|Home » Journal papers » Volume 5, Number 1, 2018 » Ansarin, A., Javadi, S.|
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Abstract. The present study was an attempt to investigate bilingual mental lexicon. The main question addressed in the study was whether semantic/associative and translation priming effects could be achieved with Persian-English bilinguals. The masked priming paradigm, as a technique reflecting automatic cognitive processes going on during semantic processing rather than strategic uses of the prime, was deployed to answer the question. Four types of prime-target pairs (translation equivalent, semantically similar, associatively related, and semantically associated pairs) were formed for the purpose of the lexical decision task. A total of 85 Persian-English bilinguals participated in the study. Though the priming effect was not found for the first three groups, the targets in semantically associated pairs (most strongly related words) responded about 29 ms faster. The results suggested that bilinguals share mental representations for associatively semantically related words; consequently, teaching new words of the second language by linking them to associatively related words of the first language may lead to better results.
Keywords: bilingual memory, semantic priming, cross-language masked priming.
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