Is "hit and run" a single word? The processing of irreversible binomials in neglect dyslexia

Giorgio Arcara, Graziano Lacaita, Elisa Mattaloni, Laura Passarini, Sara Mondini, Paola Benincà, Carlo Semenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study is the first neuropsychological investigation into the problem of the men- tal representation and processing of irreversible binomials (IBs), i.e., word pairs linked by a conjunction (e.g., "hit and run," " dead or alive"). In order to test their lexical status, the phenomenon of neglect dyslexia is explored. People with left-sided neglect dyslexia show a clear lexical effect: they can read IBs better (i.e., by dropping the leftmost words less fre- quently) when their components are presented in their correct order.This may be taken as an indication that they treat these constructions as lexical, not decomposable, elements. This finding therefore constitutes strong evidence that IBs tend to be stored in the mental lexicon as a whole and that this whole form is preferably addressed in the retrieval process.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberArticle 11
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberFEB
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Irreversible binomials
  • Lexical retrieval
  • Neglect dyslexia
  • Neglect syndrome
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Neuropsychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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