Semantic growth of morphological families in English Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This paper explores the question of when and how morphological families are formed in one?s mental lexicon, by analyzing age-of-acquisition norms to morphological families (e.g., booking, bookshelf, check book) and their shared morphemes (book). We demonstrate that the speed of growth and the size of the family depend on how early the shared morpheme is acquired and how many connections the family has at the time a new concept is incorporated in the family. These findings dovetail perfectly with the Semantic Growth model of connectivity in semantic networks by Steyvers and Tenenbaum (2005). We discuss implications of our findings for theories of vocabulary acquisition.

publication date

  • 2013