Six experiments apply the masked priming paradigm to investigate how letter position information is computed during printed word perception. Primes formed by a subset of the target's letters facilitated target recognition as long as the relative position of letters was respected across prime and target (e.g., "arict" vs. "acirt" as primes for the target "apricot"). Priming effects were not influenced by whether or not absolute, length-dependent position was respected (e.g., "a-ric-t" vs. "arict"/"ar-i-ct"). Position of overlap of relative-position primes (e.g., apric-apricot; ricot-apricot; arict-apricot) was found to have little influence on the size of priming effects, particularly in conditions (i.e., 33 ms prime durations) where there was no evidence for phonological priming. The results constrain possible schemes for letter position coding.
Recent research on bilingualism has shown that lexical access in visual word recognition by bilinguals is not selective with respect to language. The present study investigated language-independent lexical access in bilinguals reading sentences, which constitutes a strong unilingual linguistic context. In the first experiment, Dutch-English bilinguals performing a L2 lexical decision task were faster to recognize identical and non-identical cognate words (e.g. banaan -banana) presented in isolation than control words.A second experiment replicated this effect when the same set of cognates was presented as the final words of low-constraint sentences. In a third experiment using eyetracking, we showed that early target reading time measures also yield cognate facilitation, but only for identical cognates. These results suggest that a sentence context may influence, but does not nullify, cross-lingual lexical interactions during early visual word recognition by bilinguals. Keywords: bilingualism, visual word recognition, sentence context, cognate Bilingual Word Recognition in Sentences 3Visual Word Recognition by Bilinguals in a Sentence Context: Evidence for Non-selective Lexical AccessDuring the last decade, research on visual word recognition in bilinguals has been dominated by studies investigating whether both languages are processed by functionally and structurally independent systems or not. The most intuitively appealing theory about this issue would probably be that bilinguals have two separate language systems and lexicons: one for the native language (L1) and one for the second language ( L2). However, a lot of evidence has been gathered against this hypothesis: interlingual interactions have been observed at different representational levels, even when bilinguals are processing unilingual sets of words and therefore have no reason to keep an irrelevant language active. Thus far, the majority of these studies have focused on orthographic lexical representations. They have consistently shown that access to these representations is not language specific. Orthographic lexical representations from L2 are accessed during (and interact early with) L1 reading and vice versa (e.g., Dijkstra, Timmermans, & Schriefers, 2000;Dijkstra, Grainger, & Van Heuven, 1999;Van Hell & Dijkstra, 2002; for a recent review, see Dijkstra & Van Heuven, 2002). Recently, a few studies have shown that the languageindependent lexical access claim also holds for phonological representations. For example, Duyck (2005) has shown that masked nonword primes are coded through L1 grapheme conversion rules when reading L2 target words (and vice versa), suggesting that phonological representations from one language may be activated when reading in another language (see also Jared & Kroll, 2001).Because the ongoing debate has almost been settled in favor of this language-independent lexical access hypothesis (for both orthographic and phonological lexical representations), it may be time to put into question the ecological validity and ...
To contrast mechanisms of lexical access in production versus comprehension we compared the effects of word-frequency (high, low), context (none, low-constraining, high-constraining), and level of English proficiency (monolinguals, Spanish-English bilinguals, Dutch-English bilinguals), on picture naming, lexical decision, and eye fixation times. Semantic constraint effects were larger in production than in reading. Frequency effects were larger in production than in reading without constraining context, but larger in reading than in production with constraining context. Bilingual disadvantages were modulated by frequency in production but not in eye fixation times, were not smaller in low-constraining context, and were reduced by high-constraining context only in production and only at the lowest level of English proficiency. These results challenge existing accounts of bilingual disadvantages, and reveal fundamentally different processes during lexical access across modalities, entailing a primarily semantically driven search in production, but a frequency driven search in comprehension. The apparently more interactive process in production than comprehension could simply reflect a greater number of frequency-sensitive processing stages in production.
Becoming a bilingual can change a person's cognitive functioning and language processing in a number of ways. This study focused on how knowledge of a second language influences how people read sentences written in their native language. We used the cognate-facilitation effect as a marker of cross-lingual activations in both languages. Cognates (e.g., Dutch-English schip [ship]) and controls were presented in a sentence context, and eye movements were monitored. Results showed faster reading times for cognates than for controls. Thus, this study shows that one of people's most automated skills, reading in one's native language, is changed by the knowledge of a second language.
Reading affords opportunities for L2 vocabulary acquisition. Empirical research into the pace and trajectory of this acquisition has both theoretical and applied value. Charting the development of different aspects of word knowledge can verify and inform theoretical frameworks of word learning and reading comprehension. It can also inform practical decisions about using L2 readings in academic study. Monitoring readers' eye movements provides real-time data on word learning, under the conditions that closely approximate adult L2 vocabulary acquisition from reading. In this study, Dutch-speaking university students read an English expository text, while their eye movements were recorded. Of interest were patterns of change in the eye movements on the target low-frequency words that occurred multiple times in the text, and whether differences in the processing of target and
The current study investigated the scope of bilingual language control differentiating between whole-language control involving control of an entire lexicon specific to 1 language and lexical-level control involving only a restricted set of recently activated lexical representations. To this end, we tested 60 Dutch-English (Experiment 1) and 64 Chinese-English bilinguals (Experiment 2) on a verbal fluency task in which speakers produced members of letter (or phoneme for Chinese) categories first in 1 language and then members of either (a) the same categories or (b) different categories in their other language. Chinese-English bilinguals also named pictures in both languages. Both bilingual groups showed reduced dominant language fluency after producing exemplars from the same categories in the nondominant language, whereas nondominant language production was not influenced by prior production of words from the same categories in the other language. Chinese-English, but not Dutch-English, bilinguals exhibited similar testing order effects for different letter/phoneme categories. In addition, Chinese-English bilinguals who exhibited significant testing order effects in the repeated categories condition of the fluency task exhibited no such effects when naming repeated pictures after a language switch. These results imply multiple levels of inhibitory control in bilingual language production. Testing order effects in the verbal fluency task pinpoint a lexical locus of bilingual control, and the finding of interference effects for some bilinguals even when different categories are tested across languages further implies a whole-language control process, although the ability to exert such global inhibition may only develop for some types of bilinguals.
This article provides an overview of bilingualism research on visual word recognition in isolation and in sentence context. Many studies investigating the processing of words out-of-context have shown that lexical representations from both languages are activated when reading in one language (language-non-selective lexical access). A newly developed research line asks whether language-non-selective access generalizes to word recognition in sentence contexts, providing a language cue and/or semantic constraint information for upcoming words. Recent studies suggest that the language of the preceding words is insufficient to restrict lexical access to words of the target language, even when reading in the native language. Eye tracking studies revealing the time course of word activation further showed that semantic constraint does not restrict language-non-selective access at early reading stages, but there is evidence that it has a relatively late effect. The theoretical implications for theories of bilingual word recognition are discussed in light of the Bilingual Interactive Activation+ model (Dijkstra and van Heuven, 2002).
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