The Neuropsychology of Compound Words

Carlo Semenza, Sara Mondini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter begins by pointing out the fact that neuropsychological evidence can be more revealing of language representation and processing because the effects obtained from the study of brain-damaged populations are often of a much greater magnitude. It reviews the state of the art in the neuropsychology of compound processing, and claims that this evidence, taken together with current evidence from the psycholinguistic literature, points to the functional independence of different types of lexical knowledge and that all compound processing involves morphological composition and decomposition. Evidence from Italian also points to the independence and dissociability of mechanisms of gender assignment. The chapter cites neuropsychological evidence that is consistent with the view that both compound constituents as well as whole-word representations are routinely and automatically activated in compound processing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Representation and Processing of Compound Words
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780191711213, 9780199228911
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Compound processing
  • Decomposition
  • Gender
  • Lexical knowledge
  • Morphological composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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