Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

A psycholinguistic account of human communication must explain how linguistic inputs and outputs are structured to convey the speaker's intended meaning. The concept of a “mental lexicon” plays a key role in standard conceptions of this process, referring to the learned representations that mediate between the spoken utterance (or written text) and the interpretation computed by the listener or reader. The organisation of these representations needs to reflect, broadly speaking, two kinds of linguistic information being communicated: semantic information, about meanings in the world; and a wide range of syntactic information, specifying grammatical relations, tense, aspect, and so forth. These different kinds of linguistic information are associated with specific lexical entities—words and morphemes—which are assembled together, in different ways in different languages, to convey the necessary mix of semantic and syntactic cues to intended meaning as the speech input is heard over time (or as a written text is read). This article discusses morphological processes in language comprehension, focusing on inflectional morphology and derivational morphology. It also considers morphological decomposition and lexical representation.

Keywords: mental lexicon, semantic information, syntactic information, words, morphemes, language comprehension, inflectional morphology, derivational morphology, morphological decomposition, lexical representation

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.