Many trimorphemic words are structurally and semantically ambiguous. For example, unlockable can either be un-lockable (can’t be locked) or unlock-able (can be unlocked). Which interpretation is preferred and whether prior sentence context affects the initial interpretation is not clear from prior research. The present experiment embedded ambiguous trimorphemic words in sentence context and manipulated whether prior context disambiguated the meaning or not and examined the pattern of fixation durations on the ambiguous word and the remainder of the text. The results indicated that the unlock-able interpretation was preferred; moreover, prior context did not exert a significant effect until the eyes had initially exited from the target word
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