NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ783116
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 20
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Native Language Influences on Word Recognition in a Second Language: A Megastudy
Lemhofer, Kristin; Dijkstra, Ton; Schriefers, Herbert; Baayen, R. Harald; Grainger, Jonathan; Zwitserlood, Pienie
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v34 n1 p12-31 Jan 2008
Many studies have reported that word recognition in a second language (L2) is affected by the native language (L1). However, little is known about the role of the specific language combination of the bilinguals. To investigate this issue, the authors administered a word identification task (progressive demasking) on 1,025 monosyllabic English (L2) words to native speakers of French, German, and Dutch. A regression approach was adopted, including a large number of within- and between-language variables as predictors. A substantial overlap of reaction time patterns was found across the groups of bilinguals, showing that word recognition results obtained for one group of bilinguals generalize to bilinguals with different mother tongues. Moreover, among the set of significant predictors, only one between-language variable was present (cognate status); all others reflected characteristics of the target language. Thus, although influences across languages exist, word recognition in L2 by proficient bilinguals is primarily determined by within-language factors, whereas cross-language effects appear to be limited. An additional comparison of the bilingual data with a native control group showed that there are subtle but significant differences between L1 and L2 processing.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A