A1 Journal article – refereed
The Role of Hyphens at the Constituent Boundary in Compound Word Identification: Facilitative for Long, Detrimental for Short Compound Words

List of Authors: Bertram R, Hyona J
Publisher: Hogrefe Publishing
Publication year: 2013
Journal: Experimental Psychology
Journal name in source: EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
Journal acronym: EXP PSYCHOL
Number in series: 3
Volume number: 60
Issue number: 3
Number of pages: 7
ISSN: 1618-3169

The current eye-movement study investigated whether a salient segmentation cue like the hyphen facilitates the identification of long and short compound words. The study was conducted in Finnish, where compound words exist in great abundance. The results showed that long hyphenated compounds (musiikki-ilta) are identified faster than concatenated ones (yllatystulos), but short hyphenated compounds (ilta-asu) are identified slower than their concatenated counterparts (kesasaa). This pattern of results is explained by the visual acuity principle (Bertram & Hyona, 2003): A long compound word does not fully fit in the foveal area, where visual acuity is at its best. Therefore, its identification begins with the access of the initial constituent and this sequential processing is facilitated by the hyphen. However, a short compound word fits in the foveal area, and consequently the hyphen slows down processing by encouraging sequential processing in cases where it is possible to extract and use information of the second constituent as well.

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Last updated on 2019-20-07 at 05:19