The aim of this study was to investigate the morphological structure processing of Chinese compounds at short SOAs of 57 ms. Event-related potentials were recorded while 16 Hong Kong Chinese university students were instructed to make visual lexical decisions in a decision-making task involving Chinese compound words. Only words in the category of the coordinative compounding structure were included in the present study. In this compounding structure, both morphemes comprising the compound word are of equal importance, similar to the phrase “in-and-out” in English, where neither “in” nor “out” can be considered the head or modifier in the compound; both morphemes are of equal weight in communicating meaning. While the classic N400 semantic priming effect was replicated at this short SOA, an earlier P250 component, suggested to reflect semantic memory network activation during semantic information processing, was also obtained. The morphological structure effect was only found in the P250 component, suggesting that morphological structure may automatically influence the semantic information processing during Chinese compound word processing. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier.
CitationChung, K. K. H., Tong, X., Liu, P. D., McBride-Chang, C., & Meng, X. (2010). The processing of morphological structure information in Chinese coordinative compounds: An event-related potential study. Brain Research, 1352, 157-166.
- Morphological structure
- Event-related potential
- Coordinative compound structure