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Late bilinguals see a scan in scannerAND in scandal: dissecting formal overlap from morphological priming in the processing of derived words

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 November 2014

Potsdam Research Institute for Multilingualism (PRIM), University of Potsdam
Potsdam Research Institute for Multilingualism (PRIM), University of Potsdam
Address for correspondence: Vera Heyer, University of Potsdam, Potsdam Research Institute for Multilingualism, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 24-25,


Masked priming research with late (non-native) bilinguals has reported facilitation effects following morphologically derived prime words (scanner – scan). However, unlike for native speakers, there are suggestions that purely orthographic prime-target overlap (scandal – scan) also produces priming in non-native visual word recognition. Our study directly compares orthographically related and derived prime-target pairs. While native readers showed morphological but not formal overlap priming, the two prime types yielded the same magnitudes of facilitation for non-natives. We argue that early word recognition processes in a non-native language are more influenced by surface-form properties than in one's native language.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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