Title: Morphological constraints in language processing and language acquisition
Speaker: Harald Clahsen (Potsdam Research Institute for Multilingualism)
This presentation will review findings from a number of experimental studies on the role of morphological constraints in language processing and language acquisition. Morphological constraints restrict the way in which inflection, derivation, and compounding interact with each other. Derivational suffixes, for example, typically appear inside inflectional ones indicating that derivation can feed inflection and not vice versa (e.g. ducklings vs. *ducksling).
I will report results from experimental studies on English and German focusing on the interaction of inflectional and word-formation processes in (i) different modalities (production, judgment, comprehension), (ii) different experimental techniques (offline studies, online techniques, e.g. eye-movement monitoring during and reading and listening, event-related brain potentials) and (iii) different populations (children and adults, native and non-native speakers) . I will argue that the experimental results can best be understood in terms of the organization of the grammatical system and that alternative proposals that attribute the experimental effects to surface-form properties or to exposure-based learning are less successful.