Testing the Stem Dominance Hypothesis: Meaning Analysis of Inflected Words and Prepositional Phrases

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Minna Lehtonen, Gabor Harrer, Erling Wande, Matti Laine
Publication year: 2014
Journal: PLoS ONE
Journal acronym: PLOS ONE
Volume number: 9
Issue number: 3
Number of pages: 5
ISSN: 1932-6203


We tested the hypothesis that lexical-semantic access of inflected words is governed by the word stem. Object drawings overlaid with a dot/arrow marking position/movement were matched with corresponding linguistic expressions like "from the house". To test whether the stem dominates lexical-semantic access irrespective of its position, we used Swedish prepositional phrases (locative information via preposition immediately preceding the stem) or Finnish case-inflected words (locative information via suffix immediately following the stem). Both in monolingual Swedish and in bilingual Finnish-Swedish speakers, correct stems with incorrect prepositions/case-endings were hardest to reject. This finding supports the view that the stem is indeed the dominant unit in meaning access of inflected words.

Last updated on 2020-27-01 at 03:54