Morphological Processing across Modalities and Languages


  • Beyersmann Elisabeth
  • Mousikou Petroula
  • Javourey-Drevet Ludivine
  • Schroeder Sascha
  • Ziegler Johannes
  • Grainger Jonathan


  • Morphological processing
  • Cross-linguistic
  • Visual lexical decision
  • Auditory lexical decision

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The present study examined cross-linguistic differences in morphological processing in the visual and auditory modality. French and German adults performed a visual and auditory lexical decision task that involved the same translation-equivalent items. The focus of the study was on nonwords, which were constructed in a way that the independent role of stems and suffixes in visual and auditory processing could be investigated. Results revealed a stem-by-modality and a suffix-by-modality interaction, indicating a more prominent role for morphology in the visual than in the auditory domain. Moreover, a significant language-by-stem interaction indicated more robust morphological processing in German than in French. The latter result supports the idea that morphological processing is influenced by the morphological productivity of a language.

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