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An Interactive Activation Model of Affix Stripping

Kingma, B.M. (2013) An Interactive Activation Model of Affix Stripping. Master's Thesis / Essay, Human-Machine Communication.

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Morphology influences the structuring of form and meaning representations in the brain. These conclusions are based on a specific type of behavioural experiment, the masked morphological priming (MMP) lexical decision task. In this task, three types of priming are compared: transparent priming, with real suffixed prime-target word pairs (farmer-farm), opaque priming, with pseudo-suffixed pairs (corner-corn), and orthographic priming, a control condition without legitimate suffixes (scandal-scan). A robust finding in these tasks is that priming is stronger in the affixed conditions, whether they are real affixed or pseudo-affixed, than in the non-affixed condition. A second, less robust, finding is that priming is stronger in real affixed than in pseudo-affixed word pairs. To explain these morphological influences in the larger framework of word recognition, several interactive activation models have been proposed in previous literature. However, none of these models have been implemented, so that the models' assumptions, implications and predictions can't be tested. This thesis introduces the interactive activation affix stripping (IAAS) model, which is a computational interactive activation model that has been adapted to enable processing of stems and affixes. To this end, a layer with affix nodes is included. These nodes, when activated, strip the affix from the incoming stimulus by inhibiting sublexical nodes. In order to simulate orthographic as well as semantic priming effects, affix nodes can be activated in two ways. They can be activated by the affix's orthographic presence through sublexical nodes, and by the affix's semantic presence through morpho-semantic nodes. A comparison between different types of sublexical representations revealed that precise positional information at the sublexical level is necessary for correct orthographic affix detection and inhibition of sublexical nodes by the affix nodes. The IAAS model has successfully simulated stronger transparent and opaque priming than orthographic priming in the MMP task. Therefore, orthographic affix stripping can be used as a mechanism to explain differences in processing of pseudo-affixed and non-affixed words. The model has not successfully simulated stronger transparent priming than opaque priming. Therefore, the presented simulations with the IAAS model are inconclusive on whether processing differences between pseudo-affixed and real affixed words can be explained with affix stripping.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Supervisor name: Rijn, H. van
Degree programme: Human-Machine Communication
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:55
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 11:58

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