Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program



English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair and Committee

David Balota


The current study examined whether lexical: whole word) or more rule-based: morphological constituent) processes can be locally biased by experimental list context in past tense verb inflection in younger and older adults. During each trial, participants produced the past tense verb from a present tense verb. List context was manipulated across blocks such that context trials consisted of either regular past tense verbs: e.g., LIVE-LIVED) or irregular past tense verbs: e.g., RUN-RAN). Half of the targets within each list context were regular and half were irregular verbs. In the regular context, there was a very robust regularity effect: regular targets verbs were conjugated faster and more accurately than irregular target verbs. In the irregular context, this regularity effect was reversed in response times and diminished in accuracy. Age group and individual difference measures of attention and vocabulary were also investigated as possible variables that may modulate the route priming effects. The results support the notion that distinct processes in past tense verb production can be locally biased by list context.


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