Bilingual Lexical Representation and Processing: Evidence from Masked Priming Studies

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195105
Title:
Bilingual Lexical Representation and Processing: Evidence from Masked Priming Studies
Author:
Wang, Xin
Issue Date:
2007
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Most bilingual lexical models assume that L1 and L2 either share the same semantic system, or are distinguished at the semantic level but connected through lexical associations. For example, the Revised Hierarchical Model (Kroll & Stewart, 1994) assumes the stronger access from L2 to concepts via the L1 lexical representation at the early stage of L2 acquisition and direct access to concepts after L2 proficiency is achieved. However, the model is not well supported by subsequent empirical evidence, and encounters difficulty in explaining cross-language priming data. The recently developed Sense Model (Finkbeiner, M., Forster, K., Nicol, J., & Nakamura, K., 2004) assumes a direct access from the L2 form to its related meaning and argues for the representational asymmetry in lexical semantics between L1 and L2. This model was designed to account for the translation asymmetry and task effect in the masked priming literature: L2-L1 priming is not observed in lexical decision due to the small proportion of L1 senses activated by the L2 prime; however, the category provides a context which restricts L1 sense activation and thus enhances the effectiveness of the L2 prime in semantic categorization. This dissertation reports the results of several semantic categorization experiments designed to test several assumptions of the Sense Model. Experiments 1-4 investigated whether the Category Restriction Hypothesis assumed by the Sense Model was empirically supported when congruence effects are minimized. The results showed that translation priming could be obtained for exemplars when congruence effects were controlled, but that there were no effects for non-exemplars, as predicted by the Sense Model. Subsequent experiments showed that category size is an important variable, since L2-L1 priming was not obtained with large categories (e.g., living thing), which was taken to indicate that a large category is ineffective as a 'focusing' device to enhance the activation of L2 semantic senses. Finally, it was shown that the priming asymmetry in lexical decision was not due to differential degrees of semantic activation of the prime in L1 and L2.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Bilingualism; Translation Priming; L2 Proficiency; Bilingual Processing and Representation; L2 Word Recognition; Masked Priming
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Forster, Kenneth I.
Committee Chair:
Forster, Kenneth I.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleBilingual Lexical Representation and Processing: Evidence from Masked Priming Studiesen_US
dc.creatorWang, Xinen_US
dc.contributor.authorWang, Xinen_US
dc.date.issued2007en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractMost bilingual lexical models assume that L1 and L2 either share the same semantic system, or are distinguished at the semantic level but connected through lexical associations. For example, the Revised Hierarchical Model (Kroll & Stewart, 1994) assumes the stronger access from L2 to concepts via the L1 lexical representation at the early stage of L2 acquisition and direct access to concepts after L2 proficiency is achieved. However, the model is not well supported by subsequent empirical evidence, and encounters difficulty in explaining cross-language priming data. The recently developed Sense Model (Finkbeiner, M., Forster, K., Nicol, J., & Nakamura, K., 2004) assumes a direct access from the L2 form to its related meaning and argues for the representational asymmetry in lexical semantics between L1 and L2. This model was designed to account for the translation asymmetry and task effect in the masked priming literature: L2-L1 priming is not observed in lexical decision due to the small proportion of L1 senses activated by the L2 prime; however, the category provides a context which restricts L1 sense activation and thus enhances the effectiveness of the L2 prime in semantic categorization. This dissertation reports the results of several semantic categorization experiments designed to test several assumptions of the Sense Model. Experiments 1-4 investigated whether the Category Restriction Hypothesis assumed by the Sense Model was empirically supported when congruence effects are minimized. The results showed that translation priming could be obtained for exemplars when congruence effects were controlled, but that there were no effects for non-exemplars, as predicted by the Sense Model. Subsequent experiments showed that category size is an important variable, since L2-L1 priming was not obtained with large categories (e.g., living thing), which was taken to indicate that a large category is ineffective as a 'focusing' device to enhance the activation of L2 semantic senses. Finally, it was shown that the priming asymmetry in lexical decision was not due to differential degrees of semantic activation of the prime in L1 and L2.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectBilingualismen_US
dc.subjectTranslation Primingen_US
dc.subjectL2 Proficiencyen_US
dc.subjectBilingual Processing and Representationen_US
dc.subjectL2 Word Recognitionen_US
dc.subjectMasked Primingen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSecond Language Acquisition & Teachingen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorForster, Kenneth I.en_US
dc.contributor.chairForster, Kenneth I.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberNicol, Janet L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHarley, Heidien_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGarret, Merrillen_US
dc.identifier.proquest2509en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659748415en_US
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