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Acta Linguistica Hungarica
Authors: Dezső Németh, Rozália Ivády, Alessandro Guida, Márton Miháltz, Donald Peckham, Attila Krajcsi, and Csaba Pléh

The main purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between verbal short-term memory and the morphological complexity of words. Hungarian, as an agglutinative language, is of special interest for psycholinguistic inquiries in morphology. The authors presented two word-list recall experiments. The recall of the word list was measured by the classical span design. The item lists consisted of two-syllable stems (base words) and two-syllable morphologically complex words (stem+suffix). Within each list the words were of the same length, the same phonological structure (CVCVC), the same frequency and the same concreteness. The same experimental design was used with three-syllable words as well. Results indicated that morphological complexity had a significant negative effect on shortterm memory span, and that memory was better for derived words (e.g., boy+hood) than inflected words (e.g., boy+s), and regular than irregular words.

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