A1 Journal article – refereed
Acquisition of Finnish derivational morphology: school-age children and young adults

List of Authors: Vainio Seppo, Pajunen Anneli, Häikiö Tuomo
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
Publication year: 2018
Journal: First Language
eISSN: 1740-2344


current study examined how morpho-semantic processing of derivational
morphology develops from later childhood through adolescence to adulthood in
Finnish. Finnish is a synthetic language rich both in derivation and
inflection. Carlisle (2000) suggests that children gradually acquire the ability
to process morphologically complex word structures. However, this development
could be delayed because of the complex derivational morphology in Finnish. To
assess this, three age groups of Finnish native speakers participated in a
priming study, in which they made a visual lexical decision for the target
words. There were three types of primes; morphologically related words,
pseudowords, and unrelated words. The reaction times results showed a
significant difference between all the groups, which implies that the word processing is still developing in
adolescence. The error rates unveiled a similar pattern to reaction times. The
prime type affected the recognition; words with morphological primes were
processed faster than words with pseudoword primes, which in turn were
processed faster than words with unrelated primes. Moreover, males made
significantly more errors than females with morphological or pseudoword prime

Downloadable publication

This is an electronic reprint of the original article.
This reprint may differ from the original in pagination and typographic detail. Please cite the original version.

Last updated on 2019-29-01 at 23:24