A psycholinguistic study of semantic priming across L1 and L2
One of the main issues in psycholinguistics is bilingual memory. The field has long been concerned with the way bilinguals restore words in their mental lexicon and how they retrieve them. The more information regarding bilingual memory is obtained, the more efficient would be second language teaching methods. The present study attempts to investigate if bilinguals share semantic features of their L1 and L2 using a masked semantic paradigm. Target-prime pairs addressed in the study were cross-language semantically related pairs in two different directions from L1 to L2 and L2 to L1 in two experiments, including abstract and concrete words. Both experiments were done using DMDX software for measuring reaction times in lexical decision tasks with noncognate prime-target pairs. The experiments showed that semantic priming could not be observed either from L1 to L2 or from L2 to L1. The difference between abstract and concrete words was significant only in experiment 1 from L1 to L2. These data suggest that L1 and L2 are represented by means of a similar lexico-semantic architecture in which L2 words are also able to activate semantic information. This is consistent with models assuming quantitative rather than qualitative differences between L1 and L2 representations.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Second and Multiple Language Acquisition-JSMULA
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