FIRST LANGUAGE ACTIVATION DURING SECOND LANGUAGE LEXICAL PROCESSING: An Investigation of Lexical Form, Meaning, and Grammatical Class
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. a(Received October 17 2005)
c1 Gretchen Sunderman, Department of Modern Languages & Linguistics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306; e-mail: email@example.com
a The writing of this article was supported in part by NSF Doctoral Enhancement Grant BCS-0111733 to Gretchen Sunderman and Judith F. Kroll, and by NSF grants BCS-0111734 and BCS-0418071 and NIH grant RO1MH62479 to Judith F. Kroll. We thank Maya Misra for advice on computing measures of orthographic similarity and Rachel Varra and Asha Persaud for research assistance. We also thank the anonymous SSLA reviewers for their helpful comments.