Lexical Organization and Access: A Developmental Cognitive Approach to the Acquisition of Morphology

Noureddine Kahlaoui


The present paper represents a further step in the work of Kahlaoui (2000) on lexical organization and access. It was argued in this paper that the distinction between regular and irregular morphology is counter cognitive as it deprives a good deal of the lexical elements from being processed via rule abstraction (Plunkett & Marchman, 1993) only because they are processed by minor rules (Mohanan, 1986). The lexicon is the modular mental component of a speaker's linguistic knowledge. It was also argued that the poor performance of dysphasic speakers on regular morphology is to be explained outside the non-natural and cognitively unwarranted distinction between regularity and irregularity. The lexicon is the sum of words – devoid of any internal structure -- known to the speaker. It was also argued that the set of word formation strategies generated/abstracted by the speaker in a developmental cognitive fashion constitutes his/her morphological system, which will be used for an automatic normal access to words. Automatic access is the normal access route via the central nervous system which is linguistically aware of the grammar it uses to access the modular the encapsulated lexicon. Access is performed through the strategy itself for both comprehension and production and happens in a non-modular fashion. Default – or emergency – access is performed in cases of accidental or mnemonic failure through a direct look-up procedure into the associative lexicon and through the central nervous system.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/selt.v1n2p275


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