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.
WordGen is an easy-to-use program that uses the CELEX and Lexique lexical databases for word selection and nonword generation in Dutch, English, German, and French. Items can be generated in these four languages, specifying any combination of seven linguistic constraints: number of letters, neighborhood size, frequency, summated position-nonspecific bigram frequency, minimum position-nonspecific bigram f requency, position-specific frequency of the initial and final bigram, and orthographic relatedness. The program also has a module to calculate the respective values of these variables for items that have already been constructed, either with the program or taken from earlier studies. Stimulus queries can be entered through WordGen's graphical user interface or by means of batch files. WordGen is especially useful for (1) Dutch and German item generation, because no such stimulus-selection tool exists for these languages, (2) the generation of nonwords for all four languages, because our program has some important advantages over previous nonword generation approaches, and (3) psycholinguistic experiments on bilingualism, because the possibility of using the same tool for different languages increases the cross-linguistic comparability of the generated item lists. WordGen is free and available at http://expsy.ugent.be/wordgen.htm.
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.
Emotional biases in attention, interpretation, and memory are viewed as important cognitive processes underlying symptoms of depression. To date, there is a limited understanding of the interplay among these processing biases. This study tested the dependence of memory on depression-related biases in attention and interpretation. Subclinically depressed and nondepressed participants completed a computerized version of the scrambled sentences test (measuring interpretation bias) while their eye movements were recorded (measuring attention bias). This task was followed by an incidental free recall test of previously constructed interpretations (measuring memory bias). Path analysis revealed a good fit for the model in which selective orienting of attention was associated with interpretation bias, which in turn was associated with a congruent bias in memory. Also, a good fit was observed for a path model in which biases in the maintenance of attention and interpretation were associated with memory bias. Both path models attained a superior fit compared with path models without the theorized functional relations among processing biases. These findings enhance understanding of how mechanisms of attention and interpretation regulate what is remembered. As such, they offer support for the combined cognitive biases hypothesis or the notion that emotionally biased cognitive processes are not isolated mechanisms but instead influence each other. Implications for theoretical models and emotion regulation across the spectrum of depressive symptoms are discussed.
In the last decade, bilingual word processing has received increasing attention. A basic feature of being bilingual is that one often has multiple lexical representations (one in each language) for a particular meaning (e.g., dog and hond are the English and Dutch words, respectively, for the same animal). If these lexical representations are connected to either the same or overlapping semantic representations (or directly to each other), one might expect interactions between a bilingual's languages during word recognition. Indeed, there is a plethora of evidence for influences of a bilingual's first language (L1) on the processing of a second language (L2) (see below; for instance, Duyck, 2005;Keatley, Spinks, & de Gelder, 1994;Kim & Davis, 2003;Schoonbaert, Hartsuiker, & Pickering, 2007;Weber & Cutler, 2004). Depending on the organization of bilingual memory, a nondominant language may also influence the dominant language. The pres ent article asks whether such influences from L2 on L1 processing exist, and if so, whether they are equally strong as the influences from L1 on L2.A number of studies have observed effects from L2 on native language processing. For example, van Hell and Dijkstra (2002) showed that L1 (Dutch) targets having an L2 (English) and L3 (French) near-cognate translation equivalent (e.g., banaan-banana-banane) yielded faster lexical decision responses than did control words. However, despite the fact that these cross-language influences apparently seem to exist in both directions, it is a recurrent finding that L1 typically has more impact on L2 processing than vice versa. This well-known asymmetry has been reported in a number of studies using a wide range of paradigms (e.g., Duyck, 2005;Gollan, Forster, & Frost, 1997;Grainger & Frenck-Mestre, 1998;Marian & Spivey, 2003;Schoonbaert et al., 2007;Weber & Cutler, 2004). For instance, it has been claimed that in a lexical decision task with translation primes, there are clear effects from L1 to L2, but no-or unreliable-effects from L2 to L1 (Gollan et al., 1997;Jiang, 1999;Jiang & Forster, 2001).A possible theoretical explanation is that words in L2 are represented and accessed in a qualitatively different way than are words in L1. For instance, in Jiang and Forster's (2001) The present study investigated cross-language priming effects with unique noncognate translation pairs. Unbalanced Dutch (first language [L1])-English (second language [L2]) bilinguals performed a lexical decision task in a masked priming paradigm. The results of two experiments showed significant translation priming from L1 to L2 (meisje-GIRL) and from L2 to L1 (girl-MEISJE), using two different stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) (250 and 100 msec). Although translation priming from L1 to L2 was significantly stronger than priming from L2 to L1, the latter was significant as well. Two further experiments with the same word targets showed significant cross-language semantic priming in both directions ( jongen [boy]-GIRL; boy-MEISJE [GIRL]) and for both SOAs. These data su...
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