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Translation equivalent and cross-language semantic priming in bilingual toddlers

Floccia, Caroline and Delle Luche, Claire and Lepadatu, Irina and Chow, Janette and Ratnage, Paul and Plunkett, Kim (2020) 'Translation equivalent and cross-language semantic priming in bilingual toddlers.' Journal of Memory and Language, 112. ISSN 0749-596X

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In adult bilinguals, a word in one language will activate a related word in the other language, with language dominance modulating the direction of these effects. To determine whether the early bilingual lexicon possesses similar properties to its adult counterpart, two experiments compared translation equivalent priming and cross-linguistic semantic priming in 27-month-old bilingual toddlers learning English and one other language. Priming effects were found in both experiments, irrespective of language dominance and distance between the child’s two languages. The time course of target word recognition revealed a similar pattern for translation equivalent priming and cross-language semantic priming. These results suggest that the early bilingual lexicon possesses properties similar to the adult one in terms of word to concept connections. However, the absence of an advantage of translation equivalent priming over semantic priming, and the lack of dominance and language distance effects, suggest that when two languages are acquired in parallel during infancy, their integration within a single dynamic system is highly robust to input variations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bilingual lexicon, Toddlers, Word processing, Priming, Language dominance, Language distance
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2020 10:09
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2020 10:09

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