Part-of-speech persistence: the influence of part-of-speech information on lexical processes

Alissa Melinger, Jean-Pierre Koenig

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper presents three naming experiments designed to investigate whether the activation levels of syntactic features associated with lexical items, specifically part-of-speech information, can influence lexical processes. Naming preferences for orthographically ambiguous but phonologically distinct English nouns and verbs, such as convict (CONvictn vs. conVICTv) were compared. In Experiment 1, ambiguous target words were preceded by unambiguous noun, verb, and letter (control) primes. Experiments 2 and 3 were designed to distinguish whether the priming effects observed in Experiment 1 have a syntactic or a semantic locus. In all three experiments, we found an influence of the part-of-speech of the prime on speakers’ naming preferences for the target. The results support a model of the lexicon in which part-of-speech information can influence lexical processes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)472-489
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Memory and Language
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Mental lexicon
    • Homographs
    • Lexical processing
    • Syntactic priming
    • Part-of-speech
    • Grammatical class


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