Language Selectivity in Lexical Access: an Experimental Study on Bilinguals

  • Fatma Demiray Abant Izzet Baysal University, School of Foreign Languages
  • Dilek Peçenek

Abstract

In this study, the locus of language selection in bilingual lexical access is investigated based on some basic factors such as first languages, second language proficiency, age of acquisition and multilingualism. In particular, this study explores competition between bilinguals’ languages and proposes two language selection models; Inhibitory Control Model (Green, 1998) and Concept Selection Model (La Heij, 2005). In experiment 1, the participants were asked to perform a word translation task from their second language (L2) to first language (L1). Each target was accompanied by a distracter item in the form of a picture or a word which was related/unrelated to the target word semantically. As a result, all participants translated target words faster when they are accompanied with semantically related/unrelated word distracters than picture distracters. On the other hand, they translated target words faster when they are accompanied with unrelated word distracters than related word distracters. Finally, they translated target words faster when they are accompanied with related picture distracters than unrelated picture distracters. In experiment 2, participants were asked to perform a switching task with the numbers in their first language and second language according to the background color of the digits. Finally, the language switching cost was larger when switching from L2 to L1 than vice versa. The results have shown that while the factors such as L1 andage of acquisition do not affect the locus of language selection during lexical access, proficiency in L2 and multilingualism factors affect the locus of language selection.
Published
Apr 30, 2015
How to Cite
DEMIRAY, Fatma; PEÇENEK, Dilek. Language Selectivity in Lexical Access: an Experimental Study on Bilinguals. European Journal of Language and Literature, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1, p. 32-60, apr. 2015. ISSN 2411-4103. Available at: <http://journals.euser.org/index.php/ejls/article/view/559>. Date accessed: 22 mar. 2019. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.26417/ejls.v1i1.p32-60.