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 ...
Studies on syntactic priming strongly suggest that bilinguals can store a single integrated representation of constructions that are similar in both languages (e.g., Spanish and English passives; R. J. Hartsuiker, M. J. Pickering, & E. Veltkamp, 2004). However, they may store 2 separate representations of constructions that involve different word orders (e.g., German and English passives; H. Loebell & K. Bock, 2003). In 5 experiments, the authors investigated within--and between--languages priming of Dutch, English, and German relative clauses. The authors found priming within Dutch (Experiment 1) and within English as a 2nd language (Experiments 2 and 4). An important finding is that priming occurred from Dutch to German (Experiment 5), which both have verb-final relative clauses; but it did not occur between Dutch and English (Experiments 3 and 4), which differ in relative-clause word order. The results suggest that word-order repetition is needed for the construction of integrated syntactic representations.
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