Understanding bilingual lexical organization: Evidence from masked cross-language priming in Chinese-English bilinguals
AdvisorForster, Kenneth I.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractCross-language priming has been found to be asymmetrical in that priming is found from L1 to L2, but not the reverse. In this project, I examined two issues raised by the asymmetry that are related to the organization of the bilingual lexicon. The first is what attributes to the asymmetry. Two approaches to the asymmetry are distinguished, one attributing it to the representational features of the bilingual lexicon and the other to the processing characteristics associated with the two languages of bilingual speakers. The five experiments in the first series first replicated the asymmetry and then examined three processing-related explanations. The results suggest that none of them provides a satisfactory explanation of the asymmetry. The second series of four experiments tested the hypothesis that lexical links from L2 to L1 are episodic in nature. The results of these experiments provide strong evidence for this hypothesis. It is proposed in the study that, due to the practical constraints imposed on SLA, lexical information in L2 may be represented in the episodic system. A model of vocabulary acquisition in L2 is proposed. In this model, vocabulary acquisition is seen in terms of how the structure and content of the lexical entry evolve in the learning process. Research and pedagogical implications of the model are discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquistion and Teaching