Morphological encoding in the production of compound words in Mandarin Chinese

Train Min Chen, Jenn-Yeu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigated whether morphological encoding is involved in the production of Chinese disyllabic transparent compound words. The implicit priming task of Meyer (1990) was adopted. The first three experiments (Experiment 1A, 1B, and 2) determined that shared orthography or shared meaning alone did not produce the kind of preparation effect typically observed with the task. A potential morphological priming effect was then assessed in Experiment 3 by contrasting the preparation effect of a character/morpheme prime with that of a pronunciation-matched tonal syllable prime. The effect was slightly larger (by 6 ms but not significantly) for the character/morpheme prime than for the tonal syllable prime. Experiment 4 manipulated the frequencies of the character/morpheme primes while controlling for their pronunciations. There was no frequency effect. The results, taken together, showed that in contrast to the Dutch findings, morphological encoding is at best minimally involved in the production of Chinese disyllabic transparent compound words.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-514
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006 May 1



  • Compound words
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Morphological encoding
  • Speech production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence

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