We investigated the processing of derived adjectives in German using event-related potentials (ERPs). ERPs were registered to existing adjectives freundlich, 'friendly'), to morphologically complex pseudowords that were synonymous to an existing adjective and thus interpretable (*freundhaft), and to complex pseudowords that were structurally and semantically anomalous (*freundbar). Stimuli were embedded in sentence contexts, displayed word by word. An ERP effect with a left-frontal maximum was observed around 450-500 ms after stimulus onset. In this window, both pseudoword types differed from existing adjectives. We interpret this data pattern as a LAN, reflecting structural problems due to morphological parsing, a process that is distinct from semantic processing.
- Visual word recognition