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Lingue e Linguaggio 2/2005
The goal of the experiment was to compare the behavior of Italian words with vs. without palatalization. The palatalized form may typically be observed in the plural of nouns and adjectives with velar-ending roots (‘velar’ should be interpreted, here, as ‘velar stop’). Crucially, however, not all such words present palatalization, since the triggering phonetic process is no more active. The first part of the paper presents the contemporary distribution in both inflection and derivation, showing that palatalization is unpredictable, exception made for some morpho(phono)logical regularities. The materials to be used in the repetition priming experiment were constrained by a number of factors and consisted of two sets of frequency controlled nouns and adjectives: Velar (further subdivided into Palatalizing and Non-Palatalizing) and Non-Velar words (the latter with roots ending in non-velar consonants). The results indicate that Non-Velar words are accessed by means of a compositional strategy, while Velar words, both Palatalizing and Non-Palatalizing, are likely to be directly accessed.