The representation and processing of identical cognates by late bilinguals

RT and ERP effects

David Peeters*, Ton Dijkstra, Jonathan Grainger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Across the languages of a bilingual, translation equivalents can have the same orthographic form and shared meaning (e.g., TABLE in French and English). How such words, called orthographically identical cognates, are processed and represented in the bilingual brain is not well understood. In the present study, late French-English bilinguals processed such identical cognates and control words in an English lexical decision task. Both behavioral and electrophysiological data were collected. Reaction times to identical cognates were shorter than for non-cognate controls and depended on both English and French frequency. Cognates with a low English frequency showed a larger cognate advantage than those with a high English frequency. In addition, N400 amplitude was found to be sensitive to cognate status and both the English and French frequency of the cognate words. Theoretical consequences for the processing and representation of identical cognates are discussed. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-332
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Volume68
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bilingual word recognition
  • Cognate representation
  • Word frequency
  • N400 effect
  • VISUAL WORD RECOGNITION
  • LEXICAL ACCESS
  • SENTENCE CONTEXT
  • INTERLINGUAL HOMOGRAPHS
  • BRAIN POTENTIALS
  • NEGLECTED ROLE
  • FREQUENCY
  • ENGLISH
  • TRANSLATION
  • SPANISH

Cite this

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title = "The representation and processing of identical cognates by late bilinguals: RT and ERP effects",
abstract = "Across the languages of a bilingual, translation equivalents can have the same orthographic form and shared meaning (e.g., TABLE in French and English). How such words, called orthographically identical cognates, are processed and represented in the bilingual brain is not well understood. In the present study, late French-English bilinguals processed such identical cognates and control words in an English lexical decision task. Both behavioral and electrophysiological data were collected. Reaction times to identical cognates were shorter than for non-cognate controls and depended on both English and French frequency. Cognates with a low English frequency showed a larger cognate advantage than those with a high English frequency. In addition, N400 amplitude was found to be sensitive to cognate status and both the English and French frequency of the cognate words. Theoretical consequences for the processing and representation of identical cognates are discussed. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.",
keywords = "Bilingual word recognition, Cognate representation, Word frequency, N400 effect, VISUAL WORD RECOGNITION, LEXICAL ACCESS, SENTENCE CONTEXT, INTERLINGUAL HOMOGRAPHS, BRAIN POTENTIALS, NEGLECTED ROLE, FREQUENCY, ENGLISH, TRANSLATION, SPANISH",
author = "David Peeters and Ton Dijkstra and Jonathan Grainger",
year = "2013",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1016/j.jml.2012.12.003",
language = "English",
volume = "68",
pages = "315--332",
journal = "Journal of Memory and Language",
issn = "0749-596X",
publisher = "ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE",
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The representation and processing of identical cognates by late bilinguals : RT and ERP effects. / Peeters, David; Dijkstra, Ton; Grainger, Jonathan.

In: Journal of Memory and Language, Vol. 68, No. 4, 05.2013, p. 315-332.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The representation and processing of identical cognates by late bilinguals

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AU - Peeters, David

AU - Dijkstra, Ton

AU - Grainger, Jonathan

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N2 - Across the languages of a bilingual, translation equivalents can have the same orthographic form and shared meaning (e.g., TABLE in French and English). How such words, called orthographically identical cognates, are processed and represented in the bilingual brain is not well understood. In the present study, late French-English bilinguals processed such identical cognates and control words in an English lexical decision task. Both behavioral and electrophysiological data were collected. Reaction times to identical cognates were shorter than for non-cognate controls and depended on both English and French frequency. Cognates with a low English frequency showed a larger cognate advantage than those with a high English frequency. In addition, N400 amplitude was found to be sensitive to cognate status and both the English and French frequency of the cognate words. Theoretical consequences for the processing and representation of identical cognates are discussed. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

AB - Across the languages of a bilingual, translation equivalents can have the same orthographic form and shared meaning (e.g., TABLE in French and English). How such words, called orthographically identical cognates, are processed and represented in the bilingual brain is not well understood. In the present study, late French-English bilinguals processed such identical cognates and control words in an English lexical decision task. Both behavioral and electrophysiological data were collected. Reaction times to identical cognates were shorter than for non-cognate controls and depended on both English and French frequency. Cognates with a low English frequency showed a larger cognate advantage than those with a high English frequency. In addition, N400 amplitude was found to be sensitive to cognate status and both the English and French frequency of the cognate words. Theoretical consequences for the processing and representation of identical cognates are discussed. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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KW - Word frequency

KW - N400 effect

KW - VISUAL WORD RECOGNITION

KW - LEXICAL ACCESS

KW - SENTENCE CONTEXT

KW - INTERLINGUAL HOMOGRAPHS

KW - BRAIN POTENTIALS

KW - NEGLECTED ROLE

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