Language non-selective activation of orthography during spoken word processing in Hindi-English sequential bilinguals: an eye tracking visual world study

Mishra, Ramesh; Singh, Niharika
January 2014
Reading & Writing;Jan2014, Vol. 27 Issue 1, p129
Academic Journal
Previous psycholinguistic studies have shown that bilinguals activate lexical items of both the languages during auditory and visual word processing. In this study we examined if Hindi-English bilinguals activate the orthographic forms of phonological neighbors of translation equivalents of the non target language while listening to words either in L1 or L2. We tracked participant's eye movements as they looked at an array of written words that contained a phonological neighbor of the translation equivalent of a simultaneously presented spoken word. Participants quickly oriented their visual attention towards the phonological neighbor of the translation equivalent compared to the distractors, suggesting an activation of the spelling of the non-target lexicon via translation leading to further spreading activation of related words. Further, this parallel activation of the non target lexicon was seen in both L1-L2 and L2-L1 direction. These results suggest that different bilinguals can automatically activate the orthographic forms of the non-target lexicon via translation equivalents even when the languages in question do not share cognates and use different scripts.


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