University of Cambridge > > RCEAL Tuesday Colloquia > The role of frequency in morphological systems

The role of frequency in morphological systems

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Teresa Parodi.

Change of venue to GR-06/07

In its elementary form, the frequency effect predicts that more commonly used words are easier to recognize and are responded to quicker and more accurately than less common words. Yet, even though the frequency effect is one of the most robust and consistent findings in psycholinguistic literature, and that there is very little doubt that frequency is the single most important factor in determining response times to words, the full implications of the assumption that more frequent words are processed faster and more accurately than less frequent ones, are not entirely clear.

Of particular interest for the role of frequency in morphological systems is the literature accompanying the class of the so-called `dual-mechanism models’ that use the frequency effect as a diagnostic tool for distinguishing between different processing strategies that speakers use in language processing. Namely, a body of literature that adopts an information-theory style approach to morphological processing has consistently demonstrated that frequency alone is too simple a term to account for all the psychologically relevant information that is available in a morphological system.

With the increasing tendency to include psycholinguistically relevant arguments in theoretical descriptions of morphology, at least a part of the interest in morphological processing also concerns theoretical descriptions of morphological systems. In this sense, the predictions of the proponents of the literature accompanying the dual-mechanism model, are thought to be compatible with constructive approaches to morphological systems that build on the structuralist tradition, while the information-theoretical approaches tend to be closer to abstractive descriptions of morphological systems found in the ancient models of the neo-grammarian tradition.

This talk sets out to tease apart the apparent similarities between the models of morphological description and models of morphological processing and aims to describe these similarities by assuming that frequency is a psychologically relevant measure, and that its effect on processing may also be relevant for a number of theoretical distinctions that are drawn in descriptions of morphological systems.

This talk is part of the RCEAL Tuesday Colloquia series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.


© 2006-2024, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity