Cross-script L2-L1 noncognate translation priming in lexical decision depends on L2 proficiency: Evidence from Japanese-English bilinguals

Mariko Nakayama, Keisuke Ida, Stephen J. Lupker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous research with unbalanced, different-script bilinguals has typically produced null L2-L1 noncognate masked translation priming effects in lexical decision tasks (LDT). Two novel models of the bilingual mental lexicon have emerged to account for these null results: the episodic L2 hypothesis and the Sense model. In contrast, the BIA+ model predicts significant priming whenever bilinguals are sufficiently proficient in L2. Using Japanese-English bilinguals, the role of L2 proficiency in L2-L1 noncognate translation priming in an LDT was examined. In Experiments 1 and 2, significant priming effects were observed for highly proficient bilinguals. In contrast, in Experiment 3, less-proficient bilinguals produced a null priming effect. This pattern demonstrates that L2-L1 priming effects do arise in an LDT and those effects are modulated by L2 proficiency, consistent with the BIA+ model's expectations. The pattern can be also explained by the episodic L2 hypothesis, provided that certain modifications are made to its assumptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1001-1022
Number of pages22
JournalBilingualism
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Japanese-English bilinguals
  • L2 proficiency
  • L2-L1 noncognate translation priming
  • Lexical decision task
  • Masked priming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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