ERIC Number: EJ777411
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Reference Count: 0
First Language Activation during Second Language Lexical Processing: An Investigation of Lexical Form, Meaning, and Grammatical Class
Sunderman, Gretchen; Kroll, Judith F.
Studies in Second Language Acquisition, v28 n3 p387-422 Sep 2006
This study places the predictions of the bilingual interactive activation model (Dijkstra & Van Heuven, 1998) and the revised hierarchical model (Kroll & Stewart, 1994) in the same context to investigate lexical processing in a second language (L2). The performances of two groups of native English speakers, one less proficient and the other more proficient in Spanish, were compared on translation recognition. In this task, participants decided whether two words, one in each language, are translation equivalents. The items in the critical conditions were not translation equivalents and therefore required a "no" response, but were similar to the correct translation in either form or meaning. For example, for translation equivalents such as "cara-face," critical distracters included (a) a form-related neighbor to the first word of the pair (e.g., "cara-card"), (b) a form-related neighbor to the second word of the pair, the translation equivalent ("cara-fact"), or (c) a meaning-related word ("cara-head"). The results showed that all learners, regardless of proficiency, experienced interference for lexical neighbors and for meaning-related pairs. However, only the less proficient learners also showed effects of form relatedness via the translation equivalent. Moreover, all participants were sensitive to cues to grammatical class, such that lexical interference was reduced or eliminated when the two words of each pair were drawn from different grammatical classes. We consider the implications of these results for L2 lexical processing and for models of the bilingual lexicon.
Descriptors: Cues, Translation, Second Language Learning, Interference (Language), Bilingualism, Language Acquisition, Models, Language Processing, Linguistic Theory, Language Research, Native Speakers, Spanish, Grammar, Language Proficiency, Vocabulary
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.; National Institutes of Health (DHHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A