Prominence of Leading Functors in Function Morpheme Sequences as Evidenced by Letter Detection

Asher Koriat, Seth N. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our previous work indicated that the increased difficulty in detecting letters in function in comparison with content morphemes derives from the role of functors in supporting phrase structure. Presumably, letters disappear in the transition from structure to content. Here the effect was most powerful for leading functors in a sequence of function morphemes (e.g., "that" in "that from the"). This pattern was found for Hebrew function prefixes that can be appended as a sequence to a content word (e.g., SMHGN, meaning "that from the garden"; Experiments 1 & 2) and also for sequences of Hebrew and English function words (Experiments 3 & 4). This pattern of results did not hold, however, for THE, which maintained its strong disadvantage regardless of position. The results reflect the prominence of leading functors in organizing the local structural frames established in the early stages of text processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-50
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


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