, using the same corpus of words with final embedded words. Thus, in addition to comparing the results with those raised by studies of lexical ambiguity (e.g. Colbert-Getz & Cook, 2013; Binder & Morris, 2011; Frazier & Rayner, 1987; Rayner & Duffy, 1986; Swinney, 1979), the objectives are: (i) to verify if sentence context effects can inhibit the activation of embedded words; (ii) to check if the same occurs in non-biased sentences; (iii) to check if the activated embedded word has rapid inhibition (<300 ms) at the end of the processing; and (iv) to explore the results in search of individual variations that indicate influences that are still unknown.

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