The role of configurational asymmetry in the lexical access of prefixed verbs: Evidence from French

Kyrana Tsapkini, Gonia Jarema, Anna Maria Di Sciullo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In this paper we investigated the effects of configurational asymmetry in prefixed verbs in French. We used a simple lexical decision paradigm to compare prefixed verbs with external and internal prefixes as specified in linguistic theory (Di Sciullo, 1997) where external prefixes do not change the aktionsart and the verb argument structure of the verb, but internal prefixes do change the aktionsart and may change the verb argument structure of the verb. In Experiment 1 we tested the bi-valent prefix dé- where the configurational difference between external and internal properties of a prefix did not elicit differential response latencies. However, in Experiment 2, where unambiguous prefixes (internal en- and external ré-) were tested, the external prefix elicited longer latencies. These results are discussed with respect to the linguistic constraints the configurational properties of prefixes place upon psycholinguistic models of lexical access, as well as with respect to the effects of prefix bi-valence in the recognition of prefixed verbs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-150
Number of pages8
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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