Suffixes as deep structure clues
Levelt, W. J. M., & Bonarius, M.
Suffixes as deep structure clues. Methodology and Science, 6
Recent work on sentence recognition suggests that listeners use their knowledge of the language to directly infer deep structure syntactic relations from surface structure markers. Suffixes may be such clues, especially in agglutinative languages. A cross-language (Dutch-Finnish) experiment is reported, designed to investigate whether the suffix structure of Finnish words (as opposed to suffixless Dutch words) can facilitate prompted recall of sentences in case these suffixes differentiate between possible deep structures. The experiment, in which 80 subjects recall sentences at the occasion of prompt words, gives only slight confirmatory evidence. Meanwhile, another prompted recall effect (Blumenthal's) could not be replicated.