Mixing the stimulus list in bilingual lexical decision turns cognate facilitation effects into mirrored inhibition effects

Flora Vanlangendonck, David Peeters, Shirley-Ann Rueschemeyer, Ton Dijkstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

To test the BIA+ and Multilink models’ accounts of how bilinguals process words with different degrees of cross-linguistic orthographic and semantic overlap, we conducted two experiments manipulating stimulus list composition. Dutch English late bilinguals performed two English lexical decision tasks including the same set of cognates, interlingual homographs, English control words, and pseudowords. In one task, half of the pseudowords were replaced with Dutch words, requiring a ‘no’ response. This change from pure to mixed language list context was found to turn cognate facilitation effects into inhibition. Relative to control words, larger effects were found for cognate pairs with an increasing cross-linguistic form overlap. Identical cognates produced considerably larger effects than non-identical cognates, supporting their special status in the bilingual lexicon. Response patterns for different item types are accounted for in terms of the items’ lexical representation and their binding to ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses in pure vs mixed lexical decision.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalBilingualism: Language and Cognition
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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