Do we say dog when we say hotdog? In five experiments using the implicit priming paradigm, we assessed whether nominal compounds composed of two free morphemes like sawdust or fishbowl are prepared for production at the segmental level in the same way that two-syllable monomorphemic words (e.g. bandit) are, or instead as sequences of separable words (e.g. full bowl or grey dust). The experiments demonstrated that nominal compounds are planned as a single sequence, not as two sequences. Specifically, the onset of the second component of the compound (e.g. /d/ in sawdust) did not act as a primeable starting point, although comparable onsets did when that component was an independent word (grey dust). We conclude that there may be a dog in hotdog at the morpheme level, but not when phonological segments are prepared for production.
Keywords: compound words; language production; morphology; phonological planning; serial order.