Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23(2), 533–539. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-015-0927-z
Masked priming studies have repeatedly provided evidence for a form-based morpho-orthographic segmentation mechanism that blindly decomposes any word with the mere appearance of morphological complexity (e.g., corn + er). This account has been called into question by Baayen et al. Psychological Review, 118, 438–482 (2011), who pointed out that the prime words previously tested in the morpho-orthographic condition vary in the extent to which the suffix conveys regular meaning. In the present study, we investigated whether evidence for morpho-orthographic segmentation can be obtained with a set of tightly controlled prime words that are entirely semantically opaque. Using a visual lexical decision task, we compared priming from truly suffixed primes (hunter-HUNT), completely opaque pseudo-suffixed primes (corner-CORN), and non-suffixed primes (cashew-CASH). The results show comparable magnitudes of priming for the truly suffixed and pseudo-suffixed primes, and no priming from non-suffixed primes, and therefore provide further important evidence in support of morpho-orthographic segmentation processes operating in the absence of any possible role for semantics.